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)|
|Group A Schedule||Group B Schedule||Group C Schedule||Group D Schedule|
|Group E (Japan)||Group F (Japan)||Group G (Japan)||Group H (Japan)|
|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|
|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|
|61||Seoul||06/25/02 - 20:30||Winner 58 vs Winner 59|
|62||Saitama||06/26/02 - 20:30||Winner 57 vs Winner 60|
|63||Daegu||06/29/02 - 20:00||2nd 61 vs 2nd 62|
|64||Yokohama||06/30/02 - 20:00||Winner 61 vs Winner 62|