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100 Moments: The First Dos a Cero - U.S. MNT Defeats Mexico in Memorable Qualifier in Columbus

When it comes to home World Cup qualifiers, there is little doubt that the U.S. Men’s National Team has Mexico's number.

Actually, make that two numbers – two and zero – as in the final score of four important confrontations between those two archrivals, 2-0 in favor of the United States, over the past dozen years.

That tradition was established on a frigid, mid-winter night on Feb. 28, 2001, in Columbus, Ohio.

Looking to get home-field advantage and a leg up against the Mexicans in the opening home World Cup qualifying match of the CONCACAF Hexagonal, U.S. Soccer decided to host their rivals in a northern city. Officials hoped the cold would play a factor in the match as much as the pro-American crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium.

"It was one of those games where we finally started to turn things around," said U.S. midfielder Earnie Stewart, who scored the second goal that night. "All of a sudden we went to a new phase. When we played at home against Mexico, we pretty much took over and started winning those games. Columbus was one of those first games where we actually had the attitude that we were playing at home and we could definitely win this game."

The strategy worked to perfection as the Americans upended El Tri in a World Cup qualifier for the first time in two decades. The Americans had entered the confrontation with a 2-15-2 record against Mexico in 19 previous qualifiers.

Columbus Crew Stadium was the first of Major League Soccer's specific-soccer stadia with a partisan capacity crowd of 24,624 rooting on their heroes.

"We played Mexico at the L.A. Coliseum. We played Mexico in L.A. at the Rose Bowl," said Josh Wolff, who came off the bench to score the first goal and create the second. "You're getting peppered. It was passionate. There was a lot of energy and a lot of animosity. It was the first time we had a crowd that embraced us, that was energized."

No one could have predicted the weather weeks in advance in the central-Ohio city. The temperature was 29 degrees at game time, although by the time referee Rodolfo Sibrian of El Salvador called the match, the thermometer read 20 degrees.

"It was freezing," said Wolff. "We had the big thick heavy parkas. I remember Ante [Razov] coming onto the field. He was still in his parka even though he was warming up. It was the first time we could actually turn the tables a little bit on Mexico to some degree, take them out of the warm elements and cozy confines of a pro-Mexican crowd. It worked for us then and we still utilize some of those things today. It was quite a night."

The hosts endured a rough start as they suffered two key losses in the first half. Striker Brian McBride left the game in the 15th minute due to a swollen left eye after a head collision with Mexican defender Rafa Marquez four minutes prior. Midfielder and captain Claudio Reyna was taken out of the match with a groin strain in the 42nd minute. In their place came two players with a minimal amount of international experience -- Wolff and Clint Mathis, respectively.

"I don't think we thought about it," said Stewart, now the director of football at AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. "That happens in soccer, where one person gets injured and the next one has to play. I don't think we as a team ever looked at it like all of a sudden we're missing players and we can't win this game anymore. Both substitutes came on and did fantastic."

The U.S. did not miss a beat. Quite appropriately, Mathis and Wolff, longtime friends while growing up in Georgia, teamed up for the first goal. Mathis sent a looping pass down the middle to the streaking Wolff. Goalkeeper Jorge Campos, known for his forays out of the net, could not stop Wolff, who knocked the ball into an open net in the 47th minute.

"Their line was high and I just tried to curl a run to stay onside and got into a footrace," said Wolff, now an assistant coach with D.C. United. "They stepped out little bit and I was trying to go in the other direction. Jorge came out of the box and we met it at the same time. It was probably a little fortunate that the ball kicked through for me. It was just a matter of rolling it into the goal."

After goalkeeper Brad Friedel preserved the lead with point-blank save on Francisco Palencia in the 69th minute, Wolff turned playmaker. He beat Mexicans Claudio Suarez and Alberto Macias in the right corner and raced along the end line before pushing a pass in front of the net to Stewart, who finished from nine yards in the 87th minute.

"It's late in the game and I’m trying to kill time," said Wolff. "I think there were two guys on my back. I was almost trying to flick it through the legs between them. If it doesn't work out, maybe I could get a throw-in or a corner out of it. It worked out pretty well. At that point I had Earnie and Clint crashing the goal. Luckily, the ball found one of them."

