U.S. Men's National Team Set to Face Sweden at 5:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center
U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
January 22, 2009
U.S. MNT SET FOR SWEDEN MATCH: The U.S. Men's National Team is quickly reaching the end of it's first training camp of the year. With 22 players available, head coach Bob Bradley will select an 18-player roster for the U.S. Men's first match of 2009, when they take on Sweden at 5:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Fans can watch the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, or follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjælland), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)
- Of the 22 players remaining in camp, the U.S. will dress 18 players with a maximum of six substitutions.
- The USA and Sweden have met six times previously, splitting the series down the middle with three wins and three losses a piece. The teams most recently crossed paths a little more than a year ago in the same venue, with goals by Eddie Robinson and Landon Donovan pacing the U.S. to a 2-0 victory on Jan. 20, 2008.
- Sacha Kljestan returned from a five-day training stint at Celtic F.C. and will be available for selection.
- Kljestan had the most appearances in 2008 of any player on the roster, featuring in eight matches for the U.S. that included six FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He tallied two assists for the full team and scored two goals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, his efforts earning him the 2008 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year award.
- Brian Ching is the leading capwinner on the U.S. roster with 32 international appearances. The Houston Dynamo attacker tied for top marksman for the U.S. in 2008, tallying four goals, all in FIFA World Cup qualifying, along with Clint Dempsey.
- At the other end of the spectrum, there are seven players on the roster looking to get their first cap with the full team: Will Hesmer, Stuart Holden, Jack Jewsbury, Troy Perkins, Matt Pickens, Robbie Rogers and Chris Wingert.
- All told, there are 17 players on the USA’s roster with 10 caps or less.
- All but four of the 22 players in camp are plying their trade in MLS. FC Midtjylland defender Danny Califf leads the four players based in Scandinavia, the seven-year international having appeared in three matches in 2008, including a start in the 0-0 draw against Argentina on June 8 at Giants Stadium. Perkins backstopped Valerenga to the Norwegian Cup championship in 2008, while Hammarby striker Charlie Davies scored 14 goals in the Swedish Allsvenskan. Former New England defender Michael Parkhurst made the move to FC Nordsjælland on a free transfer during the winter break.
- The reigning MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew has four players on the roster, the most of any club. The Chicago Fire sent a trio of players, led by MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jon Busch. Additionally, both Chris Rolfe and John Thorrington were on the roster for the USA’s 2-0 win on Nov. 19 against Guatemala to close out the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- A total of seven players from this roster appeared in that match: Jonathan Bornstein, Ching, Ricardo Clark, Kenny Cooper (1), Kljestan, Parkhurst, John Thorrington.
- Thorrington, Kljestan and Robbie Rogers are all local products, Thorrington having grown up Palos Verdes while Kljestan and Rogers hail from Huntington Beach.
- Jonathan Bornstein and Kenny Cooper share a bit of personal and National Team history. On Jan. 19, 2007, Bornstein and Cooper became the first two U.S. players in the modern era to score their first goal in their first cap in the same game. Bornstein’s served as the game-winner in the 3-1 win in the team’s opening match of 2007 against Denmark.
- Eddie Gaven and Rogers have been reunited with former U-17 coach John Hackworth here in Carson, the pair both having gone through the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton under Hackworth’s tutelage. Gaven was a key member of the team’s fifth place finish at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland.
TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Average Age: 25.4
Average Caps: 6
Most Caps: 32 (Brian Ching)
Least Caps: 0 (Seven players)
Oldest: 32 (Jon Busch)
Youngest: 21 (Robbie Rogers)
Play professionally in: USA (18), Denmark (2), Norway (1), Sweden (1)
By state: California (6), Texas (3), Missouri (2), New York (2), Ohio (2), Hawaii, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia (1 each)
INJURY REPORT: Training camp in January always presents a physical challenge to players who have been off for a few months, and can be even tougher for those who aren’t 100 percent. Chad Marshall (knee) and Sean Franklin (sports hernia) carried issues into camp from their MLS seasons and were not able to continue. Geoff Cameron suffered a hamstring strain on the second day of training, while Jason Hernandez – called in after training camp began to shore up the defensive unit already depleted – pulled a calf muscle.
