U.S. and Poland Ready to Get Underway at Soldier Field in Chicago
U.S. takes their first meaningful steps in the new four-year cycle when they face Poland on Sat., Oct. 9 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on FSC and Galavision.
Oct. 8, 2010
© John Todd/isiphotos.com
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Poland
Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 9, 2010
THE CYCLE BEGINS: The U.S. takes their first meaningful steps in the new four-year cycle when they face Poland on Sat., Oct. 9 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on FSC and Galavision. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup always in the thought process, U.S. coach Bob Bradley is also looking to the critical 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup which kicks off in less than a year. Veterans will build on the foundation of the last four years, new talents will gradually emerge, and the program continues the progress that captured the imagination of millions of fans across the United States this past summer from South Africa.
- The U.S. will dress 18 players for the match, with a maximum of six substitutions.
- Thirteen players on the roster were part of the squad that led the U.S. to a first place finish in group play at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time in 80 years, and six of those are 25 years old or younger.
- Five players played every minute in South Africa: Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard.
- Three players were part of the historic goal that led to the 1-0 victory against Algeria: Howard, who alertly picked out Landon Donovan to start the counter attack; Jozy Altidore, who whipped the cross into the box; and Clint Dempsey, who bravely crashed the goal and had his shot saved by the ‘keeper, the rebound falling to Donovan.
- Howard earned a shutout in that match, the USA’s first in the World Cup since the team's historic 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea Republic. The shutout was also just the second for the United States in 22 World Cup matches dating back to 1950.
- Howard earned Budweiser Man of the Match honors for his six-save performance against England.
- Bradley’s game-tying goal in the 83rd minute against Slovenia was his first in a World Cup and the eighth of his international career, and helped earn the point the U.S. needed to avoid elimination that day.
- Eleven players on the roster have scored at least one international goal, and five have scored in 2010: Altidore, Bocanegra, Bradley, Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson.
- With the goal on May 29 against Turkey, Altidore increased his career total to nine goals. Remarkably, five of those goals have been assisted by Donovan.
- Four of the seven defenders on the roster have at least one goal for the national team: Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Goodson and Oguchi Onyewu.
- With his goal against the Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam, Bocanegra upped his career tally to 12, just one shy of the mark set by Marcelo Balboa for U.S. defenders.
- Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has recorded five shutouts in 14 appearances for the U.S., including three clean sheets in five World Cup qualifiers. Overall he has posted a 7-4-1 record.
- Bocanegra is the leading capwinner on the roster with 84 international appearances.
- Jermaine Jones and Eric Lichaj are the only two players on the roster in search of their first international cap. More on the neophytes later.
- Dempsey is the leading scorer with 19 goals in 66 games. He has two career goals in the World Cup (6/22/06 vs. Ghana, 6/12/10 vs. England), and is one of three U.S. players in history to score in multiple World Cups along with Brian McBride and Donovan. Dempsey scored his debut goal for the U.S. on May 28, 2005, against England at Soldier Field.
- Alejandro Bedoya and Eddie Johnson were part of the 30-man preliminary World Cup roster that trained in Princeton prior to the team’s departure for South Africa.
- Bocanegra spent four years at the Chicago Fire, winning the 2000 MLS Rookie of the Year award and back-to-back Defender of the Year awards in 2002 and 2003 before moving to Fulham.
- The FC Dallas duo of Heath Pearce and Brek Shea will join the team in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Average Age: 25.8 Average Caps: 30.3
Most Caps: 84 (Carlos Bocanegra) Fewest Caps: 0 (Jermaine Jones, Eric Lichaj)
Oldest: 31 (Steve Cherundolo) Youngest: 20 (Jozy Altidore)
Play professionally in: England (7), Germany (3), Norway (2), Denmark (1), France (1), Italy (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1)
Hometown in: California (5), Illinois (4), Florida (3), Texas (2), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Rhode Island (1), Virginia (1)
ON THE SCORESHEET AGAINST POLAND:
Three players on the current roster have scored goals against Saturday's opponents. One has a pair (and a game-winner), and all three scored on the road.
Carlos Bocanegra - July 11, 2004 - Soldier Field: In his first game back in Chicago since leaving the Fire, Bocanegra's 88th minute header equalized in front of nearly 40,000 fans in Chicago, earning the U.S. a 1-1 draw. His prowess in the air continued to be on display. The U.S. captain sits in second place on the all-time U.S. scoring chart for defenders with 12 goals.
Clint Dempsey - March 1, 2006 - Fritz-Walter-Stadion: In the "Blizzard in K-Town", Clint Dempsey honored the thousands of U.S. troops in attendance from nearby Ramstein Air Force Base by scoring the game's only goal. That venue would be the site of the USA's dramatic 1-1 draw against eventual 2006 World Cup Champion Italy in group play in Germany.
Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu - March 26, 2008 - Wisla Stadium: Bocanegra's 11th minute goal was all the U.S. would need in the comprehensive 3-0 victory, perhaps the finest overall performance for a U.S. team on the road in a friendly. The captain snapped home a near post header off a delivery from Landon Donovan. Later in the first half, Oguchi Onyewu got his turn, beating his mark on a Donovan corner to make it 2-0 before the interval.
SCORERS AT SOLDIER FIELD: Four players on the roster have scored at Soldier Field: Carlos Bocanegra has a trio, including the game-tying goal against Poland in 2004, the opening strike against Brazil in 2007, and the winner in the World Cup qualifier in 2009 against Honduras; Dempsey has a pair, his first international goal here in 2005 against England and also one in the Brazil game; Benny Feilhaber, who scored the game-winner against Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup final that sent the U.S. to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup; and Clarence Goodson, who tallied the game-winner in the 2-0 victory against Honduras in the 2009 Gold Cup semifinal (off an assist from Stuart Holden).
THE U.S. IN THE WINDY CITY: After an 11-year absence from Chicago, the U.S. will now be playing its sixth match at Soldier Field since 2004. Having hosted the semifinal and the sold-out final of the 2007 Gold Cup in which 60,000 fans saw the United States defeat Mexico 2-1 to secure its second-consecutive Gold Cup title, the Windy City also welcomed nearly 48,000 fans in 2005 when the U.S. suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of England. The U.S. has a 3-3-2 record in Chicago since 1992, which includes a win against then No. 8-ranked Portugal and a draw with four-time World Cup Champion Italy.
SOMETHING YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE NEW GUYS:
Jermaine Jones had tried to switch associations and play for the United States prior to 2009 - He had initially inquired about playing for the United States years before, but he was rendered ineligible having played for Germany in qualifying for the 2001 U-20 World Cup in Argentina. After FIFA changed the rule, he was the first to apply for a change of association. Born in Germany to an American father and a German mother, he moved to the United States and stayed here until he was six years old.
Eric Lichaj holds two passports, and one of them is Polish - Both of Eric's parents were born in Poland and moved to the United States when they were kids. He has dual citizenship, and his Polish passport allows him to play in England without a work permit. The Polish FA had made inquiries to Aston Villa about Lichaj, but he had long since decided that he wanted to represent the United States. And his first game could come against his parent's homeland.
CHICAGO CONNECTIONS: Plenty of Chicago connections, starting with several former Fire players in Bocanegra and current U.S. assistants Lubos Kubik, Jesse Marsch and Mike Sorber. Bob Bradley coached that group to 'The Double' in 1998 and the U.S. Open Cup title in 2000, while Michael Bradley was a member of local Development Academy club Chicago Sockers. There's also Chicagoland natives Guzan (Homer Glen), Lichaj (Downers Grove), and Spector (Arlington Heights). And last but not least, Chicago is the home of Soccer House, the headquarters of the U.S. Soccer Federation and a rather interesting history.
FAN FRIENDLY IN CHICAGO: Fans got the opportunity to get up close and personal with the team during the week leading up to the game. On Tuesday, members of the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club were invited by Bob Bradley to attend the team training session. Later that night, Studio 90 went on location to SmallBar to film a segment with U.S. captain and former Fire great Carlos Bocanegra. Fans packed one of the Official U.S. Soccer Bars to watch the episode and hold a special Q&A with ‘Los.
MOMENT FOR MCBRIDE: Former U.S. international striker Brian McBride will be acknowledged on the field prior to Saturday’s match. The three-time World Cup veteran finished his national team career with 30 goals in 96 appearances, and was the first U.S. player to score in multiple World Cups. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native is retiring from professional soccer at the end of the season.
CLUB NEWS: Clint Dempsey scored against West Ham last weekend to give his side a 1-1 draw, the second time this season his goal helped Fulham earn a point … After moving to St. Etienne this summer, Carlos Bocanegra has helped the club reach second place in the French Ligue 1 table with a 5-1-2 record to start the season. St. Etienne has finished the last two seasons in 17th place, one spot above the relegation zone … Steve Cherundolo has captained Hannover to the third spot in the Bundesliga table, the team posting 4-2-1 record after seven matches … Benny Feilhaber has five goals in his last four matches for AGF Aarhus, who lead the table in the Danish First Division … Maurice Edu has started five of seven league matches for Rangers, who are tied at the top with Celtic on points but behind on goal differential … He has played 90 minutes in both of their Champions League group matches, including the 0-0 draw away to Manchester United … Stuart Holden, who has earned a regular role as a starter for Bolton, signed a new three-year contract … Alejandro and his side Örebro sit in third place in the table with five matches remaining. That spot would be good enough to enter in Europa League qualifying.