That first 2-0 result established the U.S.'s dominance of El Tri on American soil and in neutral venues.

"We as a team started to realize the things we were good at," Stewart said. "As long as we could keep up those things we did well and were capable of doing, we could win a lot of games, even against Mexico or whoever the teams were.”

The U.S. continued that period of success in three important matches vs. El Tri:
• Halfway around the world on June 17 in Jeonju, South Korea, the Americans captured the grandest victory of all with another 2-0 triumph in a rare all-CONCACAF confrontation in the second round of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. McBride and Landon Donovan scored.

• When a qualifying venue was needed against Mexico for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Columbus was the obvious choice. Within a four-minute span early in the second half, Steve Ralston (53rd minute) and DaMarcus Beasley (57th) scored as the Americans booked a ticket to Germany with a 2-0 win on Sept. 3, 2005.

• The U.S. Soccer chose Ohio's capital city again for the U.S.-Mexico clash to kick off its run in the Hexagonal to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,. Same venue, same outcome. Michael Bradley scored late in each half on Feb. 11, 2009 to punctuate a third straight 2-0 scoreline .

“2-0 seems to be the one for us," said Wolff.

Unlike many other countries, the U.S. does not have one ground or a national stadium to call home. Instead, international matches and World Cup qualifiers are moved around to award soccer fans in cities and areas and give the U.S. an advantage over a particular foe. This strategy has worked to perfection. The U.S. has not lost a home qualifier since a 3-2 defeat to Honduras at RFK Stadium on Sept. 1, 2001.

On March 22, U.S. Soccer hopes another pro-American crowd will create a similar atmosphere in the vital qualifier against Costa Rica.And who knows? Perhaps the sold-out crowd at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., can start a legacy of their own. Because 2-0 sure has a nice ring to it…

--Michael Lewis

10 Year Anniversary of USA vs. Mexico in Columbus, Ohio

SCENE SET

The USA-Mexico match on Feb. 28, 2001, was the first of final round qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and one of the most highly anticipated of the hexagonal. While Mexico had historically dominated the series, recent results – including two victories for the United States in 2000 - had suggested the tide may be turning. The teams had previously met 19 times in World Cup qualifying, the U.S. holding a dismal 2-12-5 record. Seeking a rare home field advantage against El Tri, the U.S. Soccer Federation selected the intimate setting of Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, as the venue.

Hoping the atmosphere would be as welcoming as the weather inhospitable, the experienced U.S. team felt confident that an important three points at home were there for the taking. With former Crew forward Brian McBride returning to Columbus riding a four-game scoring streak and Ohio native Brad Friedel manning the nets, the USA’s 16-game home unbeaten run in qualifying appeared to be in good hands. What no one could predict was how huge the support of the U.S. fans would be that night, the role of two first-half substitutes, and what the result would mean to the course of U.S. Soccer history.

The starting lineups:

USA: Brad Friedel; David Regis, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope, Tony Sanneh; Cobi Jones, Chris Armas, Claudio Reyna (captain) Earnie Stewart; Brian McBride, Joe-Max Moore

Mexico: Jorge Campos; Claudio Suarez, Rafael Marquez, Alberto Macias, Salvador Carmona; Marco A. Ruiz, Pavel Pardo, German Villa, Braulio Luna; Luis Hernandez, Francisco Palencia

LITTLE DID YOU KNOW …

  • Despite being the most memorable, this was not the USA’s first World Cup qualifier played at Crew Stadium. In fact, they played Costa Rica there in their last home qualifier of the semifinal round, a 0-0 draw on Oct. 11, 2000, in front of a sell-out crowd.
  • Bruce Arena was originally meant to be prohibited from coaching the match. Having received a three-match suspension, the Mexico match would have been the third of his ban. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee reduced the sentence to two games, and he was able to be on the bench.
  • Josh Wolff almost didn’t make the 18-man game day roster. His competition was Fire teammate Ante Razov. “We thought this was the type of game where his speed and quickness could be a factor, and he proved us right,” said Arena afterwards.
  • Selected to the 24-man training camp roster were two 18-year-olds by the name of DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan. Beasley withdrew after picking up an injury, replaced by Bobby Convey.