HOME AT THE HDC: This is the USA’s seventh match at The Home Depot Center, and the venue has been a kind host as evidenced by the team’s unbeaten 6-0-1 record in Carson. After the debut against Denmark in January of 2004, a Taylor Twellman hat trick led the charge in the USA’s 5-0 win against Norway on Jan. 29, 2006, marking the largest margin of victory for the U.S. against a European team and tying the largest margin of victory ever against a non-CONCACAF team (5-0 vs. China on April 4, 1992). The U.S. nabbed a trio of victories at the HDC in 2007, opening the year with a 3-1 win against Denmark before recording consecutive wins against Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago in the first two group matches of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. set a second record in Carson, the 8-0 win against Barbados on June 15, 2008, marking the largest margin of victory ever in team history, while tying the record for the most goals scored by the U.S. in a match.
OLYMPIANS ON BOARD: The roster boasts six players who represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In addition to Sacha Kljestan getting on the scoreboard, Stuart Holden netted the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Japan to open group play. Michael Parkhurst, Robbie Rogers and Marvell Wynne started all three matches in Beijing, while Charlie Davies appeared against Nigeria and nearly notched the game-tying goal.
TAKEN OVER BY DEMONS: With the addition of Michael Parkhurst to the roster, there are now four alumni of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Carson. Brian Carroll and Will Hesmer were roommates in Winston-Salem, where Carroll was a finalist in 2002 for the Mac Hermann Award as the best player in the NCAA. Parkhurst earned ACC Defender of the Year honors in 2004. Slightly more advanced in years is U.S. assistant coach John Hackworth, who played at Wake in his junior and senior seasons and helped lead the Deacs to as high as a No. 3 ranking in the nation.
2008 IN BRIEF: The campaign in 2008 had at its summit the start of World Cup qualifying, but there was plenty of action in between. The new year began with an inscription in the history books when Landon Donovan became the USA’s all-time leading scorer, tallying his 35th career international goal in the 2-0 win against Sweden on Jan. 19 at The Home Depot Center. After a thrilling 2-2 draw that extended the USA’s home unbeaten streak against Mexico to 10 matches spanning nine years, the U.S. put together one of their most comprehensive performances in years, handing Poland a convincing 3-0 defeat in Krakow that earned the U.S. consecutive victories on European soil for the first time in team history. The team faced a trio of fantastic friendlies for final prep before qualifying. England proved their class in a 2-0 win in London, but the U.S. quickly found their legs and dueled with the current champions of Europe until a 79th minute goal by Xavi Hernandez handed hosts Spain the spoils. A packed house of nearly 80,000 strong at Giants Stadium witnessed the U.S. stand tall against then No. 1-ranked Argentina, the teams dueling to a 0-0 draw while Donovan became the youngest U.S. player in history – and fourth youngest in the world – to reach the 100 cap mark.
After dispatching Barbados in the second round by an 9-0 aggregate score, the U.S. faced a tricky start to the Semifinal Round with two road matches. A goal from Carlos Bocanegra and a dogged, determined effort delivered the U.S. a 1-0 win against Guatemala, their first-ever on Guatemalan soil. Next came an historic visit to the island of Cuba, the USA’s first since 1947, with Clint Dempsey providing an opportunistic goal to give the U.S. all the scoring it needed. A 3-0 victory against Trinidad and Tobago represented a trio of records for the history books, including the first time the U.S. has earned six consecutive shutouts. The victory was also the sixth straight in World Cup qualifying dating back to the final match of the 2006 campaign, setting a team record. The five straight victories in one cycle also tied a team record set during the Final Round of the last qualifying run. The U.S. then dismantled Cuba on Oct. 11 at RFK Stadium, scoring six times en route to officially booking their place in the final round hexagonal. Using the final two matches to breed young talent, the U.S. suffered a 2-1 loss in Port-of-Spain before closing out the round with a 2-0 against Guatemala in the first-ever World Cup qualifier hosted in the state of Colorado.
The U.S. finished an impressive 2008 with a 9-3-2 record - including a convincing 7-1-0 mark in qualifying – as well as team records in average for most goals scored (2.14) and fewest allowed (0.57).
