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U.S. MNT Set to Renew Mexico Rivalry in Gold Cup Final

U.S. Men's National Team
Gold Cup Update
Chicago, Ill.
June 23, 2007


  • With the 2-1 win against Canada, the United States advanced to the championship final for the sixth time in nine previous Gold Cup tournaments and improved their record to 12-4-4 in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup
  • Michael Bradley and Frankie Hejduk are suspended for the final match. Hejduk picked up his second yellow card of the knockout phase, and Michael Bradley was sent off in the 86th minute of the semifinal against Canada
  • For Mexico, only midfielder Gerrardo Torrado will miss the final due to yellow card accumulation
  • Sierra Mist Man of the Match Landon Donovan’s penalty kick goal against Canada was his 11th career goal in the Gold Cup, increasing his lead as the USA’s all time leading scorer in the tournament and putting him only one behind the tournament record held by Mexican Luis Roberto Alves
  • Adding an assist on the goal by Hejduk, Donovan now has collected 92 career points in 93 international appearances. With 33 career goals, he is in sole possession of second place on the USA’s all-time scoring charts, just one behind Eric Wynalda.
  • The goal was Hejduk’s first in five Gold Cup tournaments and sixth of his career, the defender getting on the scoresheet for the first time since June 11, 2000, a span of 47 matches.
  • Donovan has faced Mexico eight times, scoring three goals, including his critical goal in the USA's 2-0 World Cup victory in 2002. Pablo Mastroeni has taken the field against Mexico six times. All together, 13 players have played at least one game against Mexico
  • Two other players on the roster have scored against Mexico, and both in the same game. Steve Ralston notched the game-winner and DaMarcus Beasley put the finishing touch on the USA’s 2-0 win on Sept. 3, 2005 in Columbus, clinching the USA’s berth in the 2006 FIFA World Cup
  • The USA is 2-2-2 lifetime at Soldier Field in matches against Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland, England and Canada.
  • Clint Dempsey scored his first-ever goal in this stadium, tallying in the USA’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss to England on May 28, 2005
  • The victory against Panama on June 16 extended Tim Howard’s record-setting run of victories to eight consecutive matches. The 28-year-old had posted 10 shutouts in 22 career appearances for the senior team
  • Kasey Keller’s 23rd Gold Cup appearance – also a U.S. team record – elevated the 37-year-old netminder to exactly 100 caps for the senior team, tying Tony Meola for the most for a U.S. goalkeeper and Meola and Joe-Max Moore for the eighth-most in U.S. history He now has 52 career victories and will seek his third Gold Cup medal on Sunday.
  • A total of 13 players have now cut their Gold Cup teeth in the tournament, with four players collecting their first points: Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp and Taylor Twellman. Both Ching and Twellman have a goal and an assist, Ching putting in the game-winner against T&T
  • With the appearance of Michael Parkhurst against T&T, there are now 45 players with at least one cap in 2007 (27 domestic and 18 foreign-based) over the first 10 games, and 13 have made their debut appearance for the U.S.
  • Six players on the roster have two Gold Cup medals in their trophy case (Beasley, Bocanegra, Donovan, Hejduk, Keller)
  • The U.S. returns eight players from the 2005 championship team, led by Golden Boot winner DaMarcus Beasley. The midfielder had three goals and four assists in the 2005 tournament
  • Beasley, who now has 15 career goals after posting a pair against El Salvador on June 12 in Foxborough, scored his first-ever international goal in the USA’s opening match of the 2002 Gold Cup. His goal in the 92nd minute sealed a 2-1 win against Korea on Jan. 19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. He is only the second U.S. player over the last 10 years to score a game-winner in the final 15 minutes for his first goal
  • The other is Oguchi Onyewu, who scored his first international goal in the 2005 edition of the tournament, his strike in second-half stoppage time lifting the U.S. past Honduras in the 2-1 semifinal win on July 21, 2005, at Giants Stadium.

DO “AWAY” GAMES HURT? Prior to the ‘Guerra Fria’ in Columbus (the USA’s 2-0 qualifying win on Feb. 28, 2001), the U.S. expected to walk into a domestic venue that was anything but supportive of their home team. While past managers have always talked about the valuable experience of a hostile environment no matter the location, how about the results? Take a look at the top five attended USA-Mexico games on home soil to see how the U.S. has fared.

