U.S. Men's National Team Ready for Switzerland Showdown in Basel
The U.S.Men's National Team is packing up camp in Yverdon-les-Bains on Monday and heading east to Basel just over 48 hours prior to the match against 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland.
Oct. 15, 2007
CHANGING VENUES: The U.S.Men's National Team is packing up camp in Yverdon-les-Bains on Monday and heading east to Basel just over 48 hours prior to the match against 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland. The U.S. will be in search of its first win in seven tries against the Swiss when they meet Wednesday evening at St. Jakob Park. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
• Eighteen players will dress for both the United States and Switzerland, with a maximum of six substitutions
• All 21 players from the training camp in Yverdon-les-Bains will travel to Basel, joined by New England striker Taylor Twellman and Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan
• Eddie Lewis is the leading capwinner on the roster with 73 international appearances. The two-time World Cup veteran is making his first appearance with the national team since the World Cup in Germany in 2006.
• At the other end of the spectrum, seven players are in search of their first cap, while another three have two or less. (To read profiles on the uncapped players, click here)
• A total of 11 players on the current roster are age-eligible for the 2008 Olympic Games : Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Robbie Findley, Tally Hall, Steve Purdy, Chris Seitz, Danny Szetela, Preston Zimmerman and Sal Zizzo
• Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has three goals in 2007, and his nine total points are second-highest for the U.S. this year. All three of Beasley's goals came during the USA's Gold Cup championship run. He now has 15 career goals in 70 international matches
• The U.S., with a lifetime record of 0-3-3, will be searching for their first-ever victory against Switzerland. This is the USA’s third visit to the country, the most recent trip a 2-1 loss on June 2, 1990 in St. Gallen. The most memorable meeting took place in the teams’ opening match of USA ’94 on June 18 in Detroit, when Eric Wynalda’s free-kick goal just before halftime secured a crucial point that would eventually allow the U.S. to advance to the knockout phase before being eliminated by Brazil.
• The USA is 10-5-1 in 2007, scoring 30 goals while surrendering 19. The team has posted five shutouts, three by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who now has 10 clean sheets in 25 international appearances.
• Carlos Bocanegra earned his 50th appearance for the United States in the Aug. 22 match against Sweden. The Fulham-based defender has seven career goals at the international level, including the game-winner in the 2-1 victory against Panama in the 2007 Gold Cup quarterfinal and two goals against Brazil. Bocanegra is now serving as captain for both club and country, having worn the captain’s armband six times for the USA in 2007
• Benny Feilhaber has played in 12 matches for the USA in 2007, tied for most appearances on the team. He is one of seven U.S. players all-time to appear in 10 or more games in his first calendar year with the full team
• Six players were part of the USA’s FIFA U-20 World Cup team that advanced to the quarterfinals in Canada this past summer, with four players – Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Danny Szetela and Sal Zizzo – starting all five matches. Both Adu and Szetela had three goals in the tournament, while Bradley scored the game-winner in overtime against Uruguay that put the U.S. through to the quarterfinals.
• Switzerland finished in first place in Group G of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, ahead of eventual tournament runners up France. The Swiss became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated from the tournament without surrendering a single goal after falling to Ukraine on penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
• The match will be played at St. Jakob Park in Basel, which will be the site of one semifinal of the 2008 European Championship, as well as a quarterfinal and three first-round matches
Average Age: 24
Play professionally in: England (6), Germany (5), USA (5), Denmark (2), Belgium (1), Holland (1), Portugal (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1)
Average Caps: 16
Most Caps: 73 (Eddie Lewis)
Least Caps: 0 (Maurice Edu, Robbie Findley, Tally Hall, Steve Purdy, Chris Seitz, Danny Szetela, Preston Zimmerman)
Oldest: 35 (Marcus Hahnemann)
Youngest: 18 (Freddy Adu)
By state: California (10), Washington (3), Maryland (2), New Jersey (2), Arizona (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Missouri (1), Texas (1), Wisconsin (1)
ROSTER ADDITIONS: New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman and Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan were late additions to the U.S. roster following their weekend matches in MLS. Twellman has already appeared nine times for the U.S. in 2007, recording a goal and two assists. The 27-year-old has scored 15 goals in 25 league matches for the Revolution this year, and tallied the second goal in the Revs 3-2 victory over FC Dallas to capture 2007 Lamar Hunt Open Cup Championship. Guzan, 23, has made two appearances for the United States, including a shutout in his debut appearance when the U.S. cruised to a 4-0 victory against Guatemala on February 19, 2006, in Frisco, Texas.
ALL_ACCESS VIDEO - CONVERSATION WITH CARLOS: 2007 has certainly been a transitional year for Carlos Bocanegra, the Fulham-based defender having been elevated to a leadership role for both club and country. With the changing of the guard in the U.S. camp following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he is one of several players challenged by new head coach Bob Bradley to take the reigns left by veterans like Claudio Reyna, Brian McBride and Eddie Pope. He is no stranger to the new boss, having been drafted by Bradley at the age of 19 to the Chicago Fire. In this interview with ussoccer.com, Bocanegra discusses his relationship with the head coach, the role of veterans on the team, and gives some insight into why he has shown a knack for scoring goals on set pieces. As usual, 'Los seems to take it all in stride.
