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U.S. MNT Ready for No. 1-Ranked Argentina on Sunday, June 8


U.S. Men's National Team vs. Argentina Notes
East Rutherford, N.J.
June 7, 2008

READY FOR NO. 1 - The U.S. Men's National Team has returned to the United States to take on Argentina, the world's No. 1 ranked team, as their final preparation for World Cup Qualifying. Over 70,000 tickets have been sold for the blockbuster match to be held Sunday, June 8 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow online on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS

  • The U.S. group arrived into New Jersey on Thursday evening after a 21-hour trip from Santander.
  • Kenny Cooper, Landon Donovan, Drew Moor and Sacha Kljestan are the four additions to the roster from the England match, while Carlos Bocanegra, Nate Jaqua and Josh Wolff were released. Bocanegra and Wolff were excused for family commitments. Cooper and Moor were added late, arriving on Saturday and bringing the roster to 21.
  • The U.S. is 2-2-1 in 2008, with seven goals scored and five surrendered.
  • Bob Bradley has used 37 different players through five matches this year and deployed five different lineups.
  • Overall, the U.S. is 14-7-2 since Bradley took over in January of 2007, winning the Gold Cup last July and earning a place in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.
  • Landon Donovan became the U.S. all-time leading scorer earlier this year when he netted a penalty against Sweden on Jan. 19 to take his career tally to 35 goals. Netting the game-winner in front of his home fans at The Home Depot Center, the 26-year-old surpassed Eric Wynalda to grab sole possession of the top spot. Re-live all of Donovan’s 35 goals with ussoccer.com’s interactive video chart.
  • On the current roster, defender Michael Bradley and Oguchi Onyewu are tied for the team lead in minutes played in 2008, each registering 332 minutes over four matches. Onyewu’s goals in back-to-back matches against Mexico and Poland are good for the team lead this year.
  • The U.S. has played top-ranked Argentina eight times in their history, holding a lifetime record of 2-6-0 against the South American juggernaut. Of those eight matches, only three have been played in the United States, with the other five taking place in neutral sites. The two U.S. victories include a 3-0 upset of the defending champions in the group phase of the 1995 Copa America, and a 1-0 win in 1999 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., when a Joe-Max Moore goal was the difference.
  • The team’s last met during the 2007 Copa America, a young U.S. side hanging with Argentina for 60 minutes before falling 4-1 on June 28, 2007 in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
  • Both Jay DeMerit and Eddie Johnson lined up for the U.S. that day, Johnson putting the U.S. in the lead with a penalty kick conversion in the ninth minute.
  • The U.S. is playing their final match at Giants Stadium, which will be closed later this year. The team is 4-2-1 lifetime in East Rutherford, compiling a 3-0-1 record since 1990 that includes three shutouts. The largest attendance for a U.S. match at the stadium was on June 11, 2000, when 45,008 fans witnessed the U.S. produce a 3-0 dismantling of Mexico. Last time out, the U.S. needed penalty kicks to defeat Panama on June 24, 2007, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
  • In the past 12 months, the U.S. has played on four different continents (Africa, Europe, North America, and South America), played five times in Europe, competed in two major international tournaments, and won three straight road matches for the first time in team history.
  • This is the 11th time the U.S. MNT will face the top-ranked team in the world since the FIFA rankings started in 1993. The first two were against Germany in 1993, with the other eight all against Brazil, including the last meeting on July 23, 2003, in Miami, Fla. (a 2-1 loss).

DONOVAN SET TO JOIN THE CENTURY CLUB: Should Landon Donovan play in the match against Argentina, he will add another remarkable statistic to his already impressive international résumé by becoming the fourth youngest male player of all-time to earn 100 caps. Only 10 other U.S. players have achieved that mark, with Kasey Keller being the most recent player to reach 100 appearances when he minded the net during last year’s Gold Cup semifinal victory against Canada. Cobi Jones remains the USA’s all-time capwinner with 164 appearances – still good for fourth most in the world - while Marcelo Balboa holds the distinction of become the first U.S. player, either male or female, to join the century club.