Date                      Venue                                                         Result       Attendance
June 16, 1996    Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)                2-2 T         92,216
Feb. 15, 1998     L.A. Coliseum (Los Angeles)                  0-1 L         91,255
June 4, 1994      Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)                1-0 W         91,123
May 8, 2003        Reliant Stadium (Houston)                      0-0 T         69,582
Feb. 7, 2007       Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale)     2-0 W        62,462

BREAKING THE FINAL JINX? The U.S. and Mexico have met twice previously in the finals of the Gold Cup, with the southern neighbors taking both titles. Mexico outgunned the U.S., 4-0, in the 1993 final at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Five years later, the second-largest crowd ever to see a USA-Mexico match on home soil witnessed a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

USA SURPASSES .500 PLATEAU: .500 anyone? It may not sound like much, but for the first time since 1937, a span of 70 years, the U.S. Men's National Team's all-time record stands at .500 or better. With head coach Bob Bradley currently on an 9-0-1 unbeaten streak through nine games in 2007, the USA's record currently stands at 190 wins, 189 losses and 111 ties in 489 official games. Amazingly, the U.S. bottomed out at 55 games below .500 just 12 short years ago with a 1-0 loss to Sweden back on August, 16, 1995 (88-143-70). That’s a pretty impressive climb back to .500 in a span of just 188 games.

THERE MUST BE A WINNER: Reaching the knockout phase means no match ends without a winner, and the U.S. has had some experience in that regard. Four times in their Gold Cup history has the USA decided the outcome with penalties, with the good guys coming out on top on three of those occasions. In addition to the championship matches in 1991 and 2005, the U.S. defeated Canada in the 2002 semifinals 4-2 in a shootout. The only penalty kick loss suffered by the U.S. was a 1-2 defeat against Colombia in the 2000 quarterfinals.

2005 GOLD CUP REWIND: The USA’s route to their third Gold Cup title was a tricky one, culminating in a penalty kick shootout against Panama after a scoreless draw in regulation in the tournament final at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Beasley, Donovan and Onyewu were named to the all-tournament team, while Keller and John O’Brien received honorable mentions. To get to the final, the U.S. needed two goals in the semifinal’s dying moments to overcome a 1-0 deficit to Honduras in a match that saw head coach Bruce Arena sent off early in the second half. O’Brien scored the equalizer just four minutes from time, setting the stage for Onyewu’s game-winning header in the 92nd minute. The U.S. had collected two wins and a draw in the group phase, the scoreless tie against Costa Rica ending their 18-game winning streak in the first round of the Gold Cup. In the quarterfinal, a pair of Beasley goals highlighted an inspired 3-1 win against Jamaica.

ON LEADERSHIP: “It’s critical in this game that the veterans step up and make sure they put a stamp on the game early. Hopefully by doing that, the younger guys will feel less pressure to have to perform, to have to do something right away or to get involved. The more touches they get early, the better it is for them. Like I said, it’s important the veterans do a good job of getting the ball, moving the ball, and being fluid and not hiding behind players, and getting in on tackles. We need to make sure the young guys follow in our footsteps and be real leaders out there."
U.S. midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, on the importance of veteran leadership in the championship game

GOLDEN IN GROUP PLAY: Through eight tournament appearances, the U.S. has remained remarkably unforgiving in the group phase. Going into Tuesday’s match, the USA holds an unbeaten 21-0-1 record in group play, recording 15 shutouts in 22 matches. The lone blemish to an otherwise perfect record came in 2005 when the U.S. and Costa Rica played to a scoreless draw on July 12, 2005, in Foxborough.