DANNY UNDER FIRE: Ussoccer.com gave fans a chance to ask young midfielder Danny Szetela questions about his new life in La Liga, scoring goals at the Under-20 World Cup this past summer and his first call-up to the senior side. Keep up on all the inside scoop on the team as they travel to Basel leading up to Wedesday's match in the Men's National Team Blog.
SWITZERLAND TUNES UP WITH 3-1 WIN AGAINST AUSTRIA: The Swiss national team got two goals by FC Basel striker Marco Streller and a three-assist performance from Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tanquillo Barnetta as they cruised to a 3-1 victory against fellow 2008 European Championship hosts Austria on Oct. 13 in Zurich. Swiss head coach Jakob Kuhn has lost the services of defender Phillipe Senderos and midfielder Johan Vonlanthen from that match due to injury. With the win, Switzerland moves back above .500 in 2007 with a 4-3-1 record, which includes a 2-1 win against Holland on Aug. 22 and a 1-1 draw with Argentina on June 2 at St Jakob-Park, site of Wednesday’s encounter.
Switzerland Roster vs. United States
GOALKEEPERS (4): Diego Benaglio (CD Nacional Funchal), Fabio Coltorti (Racing Santander), Germano (FC Sion), Pascal Zuberbühler
DEFENDERS (6): Johan Djourou (Birmingham City), Stéphane Grichting (AJ Auxerre), Stephan Lichsteiner (Lille), Ludovic Magnin (VfB Stuttgart), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Fabio Celestini (Getafe), David Gegen, Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City), Gökhan Inler (Udinese), Xavier Margairaz (Osasuna)
FORWARDS (4): Daniel Gygax (FC Metz), Blaise Nkufo (FC Twente), Marco Streller (FC Basel), Hakan Yakin (BSC Young Boys)
ABOUT SWITZERLAND: The Swiss Football Federation, founded in 1895, is one of the oldest football governing bodies in the world. The Swiss federation was also one of the founding members of FIFA in 1904, along with Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. Switzerland’s highest ever FIFA ranking was third in 1993. Their lowest ever was 86th in 1998.
Switzerland has appeared in eight World Cups, though their 2006 appearance was their first since USA ’94. In Germany last summer, Switzerland put in a strong showing and were cruelly eliminated in the second round after a shootout with the Ukraine. As a result of that loss in penalties, Switzerland became the first team in history to be eliminated from the World Cup without conceding a goal.
Switzerland’s best ever performance in major tournament came when they won the Gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
Switzerland is co-hosting the Euopean Championship in 2008. As a result, the Swiss (as well as their co-host Austrians) have not had to qualify for the tournament. In between playing friendlies, both nations competed in the Four Nations Tournament in Austria last month along with Chile and Japan.
CLUB CONNECTIONS: The U.S. roster has several pairs of clubmates, led by the regular Fulham duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey. Steve Cherundolo is showing Sal Zizzo the ropes at Hannover 96 this year, while Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber have joined forces at Derby County. Chris Seitz and Robbie Findley are both spending their rookie campaign at Real Salt Lake, while Steve Purdy is an understudy to Gregg Berhalter and Josh Wolff at 1860 Munich. Swiss goalkeeper Fabio Coltori shares the locker room with Danny Szetela at Racing Santander.
AND COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: There are plenty of alumni stories to pass around the lunch tables here in Yverdon as several players share a common university. UCLA and Maryland contribute the most alums to the squad, with four players having matriculated in western Los Angeles. Eddie Lewis is the eldest statesman, having graduated in 1995, followed by current U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo. Chris Seitz and Maurice Edu having lifted the NCAA Championship trophy together at the University of Maryland in 2005 while Dan Califf and Taylor Twellman reminisce about their days on the College Park campus. Steve Cherundolo and Heath Pearce are both former Pilots from the University of Portland.
AMERICANS IN EUROPEAN CLUB TOURNEYS: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers are off to a terrific start in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, highlighted by a stunning 3-0 win away to Lyon. Beasley recorded a goal and an assist that day. The Scottish club are in second place in a tough group E, featuring German champions VFB Stuttgart, six-time defending French league champions Lyon, and star-studded FC Barcelona
In the UEFA Cup, Tim Howard and Everton got past past Ukrainian club FC Metalist in the first round to reach the group stage, having been drawn into an intriguing group that includes Tony Sanneh's former club FC Nürnberg, an AZ Alkmaar team coached by former Barcelona, Ajax, and Dutch national team boss Louis van Gaal, and Larissa FC from Greece, the team that knocked out fellow U.S. international Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers. Group play kicks off Oct. 25 with Everton hosting Larissa FC at Goodison Park. For more information on U.S. players abroad, check out ussoccer.com's Global Blog.