Youngest 100 Cap Winners

Name Nationality Birthdate 100th Cap
1. Cha Bum-Kun South Korea 5/22/1953 10/9/1977
2. Sami Al-Jaber Saudi Arabia 12/11/1972 5/27/1998
3. Mohammed Al-Khilaiwi Saudi Arabia 5/24/1971 9/27/1998
4. Cobi Jones USA 6/16/1970 2/10/1998

U.S. 100 Cap Winners
Name Caps Goals (SO) Era
1. Cobi Jones 164 15 1992-2004
2. Jeff Agoos 134 4 1988-2003
3. Marcelo Balboa 128 13 1988-2000
4. Claudio Reyna 112 8 1994-2006
5. Paul Caligiuri 110 5 1984-1998
6. Eric Wynalda 106 34 1990-2000
7. Kasey Keller 102 (47) 1990-
8. Earnie Stewart 101 17 1988-2006
9. Tony Meola 100 (32) 1988-2006
10. Joe-Max Moore 100 24 1992-2002

LANDON TOPS THE U.S. SCORING CHARTS: Landon has already recorded his name in the record books once this year, reaching the summit of the USA’s all-time goalscoring list. His game-winner in the 2-0 victory against Sweden on January 20 increased his career total to 35 goals in international play, pushing him past Eric Wynalda for the all-time lead. “I wouldn’t classify it as important but it’s something that I’m very proud of,” said Donovan of the record. “More so than scoring goals, being part of the team for a long time it’s something I’m proud of. For me, the most important part of any game is helping the team get a victory.” To view all 35 of Landon’s goals, click here.

AND MLS, WHILE HE’S AT IT: Donovan is also lighting it up in MLS, currently leading the league in both goals (9) and assists (6). Former U.S. international Roy Lassiter holds the record for most goals in a season with 27, a mark he achieved in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny. The assists record is held by three-time World Cup veteran Carlos Valderrama. The Colombian tallied 26 assists in 2000, also with the Mutiny. In the 13-year history of MLS, no player has simultaneously finished atop both the goals and assists charts.

KELLER GETTING CREDIT: Four-time World Cup veteran Kasey Keller will be recognized prior to the Argentina match to honor the achievement of reaching 100 caps. Currently with 102 appearances to his credit, this is the first match on U.S. soil that Keller has been available to be recognized since reaching the milestone in the USA’s 2-1 win against Canada on June 21, 2007, in the semifinal of the Gold Cup. The USA’s all-time leader for goalkeepers in wins, shutouts, and World Cup qualifying appearances is also the only three-time winner of U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award. Coincidentally, Keller was in goal for both of the USA’s victories against Argentina.

SERIOUS FREQUENT FLIER MILES: Brad Guzan has logged some serious frequent flier miles over the past couple of weeks, appearing in both of the USA's games in Europe without missing a beat for his club team. Guzan went the full 90 for Chivas in a 2-1 road loss to Colorado on May 24, hopped a plane for London and played 45 minutes for the MNT three days later. He then made the Transatlantic flight back to Los Angeles for Chivas USA's 2-0 win against Columbus on May 31, and then boarded another plane bound for Santander where he met up with the group and played another 45 minutes against Spain on June 4. Hours after the Spain game, Guzan completed this leg of the journey of more than 20,000 miles when he arrived in New York at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, and played 90 minutes against the Red Bulls that night. In what was surely a relief for the net minder, he gets to stay in New York for the USA's game against Argentina on Sunday before making his way back to Los Angeles on Monday ahead of his team's home game against Chicago on Thursday night.

DAMARCUS DOES ‘THE DOUBLE’: DaMarcus Beasley returned to the Rangers' starting lineup for the first time since November and made his return in style, playing a vital role in the Glasgow club's 3-2 victory against Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup Final on May 24 at Hampden Park. Beasley drew the foul that set up the first goal, then tallied a strike of his own to double Rangers' lead. Queen of the South fought back to tie the game, but Beasley helped write the final chapter by sending a corner kick in the direction of Kris Boyd, who fired home the winner for Rangers. The victory gave Rangers their second piece of silverware in 2008 after Walter Smith's side hoisted the League Cup in March.

NOT THE ONLY CHAMPION: Along with Beasley, two other U.S. internationals hoisted trophies in Europe this year. Oguchi Onyewu helped Standard de Liege to their first Belgian League championship in 25 years and a place in next season’s Champions League. In Denmark, defender Danny Califf captained Aalborg to their third-ever league title and the club’s first since 1999. The team tore through the Superligaen, collecting the fourth-most points in league history while setting club records for points, goals and away victories.

