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Pre-Game Notes: U.S. MNT vs. Guatemala- Sept. 6, 2005

USA vs. Guatemala
Guatemala City, Guatemala
September 6, 2005

ON THE GROUND IN GUATEMALA: The U.S. Men's National Team headed South yesterday afternoon, traveling by charter from Columbus to Guatemala City and arriving at approximately 5 p.m. local time.  Met by a large contingent of reporters and photographers at the team hotel, the team settled into its temporary home in the heart of Guatemala City.  The 18-man contingent will hold its only training session in country later this afternoon at the Estadio Mateo Flores, just over 24 hours in advance of their World Cup qualifying matchup with Guatemala.  Kickoff for MatchDay 8 of final round qualifying is set for 10 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. As always, fans can also follow along on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. starting lineup against Guatemala will be posted at approximately one hour before kickoff.

PRESSURE IS ON THE NEW CREW:  After the 2-0 victory against Mexico guaranteed a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena set about adjusting the travel roster for the upcoming qualifier against Guatemala to give players the chance to show themselves under challenging circumstances, to say the least.  "This is a fantastic opportunity for this group to demonstrate they can perform in this type of environment," said Arena.  "Can they win a game where the home team is desperate, the crowd is against them, and the conditions are difficult?  Players that can do that are the kind of players that can possibly help your team in a World Cup.  It's a great chance for them to prove that."

USA roster v. Guatemala
Goalkeepers (2)
– Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
Defenders (6) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Nick Garcia (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Greg Vanney (FC Dallas)
Midfielders (6) – Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution),  Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution)
Forwards (4) – Jeff Cunningham (Colorado Rapids), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

ONALFO BREAKS DOWN GUATEMALA: U.S. assistant coach Curt Onalfo is once again on hand to provide insight into the USA's opponents, in this case a Guatemalan side still reeling from the 3-2 defeat at the hands of Trinidad & Tobago last Saturday.  Further complicating their efforts is the loss of striker and leading scorer Carlos Ruiz, suspended for Wednesday's match after picking up his second yellow card in qualifying in the 88th minute of the T&T match.  Nonetheless, the chapines are crafty and hungry, tied for fourth in the qualifying table with only three matches remaining.  With consecutive games against the U.S. and then Mexico in Mexico, they simply cannot afford to lose points.  Find out the strengths of the Guatemalan team  in this exclusive podcast on

MUST SEE ALL_ACCESS: It's all_access video like you've never seen it before.  From the wild celebrations on the field to an impassioned address to the team from Bruce Arena in the locker room, and post-game interviews with the stars of the day, step back into the glorious moments when the USA defeated archrival Mexico and booked its ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  And while you're there, you can get a taste of what it's like playing in Guatemala City as several players discussed the challenges of World Cup qualifying on the road.  It's all part of the latest from inside the MNT in the exclusive all_access Video at

CORNER PICKS RETURNS: What's better than watching the U.S. Men's National Team as they mover closer to the World Cup in Germany next year? Watching every pre-World Cup match on a Philips FlatTV! You could be doing just that next year as long as your prognastication skills are of the highest level. Corner Picks, the popular interactive prediction game, is back at for MatchDay 8, giving you another chance to earn points toward great prizes from U.S. Soccer and Philips. Don't remember how to play? No worries, just click here and follow the directions, and soon enough you'll have a Philips FlatTV remote in your hand!

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: The teams’ first meeting in final round qualifying took place March 30 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Coming on the heels of the USA’s lone loss in qualifying, the group quickly rebounded and turned in a dominating performance in a 2-0 win in front of a raucous crowd of 31,624 fans at Legion Field. The victory came courtesy of goals from Eddie Johnson and Steve Ralston on either side of halftime, and a stifling defensive performance from goalkeeper Kasey Keller.  The U.S. improved their unbeaten record in Alabama to 2-0-1 lifetime, kicking off the shutout streak that has lasted five games.  To get a taste, read the match report and watch the exclusive all_access video from that impressive win.