THE BOB BRADLEY FACTFILE: In the four year cycle culminating the in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States:
- Won its group at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1930 (80 years ago), and for the first time ever in a four-team group.
- Earned the first point and win for the U.S. in the third group game at the World Cup in eight tries by defeating Algeria.
- Went unbeaten in group play during a World Cup for the first time ever, earning a 1-0-2 record.
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup, ending a 35 match unbeaten run for the Spaniards.
- Only one of two teams to beat Spain since November of 2006.
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Scored the most goals (42) of any team in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying.
- Posted the team’s best scoring and defending marks in a year with more than 10 games, scoring a record 2.14 goals per 90 minutes while allowing just .57 goals per 90 minutes in 2008.
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
- Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 120
Goals Against: 82
Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 25-5-5, 74 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-7-1, 9 GF, 21 GA
UEFA: 7-8-2, 24 GF, 24 GA
AFC: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
CAF: 3-1-0, 6 GF, 2 GA
Record when …
Leading at half: 21-3-2
Losing at half: 3-9-3
Tied at half: 13-9-3
By year …
ON TO PPL PARK: Three days after the Poland match, the U.S. will host South American rivals Colombia on Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff for the USA’s first match on the Chester waterfront is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. The U.S. holds a 3-9-3 lifetime record against the 2001 Copa America champions. Their most famous meeting came in group play of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where an Earnie Stewart goal lifted the United States to a 2-1 victory that helped propel the hosts into the knockout phase. The teams last met during the 2007 Copa America, where a young U.S. side fell 1-0 on July 5, 2007, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. The U.S. National Team will return to Philadelphia - one of 18 cities included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 – for only the third time since 1990, and will play their first match at the new home of Philadelphia Union.
A SOUTH AFRICAN THANK YOU: The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to South Africa to take on 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa on Nov. 17 at the magnificent Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. Coverage of the USA’s final match of the year begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the match will also be broadcast live on Galavision. Fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker or at twitter.com/ussoccer. The U.S. will be returning to South Africa for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they finished in first place in Group C ahead of England, Slovenia and Algeria before going out in the Round of 16.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer.
BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING: What’s the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans? Watching a game at an Official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans! Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S. teams in an atmosphere that is loud and rowdy. Head to the bars after work Tuesday night and watch the USA’s first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium! A full list of Official U.S. Soccer Bars is available at ussoccer.com.
U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: Stay connected with everything involving the national teams on the “Official U.S. Soccer Page” on Facebook. More than 315,000 fans are following the place where you can post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.
THE GAME IS IN US: Support for United States' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 has picked up some serious steam since the launch of http://gousabid.com. Twelve other nations are bidding to host at least one of the tournaments and if we're going to win the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cup™, it'll be because of the overwhelming grassroots support of soccer fans who believe in our bid's official theme, The Game Is In US. Please take a moment to sign the petition to officially show your support for the US bid to bring the World Cup™ back to America.
IN FOCUS: POLAND
Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej (PZPN)
Founded: 1919 (Joined FIFA in 1923)
Head Coach: Franciszek Smuda
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Third Place (1974, 1982)
Best European Championship Finish: First Round (2008)
Caps Leader: Grzegorz Lato (100)
Top Scorer: Wlodzimierz Lubanski (48)
Key Players: Robert Lewandowski, Michael Zewlakow, Jakub Blaszczykowski
EURO 2012 ON THE HORIZON: Poland is rebuilding rapidly ahead of the 2012 European Championship, which the country will co-host with neighbors Ukraine. A disastrous qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in which Poland finished fifth place in their group, led to the dismissal of manager Leo Beenhakker who was in charge the last time the USA faced Poland. In his place comes Franciszek Smuda, who is charged with overhauling the side as they look to make an impression next summer when they host a major international soccer tournament for the first time.
SMALL WORLD: Though he's spent most of his coaching career in Poland, Franciszek Smuda spent a few years of his playing career in the United States. Smuda played for four teams in the NASL, most notably with the Hartford Bicentennials in 1975. At Dillon Stadium he lined up alongside Manny Schellscheidt, current head coach of the U-14 National Development Program.
ROSTER SPOT: Smuda calls on a 23-man squad that has a cosmopolitan buildup. Players are flying to Chicago from all over Europe, including the Bundesliga, Serie A, French Ligue 1, English Championship as well as the domestic league in Poland. Captain Michal Zewlakow plays in Turkey with Ankaragucu and provides leadership with a veteran presence (he'll also be winning his 100th cap for Poland if he plays on Saturday). Up top Poland relies on 22-year old Robert Lewandowski. The forward plays for high-flying Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga and will be Poland's main threat in the attacking end of the field.
