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U.S. MNT Set for March 1 Clash with Fellow World Cup Finalist Poland


USA vs. Poland
Kaiserslautern, Germany
U.S. MNT Pre-Game Notes


COUNTDOWN TO K-TOWN: The U.S. Men's National Team descended into Kaiserslautern, Germany, on Sunday (Feb. 26) to begin preparations for their March 1 World Cup tune-up against Poland, (tickets) live at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Fans can also catch all the action live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The U.S.-based players touched down beginning at 6:30 a.m., with a total of 13 players arriving in time for a light training session at the grounds of FC Kaiserslautern. Kasey Keller stood as the lone goalkeeper while Tim Howard's Manchester United captured the 2006 Carling Cup title with a 4-0 win against Wigan Athletic at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The Fulham duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride joined the group Monday, along with DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu. The team will hold their final training session on Tuesday afternoon at Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

U.S.MNT Roster vs. Poland
Goalkeepers (2) – Tim Howard (Manchester United), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Defenders (6) –Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Eddie Lewis (Leeds United), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders (7) –DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (4) – Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Brian McBride (Fulham FC), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO - INSIDE KASEY'S CASTLE: Oh yes, it's a castle all right, complete with a moat and everything. That's where the Keller family has taken up residence in Germany, a 1,000 year old structure outside of Duesseldorf. Discovered on the internet by his wife, Kristin, and located on a farm, the castle has twin towers, original gargoyle carvings, a chapel, an indoor spa and heated floors. Take a look as ancient meets modern in ussoccer.com’s exclusive tour of Kasey's Castle.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO - LANDSTUHL HOSPITAL VISIT INSPIRES U.S.: U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena and eight players were honored Monday in Germany with a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Hospital, the largest American hospital outside the United States. The facility is five kilometers from the Ramstein Air Force Base, where the team is currently staying. Landstuhl serves as the major definitive care facility for the U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joining Arena on the tour were U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, and players Gregg Berhalter, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Kasey Keller, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin. "It was impressive," said Dempsey following the visit. "The morale that the injured soldiers and the people working there have is pretty incredible and very uplifting. That was the most memorable part of the visit." More than 30,000 U.S. soldiers have been treated at the facility since the beginning of the U.S.-led conflict in Afghanistan in October, 2001. With all the technology of a major urban medical facility in the U.S., Landstuhl has specialists in every field. Since 1980, doctors at the facility have treated American soldiers wounded in Iran, Beirut, Sarajevo, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and the USS Cole. Join the players for an uplifting visit with the USA’s true heroes in the latest all_access video.

SIGNING FOR THE SERVICEMEN: The other part of the U.S. contingent got a rare opportunity to spend time with the troops Monday morning, sending an open invitation to the service personnel for an autograph session. Held at the E-Club on base, 12 players and coaches spent nearly two hours signing autographs and taking pictures with approximately 750 soldiers and their families (photos). "It was a very humbling experience seeing the faces of the soldiers and hearing them thank us for taking the time to meet them, when we are the ones who should be thanking them for the sacrifice they make for our country," said Steve Cherundolo. "We were honored to have the chance to say thank you. We want to win the game for them and show them that we take pride in playing for our country."

ON BASE: The team is being housed under the watchful eye of the U.S. military on the Ramstein Air Base. Located in the German state of Rhineland-Pfalz near the city of Ramstein-Meisenbach, just 15 kilometers from Kaiserslautern, the military facility is home to the second largest U.S. overseas community at more than 50,000 people. It also houses one of the major medical facilities that treats wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 100 geographically separated units around the world receive support from Ramstein, and all branches of the military are represented on base. The military and associated services in the area annually contribute more than one billion dollars to the local community.

