U.S. MNT Training Camp Update
Oct. 12, 2007
EUROPEAN TRAINING CAMP CARRIES ON: The U.S. team completed the second day of its European training camp under cloudy skies near the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, continuing the process of integrating the multitude of new players into the group. With Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey arriving from Fulham yesterday evening, the U.S. now has its full complement in camp. The team has three more days in Yverdon-les-Bains before moving operations to Basel in advance of the match against Switzerland. Kickoff against the co-hosts of the 2008 European Championship is set for Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET) at St. Jakob Park in Basel, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
ALL_ACCESS VIDEO- NEW FACES: ussoccer.com’s all_access video is back on the job to bring you the latest from inside the Switzerland camp. The first day of training is always an adjustment for players coming from all corners, but imagine what it’s like when you are literally learning the names of your teammates while out on the field – and in a national team camp to boot. It’s a challenging experience for players both young and old, and ussoccer.com talked to several players and head coach Bob Bradley on what it’s like to see so many “new faces” for the newest exclusive video feature (watch).
BLOGGING AWAY: Back by popular demand - by our bosses -, the MNT blog is chugging along from Yverdon-les-Bains (if you pronounce that sentence correctly, it rhymes!) Already we’ve given a glimpse of Beas’s new lucky boots, written a travel guide to our temporary residence, offered you a chance to play reporter for a day, and started to challenge your mind with trivia. Amy, you’re killing us! Find out the latest news, stats, and anything else we can think of that will give you the inside scoop of what is happening in and around the national team.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CALIFF: Dan Califf is a man who does things his own way, and always through insightful and intelligent eyes. The 27-year-old defender hasn't been afraid to experiment with hairstyles, tattoos, and even starting a book club. Now in his third season at Aalborg in Denmark, he has captained the side to their first-ever qualification into the UEFA Cup Group Stage. ussoccer.com spotted Califf walking out of the dinner room and corralled him for an impromptu interview in which he reveals what he currently finds interesting in the soccer world, what he would ask if he could turn the tables on reporters, and who he thinks is the funniest guy on the team. His answers were as thoughtful as the questions were random.
COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: There are plenty of alumni stories to pass around the lunch tables here in Yverdon as several players share a common mascot. UCLA contributes the most alums to the squad, with four players having matriculated in western Los Angeles. Eddie Lewis is the elder statesman, having graduated in 1995, followed by current U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo. The University of Maryland boasts three former students on the roster, with Chris Seitz and Maurice Edu having lifted the NCAA Championship trophy together in 2005 while Dan Califf reminisces about his days on the College Park campus from 1998-2000. Steve Cherundolo and Heath Pearce are both former Pilots from the University of Portland.
NUMEROLOGY: The match against Switzerland is the USA’s 17th in 2007, marking the fourth time this decade the team has played at least that many matches in a calendar year. Interestingly, all three of the previous three ‘17th’ games involved the World Cup, either in the qualifying process or the tournament finals:
- On Nov. 15, 2000, the U.S. entered their final semifinal round qualifier needing a win against Barbados to advance. Played in Waterford, Barbados, the teams were level at halftime before the U.S. exploded for four goals to win 4-0 and push the team into the final round of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
- After a victory against Portugal and a draw with host South Korea, the U.S. faced Poland on June 14, 2002, in Daejon needing only a point to secure their place in the knockout phase of the World Cup. Two goals by Poland in the first five minutes seemed to have the USA sunk, but the 3-1 loss proved moot as Korea’s 1-0 victory against Portugal lifted the U.S. out of despair and into the second round where they would eventually reach the quarterfinals.
- Following a classic 2-0 victory against Mexico that secured the USA’s place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the team headed to Guatemala for their penultimate final round qualifier. On Sept. 7, 2005, Marcus Hahnemann stood in goal in front of a mostly MLS-based starting XI as the U.S. and Guatemala split the spoils of a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Mateo Flores, that point eventually helping ensure that the USA finished atop the final round qualifying group for the first time in history.
Incidentally, the U.S. has played one other time on October 17, falling 2-1 to Mexico in Mexico City in 1984.
SWITZERLAND WARMS UP WITH AUSTRIA: The Swiss national team takes advantage of the double fixture date by taking on fellow 2008 European Championship hosts Austria on Oct. 13 in Zurich. Jakob Kuhn has called in 21 players to prepare for the matches, having been forced to drop prolific striker Alex Frei and his Borussia Dortmund teammate Philipp Degen due to injury. Switzerland are an even 3-3-1 in 2007, which includes a 2-1 win against Holland on Aug. 22 and a 1-1 draw with Argentina on June 2 at St Jakob-Park, site of Wednesday’s encounter.
Switzerland Roster vs. United States
GOALKEEPERS (4): Diego Benaglio (CD Nacional Funchal), Fabio Coltorti (Racing Santander), Germano (FC Sion), Pascal Zuberbühler
DEFENDERS (7): Johan Djourou (Birmingham City), Stéphane Grichting (AJ Auxerre), Stephan Lichsteiner (Lille), Ludovic Magnin (VfB Stuttgart), Phillippe Senderos (Arsenal FC), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Fabio Celestini (Getafe), Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City), Gökhan Inler (Udinese), Xavier Margairaz (Osasuna), Johan Vonlanthen (Red Bull Salzburg),
FORWARDS (4): Daniel Gygax (FC Metz), Blaise Nkufo (FC Twente), Marco Streller (FC Basel), Hakan Yakin (BSC Young Boys)
BY THE NUMBERS:
0 – U.S. wins against Switzerland. The team has a lifetime record of 0-3-3
2 - Matches played in Switzerland. The first-ever meeting came Sept. 6, 1978, a 2-0 loss in Lucerne. Twelve years later there was a different scoreline but the same result, the Swiss winning 2-1 on June 2, 1990 in St. Gallen
3 – Goals for DaMarcus Beasley in 2007, second most behind Landon Donovan. Beasley has 15 career goals in 70 international appearances
5 – Shutouts for the USA in 2007
6 – Players on this roster who play professionally in England, the most from any one country. Germany is second with five.
6 – Times that Carlos Bocanegra has worn the captain’s armband this year. He has also scored two goals, the game-winner against Panama in the Gold Cup quarterfinals and the first in the 4-2 loss to Brazil
7 – Players on this roster in search of their first cap
10 – Multiple-goal games for the U.S. in 2007. They have lost only one of those, the 4-2 defeat to Brazil
10 – Wins for the USA this year, increasing the lifetime tally to 191 victories since 1916
12 – Games played by Benny Feilhaber in 2007, tied for most appearances on the team. He is one of seven U.S. players all-time to appear in 10 or more games in his first calendar year with the full team
73 – Caps for Eddie Lewis, the most on the current roster. Getting his first cap in 1996, Lewis is joining the national team for the first time since the 2006 FIFA World Cup
THEY SAID IT: “Even if it’s just a friendly, nobody likes to lose. This team has the attitude that we always want to win. You work so hard in these games, and you want to see some reward. After all the months of effort this year, it’s time for this team to get a result.”
-Steve Cherundolo, on the importance of winning against Switzerland