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Chris Rolfe

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Bradley Recalls 20 Players to Carson to Begin Preparations For FIFA World Cup Qualifier Against Mexico

CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2009) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has called 20 players back to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin preparations for the USA’s first match of final round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. will take on regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 11 in front of a sold-out crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and Univision beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The match can be heard live on the Futbol de Primera radio networks, and fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The 20-man group is made up almost entirely of players who participated in the previous camp from Jan. 4-24 at the HDC, with Columbus Crew defender and two-time World Cup veteran Frankie Hejduk the only new addition. The U.S. team will train in Carson for nine days before departing on Feb. 7 for Columbus.

Fourteen of the players on the roster appeared in the USA’s 3-2 win against Sweden on Jan. 24, including midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who became the second player in U.S. history to score his first three goals all in the same game. Both Robbie Rogers and Chris Wingert made their debut for the full team in the victory.

Tickets for the USA-Mexico clash sold out in 90 minutes following the beginning of the public sale. The match is the first of 10 in the final round hexagonal that will determine the three automatic entrants from CONCACAF into the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In addition to qualifying, the U.S. will compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June, having been drawn into Group B along with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, current World Champion Italy, and Egypt. Just days after the tournament, the U.S. will begin its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

U.S. Men’s National Team Training Camp Roster
Carson, Calif.
Jan. 29 – Feb. 7, 2009

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Birthdate

Caps/G

Hometown

Club

Busch, Jon

GK

5' 10"

165

08/18/1976

1/1

Albany, N.Y.

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Bornstein, Jonathan

D

5' 9"

145

11/07/1984

14/1

Los Alamitos, Calif.

Chivas USA (MLS)

Carroll, Brian

M

5' 10"

155

07/20/1981

7/1

Springfield, Va.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Ching, Brian

F

6' 1"

195

05/24/1978

33/9

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Clark, Ricardo

M

5' 10"

150

05/10/1983

17/1

Jonesboro, Ga.

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Cooper, Kenny

F

6' 3"

210

10/21/1984

4/2

Dallas, Texas

FC Dallas (MLS)

Davies, Charlie

F

5' 10"

160

06/25/1986

5/1

Manchester, N.H.

Hammarby IF (Sweden)

Gaven, Eddie

M

6' 0

165

10/25/1986

6/1

Hamilton, N.J.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Hejduk, Frankie

D

5'8

155

08/05/1974

81/6

Cardiff, Calif.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Hesmer, Will

GK

6' 2"

195

11/23/1981

0/0

Wilson, N.C.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Holden, Stuart

M

5' 10"

160

08/01/1985

0/0

Houston, Texas

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Ihemelu, Ugo

D

6' 0 "

184

04/04/1983

2/1

Cedar Hill, Texas

Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Jewsbury, Jack

M

6' 0"

185

04/13/1981

0/0

Springfield, Mo.

Kansas City Wizards (MLS)

Kljestan, Sacha

M

6' 1"

150

09/09/1985

13/3

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Chivas USA (MLS)

Pickens, Matt

GK

6' 3"

200

04/05/1982

0/0

Washington, Mo.

Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Rogers, Robbie

M

5' 10"

165

05/12/1987

1/1

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rolfe, Chris

F

5' 8"

145

01/17/1983

10/1

Kettering, Ohio

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Thorrington, John

M

5' 8"

150

10/17/1979

4/1

Palos Verdes, Calif.

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Wingert, Chris

D

5' 10"

155

06/16/1982

1/1

Babylon, N.Y.

Real Salt Lake (MLS)

Wynne, Marvell

D

5' 9"

170

05/08/1986

2/1

Poway, Calif.

Toronto FC (MLS)

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)
 

U.S. MNT Advance to Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying With 9-0 Aggregate Score Against Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (June 22, 2008) — With a 1-0 victory against Barbados Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Men’s National Team captured the two-game, aggregate goal series by a 9-0 margin, advancing to the Semifinal Round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Eddie Lewis scored the only goal of the game in the second leg of the affair at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, providing the U.S. with their fourth straight shutout against the small Caribbean nation. 