SOME NOTES FROM THE TIC-TOC

-50’ to kickoff: Mexico chose not go through the pre-game warm-up, electing to remain in the rather confined space of the locker room.

Kickoff: A sell-out crowd of 24,624 were in the stands for the opening whistle, with temperature at kickoff registering 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

11: A head collision between Brian McBride and Rafael Marquez left McBride’s right eye swollen shut. He quickly heads to the sideline for treatment, and Josh Wolff immediately starts warming up.

15: Wolff replaces McBride, making his second ever appearance in a World Cup qualifier. Wolff was one of two goalscorers in the 2-0 victory on Oct. 25, 2000, against Mexico.

43: After limping through much of the first half, team captain Claudio Reyna leaves with a groin strain and is replaced by Clint Mathis. The U.S. has used two of three available substitutions before halftime.

47: After a quick turnover inside the U.S. half, Mathis drops a looping ball over top of the Mexican defense that fellow Georgia native Wolff chases down. Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos charges out, but Wolff wins the foot race and touches past the ‘keeper, depositing the ball into an empty net.

69: Francisco Palencia slips past David Regis and bears in alone on goal. He fires low and hard to the near post, but Brad Friedel reacts quickly and turns away Mexico’s best chance to even the score.

87: Pinned in along the right touchline and his back to the field, Wolff brazenly heels the ball between Claudio Suarez and Alberto Macias and spins toward goal. Racing down the endline, he sees two open players in Mathis and Earnie Stewart. With the table set, it’s Stewart who buries the USA’s second strike of the night to immortalize the 2-0 victory.

THREE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS

  1. The win marked the first time in U.S. history the team posted three consecutive victories against Mexico
  2. The win was the first in qualifying against Mexico since 1980
  3. The win extended the USA’s home unbeaten streak to 17 matches dating back to 1985

THEY SAID IT - THEN AND NOW

Feb. 28, 2001

“That was obviously a great win for the U.S. team. We really wanted to get three points today. We obviously faced a lot of adversity in the first half and had to make a couple changes, and I’m proud of how our team pulled together and did the job to get the victory.”

--U.S. head coach Bruce Arena

“I really think they made a difference for us in the game today. As you know, we rarely play the Mexican team in the U.S. and feel like the home team. If we don’t play well and don’t get the ball in the back of the net, the weather doesn’t mean a whole lot. But the fans really made a difference.”

--Arena on the fans

“Obviously we are happy with the result. I can’t say enough about the people who supported us here in Columbus. Everything here was a home-field advantage. Every person on the field and on the bench felt it.”

--U.S. defender Jeff Agoos

“That’s the thing about soccer, the game changes so quickly. You’re on the field with 11 players and suddenly two players have to get subbed out. Starting at home in a great atmosphere winning 2-0 with no goals against gives you a lot of confidence going into the next match.”

--U.S. midfielder and goalscorer Earnie Stewart

“I think the crowd helped us more than the weather did. That was a factor in the game. It would be great to play here a lot in the future.”

--U.S. goalkeeper and Bay Village, Ohio, native Brad Friedel

“It is tough to get out of a situation like that, but he was able to pull it off and get us a good cushion. If we don’t get that second goal there, anything can happen in the end. That was a huge play by Josh.”

U.S. midfielder Clint Mathis

Feb. 28, 2011

“It was the beginning of a shifting of the guards as far as our region and for qualifying. It’s something we’ve maintained and take great pride in as a country, as U.S. Soccer. Even though I’m not currently with the national team, those are the games that we look forward to watching, and as a player those are the games you look forward to being part of. It’s a good benchmark. It set the stage and helped us grow as a country and enhanced the rivalry to a new level.”

-- U.S. goalscorer and Man of the Match Josh Wolff

“I think it was a big turning point in our history, the moment you when decide you are not going to be second best anymore. You go punch for punch and refuse to lose. I think that day we no longer feared Mexico.”

