Young Stars Beasley, Albright Earn Roster Spots as USA Meets Tunisia in Birmingham, Alabama on March 12
CHICAGO (Thursday, March 2, 2000) - U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena has selected 18 players to represent the United States for the USA's match against Tunisia at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday, March 12, including a pair of players who demonstrate the promising future of the National Team program: 17-year-old forward DaMarcus Beasley and D.C. United's Chris Albright. Kickoff for the game, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2, is set for 1:30 p.m. CT.
Beasley, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., makes his first appearance with the full Men's National Team after an impressive showing in the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in New Zealand, where the speedster won the Silver Ball as the competition's second most valuable player.
Beasley won two "Man of the Match" awards in New Zealand, thrilling crowds with his pace and end-to- end skills, and turned heads with one of the goals of the tournament, a 30-yard blast against Mexico. He further impressed onlookers at the recent Major League Soccer Spring Training Tournament, finishing as the second leading scorer with two goals and three assists for the Chicago Fire.
Albright, a strong, 6-1 forward from Philadelphia, returns to the National Team after a successful debut with the team last year, when the 21-year-old scored an 80th-minute game-tying goal with his first touch after entering as substitute against Jamaica. Albright finished fourth in spring training scoring with two goals and two assists in three games.
"I believe that these two young players have a bright future with the National Team," Head Coach Bruce Arena said. "I hope it's not too early to introduce them to the action, but I feel it is important to involve them in the team. These are two players who really caught my eye in Ft. Lauderdale (at Spring Training), and it's time to give them a look and see what they can do."
The marquee match-up marks the first-time in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team program that the USA has played an international match against Tunisia, who recently finished fourth in the African Nations Cup. It is also the team's first-ever match in Birmingham, Ala., however, when the U.S. team takes the field on March 12, Olympic memories will be brought back to Bruce Arena and certain players.
Arena led the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, comprised mostly of under-23 players, to a 2-0 victory over Tunisia on July 22 at Legion Field during the summer Atlanta Olympic Games. The '96 U.S. Olympic team also played Argentina at Legion Field but fell to the South American powerhouse 3-1 in front of 83,183 soccer fans.
"The support that we received in Birmingham during the Olympics was excellent," Arena noted. "We have not had many matches against African nations, so this match will be good preparation as we continue to focus on the 2002 World Cup qualifying."
The U.S. Men's National Team will gather in Birmingham on Monday, March 6, and will train daily at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The match against Tunisia will be the first for the United States since the heart-breaking penalty kick loss against Colombia in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, played February 19 in Miami.
Tickets, which are priced at $12, $20 and $35 for adults, are now on sale and are available by calling TicketMaster at 800/277-1700. For more information regarding the U.S.-Tunisia match please contact Scott Myers with the Alabama Sports Foundation at (205) 967-4745.
|USA vs. Tunisia * March 12, 2000 * Legion Field - Birmingham, Alabama - 1:30 p.m. (CT) - Live on ESPN2|
|Albright, Chris||F||6'1"||185||1/14/79||1/1||Philadelphia, Penn.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||8/27/72||13/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||F||5'7"||126||5/24/82||0/0||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Brown, C.J.||D||6'0"||185||6/15/75||13/0||Hayward, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Deering, Chad||D/M||6'1"||165||9/2/70||14/1||Plano, Texas||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Fraser, Robin||D||6'1"||175||12/17/66||24/0||Denver, Co.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||6/16/70||124/11||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Kreis, Jason||M||5'10"||155||12/29/72||9/1||Omaha, Neb.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||5/17/74||19/2||Cerritos, Calif.||S.J. Earthquakes (MLS)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||6/19/72||38/10||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Meola, Tony||GK||6'1"||205||2/21/69||91/0||Kearny, N.J.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|O'Brien, John||M||5'8"||145||8/29/77||1/0||Playa del Rey, Calif.||Ajax Amsterdam (Holland)|
|Olsen, Ben||M||5'8"||140||5/3/77||13/2||Middletown, Penn.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||32/3||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Presthus, Tom||GK||6'4"||205||4/5/75||1/0||Dallas||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Regis, David||D||5'11"||160||12/2/68||7/0||Valenciennes, France||F.C. Metz (France)|
|Vanney, Greg||D||5'11"||170||6/11/74||6/0||Tempe, Ariz.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Williams, Richie||M||5'5"||145||6/3/70||12/0||Middletown, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|