BOB ON THE JOB: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 30 games under his belt, seeing more than 70 different players at least once, and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 in full swing, a review of the body of work during the past 20 months points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:
- Won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row, a new team record
- Defended the CONCACAF Gold Cup title and qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
- Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008)
- Won back-to-back games in Europe for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, at Switzerland and March 26, 2008, at Poland)
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, at Switzerland, Nov. 17 at South Africa and March 26, 2008, at Poland)
- Played five matches against four teams ranked in the Top 10 in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain)
- Played matches on four continents and in two major international tournaments
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
|Record||Record vs. ...||Record when...|
|All-Time 21-8-3||CONCACAF: 13-1-2, 34 GF, 8 GA||leading at half: 13-0-1|
|Qualifying 7-1-0||CONMEBOL: 1-4-1, 7 GF, 13 GA||losing at half: 1-2-0|
|Goal For: 61||UEFA:4-3-0, 9 GF, 5 GA||tied at half: 7-6-2|
|Goals Against: 28||AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA|
|Shutouts: 14||CAF: 1-0-0, 1 GF, 0 GA|
MAXIMUM EXPOSURE FOR USA-MEXICO: Fans juiced to watch the Feb.11 showdown against Mexico got a big boost this week when ESPN announced that the match will be broadcast on ESPN2 in HD as part of ESPN's Rivalry Week, the second such stint in consecutive years for a USA-Mexico match. Last year, the USA vs. Mexico lived up to its billing in Rivalry Week, battling to a 2-2 draw at Houston's Reliant Stadium on Feb. 6. The USA's most anticipated match of the Final Round of Qualifying will also be shown live on Univision and broadcast live on the Futbol de Primera radio network. Ticket information for USA-Mexico can be found here.
CONFEDERATIONS CUP COMING: The United States has been drawn into a powerful Group B along with reigning world champions Italy, five-time World Cup winners Brazil, and reigning African Cup of Nations winners Egypt for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be played from June 14-28, 2009, in South Africa. The U.S. kicks off action against Italy on June 15 at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, and then faces Brazil on June 18 in the same venue. The United States finishes group play on June 21 against Egypt at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. The U.S. is playing in its fourth FIFA Confederations Cup tournament, having appeared most recently in the 2003 event in a group with Brazil, Turkey and Cameroon. The team reached the semifinals of the 1999 tournament, beating Germany and New Zealand in group play before losing to hosts Mexico in the semifinals. The matches next year will represent the USA’s second time playing on South African soil, the team having defeated South Africa 1-0 on Nov. 11, 2007, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
AND THEN THE GOLD CUP COMETH: Immediately after the FIFA Confederations Cup, and also sandwiched between the first and second half of the final round hexagonal, the U.S. will seek to three-peat its CONCACAF Gold Cup title as the 2009 version of the regional championship will be played from July 3-26 in the U.S. In the last edition, the U.S. clinched the berth to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, stringing together five straight wins against Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Panama and Canada to set up a final showdown with Mexico in Chicago. After going down a goal before halftime, the U.S. battled back and came from behind to win 2-1 before a packed house at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The U.S. also won in 2005, and now seeks to match Mexico’s record three-straight wins from 1993-1998.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Much has been made about the USA’s smothering defense in 2008 – and with nine shutouts, including a scoreless draw against then-No. 1 ranked Argentina, why shouldn’t there be? – but just as a successful defense requires all 11 players, so does the attack. So where have the U.S. goals come from? A quick examination of the 30 goals the U.S. put in the back of the net – well, 29 technically as one is registered as an own goal - reveals that:
- Six goals have come from defenders; five of those on set pieces
- 23 goals have come from attacking players, whether midfielders or forwards
- One came from the penalty spot
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SWEDEN FACT FILE
Founded: 1904 (Joined FIFA in 1904)
Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck
Best World Cup Finish: Runner-up, 1958
Best European Championship Finish: Semifinals, 1992
Caps Leader: Thomas Ravelli (143)
Top Scorer: Sven Rydell (49)
SIMILAR STORYLINES: The Swedish squad that has traveled to the United States bears many similarities to Bob Bradley's young team. Many of Sweden's established internationals feature for clubs whose seasons are ongoing in Europe and, like many of those U.S. players who play across the Atlantic, they were not released by their clubs for this game. As such, Sweden comes to the United States looking to gain experience for many of its younger players. After playing against the U.S. in Carson, Sweden will travel up the pacific coast for a game against Mexico on Jan. 28 in Oakland. That game will be a homecoming of sorts for Mexico's Sven-Göran Erikson, who will manage El Tri against his native country.
