Media Corps Following U.S. Continues to Grow
With the U.S. Men's National Team's rise to world soccer prominence as one of the eight finalist in the 2002 World Cup, the media giant has awoken. At today's hastily scheduled press conference (finalized some 12 hours before it took place), more than 75 media outlets found their way to the team hotel and a horde of 20 TV cameras swarmed the player mixed zone and press conference.
June 18, 2002
U.S. MEDIA AVAILABILITY ON WEDNESDAY AT 2 p.m.: The U.S. Men's National Team will be available to the media at 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon (June 19) at the team hotel at the J.W. Marriott. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena and selected players will be available to the media at that time via a press conference and a mixed-zone session. Training on Sunday at Misari Practice Stadium, located in the southeast corner of Seoul, will be open for 15 minutes beginning at approximately 10 a.m. Media interested in attending the first 15 minutes of training should arrive at the complex at 9:45 a.m. to be allowed admittance to the training facility. After 15 minutes media will be escorted from the facility. There will be no interview availability at the practice site. At all times, an up-to-date schedule of training sessions and media availability can be found in the media-only section of ussoccer.com.
MEDIA DESCENDS ON U.S. TEAM: With the U.S. Men's National Team's rise to world soccer prominence as one of the eight finalist in the 2002 World Cup, the media giant has awoken. At today's hastily scheduled press conference (finalized some 12 hours before it took place), more than 75 media outlets found their way to the team hotel and a horde of 20 TV cameras swarmed the player mixed zone and press conference. While the media contingent did not match the number of media following the team in advance of the USA-Korea group match, Wednesday's turnout is expected to surpass 100.
TEAM ENJOYS LIGHT TUESDAY: A day after the biggest win in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. squad enjoyed a relatively light day on Tuesday. Many of the players slept in and enjoyed and early lunch, followed by time with the ever-increasing media corps following the team. The players had a light workout in the pool at 1 p.m. and were then given the afternoon off. Many of the players spent the afternoon with familiy around the hotel, while others ventured into Itaewon to shop. In the evening nearly the entire team watched the Korea – Italy match from their team hotel.
SOCCER FRENZY TAKES OVER HOST COUNTRY: Ahead of Korea’s historic second round match with Italy, the entire country nearly came to a stand still. With the game kicking off at 8:30 p.m. local time, local pregame shows began airing before 5 p.m. After the Korean win, the party went long into the night, with the Korean television stations continuously replaying the Italy match, as well as Korean highlights from their first four games.
AND THEN THERE WERE EIGHT: With the second round now complete, only eight teams are still involved in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. is the first CONCACAF team to advance this far in the tournament since Mexico in 1986, when the host nation advanced to the quarterfinals and finished in sixth place. With Korea’s surprising win over Italy, all five confederations with representation at the 2002 FIFA World Cup have a representative in the final eight. (Oceania did not have a team qualify for the 2002 World Cup.) UEFA (Europe) leads the way with four teams.
UEFA (Europe) - England, Germany, Spain, Turkey
CAF (Africa) - Senegal
AFC (Asia) - Korea
CONCACAF (North America, Central America, Caribbean) - USA
CONMEBOL (South America) - Brazil
BOUNCING BACK: The U.S. has become the first team to finish last in a World Cup in one tournament and advance to the quarterfinals of the following World Cup.
MCBRIDE MOVES TO SECOND ON U.S. SOCCER WORLD CUP GOALSCORING CHART: With his goal in the 8th minute against Mexico, Brian McBride scored his third World Cup goal (and second in the 2002 World Cup). McBride, who was the only U.S. player to score in the 1998 World Cup, trails only Bert Patenaude (4 goals in 3 games) among all-time leaders in U.S. Soccer history.
STEWART AND JONES SET NEW U.S. SOCCER WORLD CUP CAP RECORD: When both Earnie Stewart and Cobi Jones made second-half appearances in the win over Mexico, the duo set a new U.S. Soccer record by playing in their tenth World Cup match. The previous mark was nine World Cup games, held by Tab Ramos. Both Stewart and Jones played in all four games at USA ’94 and all three at France ’98, before appearing in the June 5 match against Portugal, the June 14 game with Poland and Monday’s win over Mexico. Cobi Jones is the all-time U.S. leader in caps with 158, and Earnie Stewart is the all-time U.S. leader with 27 World Cup qualifying appearances. Ramos played nine World Cup matches for the U.S. across Italy ’90, USA ’94 and France ’98.
SOLID PERFORMANCE FROM SAM’S ARMY: The USA’s historic 2-0 win over Mexico was witnessed by 36,380 fans at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. None were louder than the thousand or so who made up Sam’s Army. Seated just yards from where Eddie Lewis crossed for Landon Donovan’s goal, Sam’s Army put in one of their greatest performances to date. One thousand strong, the section could be heard singing throughout the entire game.
Some of Sam’s Army’s highlights:
“L-A Re-ject” (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) taunting former L.A. Galaxy player Luis Hernandez
“A-di-os A-mi-gos” (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)
“Quar-ter-fin-als” (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)
“Where are you Fi-go?” (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)
BEATING THE ODDS: When the U.S. surprised most of the world with a 2-0 win over Mexico, everyone took notice of the U.S. team. Even the bookies. British bookmaker William Hill now lists the U.S. at 33-1 odds to win the World Cup, down from what were once as high as 300-1. According to William Hill, the new odds are now led by Brazil at 2-1, followed by Spain at 7-2, England at 4-1 and Italy at 9-2 (prior to falling to Korea). Other odds were Germany 6-1; Senegal 20-1; Japan 28-1 (prior to losing to Turkey); the United States 33-1; Turkey 50-1 (prior to defeating Japan); and South Korea 66-1 (prior to defeating Italy).
BERHALTER DEBUT: Bruce Arena called on Gregg Berhalter to play as a left back in the USA’s 3-5-2 formation on Monday, allowing Berhalter to make his World Cup debut. Berhalter went all 90 minutes, playing a major role in the shutout of Mexico and spending much of the afternoon battling with Mexican striker Jared Borgetti. Berhalter is the 19th U.S. player to play in this World Cup. Only defenders Steve Cherundolo (out of World Cup with knee injury) and David Regis and goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Tony Meola have not seen time in Korea.
LOOKING AHEAD TO GERMANY: The U.S. is 2-4-0 all time against Germany with both wins coming under Bruce Arena's watch as U.S. head coach - a 3-0 win on February 6, 1999, in a friendly in Jacksonville, Fla. and a 2-0 win on July 30, 1999, in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.
THEY SAID IT:
“This is game five in the World Cup. Everybody knows everybody. There are no more surprises at this point. I can probably tell you the German starting line-up on Friday if I had to and they probably can’t tell you ours.”
- Bruce Arena, on whether there are any more U.S. lineup surprises coming