Bradley Names 22-Man Roster to Prepare for Clash With England on May 28 at Famed Wembley Stadium
CHICAGO (May 20, 2008) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a 22-man roster that will travel to London to prepare for the friendly against England on May 28 at Wembley Stadium. Kickoff for the first of the USA’s three summer friendlies is set for 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and via tape delay on Galavision at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The U.S. team will begin gathering on May 22, with MLS players joining the group following their weekend matches. More than 1,300 fans purchased tickets in the U.S. Supporters Section for the USA’s second-ever trip to London.
“We’re excited about the challenge of playing England in Wembley Stadium,” said Bradley, who leads a U.S. team that is undefeated in 2008 and is currently riding a five-match unbeaten run dating back to Oct. 17, 2007. “We expect that this is going to be a fantastic experience. Overall, we look forward to a good week of training and continuing the process of preparing for the task of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.”
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan heads to England poised to make history. The 26-year-old is one cap away from becoming the fourth-youngest male player to reach 100 international appearances. Already having set the USA’s all-time career goalscoring record earlier this year when he scored his 35th international goal in the 2-0 win against Sweden on Jan. 20, Donovan would surpass the USA’s most capped player - Cobi Jones (164) - as the youngest U.S. player to hit the century mark. Donovan is one of two players, along with Ricardo Clark, who has appeared and started in all three of the USA’s matches in 2008.
The vast majority of the roster plies their trade abroad. Carlos Bocanegra leads a trio of Fulham players who dramatically staved off relegation by defeating Portsmouth on the road on the final match day of the English Premier League. Bocanegra earned Sierra Mist Man of the Match honors in the 3-0 win against Poland on May 26 in Krakow, nodding home the game-winning goal. Five other players on the roster compete in England, including Derby County midfielder Eddie Lewis, who is the second most capped player on the roster with 75 appearances. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is coming off a fine season in which his side secured a place in next year’s UEFA Cup, and enters the camp having earned 11 shutouts in 28 career international appearances.
Standard de Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu heads to London with a domestic league title to his credit as his Belgian club secured top honors for the first time in 25 years. Onyewu has recorded goals in the USA’s last two matches. Dan Califf also brings hardware to the table, recently captaining Aalborg BK to their third Danish Superligaen crown before moving to FC Midtjylland. Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley returns to the U.S. corps after recovering from a knee injury suffered on Nov. 29, 2007, in a Champions League match against Stuttgart.
The roster boasts six players who are age-eligible to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, led by SC Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley. The 20-year-old is coming off one of the most prolific seasons ever for a U.S. player in Europe, recording 20 goals in all competitions and helping earn Heereveen a place in the UEFA Cup. Four players on the roster – Freddy Adu, Dominic Cervi, Michael Orozco and Jonathan Spector – were part of the Under-23 team that helped the U.S book a ticket to Beijing by reaching the finals of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament in March. Orozco is part of the San Luis side that has reached the semifinals of the Liguilla in the 2008 Torneo Clausura in Mexico, with the home-and-home series against Cruz Azul scheduled for May 21 and May 24.
England manager Fabio Capello has called a 31-man roster into camp to prepare for the friendlies against the United States and Trinidad & Tobago, with the match in Port-of-Spain slated for June 1. The roster boasts a quartet of players from newly-crowned Premier League Champions Manchester United in Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves, and Wayne Rooney, and five players - Wayne Bridge, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry - from fellow Champions League finalists Chelsea. Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham could play his first match on home soil since becoming the fifth player in England history to earn 100 caps, accomplishing the feat in England’s 1-0 loss to France on March 26 in Paris.
The U.S. and England last met on British soil at the original Wembley Stadium in London on Sept. 7, 1994, with the Three Lions earning a 2-0 victory. One year before, the USA posted a matching 2-0 scoreline at Foxboro Stadium as part of the build up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The teams last played on May 28, 2005, in Chicago where Clint Dempsey’s first international goal wasn’t enough to cancel out the pair from Kieran Richardson as England hung on for a 2-1 win before 47,637 fans at Soldier Field. England has been drawn into Group 6 of UEFA qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, headlining a group that includes 1998 third place finishers Croatia.
Following the England match, the U.S. will face fourth-ranked Spain on June 4 at the Estadio El Sardinero in Santander. The match will be shown live exclusively on ESPN360.com, and broadcast via tape delay on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET and Galavision at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The U.S. will head back across the Atlantic to face No. 1-ranked Argentina on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET in New Jersey. More than 48,000 tickets (buy tickets) have been sold for the USA’s final match at Giants Stadium, which will be Presented by Visa®. The USA’s final match before the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision.
The U.S. opens qualifying play for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in a Second Round series with Barbados that begins Sunday, June 15, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (tickets). Kickoff for the first leg of the series is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. The second leg will be played on June 22, with details still to be finalized.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nate Jaqua (Out of Contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (Out of Contract)
ENGLAND ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): David James (Portsmouth), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Chris Kirkland (Wigan)
DEFENDERS (10): Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Blackburn), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), David Bentley (Blackburn), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
FORWARDS (6): Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Dean Ashton (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)