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U.S. Leaves Nation's Capital, Jamaica Next on Nike Road to Korea

Less than 20 hours after topping Uruguay 2-1 to open the “Nike Road to Korea”, the U.S. MNT boarded a bus for a four-hour trip north to New Jersey, where the U.S. will stay until Friday.  The four-hour bus ride was passed with movies, card game, reading and naps.  After flying from Raleigh, N.C., to Washington, D.C., to start the “Nike Road to Korea”, the U.S. Men will use a bus to complete the three-city tour.  The U.S. MNT will bus to the Boston area on Friday, after facing Jamaica at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Thursday.  While there were no problems on the team bus on the ride north, the equipment van did experience some difficulties and could be seen pulled off on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike for more than three hours. The van, carrying team gear and the personal bags of the players, finally arrived at the hotel about four hours later than scheduled.

ALL ACCOUNTED FOR: The full U.S. World Cup squad will train together for the first time tomorrow with the arrival of the remaining U.S. internationals. Claudio Reyna and Kasey Keller return to the U.S. camp after competing in the final weekend of English Premier League. John O'Brien is the final new arrival for the USA, having successfully completed the domestic "double" as Ajax captured the Dutch Cup final on Sunday, defeating FC Utrecht 3-2. The Amsterdam side captured their 28th league championship the previous weekend.  Eddie Lewis and alternate Gregg Vanney reached RFK Stadium just prior the USA's 2-1 against Uruguay this past Sunday.

ARENA, MATHIS, MEOLA AVAILABLE AT RAMOS PRESS CONFERENCE ON TUESDAY: Major League Soccer's MetroStars have scheduled a major press conference for Tuesday afternoon involving the professional future of longtime U.S. Men's National Team star Tab Ramos. The press conference coincides with the U.S. World Cup Team's arrival in the New York area for the team's Thursday evening clash with Jamaica. The press conference begins at 1:30 p.m. ET and will take place at St. Benedict's Prep (The Board Room) in Newark, N.J. (520 MLK Jr. Boulevard, between Springfield Avenue & William Street). U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, Tony Meola, and Ramos' current MetroStars teammate Clint Mathis will take part in the press conference and will be available to the media. MLS commissioner Don Garber will also take part in the press conference.  For more information, please contact the MetroStars Communications Department.

USMNT MEDIA AVAILABILITY: The team will conduct a closed training session Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., with media availability scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Somerset Hills Hotel in Warren, N.J. Photographers and ENG crews can schedule to shoot the first 15 minutes of training by e-mailing USMNT Press Officer Michael Kammarman. Media members should call Kammarman's voicemail to receive the most up-to-date information on training times and media availability.

U.S. IMPROVE 2002 HOME MARK TO 8-0-1 WITH WIN OVER URUGUAY: The U.S. Men’s National Team opened the “Nike Road to Korea” with a 2-1 win over World Cup bound Uruguay on Sunday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Tony Sanneh and DaMarcus Beasley each scored their second career goal for the U.S. in the win. The victory was the USA’s fifth of the year against teams that have qualified for the 2002 World Cup (in eight overall matches).  Playing in front of a boisterous crowd of 30,413 fans, the U.S. extended its undefeated home record to 8-0-1 in 2002 and will look to continue that streak when they face Jamaica on Thursday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.  Chevrolet Man of the Match Beasley was dangerous all afternoon, recording the game-winning goal in the 40th minute. Beasley helped create the first goal, earning a corner kick with his work on the left flank. Agoos curled the ensuing free kick to the near post, where an onrushing Tony Sanneh nodded the ball just under the bar into the upper left corner of the net.

ARMAS OUT OF WORLD CUP: U.S. midfielder Chris Armas, one of the standout performers for the United States over the last three-and-a-half years, suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the first half of the USA's 2-1 win against Uruguay at RFK Stadium on Sunday. The injury will force Armas to miss the 2002 FIFA World Cup. "I'm extremely disappointed for Chris," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena.  "Chris has been an outstanding performer with our team and a fine professional. We are indebted to his service to the U.S. National Team. He will certainly serve as an inspiration to his teammates this summer."  A decision on a replacement is expected to take place in the next few days. The non-contact injury occurred in the 16th minute, when the Bronx, N.Y. native was tracking down Uruguay's Fabian O'Neill along the right wing. Following the match he was taken to Fair Oaks Hospital  in Fairfax, Va., where an MRI revealed the tear. Armas has returned to New York, and surgery has not yet been scheduled. "I'm extremely disappointed," said Armas. "More so for my family, parents and friends who had all booked their tickets to the World Cup. It was a very odd play; a movement that I have made a thousand times. I had just planted  in my right foot and I felt the knee go. In life these things happen. Right now I don't think it's fully sunk in, but I will be focusing on supporting my teammates in the World Cup." The untimely injury for one of the USA’s strongest players unbelievably means for the third time in his career, Armas will miss a major international tournament through injury (including the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2000 Olympics).

AGOOS SETS U.S. RECORD: U.S. defender Jeff Agoos set a U.S. Men’s National Team record in yesterday’s victory with his 119th career start for the USA, passing Marcelo Balboa’s previous record of 118 matches started during his 13-year career. In addition, Agoos began the game with 9,999 international minutes to his credit and became just the third player to pass the 10,000-minute plateau when the match kicked off (along with Cobi Jones and Balboa).

