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U.S. Men Prepare for Gold Cup Quarterfinal Clash Against Jamaica


U.S. MNT vs. Jamaica - Pre-Game Notes
Boston, Massachusetts
July 15, 2005


DO OR DIE TIME: The U.S. Men's National Team completed its final training session this morning in advance of their quarterfinal duel with Jamaica, now just around 24 hours from kickoff. Game time at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro is set for 4 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Telefutura, which has added English closed-captioning for all USA Gold Cup matches for U.S. fans who don’t speak Spanish. As always, fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

INJURIES/CARDS:
Frankie Hejduk picked up his second caution of the tournament in the waning moments of the 0-0 draw against Costa Rica on July 12, earning him a one-match suspension.  The remaining cautions have been wiped out for the knockout phase.  Eddie Pope has a mild sprain in his left ankle that he picked up in the first half of the 2-0 win against Canada, an injury that forced his substitution at halftime.  His availability for Saturday's match remains uncertain.  Tony Sanneh is experiencing pain in his right ankle, and his status will be determined tomorrow.  Brad Davis sustained a sprained left ankle during warmups for the Costa Rica match, and is unlikely to be available for selection.  For the Jamaicans, defender Omar Daley picked up two yellow cards in their final group match against Mexico and is suspended.
 
ARENA AIRS IT OUT:
Three games into the Gold Cup, and U.S. Manager Bruce Arena has had the chance to size up his players and the team's performance.  From the evaluation of individual players to where these matches fit in the goal of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, read an in-depth interview with the man at the helm as ussoccer.com goes one-on-one with Bruce Arena.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO – JAMAICA PREVIEW:
It's the knockout phase of the tournament, which means the winner heads to the Big Apple and the loser heads home.  Listen to Bruce Arena, Kasey Keller and Josh Wolff discuss the upcoming quarterfinal matchup against Jamaica in this edition of All_Access Video, the exclusive video content at ussoccer.com.

MOOCH BREAKS DOWN JAMAICA: U.S. assistant coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick has been given the task of scouting Jamaica, a team which has proven explosive in front of the goal at one end, and suspect at the other.  Today he takes us through a Jamaican side that is taking this tournament very seriously, having been eliminated from World Cup qualifying.  They have seen some surprising talent emerge from the group, including the passing flair of attacking midfielder Jermaine Hue.  With potent strikers like Ricardo Fuller, Jermaine Johnson and Damani Ralph, the Reggae Boyz are always a handful.  Find out the strengths of the Jamaican side and the keys to the matchup as Mooch breaks down Jamaica in this exclusive podcast on ussoccer.com.

A LOOK BACK AT (MORE) HISTORY MADE IN MASS.:
  The last time the U.S. hosted Jamaica in Foxboro was a day U.S. Soccer fans will never forget: October 7, 2001, at Foxboro Stadium. With the U.S. having suffered three straight qualifying losses prior to that day, the seemingly easy road to the 2002 World Cup was now in jeopardy, and only an improbable set of circumstances could see the U.S. through to Korea on that brisk afternoon.  As a solemn nation watched, the U.S. turned in a shining performance led by a pair of goals by New England favorite Joe-Max Moore, and the improbable turned into the undeniable as a Trinidad and Tobago road victory against Honduras sealed the USA's ticket to Korea.  For a recap of that historic day, click here.

MLS CONNECTIONS:
Several players on both squads are current or former teammates in Major League Soccer, and the connections are a little confusing to follow.  Eddie Pope and Jamaican midfielder Andy Williams currently line up together for Real Salt Lake. Williams was a teammate of fellow Jamaican Damani Ralph in Chicago, along with Chris Armas and Josh Wolff. Wolff and Kansas City Wizards teammate Jimmy Conrad play alongside Khari Stephenson, while Landon Donovan and Tyrone Marshall are paired at the Los Angeles Galaxy.  Marshall and Pablo Mastroeni were part of the Miami Fusion in 2000 and 2001, and so was Andy Williams, who appears to have played with just about everybody.

GROUP B SUMMARY: After the 0-0 draw against Cost Rica, the U.S. finished in first place in Group B on the strength of a superior goal differential, edging the Ticos based on a plus-5 goal differential, compared to Costa Rica's plus-3.  Both teams finished the group with an undefeated 2-0-1 record. The USA remains unbeaten in their history of Gold Cup group play, taking their record to 18-0-1.  Canada ended the tourney with three points, downing Cuba 2-1 and sending the island nation home empty-handed.

GROUP B - Standings/Results
Team   GP   W   L   T   GF   GA   GD   Pts.
USA     3     2    0    1     6      1     +5     7
CRC     3     2    0    1     4      1     +3     7
CAN    3      1   2     0    2      4      -2     3
CUB     2     0    3    0     3      9      -6     0