TEXT TO WIN: Just like Andros Limon, you’re a U.S. Soccer fan. Unlike Andros Limon, you’re probably not going to the USA-Argentina match at Giants Stadium for free after winning an Ultimate VIP Fan Experience ticket. So, what exactly did your normal, every day U.S. Soccer fan do to earn this fantastic prize? He did something you probably do every day – he sent a text message. Andros was the lucky winner in U.S. Soccer’s “Text to Win” contest, where fans simply text the word “SOCCER” for U.S. Soccer mobile alerts. He’ll travel to the match for free, get two premium tickets, a customized jersey, passes to the pre-match hospitality area, field passes to watch the game and much more. You could be the next winner, so keep an eye our for the next “Text to Win” contest on ussoccer.com.

MATCH MEMORIES: U.S. Soccer is now providing fans with the opportunity to capture, collect and share their unique National Team game experiences. Through a partnership with Panraven, fans can take photos and videos from National Team games and create online and hardbound scrap books that can be shared with family and friends. The free service allows you to customize and create a rich multimedia journal to display and preserve all your favorite U.S. Soccer memories. Check it out here.

IN FOCUS: USA-ARGENTINA

#1 IN THE WORLD: Alfio Basile's highly rated Argentina side comes into Sunday's game ranked number one in the world, a position it has held since late last year. With the Clausura winding down in Argentina, Basile has called in a squad consisting only of European based players for the game against the United States. There are three members of Italian Serie A champions Internazionale - Javier Zanetti, Julio Cruz and Nicolás Burdisso. The bulk of the roster comes from La Liga in Spain, with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid's Sergio Agüero headlining the list.

Argentina Squad vs. United States
GOALKEEPERS (2): Roberto Abbondanzieri (Getafe), Oscar Ustari (Getafe)
DEFENDERS (8): Nicolás Burdisso (Inter Milan), Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo La Coruna), Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Jonás Gutiérrez (Mallorca), Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid), Gonzalo Rodríguez (Villarreal), Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol), Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Éver Banega (Valencia), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atléico Madrid), José Sosa (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS (5): Fernando Cavenaghi (Bordeaux), Julio Cruz (Inter Milan), Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid), Lisandro López (Porto), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

TUNING UP MEXICO: Argentina tuned up for Sunday's match against the United States by thrashing Mexico 4-1 in front of 68,498 fans at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Argentines outclassed the Mexicans, jumping out to a 3-0 halftime lead courtesy of goals from Nicolás Burdisso, Lionel Messi and Maxi Rodríguez. Though Mexico pulled a goal back through Antonio Naelson, it was always going to be a consolation strike, and Argentina strolled to a comfortable victory. With incoming Mexico manager Sven-Goran Eriksson looking on from the stands, Sergio Agüero added to Argentina's lead late on to secure a 4-1 scoreline.

PABLO PUMPED UP: While no one needs any extra incentive to get motivated to play Argentina, there’s no one more psyched for the matchup than Pablo Mastroeni. Born in Mendoza, Argentina, he moved to Phoenix at the age of four and became a U.S. citizen in 2001. A member of the 2002 and 2006 World Cup teams, Mastroeni made his first appearance of 2008 for the U.S. in the 1-0 loss to Spain in Santander, having arrived in Spain just over 24 hours before kickoff. Pablo has faced his native country once before, starting in the USA’s 1-0 to Argentina on Feb. 8, 2003, in Miami.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Including DeMerit, Johnson, and Mastroeni, a total of eight players have previous experience against Argentina. Six players were on the field in February of 2003, while Eddie Lewis is the only active player to have tasted victory against the world’s current top-ranked team. He started in the 1-0 victory on June 13, 1999, in Washington, D.C., giving way to substitute Joe Max-Moore who scored the game’s only goal. The breakdown:

Date Venue Result U.S. Players
June 13, 1999 Washington, D.C. 1-0 W Eddie Lewis

Feb. 8, 2003 Miami, Florida 0-1 L DaMarcus Beasley, Danny Califf, Landon
Donovan, Tim Howard, Pablo Mastroeni

June 28, 2007 Maracaibo, Venezuela 1-4 L Jay DeMerit, Eddie Johnson

THE BIG ONE: Argentina is in the United States as part of preparations for CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, which resumes later this month. The marathon qualifying tournament began last year in South America, and was the first region to start the road to the 2020 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Currently in second place after four matches, Argentina hosts Ecuador in Buenos Aires on June 15, before traveling to face regional rival Brazil on June 18 in Belo Horizonte. The meeting between the two world powerhouses will be the first since Brazil’s 3-0 victory in the 2007 Copa America Final in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

