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U.S. to Face Portugal, Co-Host Korea and Poland in Group D at 2002 FIFA World Cup


BUSAN, Korea Republic (Saturday, December 1, 2001) - The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group D with Portugal, World Cup co-host Korea Republic and Poland in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan it was decided today at the Final Draw in Busan, Korea. The U.S. will open Group D play against the highly-regarded Portuguese on June 5 in Suwon, and will follow that game with matches against the host Koreans on June 10 in Daegu and against Poland on June 14 in Daejeon.  The draw was held today at 5 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local) at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center in the Korean city of Busan.

In a scheduling quirk, the U.S. is scheduled to play the Korea Republic in their next two matches, a friendly in Seogwipo on Dec. 9 (being telecast on delay on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 10), and on Jan. 19 in the team’s opening match of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (available on pay-per-view at 3 p.m. PT).

"South Korea is a much improved team, and certainly playing at home will be a big advantage and will make them that much more of a difficult opponent," said Arena from Busan. "We will certainly get to know them better in the next two months."

With their opening World Cup match scheduled for June 5 in Suwon, the U.S. and Portugal will be the final two teams to open the tournament. The U.S. has not faced Portugal since the 1992 Nike U.S. Cup, where the U.S. recorded a 1-0 win behind a Roy Wegerle goal.

"Portugal is one of the best teams in the world, and they have one of the best players in the world in Luis Figo (of Real Madrid in Spain)," said Arena. "They are dangerous all over the field. And Poland showed in their qualifying run how dangerous they can be."

Featuring high-scoring, Nigerian-born forward Emanuel Olisadebe, who led the team in scoring in qualifying with eight goals, and goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek of Liverpool, Poland was the first team to qualify for the 2002 World Cup out of Europe (other than defending champion France). In their history, the U.S. has played Poland more times than any other European opponent (11 times dating all the way back to 1924), but the two teams have not met since Oct. 10, 1990, when the U.S. took a 3-2 victory in Warsaw. Poland leads the all-time series with a 6-4-1 record, but the U.S. has won the two most recent match-ups, both in 1990.

By being drawn into Group D, the U.S. is assured that it will play all of its matches in Korea (not including the World Cup championship game on June 30 in Yokohama). Should they advance to the second round, the U.S. would meet a team from Group G (Italy, Ecuador, Croatia and Mexico) in Korea in either Jeonju (June 17) or Daejeon (June 18).

The rest of the USA’s quarterfinal bracket includes Group B (Spain, Slovenia, Paraguay and South Africa) and Group E (Germany, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Cameroon).

The remaining World Cup groupings follow: Group A (France, Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark), Group C (Brazil, Turkey, China and Costa Rica), Group F (Argentina, Nigeria, England and Sweden) and Group H (Japan, Belgium, Russia and Tunisia). Group A features the tournament’s opening game (France vs. Senegal on May 31 in Seoul), while Group F was quickly dubbed the "Group of Death." The Group C pairing features former U.S. World Cup coach Bora Milutinovic leading his Chinese team against Costa Rica, whom Bora coached at the 1990 World Cup.

For a complete recap of today’s Final Draw, which includes more interesting facts on some of the other group pairings, media and fans can log on to ussoccer.com’s DrawTracker, presented by U.S. Soccer and Philips Electronics. The DrawTracker includes up-to-date and detailed information on each of the 32 tournament finalists. Launch the 2002 World Cup DrawTracker.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is currently training in San Diego, Calif., in preparation for their Dec. 9 match against Korea and are scheduled to depart for Asia on Monday (Dec. 3). The traveling roster for that match will be announced on Monday in the U.S. Soccer Wire.

The 2002 tournament is the 17th overall FIFA World Cup and is being staged in Asia for the first time, where 10 Korean and 10 Japanese cities will host 64 games from May 31 to June 30.

Groups for FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002

Group A (Korea) Group B (Korea) Group C (Korea) Group D (Korea)
France
Senegal
Uruguay
Denmark
Spain
Slovenia
Paraguay
South Africa
Brazil
Turkey
China
Costa Rica
Korea Republic
Poland
United States
Portugal
Group A Schedule Group B Schedule Group C Schedule Group D Schedule
Group E (Japan) Group F (Japan) Group G (Japan) Group H (Japan)
Germany
Saudi Arabia
Ireland
Cameroon
Argentina
Nigeria
England
Sweden
Italy
Ecuador
Croatia
Mexico
Japan
Belgium
Russia
Tunisia
Group E Schedule Group F Schedule Group G Schedule Group H Schedule