0 – Number of losses in group play

3 – Gold Cup championships won

5 – Number of finals reached, the most of any nation

8 – Players on the roster who were part of the 2005 Gold Cup-winning team

10 – Goals scored by Landon Donovan in tournament history, tied with Eric Wynalda for the most in U.S. history

14 – Players on the U.S. roster who had never played a match in the Gold Cup going into the tournament

23 – Gold Cup appearances by Kasey Keller, the most of any U.S. player in history

33-4-5 – Lifetime record in the Gold Cup. In addition to winning three times, the U.S. has finished second twice and third twice

PROVING GROUND: If recent history is any guide, the 2007 Gold Cup will be the place that some players emerge as key future components in the U.S. arsenal. In the 2002 edition, just six months before the World Cup, Pablo Mastroeni entered the event as the only player without a single appearance in World Cup qualifying, and Beasley had played just 45 minutes in the final qualifier against Trinidad. Both went on to have major impacts in the USA’s historic quarterfinal run in Korea. Last time around, defender Jimmy Conrad earned his first cap for the U.S. in the 4-1 win against Cuba in the opener, and 11 months later he appeared in the USA’s 1-1 draw against eventual World Cup champion Italy in Kaiserslautern

On the field for the USA
June 21, 2007 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
USA          2    Frankie Hejduk 39’, Landon Donovan 45’ pen
Canada    1    Iain Hume

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2- Frankie Hejduk, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 6-Michael Bradley, 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Landon Donovan (19-Ricardo Clark, 89), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Taylor Twellman (14-Steve Ralston, 71), 8-Clint Dempsey (11-Brian Ching, 84)

PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo, 2-Carlos Rivera, 3-Luis Moreno, 4-Juan Perez, 7-Blas Perez, 14-Manuel Torres, 15-Ricardo Phillips, 20-Engin Mitre (19-Nicolas Munoz, 63), 21-Amilcar Henriquez (8-Alberto Blanco, 78), 22-Victor Herrera (17-Luis Henriquez, 78), 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.)

On the field for Mexico
June 21, 2007 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
Guadeloupe   0
Mexico              1     Pavel Pardo 70’

GLP: 1- Franck Grandel, 2- Miguel Comminges, 6-Alain Vertot, 8-Stèphane Auvray, 10- Aurèlien Capoue, 14- David Sommeil, 15-Jocelyn Angloma, 19-Richard Edward Socrier (12- Cèdrick Fiston 78’), 20- Michael Tacalfred, 21- David Fleurival (13- Jean Luc Lambourde 90+’), 22- Loic Loval (11- Fabien Raddas 82’)

MEX: 1- Oswaldo Sanchez, 2- Jose Jonny Magallon, 3- Carlos Salcido, 5- Ricardo Osorio, 6- Gerardo Torrado (20- Fernando Arce 70’), 7- Alberto Medina, 8- Pavel Pardo, 9- Jared Borgetti, 10- Cuauhtemoc Blanco (19- Omar Bravo 85’), 18- Jose Andres Guardado (23- Adolfo Bautista 46’), 22- Francisco Rodriguez

Vs. Mexico
February 7, 2007 – University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. – International Friendly
USA    2    Jimmy Conrad 52’, Landon Donovan 91’
MEX    0
Att: 62,462 (Sell Out)

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 3-Jonathan Bornstein, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 5-Chris Albright (Joshua Gros, 68), 12-Jimmy Conrad; 2-Clint Dempsey (Brian Carroll, 75), 13-Ricardo Clark, 15-Bobby Convey, 25-Pablo Mastroeni (capt.); 10-Landon Donovan, 17-Chris Rolfe (9-Eddie Johnson, 64)
Subs not used: 24-Joe Cannon, 14-Bryan Namoff, 20-Taylor Twellman, 21-Justin Mapp, 23-Bobby Boswell
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

MEX: 1-Oswaldo Sánchez; 2-Ricardo Osorio, 3-Carlos Salcido, 4-Rafael Márquez; 5-Ramon Morales (18-Andres Guardado, 46), 6- Gerardo Torrado (22-Omar Bravo, 62), 7-Alberto Medina (17-Jose Francisco Fonseca, 46), 8-Pável Pardo, 14-Gonzalo Pineda; 10-Cuauhtémoc Blanco (23-Adolfo Bautista, 46), 9-Jared Borgetti
Subs not used: 12-Guillermo Ochoa, 15-Joaquin Beltran, 19-Israel Castro
Head Coach: Hugo Sanchez