PODCAST ON POLAND - MOOCH SCOUTING REPORT: U.S. Assistant Coach Glenn 'Mooch' Myernick breaks out the notebook on a Poland team that the U.S. has come to know quite well since 2002. Big and physical, the Poles bear more than a passing resemblance to the Czech Republic, the USA's first opponent in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. They are loaded with experience, and have proven consistently dangerous on set pieces. Mooch talks about their attacking tendencies and tactical formation, and on the U.S. front, the significance of the match for the European-based players and the opportunity to play in a 'home away from home'. Get yourself prepped for Poland with this audio scouting report found exclusively at ussoccer.com.

BUNDESLIGA BOYS: Three players on the U.S. roster are already well accustomed to their surroundings, with Berhalter, Cherundolo and Keller all plying their trade in Germany. Cherundolo serves as vice-captain for Hannover, who rode an 11-match unbeaten run to a three-way tie for seventh place in the Bundesliga, holding the edge on the other two sides with a plus-4 goal differential. One of those clubs is Borussia Moenchengladbach, where Keller mans the goal. Keller continues to be the backbone of the 'Gladbach defense in his second year in Germany, posting two shutouts in their last four matches. In the Second Bundesliga, Berhalter wears the captain's armband for an Energie Cottbus club carrying a four-match unbeaten run. Energie have climbed to fifth in the table, just a couple of points out of third place and promotion to the top flight. The U.S. roster has two other players with experience in Germany, as both Landon Donovan (Bayer Leverkusen) and Taylor Twellman (1860 Munich) have spent time in the Bundesliga.

EUROPEAN UPDATE: A couple of players in the K-Town contingent found the back of the net over the weekend while another collected some silverware as the European seasons head toward the stretch run. Lewis scored his fourth goal of the campaign in Leeds United's 2-1 win against Luton Town, stretching their unbeaten run to seven matches. Onyewu netted a huge goal for his side when he scored Standard de Liege's lone strike in the 1-1 draw at Brugge, keeping Standard ahead of their hosts in second place in the Jupiler League table based on goal differential and only two points behind first place Anderlecht. Meantime, Howard added another medal to his trophy case when Manchester United cruised to a 4-0 win against Wigan Athletic to capture the 2006 Carling Cup title.

GETTING TO KNOW K-TOWN: Clearly one of the factors in hosting Poland in Germany is the chance to play at Fritz-Walter-Stadion, site of the USA's second group match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup on June 17, against Italy (live on ABC, 3 p.m. ET). Kaiserslautern will host a total of five games in June, including a Round of 16 match that could involve the United States. "Having the opportunity to get a feel for the stadium and the environment here is very valuable," said Arena. "We had the same opportunity in Korea before the 2002 World Cup, and it proved extremely beneficial." To learn more about K-Town, as well as all the venues hosting matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, visit the extensive World Cup Travel Resource Center at ussoccer.com

NOTEWORTHY SCORING RUN: Two interesting statistics stand out from the USA's current goal barrage of 2006. The U.S. Men's National Team has now scored at least three goals in three consecutive games. The U.S. went 74 years from 1930 through 2003 without such a streak. Additionally, the USA's seven goals from seven different goal scorers across the past two games marks the first time in team history that feat has ever been accomplished. Previously, the U.S. has had six different goal scorers across two games 11 different times, including the most recent occurrence in 2003.

U.S. MNT TO PLAY JAMAICA ON APRIL 11: The U.S. Men’s National Team will continue its 2006 World Cup preparations with a match against Jamaica on Tuesday, April 11, at SAS Park in Cary, N.C. Kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match will occur just under a month before the team begins to use the Cary facility as their base training camp prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The team will begin final preparations for Germany on May 9 in Cary, and will train for approximately two weeks at the facility. Tickets for the game go on sale starting Friday, March 3, at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Cary and Raleigh Ticketmaster outlets (including Hechts, FYE, and Publix Stores) and by phone at 919-834-4000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling 312-528-1290.

PHOTO GALLERY: Where have you been? ussoccer.com is the only home to behind the scenes U.S. Men's National Team photography from training sessions, games and team bowling functions. (OK, we don't actually have photos of the team bowling right now, but trust us, there is cool stuff in our ussoccer.com photo galleries and they are updated frequently).