Full Match Schedule

Match # Location Date & Time (Local) Teams
Group A - Korea
 1 Seoul 05/31/02 - 20:30 France vs Senegal
 3 Ulsan 06/01/02 - 18:00 Uruguay vs Denmark
18 Busan 06/06/02 - 15:30 France vs Uruguay
20 Daegu 06/06/02 - 20:30 Denmark vs Senegal
33 Incheon 06/11/02 - 15:30 Denmark vs France
34 Suwon 06/11/02 - 15:30 Senegal vs Uruguay
Group B - Korea
 6 Busan 06/02/02 - 16:30 Paraguay vs South Africa
 8 Gwangju 06/02/02 - 20:30 Spain vs Slovenia
22 Jeonju 06/07/02 - 18:00 Spain vs Paraguay
24 Daegu 06/08/02 - 15:30 South Africa vs Slovenia
39 Daejeon 06/12/02 - 20:30 South Africa vs Spain
40 Seogwipo 06/12/02 - 20:30 Slovenia vs Paraguay
Group C - Korea
10 Ulsan 06/03/02 - 18:00 Brazil vs Turkey
12 Gwangju 06/04/02 - 15:30 China vs Costa Rica
26 Seogwipo 06/08/02 - 20:30 Brazil vs China
28 Incheon 06/09/02 - 18:00 Costa Rica vs Turkey
41 Suwon 06/13/02 - 15:30 Costa Rica vs Brazil
42 Seoul 06/13/02 - 15:30 Turkey vs China
Group D - Korea
14 Busan 06/04/02 - 20:30 Korea Republic vs Poland
16 Suwon 06/05/02 - 18:00 United States vs Portugal
30 Daegu 06/10/02 - 15:30 Korea Republic vs United States
32 Jeonju 06/10/02 - 20:30 Portugal vs Poland
47 Incheon 06/14/02 - 20:30 Portugal vs Korea Republic
48 Daejeon 06/14/02 - 20:30 Poland vs United States
Group E - Japan
 2 Niigata 06/01/02 - 15:30 Ireland vs Cameroon
 4 Sapporo 06/01/02 - 20:30 Germany vs Saudi Arabia
17 Ibaraki 06/05/02 - 20:30 Germany vs Ireland
19 Saitama 06/06/02 - 18:00 Cameroon vs Saudi Arabia
35 Shizuoka 06/11/02 - 20:30 Cameroon vs Germany
36 Yokohama 06/11/02 - 20:30 Saudi Arabia vs Ireland
Group F - Japan
 5 Saitama 06/02/02 - 14:30 England vs Sweden
 7 Ibaraki 06/02/02 - 18:30 Argentina vs Nigeria
21 Kobe 06/07/02 - 15:30 Sweden vs Nigeria
23 Sapporo 06/07/02 - 20:30 Argentina vs England
37 Miyagi 06/12/02 - 15:30 Sweden vs Argentina
38 Osaka 06/12/02 - 15:30 Nigeria vs England
Group G - Japan
 9 Niigata 06/03/02 - 15:30 Croatia vs Mexico
11 Sapporo 06/03/02 - 20:30 Italy vs Ecuador
25 Ibaraki 06/08/02 - 18:00 Italy vs Croatia
27 Miyagi 06/09/02 - 15:30 Mexico vs Ecuador
43 Oita 06/13/02 - 20:30 Mexico vs Italy
44 Yokohama 06/13/02 - 20:30 Ecuador vs Croatia
Group H - Japan
13 Saitama 06/04/02 - 18:00 Japan vs Belgium
15 Kobe 06/05/02 - 15:30 Russia vs Tunisia
29 Yokohama 06/09/02 - 20:30 Japan vs Russia
31 Oita 06/10/02 - 18:00 Tunisia vs Belgium
45 Osaka 06/14/02 - 15:30 Tunisia vs Japan
46 Shizuoka 06/14/02 - 15:30 Belgium vs Russia
Round of 16
49 Seogwipo 06/15/02 - 15:30 1st E vs 2nd B
50 Niigata 06/15/02 - 20:30 1st A vs 2nd F
51 Oita 06/16/02 - 15:30 1st F vs 2nd A
52 Suwon 06/16/02 - 20:30 1st B vs 2nd E
53 Jeonju 06/17/02 - 15:30 1st G vs 2nd D
54 Kobe 06/17/02 - 20:30 1st C vs 2nd H
55 Miyagi 06/18/02 - 15:30 1st H vs 2nd C
56 Daejeon 06/18/02 - 20:30 1st D vs 2nd G
Quarter-Finals
57 Shizuoka 06/21/02 - 15:30 Winner 50 vs Winner 54
58 Ulsan 06/21/02 - 20:30 Winner 49 vs Winner 53
59 Gwangju 06/22/02 - 15:30 Winner 52 vs Winner 56
60 Osaka 06/22/02 - 20:30 Winner 51 vs Winner 55
Semi-Finals
61 Seoul 06/25/02 - 20:30 Winner 58 vs Winner 59
62 Saitama 06/26/02 - 20:30 Winner 57 vs Winner 60
Third Place
63 Daegu 06/29/02 - 20:00 2nd 61 vs 2nd 62
Final
64 Yokohama 06/30/02 - 20:00 Winner 61 vs Winner 62

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