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U.S. MNT Closes in on England - Training Camp Update

U.S. Men's National Team
May 26, 2005
Chicago, Ill.

TRAINING DAY: The U.S. Men's National Team is one day closer to live action as the team continues to prepare for the high profile encounter with England this Saturday.  Yesterday, the team held a 60-minute closed-door scrimmage with the Chicago Fire. Landon Donovan collected two goals, including a penalty, to lead the U.S. to a 2-1 finish. More than 42,000 tickets have been sold for the friendly at Chicago's Soldier Field, which will be broadcast live on ESPN and Telemundo beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match live on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. For ticket info, click here.

ARENA, DONOVAN AT NIKETOWN CHICAGO TONIGHT: US Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena and star striker Landon Donovan will host a Question & Answer session at NikeTown Chicago on Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m.  Nike's FC Magia, an amazing soccer skills squad, will also be onsite performing their latest tricks for the crowd. Interviews will be available after the Q&A. In addition, NikeTown is making a donation of $5,000 worth of soccer equipment to the Off the Street Club and their soccer programs.

FROM THE MEDICAL ROOM: DaMarcus Beasley continues to improve from the sprained LCL suffered April 29 in Holland, and is increasing his strength and agility exercises.  The 23-year-old has his sights set on a return to full training next week.  To hear more about Beasley's recovery and his remarkable year in Europe, check out this double-dose of video as All_Access Video brings you an exclusive one-on-one interview with Beaz (Part I, Part II).  Meanwhile, midfielder John O'Brien has experienced tightness in his left calf and has seen limited action.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO - REUNITED: Yesterday's scrimmage against the Fire was a reunion of old friends, as three players in U.S. camp made their first professional marks wearing Chicago Fire Red. DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra and Josh Wolff all took time to catch up with their former Fire mates, while Bocanegra received a surprise presentation from the front office. The reunion extended to the coaching bench, as Arena, Glenn Myernick and Dave Sarachan were the lead trio in the USA's historic quarterfinal run in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  Witness the welcoming party, and hear post-training comments from Steve Cherundolo, Greg Vanney and Marcus Hahnemann in today's version of All_Access.

 Last time the U.S. faced England in U.S., Tony Meola recorded the greatest single goalkeeping match in team history, as his 15 saves led the U.S. to a 2-0 win at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Starting in goal for the U.S. in the upcoming match against England will be Kasey Keller, the owner of the greatest single goalkeeping performance in U.S. Men's National Team history, having shutout Brazil in the 1998 Gold Cup semifinals. Wait! They can't both be true. Can they?  has compiled both goalkeepers' highlight reel saves and placed them side by side so you can decide for yourself. Click here to to watch both videos in this month's issue of "Center Circle."

PODCASTING HITS's comprehensive coverage of the U.S. National Teams has added a new medium to its lineup of exclusive online content, debuting "podcasting" this week to provide fans the opportunity to download exclusive audio clips - including detailed interviews and other features - covering their favorite national team coaches and players. U.S. Soccer will be consistently adding new content for fans to download and listen "on the go" or "at their computers." U.S. Soccer's debut podcast is now available and features a seven-minute interview with Earnie Stewart discussing his recent retirement from professional soccer after 17 years. You can also listen to a "Center Circle" feature interview with Conor Casey discussing the CD's he would want with him if he was stranded on a desert island, as well as new features and content that will be available later today. Click here to learn more about podcasting.

A TASTE OF U.S. V. ENGLAND: While England boasts a 5-2-0 record against the U.S., the U.S. has claimed two big victories.  The 2-0 win in the 1993 U.S. Cup (the prelude to the '94 World Cup) in Foxboro, Mass., was the only victory on U.S. soil. And of course, the teams are best remembered for the historic match-up 55 years ago at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in which the United States provided one of the sports biggest upsets ever with a 1-0 win in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  The historic victory has been recounted in the feature film The Game of Our Lives, recently released in U.S. theaters.  Stay tuned for a complete statistical breakdown tomorrow as will go By the Numbers.

SPECTOR SITS IN: The senior team got an unexpected participant for training this week as Manchester United defender Jonathan Spector has donned the kit in Chicago.  An Arlington Heights, Ill., native, Spector has been home for a week and has used the sessions to stay sharp as he prepares to join the Under-20 MNT for the start of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will take place from June 10-July 2 in Holland. Spector played 30 minutes at right back in the scrimmage against the Fire, and will depart for the U-20 training camp in Carson, Calif. early next week.

DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY DELIGHT: The U.S. team has called Dominican University home this week, the private college in River Forest, Ill., having hosted the week of training.  With a lush green field set in a quiet neighborhood, Dominican has proved an ideal setting for preparations for England.  "The field is absolutely beautiful," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena.  "For any university, let alone a Division III school, this is a surface to be proud of."

COSTA RICA, PANAMA PLAY QUALIFYING TUNEUPS: The USA's next two opponents in World Cup qualifying each got a friendly under their belt this week. Costa Rica, under the watchful eye of newly appointed head coach Alexander Guimaraes, fell 1-0 to Norway on May 24 in Olso.  Norway's Frode Johnson netted the game's only goal in the 77th minute.  One day later and several thousand miles away, Panama drew 1-1 with Venezuela, as Panama striker Roberto Brown scored the equalizer in the 34th minute in Caracas.  While Costa Rica travels to Salt Lake City for the June 4 matchup (ESPN2, 5:30 MT), Panama will travel to Port of Spain to face the Soca Warriors.

May 24, 2005 - Oslo, Norway - Friendly
Norway         1    Frode Johnsen 77’
Costa Rica   0

NOR - Espen Johnsen; Jon Inge Hoeiland (Marius Johnsen 46), Brede Hangeland, Bard Boergersen, André Bergdoelmo; Martin Andresen (Kristofer Haested 46), Jan Gunnar Solli, Tommy Svindal Larsen (Raymond Kvisvik 43), Morten Gamst Pedersen; Steffen Iversen (Frode Johnsen 46),Bengt Saeternes (Ole Martin Aarst 46)

CRC - Alvaro Mesen; Cristian Bolanos (Jervis Drummond 59), Mauricio Wright,Víctor Cordero, Michael Umana, Leonardo Gonzalez; Jose Luis Lopez, Cristian Badilla (Ronald Gómez 59), Oscar Rojas, Jafet Soto (Alonso Solis 72); Paulo Cesar Wanchope

May 25, 2005 - Caracas, Venezuela - Friendly
Venezuela     1  Giancarlo Maldonado 4’
Panama         1   Roberto Brown 34’

VEN - Rafael Dudamel (Gilberto Angelucci, 45); Leonel Vielma, Juan Fuenmayor, Fernando de Ornelas, Jobanny Rivero; Luis Vera (Miguel Mea Vitali, 77), Hector Gonzalez (Pedro Fernandez 74), Andree Gonzalez, Ricardo David Paez (Paul Ramirez, 58); Giancarlo Maldonado (Cristian Caceres 45), Ruberth Morán

PAN - Oscar MacFarlane; Joel Jimenez (Cecilio Garces), Joel Solanilla, Jaime Cox, Amilcar Henriquez (Leonel Parrish); Gabriel Gomez, Alberto Blanco, Ricardo Phillips (Gustavo Avila), Julio Medina (Jose Justavino); Roberto Brown, Orlando Rodriguez (Neftali Diaz)

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