CAP GAP: Sweden midfielder Daniel Andersson has 70 caps for his country, but after that, the next closest cap total is Samuel Holmén with 12 international appearances. In total, half the roster (10 players) is uncapped and the average caps on the roster come out to just more than 5.5 per player. Fifteen of the 20 squad members play domestically in Sweden, while the other five come form Denmark (3) and Norway (2).
THE BUSINESS END: UEFA World Cup qualifying is approaching the business end of proceedings, and in 2009 Sweden will play a minimum of seven qualifying matches as they attempt to secure passage to next year's tournament in South Africa. Lagerbäck's team is in Group One of UEFA qualifying, with regional rivals Denmark and continental power Portugal among their toughest opponents. There already looks to be a log jam at the top of the group, with five teams separated by just two points. The top team in the group qualifies directly for the FIFA World Cup, while the runner up will face off with the runner up from another UEFA group in a home and away playoff.
UEFA World Cup Qualifying - Group 1
UNDERSTATED EFFICIENCY: Sweden is rarely mentioned in discussions of UEFA powerhouses, but the Blågult have quietly gone about their business as they build a track record of success. In one of the most difficult confederations, the Swedes have qualified for every major championship since 2000, and have advanced out of their World Cup groups in 2002 and 2006. During the tournament in Korea/Japan, Sweden memorably topped one of the toughest "Groups of Death" in recent memory, going undefeated against England, Nigeria and Argentina.
GRAND LARS-ENY: Sweden's head coach Lars Lagerbäck has presided over the team's five consecutive qualifications for major tournaments, serving as manager since 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he shared the position jointly with Tommy Söderberg, but has since taken over as the sole coach of the team. A steady figure with a thoughtful approach to the game, Lagerback recently signed an extension to his contract as he looks to guide Sweden to its third consecutive World Cup.
HAPPY RETURNS: Fans of Sweden will always remember the team's noteworthy run to the semifinals in the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States. Led by forward Martin Dahlin and featuring legendary goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli (who would later go on to play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny of the MLS), Sweden advanced out of a group that featured Brazil, Cameroon and Russia. After beating Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16, the Swedes contested one of the most memorable matches of the tournament against Romania in the quarterfinals. The match at Stanford Stadium had everything, including two extra-time goals, but Sweden narrowly won the nail-biting shootout, a young Henrik Larsson converting the final spot kick before Ravelli came up with the decisive save. The run would finally end for Sweden in the semifinals, as Mario Zagallo's ruthless Brazilian side proved to be a bridge too far, but the Swedes would earn a great consolation prize with a third-place win against Bulgaria.
VS. THE U.S.: The U.S. is 3-3-0 lifetime against Sweden, and is 1-1-0 during Bob Bradley's tenure. In 2007, the U.S. traveled to Goteborg, Sweden but fell 1-0 in a tightly contested game at the Ullevi stadium, with Kim Kallstrom's goal proving to be the difference. Last January, the U.S. returned the favor, with Eddie Robinson and Landon Donovan grabbing the goals in a comfortable 2-0 win. Despite the relative frequency that both teams feature at the World Cup, the U.S. has never met Sweden in an official competition.
DID YOU KNOW?