Poland Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Artur Boruc (AC Fiorentina), Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Białystok), Przemysław Tytoń (Roda JC Kerkrade)
DEFENDERS (7): Kamil Glik (Palermo), Łukasz Mierzejewski (Cracovia Kraków), Dariusz Pietrasiak (Polonia Warszawa), Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznań), Hubert Wołąkiewicz (Lechia Gdańsk), Michał Żewłakow (Ankaragucu)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Jakub Błaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund), Grzegorz Bonin (Górnik Zabrze), Radosław Majewski (Nottingham Forest), Adam Matuszczyk (1 FC Koeln), Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warszawa), Rafał Murawski (Rubin Kazań), Ludovic Obraniak (Lille OSC), Bartosz Salamon (US Foggia)
FORWARDS (5): Kamil Grosicki (Jagiellonia Białystok), Ireneusz Jeleń (AJ Auxerre), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), Andrzej Niedzielan (Korona Kielce), Euzebiusz Smolarek (Polonia Warszawa)
On the field for USA
Aug. 10, 2010 – New Meadowlands Stadium – East Rutherford, N.J. – International Friendly
Brazil 2 Neymar 29, Pato 46+
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Omar Gonzalez, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (21-Clarence Goodson, 62), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Herculez Gomez, 67), 4-Michael Bradley, 19-Maurice Edu, 22-Benny Feilhaber (16-Sacha Kljestan, 46); 10-Landon Donovan (20-Robbie Findley, 62), 14-Edson Buddle (17-Jozy Altidore, 46)
Subs not used: 6-Steve Cherundolo
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRA: 1-Victor, 2-Dani Alves, 3-Thiago Silva, 4-David Luiz, 6-Andre Santos, 5-Lucas, 8-Ramires (18-Hernanes, 59), 10-Paulo Henrique Ganso (17-Jucilei, 89), 7-Robinho (capt.) (20-Diego Tardelli, 81), 11-Neymar (19-Ederson, 72; 16-Carlos Eduardo, 75), 9- Pato (21-Andre, 67)
Subs not used: 12-Jefferson, 13-Rever, 14-Henrique, 15-Marcelo, 22-Renan, 23-Rafael
Head Coach: Mano Menezes
On the field for Poland
Sept. 7, 2010 – Wisla Stadium – Krakow, Poland – International Friendly
Poland 1 Robert Lewandowski 17
Australia 2 Brett Holman 13, Luke Wilkshire 25
POL: 12-Przemyslaw Tyton; 21-Lukasz Piszczek, 3-Grzegorz Wojtkowiak, 14-Michal Zewlakow (capt.), 2-Sebastian Boenisch; 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski, 24-Dariusz Pietrasiak (7-Euzebiusz Smolarek, 70), 8-Rafal Murawski, 17-Slawomir Peszko (10-Kamil Grosicki, 75), 11- Ireneusz Jelen (Maciej Iwanski, 83), 9-Robert Lewandowski
Head Coach: Franciszek Smuda
AUS: Adam Federici; 8-Luke Wilkshire, 2-Lucas Neill, 20-Jon McKain, 3-David Carney; 19-Richard Garcia, 16-Cark Valeri (10-Jason Culina, 56), 15-Mile Jedinak, 4-Tim Cahill (11-Dario Vidosic, 76), 14-Brett Holman (7-Brett Emerton, 30); 21-Scott McDonald
Head Coach: Holger Osieck
March 28, 2008 – Wisla Stadium – Krakow, Poland – International Friendly
USA 3 Carlos Bocanegra 12, Oguchi Onyewu 35, Eddie Lewis 73
POL: 1-Artur Boruc; 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 6-Jacek Bak, 16-Arkadiusz Radomski (19-Michal Golinski, 63), 3-Grzegorz Bronowicki; 21-Lukasz Piszczek (17-Wojciech Lobodzinski, 46), 18-Mariusz Lewandowski, 5-Dariusz Dudka, 8-Jacek Krzynowek (7-Euzebiusz Smolarek, 46); 9-Maciej Zurawski (10-Lukasz Gargula, 46), 20-Pawel Brozek (11-Radolsaw Matusiak, 46)
Subs not used: 2-Mariusz Jop, 4-Pawel Golanski, 12-Tomasz Kuszczak, 15-Michal Pazdan
Head Coach: Leo Beenhakker
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (17-Jonathan Spector, 72), 22-Oguchi Onyewu (23-Jay DeMerit, 63), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 5-Heath Pearce (20-Benny Feilhaber, 85); 10-Landon Donovan (7-Eddie Lewis, 64) 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey; 11-Brian Ching (16-Josh Wolff, 63), 9-Eddie JohnsonSubs Subs not used: 24-Marcus Hahnemann, 12-Cory Gibbs
Head Coach: Bob Bradley