The U.S. will now prepare for their first match of the Semifinal Round, which will be on the road against Guatemala on Aug. 20. Overall, the U.S. will play a total of six games in the round-robin Semifinal Round, facing all three opponents in the four-team group home and away. The top two teams will advance to the Final Round hexagonal that will be played in 2009.

Along with the U.S. and Guatemala, Cuba advanced to the Semifinal Round group with an 8-3 aggregate score against Antigua & Barbuda, including a 4-0 victory this afternoon. Also advancing was Trinidad & Tobago, who defeated Bermuda 2-0 in the second leg for a 3-2 aggregate score. Guatemala advanced with a 9-1 aggregate score againt St. Lucia.

After heading to Guatemala, the U.S. will travel to Cuba on Sept. 6 and then host either Trinidad & Tobago in Chicago on Sept. 10. The second half of the round-robin play will begin against Cuba at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11, before moving to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15 and finishing in Denver against Guatemala on Nov. 19.

“For the series we feel good about the work we've done,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “This was an opportunity to use different players and it is important to get some young players experience. We had the confidence that we were strong enough defensively that we would hold together to get the win."

Lewis, wearing the captain’s armband as he earned his 19th World Cup qualifying appearance, struck the game-winning goal in the 21st minute.  After some nifty dribbling in the midfield, Freddy Adu, who earned his first World Cup qualifying start, spotted Lewis slicing behind the Barbados defense and slipped a nicely weighted through ball between two defenders directly into his path.  Charging into the area, Lewis spotted the ‘keeper closing in and calmly slotted his shot through Alvin Rouse’s legs to the far right corner.

With a thumping 8-0 win in the first leg against Barbados, Bradley made seven changes to his starting line-up in Bridgetown, fielding a youthful side. The only remaining players that started last week were goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defender Heath Pearce and midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley.

In total, seven players made their first appearance in a World Cup qualifier, including four in the starting line-up: Jay DeMerit, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor and Danny Szetela. In the second half, Bradley used all three his substitutions on the trio of Chicago Fire players – Chris Rolfe, John Thorrington and Chad Barrett – getting them their first taste of World Cup qualifying.

The teams spent the first quarter hour feeling each other out under the blistering sun in Bridgetown, with the U.S. maintaining most of the possession while forcing the hosts to chase the game. The U.S. also had the majority of the chances on goal, with Kljestan getting a great chance in the 18th minute when he nodded a Heath Pearce cross towards goal, but it was deflected away by Ramuel Miller. Pearce had a scoring opportunity of his own in the 36th minute when he was sent through, but his strike was wide left.

Barbados played much better compared to the first leg and came alive in the final five minutes of the fist half, getting their first real chance in the 41st minute when a flick-on header by Mark McCammon found Jonathan Nurse just inside the box. Nurse cut to his left and let go a low left-footed drive, only to have Drew Moor make a sliding block to avert the danger.

The second half started at a slower pace as the heat continued to take its toll, but Barbados was still pushing into the attack and had their best chance of the match to pull even in the 57th minute. Midfielder and captain Paul Ifill sent a long ball to the top of the penalty area where McCammon deftly chested the ball into the path of a streaking Rommelle Burgess, who ripped a one-timer from nine yards out that clanged off the crossbar.

The U.S. pushed forward in the second half looking to put the game out of reach, but couldn’t find the final pass. In the 74th minute, Moor pushed his way up the right side and beat a defender to get into the penalty area, but his tempting cross along the six-yard box didn’t find anyone.

Ifill, who plays at Crystal Palace in England, was the best player on the field for Barbados. In the 85th minute, he started the final chance for his country switching the point of attack from left to right with a long pass to Rondell Vaughan. The substitute sent a ball high into the penalty area where McCammon and Guzan collided allowing the ball to fall to John Parris who finished it into the net, but McCammon was called offside to nullify the goal.

In the final moments of the game, Barrett and Bradley both had opportunities but both of their chances were off target.

U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report

Match-up: USA vs. Barbados
Date: June 22, 2008
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: Kensington Oval - Bridgetown, Barbados
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 2,000
Weather: Sunny and warm, 85 degrees

Scoring Summary:   
                 1     2      F
USA         1     0      1
BRB        0      0     0

Scoring:
USA – Eddie Lewis (Freddy Adu)    21st minute.