1 - losses at home in qualifying under Bruce Arena
4 - players on this roster without an appearance in World Cup qualifying (Conrad, Garcia, Hahnemann, Marshall)
7 - goals for Landon Donovan in 2006 World Cup qualifying, the team leader
9 - shutouts for the U.S. in 15 games of 2006 qualifying
10 - goals for Brian McBride in World Cup qualifying history, the USA’s all-time leader
14 - victories at home in qualifying under Bruce Arena.  His home record is 14-1-2
31 - career World Cup qualifying appearances for Kasey Keller, making him the all-time leader
38 - players with at least one appearance in 2006 qualifying
507 - consecutive shutout minutes for the U.S. defense in World Cup qualifying

Click here for even more in-depth statistics from the USA-GUA rivalry.


  • The U.S. traveled with an 18-man roster to Guatemala City on Monday afternoon.  Bobby Convey – who returns after serving a one-match suspension - and Marcus Hahnemann are all that remains of the European-based contingent, while Eddie Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Chad Marshall, Matt Reis and Greg Vanney have been recalled from their MLS clubs.  Kansas City Wizards defender Nick Garcia is the only new addition to the original training camp roster in Columbus
  • This is the first time since 1934 that the U.S. was the first team from the CONCACAF region to qualify for the World Cup, as Mexico was unable to clinch with their seventh-consecutive scoreless effort away to the United States. The U.S. became the eighth country to qualify for the 32-team FIFA World Cup, joining host Germany, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Ukraine.  Brazil is number nine by virtue of their 5-0 victory against Chile
  • The U.S. Men’s National Team has not allowed a goal in five straight World Cup qualifiers, running a shutout streak of 507 minutes. s only allowed eight goals in the 15 games they’ve played during World Cup qualifying
  • Five players on the roster appeared in the USA’s 2-0 win against Guatemala on March 30 in Birmingham: Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson (1), Pablo Mastroeni, Steve Ralston (1)
  • Johnson’s game-winner that day was his seventh goal in six World Cup qualifying appearances.  He now sits tied with Donovan for third place on the all-time U.S. list
  • Meantime, Ralston’s insurance goal was his first in World Cup qualifying, a feat he duplicated against Mexico last Saturday night
  • Frankie Hejduk is the only other player on the roster to have scored against Guatemala, and is the only multiple-scorer with two goals
  • The U.S. holds an 8-4-3 lifetime record against Guatemala, including a perfect 7-0-0 mark on U.S. soil
  • Additionally, the U.S. has never lost to Guatemala in World Cup qualifying play, holding an unblemished 4-0-3 record
  • The U.S. has never won a World Cup qualifier in Guatemala (0-0-2), and has a lifetime record of 1-4-2 on their soil.  The team has produced only three goals while surrendering 11 in those matches
  • The teams played one World Cup qualifier on neutral territory, a 2-2 draw in El Salvador on Dec. 21, 1996.  Frankie Hejduk and Preki Radosavljevic got the goals in the semifinal round match-up
  • The U.S. has not lost to Guatemala since a 1-0 defeat on Jan. 10, 1988 in Guatemala City.  Since then, the U.S. has gone 8-0-3 with seven shutouts
  • The chapines have never qualified for the World Cup finals in 11 attempts since 1958
  • The only player to appear in all 15 of the qualifiers for '06, Donovan has recorded a goal or an assist in 12 of 15 matches.  He has seven goals and eight assists for 22 points
  • Donovan leads the team in scoring with 18 points (six goals, six assists) in 2005.  With 20 career assists, he is two behind Cobi Jones on the all-time U.S. list
  • Steve Ralston is having a banner year with the MNT, his 13 appearances by far a personal best.  He's tied for second on the team along with Kasey Keller, and has now tallied two goals and three assists
  • Four players on the roster have never played in a World Cup qualifier: Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Marcus Hahnemann and Chad Marshall
  • Carlos Ruiz also has 11 goals on the year for FC Dallas, but is suspended for the match against Guatemala following his fourth yellow card of the final round of qualifying, picked up in the team's 3-2 loss in Trinidad on Saturday
  • Claudio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter are not available for the Guatemala match as they are serving one-game suspensions after picking up their second yellow card of qualifying against Mexico
  • Jeff Cunningham and Taylor Twellman are tied for No. 2 on the MLS goalscoring charts with the Colorado Rapids forward and Revs striker each tallying 11 goals.  Cunningham made his first-ever appearance in a World Cup qualifier when he replaced Brian McBride in the 90th minute of the 2-0 victory against Mexico on Wednesday
  • During Bruce Arena's tenure, the USA holds a 44-0-2 record when leading at halftime. The draws came against Korea during the 2002 World Cup and Guatemala in a qualifier on July 16, 2000.  Conversely, the team is 2-14-4 overall when trailing at the half


On the field for the USA
September 3, 2005 – Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio.  –2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier
USA    2    Steve Ralston 53, DaMarcus Beasley 58
MEX    0   

USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Gregg Berhalter, 7-Eddie Lewis; 19-Steve Ralston (23-Santino Quaranta, 81), 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 14-Chris Armas, 17-DaMarcus Beasley; 21-Landon Donovan (25-Pablo Mastroeni, 74), 20-Brian McBride (11-Jeff Cunningham, 90+)
Subs not used: 1-Marcus Hahnemann, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 13-Taylor Twellman

MEX: 1-Oswaldo Sanchez; 2-Francisco Rodriguez (16-Mario Mendez, 59), 4-Rafael Marquez (capt.), 5-Duilio Davino, 3-Carlos Salcido; 6-Gerardo Torrado, 11-Ramon Morales, 20-Gerardo Galindo, 7-Antonio Naelson (10-Omar Bravo, 69), 17-Francisco Fonseca (22-Alberto Medina, 58), 9-Jared Borgetti
Subs not used: 12-Moises Munoz, 14-Gonzalo Pineda, 19-Oscar Rojas, 23-Luis Perez

On the field for Guatemala
September 3, 2005 – Hasely Crawford Stadium; Port of Spain, Trinidad – 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier
T&T            3     Russell Latapy 47, Stern John 86, 87
Guatemala    2    Guillermo Ramirez 3, Gonzalo Romero 61

T&T: Kelvin Jack, Avery John, Brent Sancho, Marvin Andrews, Christopher Birchall, Carlos Edwards, Aurtis Whitley (Jason Scotland 45th - Ian Cox 90th), Silvio Spann (Scott Sealey 72nd), Russell Latapy, Stern John, Dwight Yorke (capt).
Subs not used: Shaka Hislop, Atiba Charles, Densill Theobald, Cyd Gray.

GUA: Miguel Klee, Gustavo Cabrera, Sylvyn Ponciano, Angel Sanabria, Fredy Garcia (Carlos Figueroa 57th), Elmer Ponciano, Jilio Giron, Fredy Thompson, Gonzalo Romero, Guillermo Ramirez, Carlos Ruiz (capt).
Subs not used: Paulo Cesar Motta, Victor Hernandez, Rigoberto Gomez, Maynor Davila, Juan Carlos Plata, Edwin Villatoro.

Vs. Guatemala
March 30, 2005 – Legion Field; Birmingham, Alabama – 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier
USA    2    Eddie Johnson, Steve Ralston
GUA    0   

USA: 18-Kasey Keller (Capt.); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 12-Cory Gibbs, 4-Carlos Bocanegra; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 14-Steve Ralston, 7-Eddie Lewis (13-Pat Noonan, 84), 21-Landon Donovan (2-Clint Dempsey, 91+); 9-Eddie Johnson, 21-Brian Ching (16-Josh Wolff, 79).

GUA: 22-Richard Trigueno, 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Denis Chen (24-Maynor Davila, 46), 6-Gustavo Cabrera, 13-Nestor Martinez; 7-Fredy Thompson, 8-Gonzalo Romero (18-Carlos Quinonez, 46), 11-Guillermo Ramirez, 19-Mario Rodriguez (23-Hernan Sandoval, 69); 17-Dwight Pezzarossi, 20-Carlos Ruiz.

--For all the updated news, scores and standings for qualifying,
visit the FIFA World Cup competition page on is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.