Men's National Team in Florida Preparing for Trinidad & Tobago
ALL ABOARD:As of Tuesday afternoon, the full complement of U.S. players will have arrived in southern Florida for training camp. Seventeen players participated in the opening session Monday, which was forced to the afternoon after heavy rains left the training pitch waterlogged. Steve Cherundolo, Kasey Keller and Earnie Stewart arrived Monday afternoon after club commitments kept them in Europe on Sunday, leaving John O'Brien as the last arrival into camp Tuesday. The team will train daily in Ft.Lauderdale until Friday afternoon before departing for Trinidad.
LAST TIME IN T&T: The United States hasn't traveled to Port of Spain since Nov. 24, 1996. Ten players on either side of the ball in that match appear on this week's rosters, six on the American side and four from Trinidad and Tobago. Joe-Max Moore scored the only goal of the match, marking the first U.S. road win in World Cup qualifying play since Nov. 19, 1989, a span of seven years. Their opponents for that match, of course, were Trinidad and Tobago, and the match sent the USA to the World Cup Finals in Italy in 1990. The full list of current players who saw action in the 1996 match:
USA - Kasey Keller, Jeff Agoos, Cobi Jones (substitute), Joe-Max Moore, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart
TRI - Lyndon Andrews, Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Stern John (substitute)
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Bob Bradley's presence on the coaching staff this week highlights a rather unique "family tree" in the careers of the U.S. staff. While at the helm of the University of Virginia, then Head Coach Bruce Arena hired Bob Bradley as his assistant in 1982. After serving for two seasons, Bradley left to become the head coach at Princeton University and was replaced in Charlottesville by Dave Sarachan. Sarachan served as assistant until 1988 when he took the reigns at Cornell University (the alma mater of both he and Arena), where he would stay for the next nine years. In 1995, Arena left UVA to become the head coach of D.C. United, once again enlisting Bradley to be his assistant. After two championship seasons, Bradley departed to take the helm of the expansion Chicago Fire, and for the second time Arena pulled in Sarachan as Bradley's replacement. Arena became the U.S. coach in November 1998, and on January 1, 2000, Sarachan became Arena's right hand for the third time in his professional career.
GOOSE IS GOLDEN: Jeff Agoos continues on the finest string of his professional career. Agoos, 33, joins Earnie Stewart as the only U.S. players to appear in all of the final round qualifying matches thus far. Goose held a similarly instrumental role during the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, his 1,165 minutes played the most of any U.S. player. His achievements in the club ranks have been equally remarkable. After winning three MLS Championships with D.C. United, Agoos guided the San Jose Earthquakes from being the worst team in the 2000 MLS season to capturing the 2001 MLS Cup championship, earning honors as the MLS Defender of the Year along the way. He also holds medals for the 1996 U.S. Open Cup, the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup and the 1998 Interamerican Cup, and was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.
UNCAPPED: Three players on Bruce Arena's 21-man roster are pulling for their first international cap with the senior team. Fusion FC goalkeeper Nick Rimando and San Jose midfielder Richard Mulrooney have attended previous U.S. training camps, while Chicago Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch is sporting the U.S. colors for the first time. In addition to chasing his first international appearance, Marsch will celebrate his 28th birthday November 8. Overall, Arena has given 28 players their first cap during his three-year tenure.
- Cobi Jones holds 143 international caps, tied for 5th on the all-time list. The current leader is Claudio Suarez of Mexico with 165 caps. Jones is seven behind German legend Lothar Matthaus.
- The United States are 10-1-2 lifetime against Trinidad and Tobago, the sole loss coming November 19, 1994, a 1-0 loss in Port of Spain. The U.S. are 6-0-1 in World Cup qualifying play against the Soca Warriors.
- In the last meeting, Ante Razov scored the fastest goal in U.S. qualifying history, opening the scoring after just 74 seconds in the 2-0 victory June 20 in Foxboro.
- Chris Armas will miss the final U.S. qualifier to spend time with the newest member of his family. He and wife Justine celebrated the birth of Christopher Armas Jr. on Sunday, October 28.
- Despite Armas' absence, the Chicago Fire have six players on the roster, the most of any side.