EXPANDING THE POOL… With qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup now less than a year away, the process of developing a deep player pool is in full swing, and U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has wasted no time getting a grip on the available talent. Through 16 games in 2007, he has already handed a cap to 53 different players. Of those 53, a total of 33 are based in MLS and 20 on clubs overseas. Additionally, he has given 18 players their first cap. The list of debutants includes Davy Arnaud, Kyle Beckerman, Jonathan Bornstein, Kenny Cooper, Charlie Davies, Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber, Herculez Gomez, Josh Gros, Kamani Hill, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor, Brian Namoff, Lee Nguyen, Michael Parkhurst, Frank Simek, Marvell Wynne and Sal Zizzo.
AND SEEING THE WORLD: While the post-World Cup year is typically quiet, the U.S. has been extraordinarily active this time around. By year’s end, the team will have played in 18 matches, two major international tournaments (Gold Cup and Copa America), against three teams in the top ten of the FIFA Rankings (No. 1 Brazil, No. 2 Argentina, and No. 10 Mexico), and made four overseas trips (Venezuela, Sweden, South Africa and Switzerland).
NUMEROLOGY: The match against Switzerland is the USA’s 17th in 2007, marking the fourth time this decade the team has played at least that many matches in a calendar year. Interestingly, all three of the previous three ‘17th’ games involved the World Cup, either in the qualifying process or the tournament finals:
1-On Nov. 15, 2000, the U.S. entered their final semifinal round qualifier needing a win against Barbados to advance. Played in Waterford, Barbados, the teams were level at halftime before the U.S. exploded for four goals to win 4-0 and push the team into the final round of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
2 -After a victory against Portugal and a draw with host South Korea, the U.S. faced Poland on June 14, 2002, in Daejon needing only a point to secure their place in the knockout phase of the World Cup. Two goals by Poland in the first five minutes seemed to have the USA sunk, but the 3-1 loss proved moot as Korea’s 1-0 victory against Portugal lifted the U.S. out of despair and into the second round where they would eventually reach the quarterfinals.
3 -Following a classic 2-0 victory against Mexico that secured the USA’s place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the team headed to Guatemala for their penultimate final round qualifier. On Sept. 7, 2005, Marcus Hahnemann stood in goal in front of a mostly MLS-based starting XI as the U.S. and Guatemala split the spoils of a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Mateo Flores, that point eventually helping ensure that the USA finished atop the final round qualifying group for the first time in history.
Incidentally, the U.S. has played one other time on October 17, falling 2-1 to Mexico in Mexico City in 1984.
On the field for the USA
September 9, 2007 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois - – International Friendly
USA 2 Carlos Bocanegra 21’, Clint Dempsey 73’
Brazil 4 OG (Oguchi Onyewu) 33’, Lucio 52’, Ronaldinho 73’, Elano 92+
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 2-Heath Pearce (21-Davy Arnaud, 86); 4-Michael Bradley, 5-Benny Feilhaber (15-Bobby Convey, 70), 10-Landon Donovan, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 16-Josh Wolff (9-Eddie Johnson, 70); 8-Clint Dempsey
Subs not used: 24-Chris Seitz, 17-Jonathan Spector, 19-Kerry Zavagnin, 23-Jay Demerit
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRA: 1-Doni; 2-Maicon (13-Daniel Alves, 64), 3-Lucio (capt.), 4-Juan (14-Edu Dracena, 46), 6-Gilberto; 5-Mineiro, 8-Gilberto Silva; 7-Kaká (20-Julio Baptista, 70), 11-Robinho (19-Elano, 78), 10-Ronaldinho (21-Diego, 85); 9-Afonso (22-Vagner Love, 64)
Subs not used: 12-Julio Cesar, 15-Gladstone, 16-Kleber, 17-Fernando, 18-Josue
Head Coach: Dunga
On the field for Switzerland
October 13, 2007 – Zurich, Switzerland – International Friendly
Switzerland 3 Streller 2’, 55’; Yakin 36’
Austria 1 Aufhauser 11’
SUI: Coltorti; Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Senderos (Grichting, 46’), Magnin (Spycher 86’); Fernandes (Celestini 82’), Inler; Vonlanthen (David Gegen 18’), Yakin (Margairaz 46’), Barnetta; Streller (Nkufo 77’).
AUT: Manninger; Stably (Ertl 65’), Proedl (Schiemer 40’), Hiden, fox; Sariyar; Garics, Aufhauser, Ivanschitz (Harnik 83’), Weissenberger (Moerz 65’); Kuljic (Kienast 65’).
USA Vs. Switzerland
June 18, 1994 – Pontiac Silverdome – Pontiac Michigan – 1994 FIFA World Cup - First Round
USA 1 Eric Wynalda 45’
Switzerland 1 Georges Bregy 39’
USA: 1-Meola, 4-Kooiman, 5-Dooley, 6-Harkes, 8-Stewart (13-Jones, 81’), 9-Rams, 11-Wynalda (10-Wegerle, 58’), 16-Sorber, 17-Balboa, 20-Caliguri, 22-Lalas
SUI: 1-Pascolo, 2-Hottiger, 3-Quentin, 4-Herr, 5-Geiger, 6-Bregy, 7-Sutter, 8-Ohrel, 10-Sforza (21-Wyss, 77’), 11-Chapuisat, 16-Bickel (14-Subiat, 72’)