-- U.S. defender Tony Sanneh

Q & A: Josh Wolff Remembers Feb. 28, 2001

Josh Wolff seemed an unlikely hero for Columbus. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native had impressed at the 2000 Olympic Games and was just beginning to earn his stripes with full team. Having earned just four caps heading into the qualifier against Mexico, he nearly wasn’t selected for the 18-man game-day roster. His speed and quickness were the deciding factor according to U.S. coach Bruce Arena, and those traits were on full display when he picked up a goal and an assist in leading the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Now 10 years down the road, ussoccer.com spoke with the D.C. United forward as he reflected back on the performance that day and what the result meant for the USA-Mexico rivalry.

ussoccer.com: Can you believe it’s been 10 years already?

Josh Wolff: “No I can’t. It’s certainly sad in the aspect that it’s 10 years down the road and my career has moved 10 years on, but it’s come a long way certainly from those days. U.S. Soccer has grown tremendously since then as well. It’s amazing how time flies. It’s still a memorable day, but it’s good to see where things are today with our sport in this country.”

ussoccer.com: It was the first game of the final round of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. had just started to turn the corner in their meetings against Mexico. The game is set up in Columbus, Ohio, everyone knows it is going to be a cold day, but did you expect that type of atmosphere going into the game?

JW: “I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect. It was the first time we got Mexico on a real pro-American environment and that was certainly the beginning of a real movement in U.S. Soccer. Obviously we had a soccer specific stadium for us in Columbus and the atmosphere was great. It was loud, it was cold and it was certainly everything Mexico didn’t want. We came out and did the business, but it was a real turning point for us against Mexico and how those games had transpired from the years prior.”

ussoccer.com: A breakthrough came for you three minutes into the second half that led to your goal. It started as a bit of a counterattack and a really alert play from Clint Mathis to play the ball to you over the top. Can you take us through that play?

JW: “It was a bit of a broken play. Having known Clint and playing with him for a while, there was certainly an understanding between both of us as far as when plays turn over, if there is some space, to try and take advantage of it. Clint’s ball over the top was sensational and put their backs under pressure and the goalie Jorge Campos came up and tried to make a play on it. It was a bit of a foot race. We got on the end of it. I think two guys on the same page in a real tight moment allowed us to get behind them and get the goal that spurred us on.”

ussoccer.com: Did you see Campos coming, and did you think you were going to beat him to the ball?

JW: “Anytime a goalie comes out and it’s a foot race like that, if there is any kind of hesitancy, it plays into the attacking player’s advantage. I think that happened there as well. He did hesitate a bit and as he came it was going to be tight. We might have met the ball at the same time and fortunately it fell forward for me, and I just kind of had to roll it in. Again, a good play from Clint, putting the ball over the top. It was a timing situation that worked out well for us.”

ussoccer.com: That victory was part of a string of nearly 10 years where the United States went undefeated against Mexico at home. It was also the first time that the U.S. beat Mexico in a qualifier in 20 years. Looking back on it now, where do you think that game fits into the U.S. Soccer legacy?

JW: “It was the beginning of a shifting of the guards as far as our region and for qualifying. It’s something we’ve maintained and take great pride in as a country, as U.S. Soccer. Even though I’m not currently with the national team, those are the games that we look forward to watching, and as a player those are the games you look forward to being part of. It’s a good benchmark. It set the stage and helped us grow as a country and enhanced the rivalry to a new level.”

Anatomy of 2-0: Feb. 28, 2001: 2 Cold In Ohio


In the freezing temperatures of winter in the Midwest, the U.S. earns its first win vs. Mexico in World Cup qualifying in more than two decades.

1-0: 47th minute
GOAL: Josh Wolff; ASSIST: Clint Mathis
VIDEO REPLAY: Clint Mathis plays a long ball out of the back across midfield for Josh Wolff to run onlo. Jorge Campos charges, and Wolff touches the ball around him before calmly slotting the goal home as two defenders closed.
         
2-0: 87th minute
GOAL: Earnie Stewart; ASSIST: Josh Wolff
VIDEO REPLAY: Josh Wolff creates the second goal by working Alberto Macias alon gthe endline, drawing Jorge Campos out past the near post, and laying the ball across the box for Earnie Stewart who darted into the box to slam his shot into the open goal.
         