QUICK HITS:
• All 19 players on the U.S. roster will be dressed and available for selection. The maximum number of substitutions will be six
• March 1 is the only date on FIFA's coordinated calendar designated for international matches prior to the FIFA World Cup, which means this game is the only opportunity for Bruce Arena to have every player in the pool available for selection
• The U.S. holds a 3-0-1 record in 2006, outscoring their opponents 12-2 and posting three shutouts
• The U.S. has played Poland more than any other European team in their history and currently holds an all-time record of 5-7-2 in 14 match-ups. The teams met twice in 2004, the U.S. winning 1-0 on March 31 in Plock, Poland, before they drew 1-1 on July 11 in Chicago. They have met once before on neutral soil, a 3-1 victory for Poland in the teams’ final Group D match at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Daejeon, Korea Republic
• The victory in Poland marked Arena's first-ever win on European soil. The U.S. boss holds a lifetime record of 1-7-2 in Europe. Nine U.S. players on this roster appeared that day: Beasley, Berhalter, Bocanegra, Bobby Convey, Cherundolo, Klein, Pablo Mastroeni, Wolff, Zavagnin. Beasley's goal off a combination with Wolff helped him earn ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors. The match proved to be the final appearance of Brad Friedel for the United States, as the 13-year veteran goalkeeper retired from international soccer in February of 2005
• Meantime, ten players appeared in the 1-1 draw in Chicago: Beasley, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Convey, Donovan, Howard, Mastroeni , McBride (capt.), Wolff, Zavagnin. Bocanegra scored the equalizer two minutes from time
• The U.S. has scored a total of three goals in their last three meetings with Poland, and all three goal-scorers appear on Wednesday's roster. In addition to Beasley and Bocanegra, Donovan nabbed the USA's lone goal in the 3-1 loss in Korea
• McBride is the leading cap-winner in the group with 90 appearances. His 29 goals are good for second place on the all-time U.S. scoring list, five behind Eric Wynalda. Donovan sits in third place with 25 goals
• Donovan also has collected 22 assists, good for a share of the top spot with Cobi Jones. Lewis is third on the all-time U.S. list with 16 assists
• Jonathan Spector is the newest member of the squad with three caps to his credit. Spector will celebrate his 20th birthday on matchday
• Keller has posted an astounding 44 shutouts in 89 matches played for the U.S., and has garnered 50 victories. Both are U.S. records
• Through four matches in 2006, only defender Jimmy Conrad has played every minute of every match (360). Eddie Pope is second with 352 minutes. Wolff is the only other player on Wednesday’s roster to have started all four matches; Brian Ching, Klein, Ben Olsen and Zavagnin have also appeared in every game
• Twellman has scored four goals and tallied two assists in his last two matches for the U.S., recording the USA’s ninth-ever hat trick in the 5-0 victory vs. Norway. Already surpassing a personal best for points in a year, he leads the team with 10 points in 2006
• Klein has bounced back from injury in fine style, notching two goals, and a pair of assists to match, in his first three games of the year. Klein was hampered by injuries in 2005 and did not play a single match for the U.S.
• Dempsey and Johnson are the only other players on the roster to have a goal this year
• Beasley, playing for PSV Eindhoven in Holland, had a banner year for both club and country in 2005, posting career highs in both goals (4) and assists (4) for the national team while becoming the first American ever to play in the semifinals of the prestigious UEFA Champions League
• Pablo Mastroeni has returned to the U.S. fold after suffering a torn quadriceps muscle in his left leg on Jan. 9 during the USA's first week of training camp in Carson, Calif.
• The five-goal win against Norway was the largest margin of victory for the U.S. against a European team and tied the largest margin of victory ever against a non-CONCACAF team (5-0 vs. China on April 4, 1992). Overall, it marked just the 11th time in history the U.S. has won a game by at least five goals
The 3-2 victory against Japan came in only the second-ever meeting between the countries. The only previous meeting came in 1993 when the U.S. fell 3-1 in Tokyo