Lineups:
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 6-Drew Moor, 15-Jay DeMerit, 2-Danny Califf, 11-Heath Pearce; 10-Sacha Kljestan, 12-Michael Bradley, 8-Danny Szetela (14-Chris Rolfe, 66), 7-Eddie Lewis (capt.); 16-Freddy Adu (13-Chad Barrett, 86), 17-DaMarcus Beasley (12-John Thorrington, 79)
Subs not used: 1-Chris Seitz, 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 9-Brek Shea
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

BRB: 1-Alvin Rouse, 5-Bryan Neblett, 6-Jonathan Straker, 7-Paul Ifill (capt.), 9-Marc McCammon, 11-Jonathan Nurse (12-Malcolm Marshall, 81), 13-Riviere Williams (8-Rondell Vaughan, 68), 14-Ramuel Miller, 15-Emerson Boyce, 16-Barry Skeete, 17-John Parris
Subs not used: 18-Adrian Chase, 2-Dyson James, 3-Daryl Ferguson, 4-Gregg Belle, 10-Arantes Lawrence
Head Coach: Eyre Sealy

Stats Summary:     
                               USA   BRB
 Shots                      9        3
 Shots on goal        1        0
 Saves                      0        0
 Corner Kicks          2         3
 Fouls                      11        7
 Offside                     5        4

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials:
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
1st Asst.: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
2nd Asst.: Hairo Fuentes (PAN)    
Fourth Official: Luis Rodriguez (PAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Eddie Lewis

Rolfe and Kljestan Preview the 2007 MLS Season

The MLS season is upon us. What does that mean for us? Well, that’s obvious, do a unique, creative MLS prediction article! I mean, no one does that.

OK, so like you, we’ve seen about 712 in the past couple weeks.

Hmmm…what to do?

Well, it’s not a mind-blowing idea, but we figured we’d pick the brains of two younger players in the league that are trying to make an impact with the full Men’s National Team this summer. That’s right, we convinced the Chicago Fire’s Chris Rolfe and Chivas USA’s Sacha Kljestan to provide us with their prognostications for MLS 2007.

Only one problem. By asking a player to provide you with their predictions about a league they play in, inevitably they feel obligated to put their team at the top of the conference. I mean, c’mon, how could Rolfe actually show his face in the Fire locker room if he predicted Chicago to finish second in the East? Or if Sacha said Chivas USA would end up behind their bitter rival L.A.? Just not going to happen.

So, in the hopes of providing unbiased calculations Sacha and Chris will predict the conference they don’t play in. So, for those struggling to follow along, Sacha gives his rankings in the Eastern Conference, while Chris does the same for the West.

We’ve got it down on paper for all to see, which means at the end of the season we’ll either praise their predictions or rip ‘em if warranted.

(One thing to take note of while reading: While Chris gives Chivas USA some love with a second place finish, Sacha was not so kind in return.)

Sacha Kljestan’s Eastern Conference Picks

1. New England Revolution
I’m going with New England to sneak by D.C. United. Why? Well, I think they’ve been by far the most consistent team in the East over the last five years. Yes, D.C. is up there, but I think the Revs re-gain the conference top spot. You can’t go wrong when they’ve got Michael Parkhurst and Taylor Twellman, two of the best in their positions in the MLS.

2. D.C. United
Should be very similar to last season, good all around. They lost a few people, but also added some players that could be interesting to watch, and then you still have Christian Gomez, who is the best attacking mid in MLS. Gomez could be MVP again, as long as I don’t lock it up this season (I’m joking people…not that I’m against winning it).

3. Kansas City Wizards
New coach, new style, means new outlook. And that outlook is a bright one which is why I’m putting them in third place, quite a jump from them barely missing the playoffs last year. The key for them is just two letters – E.J. I think they can do really well if E.J. turns it on again. And for those brainiacs out there, that obviously means I think he will since I got K.C. so high.

4. Columbus Crew
The Crew had a tough year in 2006, but when I look at their roster I really see some decent attacking players and some good young guys. Sigi is a good coach (had him for U-20s) and I think he can turn them around and have a better season. Also, I think their new signing Robbie Rogers (from Huntington Beach…holla!), should show some flare and really help them in the attack.

