SEOUL (Wednesday, June 19, 2002) - The U.S. Men's National Team will travel to Ulsan on Thursday (June 20) in preparation for Friday's showdown with Germany at 8:30 p.m. local time. Prior to their departure, U.S. head coach Bruce Arena and select players will be available at a Thursday press conference beginning at 11 a.m. at the J.W. Marriott in Seoul. The team departs for Ulsan via plane in the afternoon. Upon arrival in Ulsan, the team will practice at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in the early evening at approximately 7:30 p.m., and the session will be open to the media for the first 15 minutes. The team returns to Seoul via plane on Friday evening following the match.
YANKS IN GERMANY: The U.S. has nine players on their World Cup squad who have played professionally in Germany, including four players currently under contract to a Bundesliga side. Tony Sanneh, who has started all four U.S. World Cup matches in Korea, just finished his first season with FC Nurnberg. Sanneh moved to the Bundesliga in the 1998-99 season, signing with Hertha Berlin. Sanneh continued playing with Hertha in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, seeing time in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup. In the offseason, Sanneh was transferred to then newly-promoted Nurnberg, where he instantly became a regular starter and one of the team’s most consistent performers. Defender Frankie Hejduk moved to Bayer Leverkusen for the 1998-99 season and has been with Leverkusen for the past four seasons. Hejduk has been bothered by injury problems through much of this time in Germany, hindering his ability to consistently see playing time. Hejduk’s most extensive action with the team came during their 1999-2000 Champions League run, where he played in five of six Champions League matches. Currently injured defender Steve Cherundolo has been a regular at recently promoted Hannover 96 since joining the team in 1999. Cherundolo was a key reason Hannover went through the first half of the season undefeated, ran away with the second division title and gained promotion to the Bundesliga. Landon Donovan signed a contract with Leverkusen in Feb. 1999, but has yet to play a game with their first team. Donovan was loaned to Major League Soccer in 2001 and has played with the San Jose Earthquakes this season and last. U.S. captain Claudio Reyna started his professional career with Bayer Leverkusen after the 1994 World Cup, before moving to VfL Wolfsburg for the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. Reyna was a key part of Wolfsburg’s team before being transferred to Glasgow Rangers at the end of the 1998-99 season. Reyna was one of Wolfsburg’s top players for two years and was named team captain prior to the 1998-99 season. Injured U.S. defender Jeff Agoos also spent a brief time in Germany, playing the 1994-95 season with third division side SV Wehen. Joe-Max Moore spent the 1994-95 season with second division FC Saaurbruecken, scoring a club-best 13 goals in 25 matches. The following year he moved to FC Nurnberg and equalled his goalscoring tally from the year before. Moore joined the New England Revolution in 1996. Brian McBride played with Wolfsburg in the German second division in the 1994-95 season, before becoming the first pick in the Inaugural MLS Draft in 1996. Defender David Regis played the 1997-98 season with Karlsruher, then of the Bundesliga, scoring five goals in league play and another in UEFA Cup action, all from headers. Regis moved on to Metz after Karlsruher was relegated. Cobi Jones never signed with a German team, but he did train with FC Cologne in October/November 1992.
CONCACAF TEAMS IN THE QUARTERS: The U.S. has become the first CONCACAF side since 1938 to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals in a year when they weren’t hosting the tournament. Mexico has advanced to the quarterfinals in 1970 and 1986 – the two years the World Cup was held in Mexico. In 1938 Cuba finished in eighth place in France and in 1930 the U.S. took third place in Uruguay.
DONOVAN YOUNGEST MAN-OF-THE-MATCH IN KOREA/JAPAN: Twenty-year-old Landon Donovan was named the Budweiser Man of the Match following his masterful performance against Mexico, when he scored the game’s second goal and helped the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals. Donovan, one of the 13 youngest players in the tournament, is the youngest to be named “Man of the Match” in this World Cup. Donovan is also the youngest player to score a goal in this World Cup.
VIERI TALLIES 1900th GOAL IN FIFA WORLD CUP HISTORY: Italian star striker Chistian Vieri scored the 1900th goal in the history of the FIFA World Cup finals yesterday in Daejeon, Korea. Vieri’s tally in the 18th minute was the milestone goal and also gave the Italians a lead that they would hold for 70 minutes. Vieri tallied three goals in this World Cup before Italy was eliminated with the overtime loss to Korea.
