The United States earned an important point on the road in the first game between the two rivals, playing to a 1-1 draw in the heat and humidity of Mazatenango, Guatemala, on July 16. The USA is 6-4-3 all-time against the Central American nation, outscoring the Guatemalans by an 18 to 15 margin.
Keller returns to the team after a one-game absence, during which he helped his Spanish League team, Rayo Vallecano, advance through the preliminary rounds of the prestigious UEFA Cup. The most experienced World Cup qualifying goalkeeper in U.S. Soccer history, Keller has posted a 5-2-4 record and a 0.82 goals against average in 11 qualifying matches.
Kirovski, 24, joins the national team for the first time since signing with Portuguese champions Sporting Lisbon earlier this year. A versatile midfielder and forward with 43 caps, the California native made his first qualifying start against Guatemala on December 21, 1996.
The Guatemala match is the second of three consecutive home matches the United States will play in Group "E" qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. After two road games in Guatemala and Costa Rica, and an emphatic 7-0 home victory over Barbados at Foxboro Stadium on August 16, the USA sits in second place in the four-team group, ahead of Guatemala on goal differential with three games to play. The top two teams in each of the three qualifying groups will advance to the next stage of qualifying, where six teams will battle for three CONCACAF spots in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea.
Following the Guatemala game the United States will host Costa Rica in Columbus, Ohio, at Columbus Crew Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on October 11. The USA will play its final Group "E" semifinal qualifying match in Barbados, at either the National Stadium or the Kensington Oval in St. Michael, on November 15.
"This is a critical match," Arena said. "Everything we've done as a team this year has been in preparation for these qualifying matches, and it's important that we play well in front of our home fans."
Arena returns 16 of the 18 players who were on the roster for the Barbados match, adding midfielders Richie Williams and Richard Mulrooney in addition to Keller and Kirovski to bring the squad to 20 players. Arena will need to trim his roster to 18 players before the match.
The match against Guatemala will mark the USA's third visit to the nation's capital for a qualifying match. The United States defeated Guatemala, 2-0, in qualifying action at RFK Stadium on November 11, 1996, and tied Jamaica at the stadium a year later. All-time, the USA has won six and tied three of the 11 matches played in Washington D.C., outscoring their opponents 21-10.
The United States team will begin training in the Washington, D.C., area for the Guatemala match beginning Monday, August 28.
|United States Men's National Team|
World Cup Qualifying Roster
September 3, 2000 vs. Guatemala
|12||Agoos, Jeff||D||5'10"||175||5/2/68||101/3||Dallas, Texas||D.C. United (MLS)|
|3||Berhalter, Gregg||D||6'1"||175||8/1/73||14/0||Tenafly, N.J.||Cambuur Leeuwarden (Holland)|
|1||Friedel, Brad||GK||6'4"||202||5/18/71||66/0||Bay Village, Ohio||Liverpool (England)|
|13||Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||6/16/70||132/13||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|18||Keller, Kasey||GK||6'2"||190||11/29/69||44/0||Lacey, Wash.||Rayo Vallecano (Spain)|
|14||Kirovski, Jovan||F||6'1"||175||3/18/76||43/7||Escondido, Calif.||Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)|
|7||Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||5/17/74||25/2||Cerritos, Calif.||Fulham FC (England)|
|16||Llamosa, Carlos||D||5'11"||166||6/30/69||10/0||Maspeth, N.Y.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|20||McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||6/19/72||44/12||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|9||Moore, Joe-Max||F||5'9"||150||2/23/71||80/22||Irvine, Calif.||Everton (England)|
|22||Mulrooney, Richard||M||5'9"||160||11/03/76||0/0||Memphis, Tenn.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|5||O'Brien, John||M||5'8"||145||8/29/77||5/1||Playa del Rey, Calif.||Ajax Amsterdam (Holland)|
|23||Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||34/4||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|11||Ramos, Tab||M||5'7"||140||9/21/66||80/8||Kearny, N.J.||NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS)|
|15||Razov, Ante||F||6'1"||175||3/2/74||11/3||Whittier, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|6||Regis, David||D||5'11"||160||12/2/68||14/0||Valenciennes, France||F.C. Metz (France)|
|10||Reyna, Claudio||M||5'9"||160||7/20/73||77/8||Springfield, N.J.||Glasgow Rangers (Scot.)|
|17||Sanneh, Tony||M||6'2"||160||6/1/71||13/1||St. Paul, Minn.||Hertha Berlin (Germany)|
|8||Stewart, Earnie||M||5'9"||145||3/28/69||62/9||Point Arena, Calif.||NAC Breda (Holland)|
|21||Williams, Richie||M||5'5"||145||6/03/70||11/0||Middletown, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|U.S. Men's National Team Staff|
|Head Coach||Bruce Arena||Fairfax, Va.|
|Assistant Coach||Dave Sarachan||Herndon, Va.|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Milutin Soskic||Aliso Viejo, Calif.|
|General Manager||Pam Perkins||Evanston, Ill.|
|Team Administrator||Maria Hernandez||Chicago, Ill.|
|Athletic Trainer||Anthony Garcia||Los Angeles|
|Athletic Trainer||Jim Hashimoto||Wilmington, Del.|
|Equipment Manager||Aaron Barrett||Chicago, Ill.|
|Press Officer||Rich Schneider||Chicago, Ill.|