SEOUL, Korea (Monday, June 3, 2002) - With their World Cup opener against Portugal just two days away, the U.S. Men's National Team went through their final training session at Misari Practice Stadium prior to the game on Wednesday. Tomorrow, the U.S. MNT will train at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon. At training today, after a usual warm-up and stretching session, the U.S. broke up into two games of 5 v 5 to small goals, while the goalkeepers trained with U.S. goalkeeper coach Milutin Soskic on the adjacent field. After 20 minutes of small-sided games, Arena brought the team together for a three-quarter field 11 v 11 game. Before breaking up for individual work at the end of training, the team worked on attacking from and defending set pieces. The U.S. team will train at Suwon World Cup Stadium tomorrow night, and will then return to Seoul for the night. The team will depart Monday afternoon for the match against Portugal, which kicks off at 6 p.m. local time, and will be shown live on ESPN2 at 4:55 a.m. ET.
ARENA TO CHAT ON ussoccer.com WITH U.S. FANS & MEDIA TODAY AT 7 p.m. ET: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena, just one day before his World Cup debut, will chat live on U.S. Soccer’s “World Cup Plus” website (www.ussoccer.com) from Seoul with fans and media today (Monday, June 3) at 7 p.m. ET (actually 8 a.m. on Tuesday in Korea). Arena will discuss the team’s preparations for the World Cup as well as the USA’s stay in Korea, where the squad is preparing to open play in their fourth consecutive World Cup on Wednesday against Portugal.
BRIAN HALL OFFICIATES ITALY-ECUADOR: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall refereed his first World Cup match on Monday night, running the middle in Italy’s 2-0 win over Ecuador. Hall controlled the match well, issuing four cautions. Brian Hall next takes the field as a fourth official on June 7 for the most anticipated match of the first round – England vs. Argentina.
PRACTICE AT SUWON OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES ON TUESDAY AT 5:30 p.m.: Training for the U.S. World Cup Team on Tuesday at the Suwon World Cup Stadium will be open for 15 minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m. Media interested in attending the first 15 minutes of training should arrive at the stadium early and check in with the stadium LOC/FIFA Venue Media Officer. After 15 minutes media will be escorted from the facility. There will be no interview availability at the practice site. At all times, an up-to-date schedule of training sessions and media availability can be found in the media-only section of ussoccer.com.
BEASLEY HONORED WITH PROCLAMATION FROM INDIANA GOVERNOR: Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon has issued a proclamation declaring the month of June as Soccer Month in Indiana in honor of U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who hails from Fort Wayne, Ind. Beasley, who turned 20 years old on May 24, is the youngest player on the 2002 U.S. World Cup Team. In making the proclamation, Governor O'Bannon recognized Beasley as the first player in U.S. World Cup history to hail from Indiana and highlighted the Indiana Youth Soccer Association's membership of 64,000 youth players. As a former star in the IYSA system, Beasley began playing soccer at a recreational level as a youth in Fort Wayne, before getting involved with traveling clubs and then competing in ODP (Olympic Development Program) soccer.
U.S. v PORTUGAL – TEN YEARS AGO TODAY: The U.S. earned its only win in its history against Portugal 10 years ago today, topping the Portuguese 1-0 in Chicago as part of U.S. Cup ’92. The United States won the first-ever U.S. Cup, topping Portugal (1-0) and Ireland (3-1) and drawing with Italy (1-1). Current Ireland coach Mick McCarthy scored Ireland’s only goal in the 3-1 loss to the U.S. Tony Meola and Earnie Stewart each played in the match against Portugal, and Roy Wegerle score the gamewinner. The U.S. line-up for that match was as follows: USA - Meola, Balboa, Dooley, Doyle, Caligiuri (Clavijo), Quinn, Ramos, B. Murray (Henderson), Harkes (Michallik), Perez (Stewart), Wegerle.