AC MILAN – METROSTARS MAKE UP 2nd HALF OF USA – JAMAICA DOUBLEHEADER: The MetroStars will face legendary Italian super club A.C. Milan on May 16, following the USA’s match against Holland. Milan will be fielding an impressive squad, including Andriy Shevchenko, George Weah, Ibrahim Ba, and Dario Hubner. The MetroStars will be facing A.C. Milan for the second time in team history. The clubs previously played March 5, 1998 in Italy with the A.C. Milan winning, 3-1. In their more than 100-year history, A.C. Milan has captured 16 Italian Serie A titles, including five in the 1990's (most recently in 1999), as well as five European Champions League crowns (most recently in 1990 and 1994). The Italians lost this past Saturday afternoon, 2-1, to Ecuador in a game played at the Yale Bowl in New Haven,  Connecticut. 
Goalkeepers: Valerio Fiori, Massimo Taibi (Atalanta);
Defenders: Adamo Sarr, Cosmin Contra, Kakha Kaladze, Daniele Daino, Massimo Paganin (Atalanta), Diego De Ascentis (Torino), Alberto Savino (Lecce);
Midfielders: Alessandro Conticchio (Lecce), Massimiliano Tonetto (Lecce), Pierluigi Orlandini (Brescia), Ibrahim Ba, Cristiano Brocchi, Serginho;
Forwards: Andriy Shevchenko, Andriy Kutuzov, Jose Mari, Dario Hubner (Piacenza), George Weah, Lamberto Zauli (Bologna).

JAMAICA NEXT FOR U.S.: Next up for the U.S. is a battle against Jamaica on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.  In 11 all-time matches against the Jamaicans, the U.S. has never lost, compiling a 6-0-5 mark, which includes a World Cup-clinching 2-1 victory for the U.S. in their last match-up on Oct. 7, 2001 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
Goalkeepers (2):  Donovan Ricketts (Galaxy FC-JAM), Aaron Lawrence (Reno FC-JAM);
Defenders (6):  Linval Dixon (Hazard United-JAM), Marco McDonald (Tivoli FC-JAM), Robert Scarlet (Harbour View FC-JAM), Fabian Davis (Arnett Garden FC-JAM), Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers-ENG), Claude Davis (Hazard United-JAM);
Midfielders (7):  Keith Kelly (Paris Saint Germain-FRA), Theodore Whitemore (Hull City-ENG), Jermaine Johnson (Bolton Wanderers-ENG), James Lawrence (Bradford City-ENG), Andrew Williams (New England Revolution-MLS), Micah Hyde (Watford-ENG), Fitzroy Simpson (Walsall-ENG); 
Forwards (5): Deon Burton (Derby County-ENG), Ricardo Fuller (Heart of Midlothian-SCO), Kevin Lisbie (Charlton Athletic-ENG), Onandi Lowe (Rushden & Diamonds-ENG), Tyrone Marshall (Los Angeles Galaxy-MLS)
Head Coach: Carl Brown.

Van NISTELROOY WITHDRAWS FROM MAY 19 MATCH IN FOXBORO: Holland is bringing an impressive squad to face the U.S. Men’s National Team in the finale on the USA’s “Nike Road to Korea” on May 19 at CMGI Field in Foxboro, Mass. (live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET / delayed on West Coast). England’s PFA Player of the Year Ruud van Nistelrooy had originally been named to the team, but has withdrawn with a groin injury. Widely considered to be the best team to have not qualified for the 2002 World Cup, Holland defeated the U.S. 2-0 back in 1998 in the teams' only other meeting.
Goalkeepers (2):  Ronald Waterreus (PSV-NED), Sander Westerveld (Real Sociedad-ESP);
Defenders (6): Frank de Boer (Barcelona-ESP), Arthur Numan (Rangers FC-SCO), André Ooijer (PSV-NED), Michael Reiziger (Barcelona-ESP), Fernando Ricksen (Rangers FC-SCO), Jaap Stam (Lazio Roma-ITA);
Midfielders (4): Phillip Cocu (Barcelona (Spain), Edgar Davids (Juventus-ITA), Denny Landzaat (Willem II-NED), Boudewijn Zenden (Chelsea-ENG);
Forwards (5): Pierre van Hooijdonk (Feyenoord-NED), Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona-ESP), Roy Makaay (Deportivo La Coruna-ESP), Andy van der Meyde (Ajax-NED), Victor Sikora (Vitesse-NED).
Head Coach: Dick Advocaat (NED).

T-MINUS: There are 23 days until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which also happens to correspond to the number of shutouts the U.S. team has recorded during their last three World Cup qualifying campaigns (1990, 1998, 2002). The USA has played 42 matches in that span, with goalkeeper Kasey Keller posting 11 clean sheets.

"I'm extremely disappointed for Chris. Chris has been an outstanding performer with our team and a fine professional. We are indebted to his service to the U.S. national team. He will certainly serve as an inspiration to his teammates this summer."
- U.S. head coach Bruce Arena on Chris Armas’ torn ACL that will force the defensive midfielder to miss the World Cup.