CONEMBOL World Cup Qualifying Standings
Round 1 

1. Paraguay 4 3 1 0 9 1 10
2. Argentina 4 3 0 1 8 2 9
3. Brazil 4 2 2 0 8 2 8
4. Colombia 4 2 2 0 3 1 8
5. Venezuela 4 2 0 2 6 6 6
6. Uruguay 4 1 1 2 8 5 4
7. Chile 4 1 1 2 4 7 4
8. Ecuador 4 1 0 3 6 12 3
9. Peru 4 0 2 2 2 8 2
10. Bolivia 4 0 1 3 3 13 1

AND THEN THE GAMES THAT MATTER: For all the hype and challenge of the trio of friendlies, they merely set the table for the most important matches of the year to date. 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 in Barbados, with details still to be finalized. Barbados will warm up with two friendlies on June 6 and June 9 away to Bermuda. Their hosts have also earned their way into the second round of qualifying where they will take on Trinidad & Tobago.

LAST TIME...
On the field for the USA
June 4, 2008 – Estadio El Sardinero, Santander, Spain – International Friendly
Spain   1     Xavi 79’
USA      0

ESP: 1-Iker Casillas (Capt.); 11-Joan Capdevila (3-Fernando Navarro, 53), 4-Carlos Marchena, 5-Carlos Puyol, 15-Sergio Ramos; 12-Santi Cazorla, 8-Xavi Hernandez, 14-Xabi Alonso (19-Marcos Senna, 46), 21-David Silva (22-Ruben De La Red, 58); 9-Fernando Torres (17-Daniel Güiza, 46), 10-Cesc Fabregas (18-Álvaro Arbeloa, 84)
Head Coach: Luis Aragones

USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (5-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey (25-Pablo Mastroeni, 86), 26-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Eddie Lewis (16-Josh Wolff, 70); 9-Eddie Johnson, 19-Freddy Adu (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 46)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

On the field for Argentina
June 4, 2008 – Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California – International Friendly
Argentina    4     Nicolás Burdisso 11', Lionel Messi 17', Maxi Rodríguez 29', Sergio Agüero 71'
Mexico         1     Antonio Naelson 61'

ARG: 1-Roberto Abbondanzieri; 8-Javier Zanetti (Capt.), 2- Martín Demichelis, 22- Fabricio Coloccini. 4-Nicolás Burdisso; 7-Maxi Rodríguez (16-Jonás Gutiérrez, 73), 5-Fernando Gago (15-Ever Banega, 78), 14-Javier Mascherano, 18-Lionel Messi (Lisandro López, 84); 9-Julio Cruz (20-Fernando Cavenaghi, 60), 11-Sergio Agüero (17-José Sosa, 84)
Head Coach: Alfio Basile

MEX: 1-Oswaldo Sánchez; 5-Ricardo Osorio (Capt.), 2-Jonny Magallón, 3-Carlos Salcido (15-Fernando Arce, 60); 6.- Gerardo Torrado (14-Gonzalo Pineda, 73); 11-Carlos Vela, 7-Antonio Naelson 8-Luis Pérez (9-Jared Borgetti, 66), 16-Sergio Amaury Ponce (4-Aarón Galindo, 46), 18-Andrés Guardado (20-Adrián Aldrete, 56); 21-Sergio Santana (10-Cesar Villaluz, 46)
Head Coach: Jesús Ramírez

Vs. Argentina
June 28, 2007 – Estadio Juan Panchencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela – 2007 Copa America
USA             1    Eddie Johnson 9’ pen
Argentina    4    Hernan Crespo 11’, 64’; Pablo Aimar 78’, Carlos Tevez 85’

USA: 18-Kasey Keller (capt.); 2-Marvell Wynne, 3-Jay DeMerit, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 5-Benny Feilhaber, 19-Ricardo Clark (17-Kyle Beckerman, 79), 14-Ben Olsen (11-Eddie Gaven, 62), 21-Justin Mapp; 20-Taylor Twellman (8-Herculez Gomez, 69), 9-Eddie Johnson
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ARG: 1-Robert Abbondanzieri; 8-Javier Zanetti, 2-Robert Ayala (capt.), 15-Gabriel Milito, 6-Gabriel Heinze; 14-Javier Mascherano, 20-Juan Sebastian Veron, 19-Esteban Cambiasso (16-Pablo Aimar, 58), 10-Juan Roman Riquelme; 18-Lionel Messi (11-Carlos Tevez, 79), 9-Hernan Crespo
Head Coach: Alfio Basile

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