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U.S. MNT Set to Face Argentina in 2007 Copa America on Thursday


U.S. Men's National Team
Copa America Update
Maracaibo, Venezuela
June 27, 2007


VINO TINTO: The U.S. Men's National Team has settled into Maracaibo, the second largest city in Venezuela, in advance of their 2007 Copa America opener against Argentina on Thursday, June 28. After recovering from winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the plane trip to Venezuela, the team is rested and focused on the task at hand: facing off against South American powerhouse Argentina. The match will be broadcast live at 8:45 p.m. ET on GolTV and Telefutura. Fans can also follow all the action live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS

  • The U.S. traveled to Maracaibo on June 25 with 22 players, all available for selection
  • The first phase of the tournament consists of three groups with four teams each competing in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group, along with the two best third-place teams (eight total), advance to the knockout phase
  • The last time the U.S. competed in the tournament in 1995, the United States upset defending champion Argentina, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they defeated Mexico and eventually finished in fourth place
  • Despite falling 1-0 to Brazil in the semifinals, U.S. midfielder John Harkes joined Uruguay captain Enzo Francescoli as co-MVP of the tournament. The USA’s only other appearance in the competition came in 1993 in Ecuador
  • Overall, the U.S. has played Argentina seven times in their history, holding a lifetime record of 2-5-0 against the South American juggernaut. Outside of Copa America, the only other victory came in 1999 when a Joe-Max Moore goal was the difference in Washington, D.C.
  • Kasey Keller, who earned his 100th cap in the 2-1 win against Canada in the semifinals of the 2007 Gold Cup, is the only player on the roster to have played in a Copa America, making the all-tournament team in 1995 when the U.S. advanced to the semifinals
  • Keller also presided over both of the USA’s victories against Argentina
  • Three players on the roster appeared in the USA’s last meeting against Argentina, a 1-0 loss on Feb. 8, 2003, in Miami: Dan Califf, Ben Olsen, Taylor Twellman
  • There are 16 players on the roster who have 10 caps or less. Fourteen players are under the age of 25, with Eddie Gaven representing the team’s youngest at 20 years old. There are three members of the group who are entering their first-ever camp with the MNT and will be in search of their first cap: Colorado Rapids forward Hercules Gomez, FC Dallas midfielder Drew Moor and Toronto FC defender Marvell Wynne
  • Altogether, 13 players on the roster have been a part of a youth FIFA World Championship roster, whether it be at the U-23, U-20 or U-17 level. A total of nine players were members of the USA’s roster for either the 2003 or 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup
  • Five players on the roster were available during the USA’s 1-0 win against Argentina in the opening group match of the 2005 World Youth Championship: Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Gaven, and Marvell Wynne (Sacha Kjlestan and Lee Nguyen did not play)
  • Four players on the roster started for the U.S. in their 2-1 overtime loss to Argentina in the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship: Drew Moor, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp and Ricardo Clark
  • MLS players dominate the roster, with 15 of the 22 players plying their trade in the United States’ top league
  • Hamburg SV midfielder Benny Feilhaber’s Gold Cup winning strike was his second goal in eight appearances for the full team. His first came in the 4-1 win against China on June 2 in San Jose, also the game-winner
  • 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year Jonathan Bornstein has now earned eight caps for the United States, and started five of six matches in the Gold Cup championship run. All of his appearances have come in 2007

STAT: Here's an interesting stat that will be current for at least 30 more hours with our daunting challenge against Argentina ahead: The U.S. Men's National Team has not lost a game in more than a year. And guess what? Neither has the U.S. Women's National Team. That's an absolutely unbelievable streak of 35 games! The men, as you know if you are a loyal reader of the MNT Summer Blog, are 10-0-1 in 2007 under Bob Bradley. The women are on a 43-game unbeaten streak, with 24 of those games coming in the last 12 months, and the most recent victory coming this past Saturday. To add it all up, U.S. Soccer is 31-0-4 in the past 365 days of full Men's and Women's National Team games.

COPA AMERICA PRIMER: The Copa America is the longest running international football competition in the world, held for the first time in 1916 in Argentina. The tournament was previously known as Campeonato Sudamericano de Selecciones (South American Championship of National Teams). Argentina, the odds-on favorite in 2007, has won the championship 14 times, the most of any nation. Since 1984, CONMEBOL adopted the policy of rotating the right to host the Copa América amongst the 10 Federations who make up the confederation of CONMEBOL, with Venezuela being the last country to host the competition in that rotation. Matches in the 2007 edition will be held in nine cities across Venezuela, with San Cristobal hosting the opening ceremonies and with Maracaibo – site of the USA’s opening match against Argentina – getting the final.