 MORE: June 17, 2002 | Sept. 3, 2005 | Feb. 7, 2007 | Feb. 11, 2009

U.S. Men Fall to Spain, 1-0, on Late Goal at Estadio El Sardinero

SANTANDER, Spain (June 4, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fought fourth-ranked Spain toe-to-toe for more than an hour before an opportunistic goal by Xavi Hernandez in the 79th minute delivered Spain a 1-0 victory before 13,500 fans at the Estadio El Sardinero in Santander. Eddie Johnson had one goal called back and barely missed a second as Spain extended its unbeaten run to 17 matches and improved its record against the United States to 3-0-0 all-time.

Kicking off at 10 p.m. local time, the U.S. played much better than they did a week ago against England, creating a handful of chances during a fairly even affair with the fourth-ranked team in the world. Despite not finding the back of the net, forwards Freddy Adu and Johnson created chances around goal, and the U.S. defense did well to contain a dangerous Spanish attack. But as the game wore on, Spain began to pull away, hitting the woodwork twice before Xavi slalomed through four U.S. defenders and slipped the ball past Brad Guzan in the 79th minute.

The U.S. will have a short turnaround as they next face No. 1-ranked Argentina on June 8 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the team’s final match before beginning their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. The team will leave Spain just hours after tonight’s match and arrive into New Jersey on Thursday afternoon, providing them with two days of training to prepare for the South American giants. More than 63,000 tickets have been sold for the match, which will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision at 7:30 p.m. ET, and fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. 

"In certain areas, I think there was improvement (from the match against England)," said U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley. "In the first half, I certainly felt that we passed the ball better. In the second half, we had a very good chance early on but we lost a little bit of energy and Spain was able to capitalize." (Post-game audio)

"I thought we stopped moving to support each other when we had the ball. [Cesc] Fabregas and Xavi started moving very well to find little gaps in our midfield. At that point, Spain was able to take advantage. They're a very good passing team."

The U.S. began the match with a renewed spirit and determination, staying compact and organized while constantly shutting down the Spanish passing lanes. The duo of Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu kept Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabrergas in check, while centerbacks Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu limited the chances for the Liverpool’s dangerous frontman, Fernando Torres.

While Spain looked for cracks in the U.S. defense, it was Johnson who nearly opened the scoring in the 30th minute. After winning the ball in midfield, Adu appeared to have sprung Johnson over the top of the Spanish defense and in alone on goalkeeper Iker Casillas. While Johnson slotted the ball past the charging ‘keeper, the play was whistled dead with the assistant referree’s flag raised for offside.

Adu and Johnson connected again nine minutes later when Adu lofted a long ball over the Spain defense from the U.S. half, leading his forward partner. Johnson showed his speed and strength as he raced from the midfield stripe on the right flank to beat Puyol to the ball at the 18-yard box and then held the Spanish defender off to rip a shot towards the near post, but Casillas was there to make the save with his knees.

The U.S. made three changes to start the second half, once again inserting Brad Guzan for Tim Howard and Frankie Hejduk for Steve Cherundolo. DaMarcus Beasley made his second appearances in as many matches, replacing Adu and pushing Clint Dempsey into the center of the 4-2-3-1 formation. Spain also made a handful of changes in the second half, and almost immediately Ruben De La Red and then Xavi began to find space between the USA’s central midfield and backline to orchestrate attacks.

Nonetheless, it was Johnson who once again almost broke the deadlock in the 49th minute. Eddie Lewis received the ball wide and drove down the left flank, delivering a cross reminiscent of his pass to Landon Donovan to set up the USA’s second goal in the Round of 16 victory against Mexico in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Johnson had done well to position himself ahead of his mark, but his glancing header skimmed agonizingly wide of the right post.

As the half wore on, Spain began to show why they’ve been chosen as a favorite to win the 2008 European Championships, which kick off this weekend. They nearly grabbed the lead in the 62nd minute when a well taken free kick from Xavi clanged off the crossbar. Five minutes later, Guzan came up big against Marcos Senna, stifling a close-range shot from the midfielder who had been played through one v. one in the right side of the penalty area.

Spain managed to break through in the 79th minute on a crafty run by Xavi. Collecting the ball near the top of the area, he cleverly shaped up to pass to a rushing striker, but quickly turned towards goal and split Onyewu and Bocanegra. With Hejduk closing, Xavi held off the challenge and beat Guzan to the lower left corner.

