Arena Selects 23-Man Roster to Represent United States in 2006 FIFA World Cup
After a nearly four-year process in which the United States has used 85 players in 59 overall matches, U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has selected the 23 players who will represent the United States at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
May 2, 2006
- U.S. Manager Also Nominates 13 Alternates;
- World Cup Training Camp to Begin May 10 in Cary, North Carolina
CHICAGO (May 2, 2006) —After a nearly four-year process in which the United States has used 85 players in 59 overall matches, U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has selected the 23 players who will represent the United States at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Arena revealed the list, along with 13 alternates, earlier this evening live on ESPN’s SportsCenter. The U.S. will head to Germany to compete in its fifth consecutive World Cup finals. The official roster must be submitted to FIFA no later than May 15.
|U.S. Men's National Team 2006 World Cup Roster
UNITED STATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (All-time World Cup Roster Selections)
Goalkeepers (3): Marcus Hahnemann (2006), Tim Howard (2006), Kasey Keller (1990, 1998, 2002, 2006)
Defenders (8): Chris Albright* (2006), Carlos Bocanegra (2006), Steve Cherundolo (2002, 2006), Jimmy Conrad (2006), Cory Gibbs (2006), Eddie Lewis (2002, 2006), Oguchi Onyewu (2006), Eddie Pope (1998, 2002, 2006)
Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2006), Bobby Convey (2006), Clint Dempsey (2006), Landon Donovan (2002, 2006), Pablo Mastroeni (2002, 2006), John O’Brien (2002, 2006), Ben Olsen (2006), Claudio Reyna (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)
Forwards (4): Brian Ching (2006), Eddie Johnson (2006), Brian McBride (1998, 2002, 2006), Josh Wolff (2002, 2006)
The team will begin their pre-World Cup training camp May 10 in Cary, N.C., when 20 players are expected to report. Both Steve Cherundolo and Kasey Keller will join camp after the German Bundesliga season ends on May 13. Additionally, Eddie Lewis may still be competing in the promotion playoffs in the English League Championship. The United States will play matches in the Send-Off Series on May 23 in Nashville, May 26 in Cleveland and May 28 in East Hartford, Conn., with all three games airing live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET. The team is scheduled to depart for Germany on June 1 from Newark, N.J., arriving into Hamburg the following day.
During the four-year cycle, 85 players have earned at least one cap for the U.S. as the team collected a 36-9-14 record. Additionally, 46 players appeared in at least one of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, giving Arena an extremely thorough opportunity to evaluate players based both domestically and abroad.
"The naming of this 23-man roster is the end of a long and arduous process that has carried the U.S. National Team throughout the CONCACAF region and the world over the last 3 1/2 years," said Arena in making the announcement. "I'm comfortable in saying that over these 59 games, I've been able to observe and evaluate a pool of very talented players. It is unfortunate that I am not able to bring all these players to Germany. I am extremely grateful for the effort and professionalism that all our players exhibited throughout the process.
"Today, a new journey begins as we start final preparations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. As usual, we will not make any bold statements or predictions. However, I can assure everyone that the team that steps on the field on June 12 against the Czech Republic will be a team that all Americans will be proud of. We look forward to preparing for an exciting and demanding challenge, and we appreciate the support of all Americans."
Twelve players return from the 2002 World Cup roster, led by team captain Claudio Reyna. The New Jersey native became the first U.S. Men’s National Team player to be named to the FIFA All-World Cup Team in 2002. Reyna and 2005 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Kasey Keller are set to become the only players in U.S. Soccer history to appear on four World Cup rosters. Reyna, Frankie Hejduk, Brian McBride and Eddie Pope boast the most appearances in World Cup matches on the roster, each having appeared in seven contests.
The squad carries a wealth of experience, with an average age of 28.6 and an average of 44.2 caps. Reyna is the leading capwinner with 106 international appearances, while goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann has the fewest with six caps. The field player with the lowest cap total is defender Oguchi Onyewu with 12 appearances. Eleven players on the roster have appeared in at least one World Cup match; at the same time, 11 players are making their debut on a World Cup roster. Keller is the oldest player at 36 years, 154 days (as of May 2, 2006), while the youngest is Eddie Johnson at 22 years, 32 days.