5. New York Red Bulls
The one thing that is going to be noticeable about this year’s Red Bull squad is that they will be very organized and hard working. Bruce Arena will no doubt make sure of that. A big reason you can’t count them out of the playoff hunt is Claudio Reyna. He is amazing with the ball, and he will no doubt help them out a lot in the middle of the field.

6. Chicago Fire
Having the Fire so low might surprise people, but, hey, somebody has to slip-up a bit this year, right? Their recent signing of Blanco will be a benefit as he is a great player. They also have a lot of young, exciting players, and if two specifically, Justin Mapp and Chris Rolfe can be effective like we all know they can be, they could move their way up the standings and end up making me look like an…well, let’s just say, wrong.

7. Toronto F.C.
Last place is not a fun place to be, but the reason I’m putting the expansion squad here is simply because I don’t know much about them. Yes, maybe I should have done a bunch of research for this feature, but I’ve got other stuff going on like getting ready to play them this weekend on opening day. Wait, maybe I should know more than. Ahh…gotta get your team ready and not worry too much about your opponent. Plus, I guess I will find out when they come to our house.

Chris Rolfe’s Western Conference Picks

1. Los Angeles Galaxy
The Galaxy definitely picked up some good players in the off-season, including my old-teammate Nate Jaqua, goalkeeper Joe Cannon and then one other…I forget his name? Ummm…Bes…Ben…Beckham, that’s it. Seriously though, while the whole Beckham situation will be a bit of a circus, I really don’t see how he will hurt them on the field in any way. Link him up with Landon and Nate, and there’s definitely going to be some goal scoring happening at The Home Depot Center.

2. Chivas USA
I really like the way Chivas plays; their style on the field. When you look at their entire roster, it’s pretty solid. They’ve got Ante Razov up front to score goals, and then in the back they’ve got the wisdom of Suarez combined with youth and excitement of Bornstein. Even in the middle of the park they’ve got a great mix with Jesse Marsh, who is the veteran of veterans in the MLS, and Sacha, another impressive young guy. Last year was just the start of the uprising of Chivas.

3. Houston Dynamo
While I know a lot of people are picking Houston maybe to finish one or two, I think with their long preseason they might peak a bit too soon. They’re still going to be one of the best teams in the league, but playing those games in the Confederations’ Cup just might come back to haunt them, at least in the regular season. By the playoffs, I wouldn’t be betting against them to be back in the MLS Cup. Look for Ching, De Rosario and the rest to have a bit of an up-and-down season early, but then turn it on when it matters most.

4. Colorado Rapids
I was going to put FC Dallas here, but you know what, I have faith in the Rapids this year. Why? Well, the Rapids are always pretty good at home and now with the new stadium, I think they’re going to be extremely tough to beat. They also have Zach Thorton now, who I’ve taken a few hundred shots on when he was with the Fire, so I know first-hand that he’s tough to beat from distance or on the dribble. There’s more experience in the back as well with Greg Vanney, who I think is one of the best defenders in the league. I haven’t even mentioned Pablo, Beckerman, Kirovski…they’ve got some good players and it will show this year.

5. FC Dallas
They have a great attack with Carlos Ruiz and Kenny Cooper. I really like Kenny; he was a blast to play with when I was with the national team earlier this year. They’re definitely a mysterious team. They are always one of the better squads, but just can’t seem to get over the hump, and I’m not sure if it will be too different this year. Their new coach will shake things up a bit though and maybe that will be just what they need. Also, playing in Dallas in the summer is treacherous and they can definitely take advantage of that.

6. Real Salt Lake
I know, I know. Poor Salt Lake going last once again. And I hate doing it, too, especially when I think they’ll be better than the year before. The key for them is to start playing well early on and not get in a hole they’re fighting to get out of the rest of the year. They’ve got some tremendous leadership and experience with Kreis, Pope and Klein, plus the mix of youth with Freddy and Ballouchy, but I think they just need to figure out their style of play. If they do that, then they could surprise a lot of people. I actually hope they do well, as I think Salt Lake is a great place and it would be great for the league for them to make an impact.
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