A) Last year’s meeting at the HDC marked the 500th international for the U.S. Men's National Team
2) The victory improved the USA’s all-time record to 194-194-112, putting the U.S. at .500 in their 500th
3) The USA's first-ever international match? A 3-2 road victory against Sweden on Aug. 20, 1916, in Stockholm
On the field for the USA
November 19, 2008 | Dick's Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colo. | 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Semifinal Round
USA 2 Kenny Cooper 54, Freddy Adu 69
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 5-John Thorrington, 3-Clarence Goodson, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 2-Jonathan Bornstein; 10-Freddy Adu (7-Davy Arnaud, 83), 4-Pablo Mastroeni (capt.), 13-Ricardo Clark, 16-Sacha Kljestan; 9-Kenny Cooper (8-Conor Casey, 76), 14-Jozy Altidore (11-Brian Ching, 76)
Subs Not Used: 1-Troy Perkins, 6-Drew Moor, 12-Cory Gibbs, 17-Chris Rolfe
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
GUA: 18-Ricardo Jerez, 2- Carlos Castrillo, 3-Cristian Noriega , 4-Yony Flores, 7-Claudio Albizuris, 9-Mario
Acevedo (17-Minor Lopez, 74), 10-Guillermo Ramirez, 12-Carlos Figueroa (8-Marco Pappa, 57), 13-Carlos Castillo, 16-Jean Marquez, 11-Marvin Avila
Subs Not Used: 1-Luis Molina, 5-Jaime Vides, 6-Wilson Lalin, 14-Carlos Vasquez, 15-Fredy
Head Coach: Benjamin Monterroso
On the field for Sweden
November 19, 2008 | PSV Stadium – Eindhoven, Netherlands | International Friendly
Netherlands 3 Robin Van Persie 33, 50, Dirk Kuyt 90
Sweden 1 Kim Kallstrom 51
NED: 1-Hank Timmer (16-Michel Vorm, 47); 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst (capt.) (13-Tim de Cler, 47), 2-Johnny Heitinga (18-David Mendes da Silva, 78), 4-Joris Mathijsen, 3-André Ooijer; 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder (14-Orlando Engelaar, 74), 8-Demy de Zeeuw (15-Rafael van der Vaart, 48), 9-Dirk Kuyt; 7-Robin van Persie, 11-Ryan Babel (17-Ibrahim Afellay, 63)
Subs Not Used: 12-Khalid Boulahrouz
Head Coach: Bert van Marwijk
SWE: 1-Andreas Isaksson; 4-Petter Hansson (14-Andreas Granqvist, 80), 2-Mikael Per Benny Nilsson, 3-Daniel Majstorovic, 5-Behrang Safari (13-Fredrik Stoor, 52); 7-Christian Wilhelmsson (18-Sebastian Larsson, 52), 6-Daniel Andersson (16-Kim Källström, 51), 8-Rasmus Lindgren, 9-Samuel Holmén (15-Viktor Elm, 76); 11-Henrik Larsson (capt.) (19-Markus Rosenberg, 52), 10-Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Subs Not Used: 12-Johan Wiland
Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck
January 20, 2008 | The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif. | International Friendly
USA 2 Eddie Robinson 15, Landon Donovan (penalty kick) 48
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 15-Drew Moor, 8-Eddie Robinson (16-Michael Parkhurst, 46) 12-Jimmy Conrad (7-Clarence Goodson, 46), 6-Ramiro Corrales; 10-Landon Donovan (capt.) (23-Jeremiah White, 81), 13-Ricardo Clark, 19-Maurice Edu, 22-Brad Davis (26-Sacha Kljestan, 72); 20-Taylor Twellman (14-Josmer Altidore, 46), 11-Pat Noonan (17-Chris Rolfe, 63)
Subs not used: 1-Steve Cronin
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
SWE: 1-Rami Shaaban; 2-Mikael Lustig, 3-Mattias Bjärsmyr, 4-Peter Larsson, 5-Oscar Rönningberg (15-Behrang Safari, 61), 6-Daniel Andersson (capt.); 7-Niclas Alexandersson (18-Viktor Elm, 46), 8-Anders Svensson, 9-Andreas Johansson (16-Samuel Holmen, 61); 10-Rade Prica (20-Johan Oremo, 61), 11-Pontus Wernbloom (19-Andreas Dahl, 78).
Subs not used: 12-Johan Wiland, 13-Fredrik Stoor, 14-Suleiman Sleyman, 17-Stefan Ishizaki, 21-Louay Chanko
Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck