CHICAGO (Wednesday, February 20, 2002) — United States Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena has named a 20-man roster for the team's upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador. The USA first meets Honduras on Saturday, March 2 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN. The team then moves to Birmingham, Ala. where they will face Ecuador on March 10 at Legion Field in a match broadcast live on ABC at 3 p.m. CT. Fans can also follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
"The matches against Honduras and Ecuador represent another important step in our World Cup preparations," said Arena, whose 2002 record is 4-1-1. "Our performances in the Gold Cup and against Italy have demonstrated that there will be serious competition for spots on the World Cup roster, and these matches will further aid in our evaluation."
A total of 17 players on the list were members of the 2002 FC Gold Cup championship-winning side. Leading the squad is Lacey, Washington, native Kasey Keller. Keller, 32, is coming off an outstanding performance in the Gold Cup, where he posted five victories and four shutouts en route to securing the USA's second Gold Cup championship. With 27 career shutouts, Keller is second on the all-time U.S. list behind Tony Meola (31). Keller has amassed an impressive 15-match unbeaten run on U.S. soil, dating back to Feb. 21, 1998.
MLS players once again dominate the roster, with 17 of 20 players called from the domestic league. The Columbus Crew make the largest contribution, sending four players: Jeff Cunningham, Brian Maisonneuve, Brian McBride and Brian West. Forward Brian McBride had a stellar effort in the Gold Cup, scoring four goals and earning honors as the tournament's Most Valuable Player and top scorer.
The game against Honduras will mark the debut of the new 2002 World Cup jerseys that Nike has produced for the U.S. Men's National Team. Nike spent considerable time developing the jerseys, as the 2002 World Cup will be played during the monsoon season from May 31-June 30 in Korea and Japan.
The U.S. and Honduras played two memorable World Cup qualifying matches in 2001, with each team winning on the other’s home soil. In the first match, the U.S. earned a hard-fought 2-1 win in front of a charged crowd in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on March 27. But Honduras got revenge on Sept. 1, battling back to win 3-2 at RFK Stadium in front of an energetic, mixed crowd of 54,282 fans.
The U.S. MNT has only played in Seattle one time in the last 25 years, when they tied Russia 1-1 on January 29, 1994, in front of 43,651 fans at The Kingdome, with Alexi Lalas scoring the lone goal for the U.S. In prior visits to Seattle, the U.S. lost 4-0 to Poland on June 24, 1975, in a friendly match, and then beat Canada, 2-0, in a World Cup qualifier on Oct. 20, 1976.
Amazingly, the U.S. has never beat Ecuador in eight all-time match-ups. Ecuador holds a 4-0-4 record against the U.S., including a 0-0 draw on June 7, 2001, at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, in the teams' most recent match. In that game, the two teams combined for 25 shots in a back-and-forth affair.
The U.S. will be returning to Birmingham’s Legion Field Stadium for the first time since March 12, 2000, when the U.S. MNT drew 1-1 with Tunisia in front of 21,637 fans in the team’s first-ever match in Alabama. Birmingham also served as a venue for soccer at the 1996 Olympic Games, where the Bruce Arena-led U.S.Olympic team played two matches at Legion Field, falling to Argentina and topping Tunisia.
U.S. Men's National Team Roster
|Agoos, Jeff||D||5'10"||175||05/02/68||123/4||Dallas||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||08/27/72||41/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||F||5'7"||126||05/24/82||7/1||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Berhalter, Gregg||D||6'1"||175||08/01/73||22/0||Tenafly, N.J.||Crystal Palace (England)|
|Convey, Bobby||M||5'8"||150||05/27/83||2/0||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Cunningham, Jeff||F||5'8"||155||08/21/76||3/0||Crystal River, Fla.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Donovan, Landon||F||5'8"||148||03/04/82||15/2||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Howard, Tim||GK||6'3"||210||03/06/79||0/0||North Brunswick, N.J.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||06/16/70||151/14||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Keller, Kasey||GK||6'2"||190||11/29/69||55/0||Lacey, Wash.||Tottenham Hotspur (England)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||05/17/74||34/2||Cerritos, Calif.||Fulham FC (England)|
|Llamosa, Carlos||D||5'11"||166||06/30/69||25/0||Maspeth, N.Y.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Maisonneuve, Brian||M||5'11"||170||06/28/73||11/0||Warren, Mich.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Mastroeni, Pablo||D/M||5'10"||170||08/26/76||6/0||Phoenix, Ariz.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Mathis, Clint||M/F||5'10"||170||11/25/76||14/3||Conyers, Ga.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||06/19/72||55/18||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Mulrooney, Richard||M/D||5'9"||160||11/03/76||1/0||Memphis, Tenn.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||44/4||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|West, Brian||M||5'9"||155||06/10/78||4/0||Columbia, Md.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Williams, Richie||M||5'5"||145||06/03/70||19/0||Middletown, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|