Down a goal, the U.S. picked up the pace and continued to push for an equalizer until the final whistle. They created two chances in added time, starting with a header from Bradley off a cross from Hejduk that didn’t find the mark. Johnson made a last-minute foray into the box, unleashing a tight-angle shot that was well handled by Casillas.

After the Argentina match, the U.S. opens qualifying play for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in a Second Round series with Barbados that begins Sunday, June 15, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the first leg of the series is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. The second leg will be played on June 22 in Barbados, with details still to be finalized. Barbados will warm up with two friendlies on June 6 and June 9 away to Bermuda. Their hosts have also earned their way into the second round of qualifying where they will take on Trinidad & Tobago.

-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --

Match-up: USA vs. Spain
Date: June 4, 2008
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Estadio El Sardinero – Santander, Spain
Kickoff: 10 p.m. local time
Attendance: 14,232
Weather: 59 degrees, light rain

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

Scoring Summary:
ESP – 8-Xavi Hernandez (10-Cesc Fabregas) 79th minute.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (5-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey (25-Pablo Mastroeni, 86), 26-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Eddie Lewis (16-Josh Wolff, 70); 9-Eddie Johnson, 19-Freddy Adu (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 46)
Subs not used:, 2-Dan Califf, 23-Jay DeMerit
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ESP: 1-Iker Casillas (capt.); 11-Joan Capdevila (3-Fernando Navarro, 53), 4-Carlos Marchena, 5-Carlos Puyol, 15-Sergio Ramos; 12-Santi Cazorla, 8-Xavi Hernandez, 14-Xabi Alonso (19-Marcos Senna, 46), 21-David Silva (22-Ruben De La Red, 58); 9-Fernando Torres (17-Daniel Güiza, 46), 10-Cesc Fabregas (18-Álvaro Arbeloa, 84)
Subs not used: 23-Pepe Reina, 13-Andrés Palop; 2-Raúl Albiol, , 7-David Villa, 16-Sergio Garcia, , 20-Juanito
Head Coach: Luis Aragones

Stats Summary:  USA / ESP
Shots                           8 / 15
Saves                           6 / 2
Corner Kicks               3 / 7
Fouls                          15 / 8
Offside                          2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)     77th minute.

Officials:
Referee: Sokol Jareci (ALB)
First Asst.: Egin Doda (ALB)
Second Asst.: Emilian Bicaku (ALB)
Fourth Official: Alfonso Burrull (ESP)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Oguchi Onyewu 

Bradley Names Initial 24-Man Roster for Spain Friendly on June 4 in Santander

CHICAGO (May 30, 2008) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named an initial 24-man roster for the USA’s encounter with fourth-ranked Spain on June 4 at the Estadio El Sardinero in Santander. The match will be shown live exclusively on ESPN360.com at 4 p.m. ET, and broadcast on tape delay on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET and Galavision at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

All 17 of the European-based players that appeared on the U.S. roster for the match against England have traveled to Santander, while the MLS-based contingent returned to their clubs. Decisions on the remaining seven players, including Landon Donovan, will be made this weekend. Donovan remains one cap shy of reaching 100 international appearances after being ruled out of the England match due to a groin strain. The MLS contingent named to the squad also includes the four players who appeared against England on Wednesday and Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, who last played for the United States against Sweden in August of 2007.

Managed by Luis Aragones, Spain has qualified for Euro 2008 and has been drawn into Group D of the tournament with Russia, Greece and Sweden. Boasting a wealth of talent and experience, the Spaniards are led by Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, whose 24 goals in the English Premier League this season set a league record for the most goals by a foreigner in his debut season.

The U.S. will head back across the Atlantic to face No. 1-ranked Argentina on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET in New Jersey. More than 53,000 tickets (buy tickets) have been sold for the USA’s final match at Giants Stadium, which will be Presented by Visa®. The USA’s last match before the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision.

The U.S. opens qualifying play for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in a Second Round series with Barbados that begins Sunday, June 15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (tickets). Kickoff for the first leg series is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. The second leg will be played on June 22 in Barbados, with details still to be finalized.


 

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Lewis (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nate Jaqua (out of contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (out of contract)

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