LAST TIME...
On the field for the USA

February 19,2006 – Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas – International Friendly
USA             4 Ben Olsen 38, Brian Ching 45+, Eddie Johnson 47, Chris Klein 71
Guatemala 0


USA: 24-Brad Guzan (18-Zach Wells, 80); 6-Heath Pearce, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 23-Eddie Pope (capt.), 2-Frankie Hejduk (4-Bobby Boswell, 76); 5-Kerry Zavagnin (25-Brian Carroll, 63);14-Ben Olsen 21-Santino Quaranta, 71, 17-Chris Klein; 16-Josh Wolff (9-Eddie Johnson, 46), 11-Brian Ching, 7-Chris Rolfe (10- Kyle Martino, 80)

GUA: 1-Ricardo Jerez; 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Luis Swisher, 5-Henry Medina; 7-Martin Machon (15-Juan Carlos Plata, 46), 8-Gonzalo Romero (13-Leonel Noriega, 83), 11-Guillermo Ramirez (10-Marvin Avila, , 14-Selvyn Ponciano, 19-Mario Rodriguez (12-Carlos Figueroa,46);16-Julio Giron (capt.)( 17-Patrick Howell, 88), 20-Carlos Ruiz (9-Mario Acevedo, 63)

On the field for Poland
November 16, 2005 – Kszo Stadium, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Poland – International Friendly
Poland  3 Lewandowski 8, Mila 57, Piechna 87
Estonia 1 Teever 68


POL:1-Jerzy Dudek (12-Wojciech Kowalewski, 46); 3-Marcin Wasilewski, 6-Bartosz Bosacki (5-Arkadiusz Glowacki, 62), 18-Mariusz Lewandowski, 2-Marcin Adamski; 7-Damian Gorawski, 8-Piotr Giza (4-Dariusz Dudka, 83), 13-Sebastian Mila, 10-Marcin Kaczmarek (15-Ireneusz Jelen, 46); 9-Marek Saganowski (14-Przemys??aw Kazmierczak, 73), 11-Pawel Brozek (16-Grzegorz Piechna, 46)

EST: 1-Mart Poom; 2-Teet Allas, 3-Andrei Stepanov (16-Enar Jaager, 15), 4-Raio Piiroja, 5-Dimitri Kruglov; 7-Ingemar Teever (22-Juergen Kuresoo, 82), 8-Aleksandr Dmitrijev, 6-Martin Reim (17-Taavi Rahn, 54), 10-Joel Lindpere, 11-Sergei Terehhov; 9-Tarmo Neemelo

vs. Poland
July 11, 2004 - Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill. – International Friendly
USA      1 Carlos Bocanegra 88
Poland 1 Piotr Wlodarczyk 76

USA: 13-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (3-Chris Albright, 46), 23-Eddie Pope, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 15-Bobby Convey; 25-Pablo Mastroeni (9-Clint Mathis, 76), 5-Kerry Zavagnin (17-Eddie Gaven, 82), 10-Landon Donovan, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Brian McBride (capt.) (11-Brian Ching, 65), 16-Josh Wolff (8-Brian Mullan, 72)
Subs not used: 1-Zach Thornton, 12-Cory Gibbs, 14-Chris Armas

POL: 1-Artur Boruc; 2-Mariusz Mowlik, 4-Dariusz Dudka (14-Michal Stasiak, 73), 5-Pawel Kaczorowski, 17-Jaroslaw Bieniuk (3-Rafal Lasocki, 64), 6-Tomasz Jarzebowski, 16-Patryk Rachwal (13-Maciej Scherfchen, 79), 18-Marcin Burkhardt, 10-Sebastian Mila (11-Michal Golinski, 62); 9-Piotr Wlodarczyk (7-Wahan Gevorgyan 89), 8-Ireneusz Jelen.
Subs not used: 12-Waldemar Piatek, 15-Lukasz Madej

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