USA EN LA COPA

ECUADOR ‘93

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers Location
June 16, 1993 Uruguay 0-1 L -- Ambato
June 19, 1993 Ecuador 0-2 L -- Quito
June 22, 1993  Venezuela  3-3 T Henderson, Doyle, Kinnear Quito


URUGUAY ‘95

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers Location
July 8, 1995 Chile 2-1 W Wynalda (2) Paysandu
July 11, 1995 Bolivia  0-1 L -- Paysandu
July 14, 1995 Argentina 3-0 W  Wynalda, Klopas, Lalas Paysandu
July 17, 1995 Mexico (q)  0-0 T (4-1 pk) -- Paysandu
July 20, 1995 Brazil (s)  0-1 L -- Maldonado
July 22, 1995 Colombia (3)  1-4 L Moore Maldonado

GROUP A OPEN AS COUNTRY FOCUSES ON COPA: Hosts Venezuela continued to go 40 years without a win at Copa America, tying Bolivia 2-2 on opening day at Estadio Pueblo Nuevo in San Cristobal. Ben Olsen and Bobby Boswell in the U.S. camp cheered as their D.C. United teammate Jaime Moreno brought Bolivia even 1-1 with a deflected goal in the 39th minute. Ricardo Paez, the sone of the Venezuela coach Richard Paez, scored in the 56th minute to give the hosts a 2-1 lead for what could be only their second Copa America victory (the first coming against Bolivia in 1967). Bolivia would have the last word, however, as Juan Carlos Arce scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute. In the night's earlier match at Estadio Metropolitano in Merida, 14-time champion Uruguay were stunned by a three-goal outburst from Peru. Miguel Villalta, Juan Carlos Marino and Paolo Guerrero all scored for the Peruvians.

DID YOU KNOW? Talk about ‘youth movement’ on this roster. If you take the players born in the 1960s and the 1970s, they are outnumbered 18:4 by players born in the 1980s. Here’s how the numbers break down:

Decade    No. of players    Caps
60s                     1                  100
70s                     3                   58
80s                   18                 106

GOLD CUP GLORY: The U.S. Men’s National Team continued their domination of Mexico with a sterling, come-from-behind 2-1 masterpiece to claim their fourth all-time CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. Despite a 1-0 halftime deficit, a confident and powerful U.S. team dominated Mexico in the second half, fueled by goals from Landon Donovan and Benny Feilhaber. In addition to laying claim to their third regional crown since 2002, the victory in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup paves the way for the USA’s invaluable participation in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, an eight-team tournament being staged in South Africa one year before the 2010 World Cup.

USA SURPASSES .500 PLATEAU: .500 anyone? It may not sound like much, but for the first time since 1937, a span of 70 years, the U.S. Men's National Team's all-time record stands at .500 or better. With head coach Bob Bradley currently on a 10-0-1 unbeaten streak through nine games in 2007, the USA's record currently stands at 191 wins, 189 losses and 111 ties in 491 official games. Amazingly, the U.S. bottomed out at 55 games below .500 just 12 short years ago with a 1-0 loss to Sweden back on August, 16, 1995 (88-143-70). That’s a pretty impressive climb back to .500 in a span of just 190 games.

AND THEN A TRIO OF FRIENDLIES ACROSS THE POND: Following a busy summer of tournament play, the U.S. has scheduled a series of friendlies in Europe. The team will play its first match on European soil of 2007 when they travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. For the double fixture date in October, the U.S. will first meet Catalonia on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the famed Camp Nou in Barcelona (time TBD). The encounter will mark the debut match between the teams. Three days later, the U.S. will take on 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland for the first game between the two sides in nearly 13 years, and the first since the 1-1 draw in the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States. All three matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, and fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker

LAST TIME...

On the field for the USA

June 24, 2007 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final
USA        2    Landon Donovan 62’ pen, Benny Feilhaber 73’
Mexico    1    Andres Guardado 44’

USA: 1-Tim Howard;16-Jonathan Spector (15-Frank Simek, 72), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 8-Clint Dempsey (20-Taylor Twellman, 69), 5-Benny Feilhaber, 4-Pablo Mastroeni (19-Ricardo Clark, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Brian Ching, 10-Landon Donovan

MEX: 1- Oswaldo Sanchez, 2- Jose Jonny Magallon, 3-Carlos Salcido, 4-Rafael Marquez (capt.), 5-Ricardo Osorio, 7- Alberto Medina (10-Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 78), 8- Pavel Pardo, 9-Jared Borgetti (19-Omar Bravo, 40), 16-Jaime Lozano (23- Adolfo Bautista, 81), 18-Jose Andres Guardado, 21-Nery Castillo

Vs. Argentina

February 8, 2003 – The Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla. – International Friendly
USA            0
Argentina   1   Luis González 9’

USA:18-Tim Howard; 15-Bobby Convey, 4-Carlos Bocanegra (13-Steve Ralston, 90), 2-Dan Califf, 12-Sasha Victorine (6-Nick Garcia, 56); 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 17-Chris Klein (20-Jeff Cunningham, 79), 14-Ben Olsen (11-Taylor Twellman, 46); 21-Landon Donovan; 9-Clint Mathis (capt.).
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 8-Richard Mulrooney, 16-Pete Vagenas.

ARG: 1-Sebastián Saja; 4-Ariel Garcé, 2-Nicolás Burdisso, 6-Gabriel Milito (capt.), 5-Sebastián Bataglia; 3-Pablo Guiñazú, 7-Mariano González (19-César Garignano, 46), 8-Luis González; 9-Diego Milito (16-Clemente Rodríguez, 85), 11-Federico Inzúa (18-Leandro Romagnoli, 77), 15-Andrés D'Alessandro.
Subs not used: 12-Wilfredo Caballero, 14-Leonardo Ponzio, 21-Lucas Pusineri, 22-Gonzalo Rodríguez.

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