The team is nearly evenly balanced between those playing professionally abroad and those plying their trade in Major League Soccer. In 2006, 12 players will come from Europe while 11 play in MLS, the same ratio as the 2002 team. The Kansas Wizards contribute the most players to the roster, sending 2002 World Cup veteran Josh Wolff along with Jimmy Conrad and Johnson. In total, nine MLS teams are represented on the roster, with an additional 10 teams sending at least one player from clubs in Belgium (1), England (7), Germany (2) and Holland (2). The U.S. team also features seven players who have played professionally in Germany (Cherundolo, Landon Donovan, Cory Gibbs, Hejduk, Keller, McBride and Reyna).
Keller leads the goalkeeping trio as the USA’s all-time leader for goalkeepers in wins (51), shutouts (44) and World Cup qualifying appearances (31). Both Hahnemann and Tim Howard have collected PFA Goalkeeper of the Year honors in England. Hahnemann earned his trophy with Reading FC in the English League Championship this year as his side gained promotion to the English Premier League for the first time in the 135-year history of the club while setting a league record for points. Howard grabbed the EPL Goalkeeper of the Year award in his debut season at Manchester United in 2003.
The backline unit boasts a pair of players appearing in their third World Cup finals, with Pope the elder statesmen at 78 caps overall and Hejduk just behind with 72 appearances. Cherundolo goes to his second straight World Cup after being unable to participate in games during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan because of an injury suffered the day before the USA’s first match against Portugal. Lewis played in 11 of 18 World Cup qualifiers, scoring two goals and delivering two assists. Carlos Bocanegra, Conrad, Gibbs and Onyewu are all making their World Cup debuts.
Reyna marshals a midfield that includes two-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Landon Donovan. The 24-year-old is already the leading assist man in U.S history (23), and has led the team in points the last three years running. DaMarcus Beasley, who had a breakout performance in Korea as a 20-year-old four years ago, is coming off two consecutive four-goal years for the U.S., appearing in 13 of 18 World Cup qualifiers and tallying the insurance goal in the 2-0 win against Mexico that secured the USA’s ticket to Germany. Both Pablo Mastroeni and John O’Brien return to reprise their role in the middle of the park from 2002, O’Brien having recorded the USA’s first goal in Korea just four minutes past the opening whistle in the 3-2 victory against Portugal and one of only three players to play every minute of every match.
Ben Olsen is the only player on the 23-man roster not to play in a single World Cup qualifier in the 2006 campaign, assuming the mantle occupied by Mastroeni in 2002. (Olsen did, however, play in a qualifying game back in 2001.) Bobby Convey and Clint Dempsey round out the midfield group, also making their World Cup debuts.
McBride is the only player in U.S. history to score goals in multiple World Cups, his three career goals include the game-winners in the 3-2 opening match victory against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup and the 2-0 win against Mexico in the Round of 16. Just one shy of the USA’s all-time leader in World Cup goals, his 29 international strikes also put him in second place on the all-time U.S. list. Wolff makes his second World Cup appearance, having set up McBride for the game-winner against Mexico four years ago. While the youngest player on the roster, Johnson already holds a U.S. Soccer record as the only player to score a goal in his first four matches for the senior team, all of which were 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Brian Ching made his World Cup qualifying debut in style, scoring the equalizer in the 88th minute to deliver the U.S. a valuable road point in the 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Aug. 18, 2004 in Kingston.
Arena has also nominated 13 alternates to the squad, who will be available for selection should any injuries occur. In 2002, the U.S. twice had to make roster changes after both Chris Armas and his replacement Greg Vanney were ruled out through injury. After the official 23-man roster is submitted on May 15 to FIFA, a player may only be replaced on the roster as a result of an injury.
U.S. Men’s National Team Alternates List – 2006 FIFA World Cup
Goalkeepers (2): Tony Meola (New York Red Bulls), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
Defenders^ (1): Todd Dunivant (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Midfielders (5): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (3): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
^ Alternate defender Chris Albright replaced Frankie Hejduk on May 3, 2006. Gregg Berhalter replaced Cory Gibbs on May 25, 2006.
The USA was drawn into Group E for the 2006 FIFA World Cup along with the Czech Republic, Ghana, and Italy. The U.S. plays their opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy on June 17 in Kaiserslautern and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg. The U.S. has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as their base of operations throughout the tournament.
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