MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ARRIVES IN BRADENTON, BEGINS TRAINING: U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena and 18 players have arrived at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., to participate in a 10-day training camp. Once the camp concludes, a selection from this group of players will join European based players to train for the Feb. 18 match vs. Holland at the Amsterdam ArenA. That match will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The final roster for the Holland match will consist of a mix of European and domestic-based players, with a likely 20-man roster to be announced prior to the team’s departure for Amsterdam on Feb. 13. The foreign-based players will join the traveling contingent in Holland after completing club play the weekend of Feb. 13-15. Bradenton will host a bevy of soccer activity in the beginning of February, as four MLS teams will open their 2004 training camps while the U.S. MNT is in residence.
GIBBS TO JOIN CAMP UPON ARRIVAL TO U.S.: With the Dallas Burn announcing today the signing of Cory Gibbs, U.S. defender will join the U.S. for training in Bradenton beginning on Friday. Gibbs comes over to MLS from FC St. Pauli in Germany. Gibbs can play center or left back, and made his first seven appearances with the U.S. National Team in 2003.
ALL 18-PLAYERS BASED IN MLS: The Kansas City Wizards once again make the largest contribution, sending four players to Bradenton. Leading the Wizards contingent is forward Josh Wolff, whose appearance in the 62nd minute against Denmark marked his first minutes for the MNT since his start in the 2-0 victory against Mexico in the 2002 World Cup. Kerry Zavagnin ended a lengthier absence, his last time in the U.S. uniform coming nearly three years earlier. MetroStars captain Eddie Pope holds top rank in the group, with 58 caps to his credit in an eight-year career with the senior team. Columbus Crew defender Frankie Hejduk and Chicago Fire captain Chris Armas close out the ‘over 50’ club, collecting 54 and 51 caps respectively.
ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2): Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids), Jonny Walker (MetroStars)
Defenders (6): Danny Califf (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nick Garcia (Kansas City Wizards), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ritchie Kotschau (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Pope (MetroStars),
Midfielders (6): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards),
Richard Mulrooney (San Jose Earthquakes), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (4): Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Ante Razov (Chicago Fire), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards), John Wolyniec (MetroStars)