McBride and Moore Arrive in Florida for Men's National Team Camp; Q&A with Defender David Regis
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Thursday, February 22, 2001) - On Thursday the U.S. Men's National Team continued its training for next Wednesday's World Cup Qualifier against Mexico (live on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & Telemundo and the Futbol de Primera radio network), aided by the arrival of forwards Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore.
Moore, in particular, has more than his fair share of excitement lately. His wife, Martha, gave birth to the couple's first child last Friday, a healthy baby boy named Thomas Michael. Upon arrival in South Florida, Moore was besieged by questions stemming from a local newspaper article that speculated that the former New England Revolution star might leave Everton of the English Premier League.
In response, Moore, who has two years remaining on his contract with Everton, issued the following statement: "I don't know where these rumors are coming from. I am very happy at Everton. My wife and I are the proud parents of a baby boy - born in England. We are settled in the area and presently have no plans to move."
Moore's agent, England-based Paul Stretford, added: "As far as we are aware Everton are happy with Joe-Max and likewise he is happy with them. Moving back to the USA at this moment in time is the furthest thing from his mind. He is 100 percent committed to being a part of the Everton team and hopefully contributing to improved results."
The USA squad will continue its preparations for the February 28 match against Mexico, and the March 3 Rose Bowl clash with Brazil (live on ABC, 4:30 p.m. ET), on Friday and Saturday before departing for Columbus on Saturday afternoon.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%Q&A with USA defender David Regis
Do you need to make many adjustments to your game when you leave Metz to join the U.S. National Team?
Personally, it doesn't affect me because the position I play is the same with both. I play at either left back or in the center of the defense in France, so I am familiar with both. Metz plays a 4-3-3, so it is still four backs. But there is always a difference adjusting to the different speed and style of your teammates when you go from one group to another. I am fortunate because I play the same position for both.
Is it difficult to communicate with your American teammates because of the fact that you speak little English?
Yes, sometimes communication is hard, especially because I can't think of what I want to say in all the excitement. But I understand what is being said very well, especially the football. I understand the soccer terms very well.
Would you consider yourself an American who plays in France, or a Frenchman who plays for the United States?
That's a hard one. It's not easy to explain, but even at Metz I think of myself and am thought of as an American player. Naturally I could have played for the national team of France, and I follow that team's progress. I understand that there are people who think of me as French. But fundamentally, though it might be hard to explain, I am an American player.
How is the CONCACAF region regarded in France and Europe?
We have several players from Central and South America playing in France, including our goalkeeper (Farid Mondragon) who is Colombian. So they know how difficult games are over here. Everybody knows that there is never an easy game in World Cup qualifying. They know that the tackles are harder, that the games can be dangerous, that the effort is tremendous. American soccer is now understood better, and everyone follows it.
What are your thoughts about Mexico and the upcoming game?
Mexico is a great soccer nation, and you have to play smart against them. You always have to play smart against good teams. We need to stay calm and keep the nerves down. You hope you can play your normal game, but it's difficult in a qualifier.
Is Major League Soccer highly regarded in France?
MLS is well known, especially since it has attracted players like Hristo Stoitchkov, who is well known over there. Maybe right now you would not think that MLS is equal to a league like England's, but in ten years who knows. The United States is a huge country, and everyone expects the league to continue to get much better.
Could you ever see yourself living in the United States and playing for MLS?
My wife would love to come back home. If MLS made an interesting offer I would certainly look at it. I love soccer, and I love coming to the United States. It's a decision, obviously, that I would have to take with my wife. Yes, perhaps I could finish my career here, who knows. Something might even happen sooner. My contract at Metz ends in May, and I will look at whatever offer they make. I could possibly play in Germany again, or in England, which would help me perfect my English.