July 7, 2005
Canada 0, Costa Rica 1
Cuba 1, United States 4

July 9, 2005

Costa Rica 3, Cuba 1
United States 2, Canada 0

July 12, 2005
Canada 2, Cuba 1
United States 0, Costa Rica 0

STREAKING: The U.S. has not-so-quietly emerged as one of the superpowers of the region, and in the process has developed a reputation as a team that's hard to beat.  The defense has been particularly effective, an effort that requires all 11 players. While the opinion remains subjective, the facts are a bit more obvious.  At the risk of jinxing the streaks, did you know that the U.S. MNT has not ...
  • suffered a shutout loss in 24 overall matches (2/18/2004 @ Holland, 0-1 L)
  • suffered a shutout loss at home in 27 matches (2/8/2003 vs. Argentina, 0-1 L)
  • lost by more than one goal in 45 matches (6/14/2002 vs. Poland, 1-3 L)
  • lost at home by more than one goal in 30 matches (5/19/2002 vs. Holland, 0-2 L)
  • lost at home vs. a CONCACAF opponent in 27 matches (9/1/2001 vs. Honduras, 2-3 L)
QUICK HITS:
  • Landon Donovan is tied for the tournament lead in scoring with three goals, along with Carlos Ruiz (GUA) and Luis Tejada (PAN)
  • The Jamaicans arrived into Boston late last night, having been delayed several hours in Houston.  They conducted their only training session in the area this afternoon in Foxboro
  • The 1-0 loss to Mexico ended a 16-match unbeaten run for Jamaica during the tenure of new head coach Wendell Downswell
  • The U.S. has an 8-4-3 record in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup, having reached the semifinals in six of seven tournaments
  • The U.S. has now collected 21 shutouts in 34 lifetime matches in Gold Cup action
  • Kasey Keller increased his record to 13-3-2 in Gold Cup play, picking up his 12th career shutout in the tournament
  • Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Steve Ralston are tied for the most appearances for the U.S. team this year, each having earned minutes in nine of 11 matches
  • Donovan leads the team with 16 points (six goals, four assists) in 2005
  • Dempsey and Ralston are part of a host of players tied for third on the team point list in 2005, Dempsey notching two goals and an assist while Ralston has one goal and three assists.  The others with five points include DaMarcus Beasley and Brian McBride
  • Seven players were on the field for the USA's last meeting against Jamaica, a 1-1 draw in the USA's last match of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 17, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio.  The players: Dempsey, Donovan (capt.), Keller, Mastroeni, Onyewu, Ralston and Sanneh
  • Dempsey made his first-ever appearance for the national team against Jamaica, coming on as a reserve in that match
  • Oguchi Onyewu got his first start that day, an appearance that ended abruptly when he received his second caution in the 73rd minute
  • The U.S. has played four Gold Cup matches in Foxboro.  The side posted four straight shutouts, including three victories. Kasey Keller was the netminder for all four games
ALL ABOUT JAMAICA:

THE SQUAD: Eliminated from qualifying, the Gold Cup is the "World Cup" for the Jamaicans, and they have treated it as such.  Jamaica Manager Wendell Downswell has combined a wealth of experience with some new talent, and the result has been wide open action. The Reggae Boyz have scored seven goals in the tournament, the most of any team, but they have also conceded the same amount. After opening with two goalscoring fiestas, the 4-3 win against Guatemala and the 3-3 draw against South Africa, the Jamaicans gave Mexico all they could handle.  Needing only a draw to finish first in the group, Jamaica searched for a goal up until the final whistle, but the 1-0 defeat left them third in Group C, forcing a change of venue for the quarterfinals.  They played their first two group games in Los Angeles, then traveled to Houston for game three.

HISTORY: The U.S. has never lost to Jamaica in a competitive match, holding a record of 8-0-7 with eight shutouts.  The USA has scored 25 goals in the series while surrendering only eight, and has only once conceded more than one goal in a game.  Six of the eight victories have come on U.S. soil, four by shutout. The U.S. and Jamaica have only met one other time in Gold Cup play, with the U.S. pulling a 1-0 win in the opening match of the 1993 Gold Cup on July 10, 1993, in Dallas.

TOP PLAYERS: The strike force of Portsmouth-based Ricardo Fuller and Damani Ralph remain the Reggae Boyz most dangerous threats, while Andy Williams and Jermaine Hue have proven adept at providing service.  Their attackers have varied, with six different players having tallied in the tourney, only Jermaine Hue collecting two goals.  They have loads of experience at the back, led by veteran netminder Donovan Ricketts, while defenders Claude Davis and Tyrone Marshall have nearly 100 caps between them.

LAST TIME V. JAMAICA:


November 17, 2004 - Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio - FIFA World Cup qualifier
USA               1       Eddie Johnson  15'
Jamaica         1       Andy Williams  27' pen


USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 5-Chris Albright, 6-Oguchi Onyewu, 22-Tony Sanneh, 12-Cory Gibbs; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 3-Ramiro Corrales (2-Clint Dempsey, 66), 14-Steve Ralston (4-Jonathan Spector, 77), 10-Landon Donovan (Capt.); 20-Brian McBride, 7-Ed Johnson (16-Taylor Twellman, 88).

JAM:
30-Donovan Ricketts; 23-Craig Ziadie, 3-Damion Stewart (17-Jermaine Hue, 24), 5-Ian Goodison, 15-Ricardo Gardner; 14-Tyrone Marshall, 8-James Lawrence, 9-Andy Williams, 11-Theodore Whitmore (Capt.) (7-Jason Euell, 71); 20-Damani Ralph (6-Marlon King, 68), 10-Ricardo Fuller.

GOLD CUP FOR DUMMIES:
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the regional championship of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. With 12 teams participating in the finals, the winner will represent CONCACAF in the next FIFA Confederations Cup.  The tournament consists of two phases - the group phase and the knockout phase.  In the group phase, three groups of four teams will play round-robin style, with the top two teams in each group advancing, plus the two best third-place teams.  In the knockout phase, beginning with the quarterfinals, matches are single elimination.  Each team is permitted up to 23 players on the roster, with 18 players dressing for each game.  Any player accumulating two yellow cards will be suspended for the next game.  Single cards will not carry over from the group phase to the knockout phase.

Group A: Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago
Group B: Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, United States
Group C: Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa

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