SUWON, THE CITY: Suwon is the capital of Kyonggi-Do Province and is the home to many of Korea’s high tech companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK, as well as a number of research institutes and universities. Since ancient times Suwon is a city that has been known for its breathtaking scenery and abundant streams and mountains. The city of Suwon has a population of 772,000 and is located 29 miles directly south of Seoul. As part of the city infrastructure modified for the 2002 World Cup, the city has seen construction of the Suwon Convention City 21, along with the Image Theme Park and a World Miniature Castle Park where visitors can see a unique collection of scale models of famous castles from around the world. The Hwaseong Observation Tower will be put in place as a central feature of all these projects to commemorate the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Suwon World Cup Stadium: The Suwon World Cup Stadium was completed in May 2001, and has a capacity of 44,047. The stadium features a design harmonizing the history of the ancient city with high-tech architecture. Suwon is known for having some of the most passionate soccer fans in the country and is the home ot the Samsung Blue Wings, who won back-to-back league titles in 1998 and 1999.
ETHAN ZOHN ARRIVES IN KOREA, “ZOHN’S ZONE” DEBUTS TODAY: Ethan Zohn, the million-dollar winner from the hit reality TV show “Survivor: Africa” and a former professional soccer player, arrived in Seoul Sunday night and made his first appearance at Misari Practice Stadium today. Zohn is following the U.S. Team and the World Cup in Korea/Japan for “Ethan Zohn’s Zone”, an online journal that will provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look inside the U.S. team and the athletes taking part in the 2002 World Cup. To bring the excitement of the tournament to life for U.S. fans, U.S. Soccer and Philips Electronics will launch “Ethan Zohn’s Zone” today. Fans will be able to access Ethan’s daily entries on www.ussoccer.com, the ultimate destination for up-to-the-minute World Cup news. Designed to satisfy the curiosity of every fan, the online journal will offer exclusive video footage of both on- and off-the-field moments.
BRIAN HALL “BREAKS DOWN THE CUP”: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall, who refereed tonight’s Italy-Ecuador match in Sapporo, Japan, recently commented on his World Cup experiences as part of ussoccer.com’s “Breaking Down the Cup” series. Hall discusses his first few days in Japan and the anticipation ahead of his first World Cup match. In addition to Hall, U.S. Under-17 MNT Head Coach John Ellinger, WNT star Brandi Chastain and Under-23 goalkeeper D.J. Countess are all sharing their thoughts and opinions on the World Cup with fans at ussoccer.com.
WE ARE FAMILY: The USMNT hosted a reception for the friends and family of players and staff at the team hotel this evening, after most of the families arrived in the past two days. "We believe you are a very important part of our success, and we welcome you to Seoul, Korea and the World Cup," Bruce Arena told the gathering. About 70 people were in attendance, including the wives, girlfriends and parents of most of the team.
WORLD CUP PLUS: For up-to-the-minute World Cup updates, feature stories, quotes and more, visit U.S. Soccer's "World Cup Plus" at ussoccer.com. With updates coming to you live from Korea, the site offers exclusive audio and photos from the team's training camp in Seoul. Today on "World Cup Plus" find:
-- Review of today’s three matches
-- Quote Sheet – Bruce Arena, Claudio Reyna
-- June 4 Game Previews
-- Exclusive photos from today's training session and daily life around the team
-- Updated Group Standings and Schedules
-- Exclusive audio
U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS COMING TO SEOUL: A contingent of U.S. Soccer fans and Sam's Army members will celebrate their arrival in Seoul on Tuesday evening (June 4) with a celebration beginning at 7 p.m. at the Nashville Skyline, a restaurant along the main strip of the Itaewon district in Seoul. The party is open to all American fans and is expected to be well attended by supporters from all over the U.S., as well as by the Korean media, who are expected to cover the event.
BRAZIL LOSES CAPTAIN EMERSON IN BIZARRE ACCIDENT: Brazil lost captain Emerson for the entire tournament after he dislocated his shoulder while playing in goal during a training session earlier this week. Emerson was jokingly playing goalkeeper during a light-hearted practice match, when he fell on his shoulder and dislocated it, according to the team’s medical staff.
T-MINUS: There are only two days left until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which happens to correspond to the number of World Cup games Cobi Jones, Tony Meola and Earnie Stewart need to tie Tab Ramos’ U.S. Soccer record for most World Cup appearances (nine). Jones, Meola and Stewart have all appeared in seven World Cup matches. Meola’s matches came in 1990 and 1994, while Stewart’s and Jones’ came in 1994 and 1998.
THEY SAID IT:
“We will approach the game as if we can win the game. We are not just showing up because we want to be nice, friendly participants. We are going to play a game.”
-- Bruce Arena, on the team’s goals against Portugal