U.S. BEATS TWO TOP-SEVEN TEAMS EN ROUTE TO QUARTERFINALS: The U.S. has posted two wins in the 2002 World Cup, and both wins have come against teams in the top seven of FIFA’s World Rankings. To open their World Cup campaign the U.S. topped FIFA’s fifth-ranked team, Portugal, 3-2. In the Round of 16 the U.S. topped border rival Mexico, who entered the tournament as FIFA’s seventh-ranked team. The only other team in the tournament who has defeated two top-seven teams is Korea, who beat Portugal 1-0 on June 14 and shocked sixth-ranked Italy 2-1 in extra time yesterday.
BRIAN HALL NAMED ONE OF WORLD CUP'S FINAL 16 REFEREES: U.S. World Cup referee Brian Hall has been named as one of 32 match officials (16 referees and 16 assistant referees) that will work the final eight games of the 2002 World Cup. After being named as one of the tournament's final 16 referees, Hall was not assigned to work in the quarterfinals, meaning that Hall will be involved in the semifinals, the third-place match or the World Cup Final. Brian Hall has been involved in three group matches in Japan, refereeing two first round matches and serving as the fourth official in another. Hall refereed Italy-Ecuador on June 3, and then worked as the fourth official in the highly anticipated England-Argentina match on June 7. Hall was assigned a third match and worked as the center official in England’s 0-0 draw with Nigeria on June 12.
WEDNESDAY TRAINING SESSION: The U.S. MNT returned today to Misari Practice Stadium for their first full training session there in a week. After an extended warm-up and jog, the team broke up into a half-field possession game, followed by a half-field scrimmage. In the scrimmage Clint Mathis and Eddie Lewis exchanged long distance bombs, both finding the net from beyond 20 yards. To close training the attackers worked on finishing, while the others were given free time for open training.
BRIAN HALL BREAKING DOWN THE CUP: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall, who has been selected to referee one of the last eight matches at this World Cup, recently posted another “Breaking Down the Cup” entry at ussoccer.com. Hall describes refereeing his second match at this World Cup (England – Nigeria) and discusses what to look for as the tournament continues in the knockout phase. In addition to Hall, U.S. Soccer Under-17 MNT Head Coach John Ellinger, WNT star Brandi Chastain and Under-23 goalkeeper D.J. Countess are all sharing their thoughts and opinions on the World Cup with fans at ussoccer.com.
REFEREES NAMED FOR USA-GERMANY QUARTERFINAL: The U.S. and German squad learned the referee crew today that will officiate their match on Friday. Scotland’s Hugh Dallas was named as the head official, and England’s Philp Sharp and Saudi Arabia’s Ali Al Traifi were named as the referee's assistants. Australia’s Mark Shield will serve as the game’s fourth official. Dallas’ biggest game to date was the 0-0 draw between Italy and France in the quarterfinals of the 1998 World Cup. Sharp refereed two of the USA’s 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship matches in New Zealand. DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan played in each match, guiding the U.S. to the semifinals. In two games involving Sharp, the U.S. drew 1-1 with Poland on Nov. 13, 1999, and topped Uruguay 1-0 on Nov. 16. Donovan scored in the draw against Poland.
GERMANY TO WEAR ARMBANDS TO HONOR FORMER GERMAN CAPTAIN WALTER: Former West Germany captain Fritz Walter died earlier this week and Germany was given permission on Tuesday to wear black armbands in his honor. Walter served as the captain on Germany’s 1954 World Cup Team.
PELE, MARADONA LEAD PHILIPS DREAM TEAM: The official website of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, FIFAworldcup.com, released the results of an international poll that determined the FIFAworldcup.com Philips Dream Team. The poll has taken place over the last five weeks, with more than one-and-a-half million votes being cast from 31 countries worldwide. A list of 150 all-time greats were listed for selection, but only 11 were named to the Dream Team. Leading the way at the top were Diego Maradona and Pele, as both recorded more than 100,000 votes.
FIFAworldcup.com Philips Dream Team
Striker: Pele (107,539 votes)
Striker: Johan Cruyff (53,645 votes)
Striker: Romario (29,480 votes)
Midfielder: Diego Maradona (111,035 votes)
Midfielder: Zinedine Zidane (80,527 votes)
Midfielder: Roberto Baggio (55,625 votes)
Midfielder: Michel Platini (53,783 votes)
Defender: Franz Beckenbauer (81,442 votes)
Defender: Paolo Maldini (58,523 votes)
Defender: Roberto Carlos (58,200 votes)
Goal Keeper: Lev Yashin (24,587 votes)
THEY SAID IT:
“I imagine we have gained more respect. It would be a shame if we had to win the World Cup to gain respect, because that doesn’t happen to a whole lot of countries. We have done pretty well so far, but we don’t claim to be displacing the great soccer powers at this point in time, but I think we have done enough to earn respect around the world.”
- Bruce Arena on whether the U.S. has earned the respect it deserves worldwide or if they need to do more.