CHICAGO (August 30, 2004) —U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has called 23 players into camp to train for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and Panama.
The U.S. first meets El Salvador on Saturday, Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World and Telemundo. The team then travels to face Panama four days later at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez on Wednesday, Sept. 8 in Panama City. Kickoff for that match is set for 8 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World and tape delayed on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
Nine players on the roster started in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Aug. 18, the opening match of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. All told, 18 of the 23 players were in Kingston.
“The matches against El Salvador and Panama represent a critical time in our efforts to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, and this group of players gives us the best chance of being successful,” said Arena, who is still one win away from reaching 50 career victories, adding to his all-time U.S. best record of 49-23-20. “We’re looking forward to a good week of preparation and the opportunity to solidify our place in the group.”
Long-time team captain Claudio Reyna is set to lead the U.S. side, the Manchester City midfielder now sitting on 103 international appearances in his career. Reyna made his return to the national team lineup for the first time since the 2002 FIFA World Cup in last year’s 2-0 victory against El Salvador on July 12, 2003, in the opening match of the 2003 Gold Cup. Fulham forward Brian McBride netted a goal and an assist in that game, adding to his history as a menace to the Salvadoran team. McBride has six goals all-time against the Azules, leading all U.S. scorers, and is second on the USA’s all-time goal scoring charts with 25 goals. Also included in the strike force is San Jose Earthquakes forward Brian Ching, whose 89th minute strike against Jamaica earned the U.S. an important point on the road and handed Ching honors as Chevrolet Man of the Match.
Arena has called three goalkeepers into Boston, including veteran Kasey Keller. The Tottenham Hotspur netminder is the USA's all-time leader in victories (39) and shutouts (34), which includes 10 wins and 12 shutouts in World Cup qualifying action. Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard returns to the fold for the third time this year, having appeared in the USA’s 4-0 victory against Honduras on June 2 in Foxboro and the 1-1 draw against Poland on July 11 in Chicago. The 2004 EPL Goalkeeper of the Year earned his first cap for the United States in the 2-0 victory against El Salvador on Nov. 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C.
Youth is once again well served on the roster, with 11 players under the age of 25. This group includes the trio of next generation leaders in DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and Landon Donovan. Beasley continues to set the pace for U.S. attackers, his four goals best for the U.S. in 2004. The PSV midfielder has recorded three goals in 2006 World Cup qualifying action so far, including a pair in the USA’s 3-2 victory against Grenada on June 13 in Columbus, Ohio. Bobby Convey rejoins the U.S. squad after sitting out the 1-1 draw in Jamaica while settling with his new club, Reading FC. Donovan is tied for the team lead in games started this year (9), and is second in minutes played (793). The 2003 Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year became the youngest player in U.S. history to reach 50 caps when he started in the USA’s victory against Grenada to open 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying in Columbus.
The MetroStars make the largest contribution to the roster, sending three players led by team captain Eddie Pope. Jonny Walker has been a consistent call up, earning his first three caps for the U.S. in 2004. Eddie Gaven became the fourth youngest player in U.S. history to make an appearance for the senior team (17 years and 260 days of age) in the July 11 match against Poland.
The Dallas Burn send the pair of Cory Gibbs and Eddie Johnson to camp. One of two players in search of their first-ever appearance for the senior team, Johnson netted a pair of goals in the Burn’s 4-1 victory against Chicago this past Saturday. The other player without a cap is U.S. MNT debutante Oguchi Onyewu, the former U-23 defender making his first-ever training camp roster with the senior team.
The team begins training this afternoon in Boston, with players continuing to arrive through Tuesday. The team will remain in the area until Sept. 7 before departing for Panama.
Tickets for the El Salvador match, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET and will be followed by the New England Revolution taking on the San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer action, are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout New England (including all Filene’s stores), and by calling 617-931-2000 (Boston), 413-733-2500 (Western Mass.), 207-775-3331 (Maine), 603-868-7300 (New Hampshire) or 401-331-2211 (Rhode Island). Substantial group discounts are available by calling 877-GET-REVS (877-438-7387) for more information. Tickets for the doubleheader range from $35 to $125.
The U.S. opened the semifinal round of FIFA 2006 World Cup qualifying with a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Aug. 18 in Kingston. In the other match in Group 1, El Salvador claimed a 2-1 victory against Panama to take first place in the group. The top two teams in the group will advance to the final round of qualifying that begins next year. The four-team group concludes for the U.S. with a road game on Oct. 9 in El Salvador and then consecutive home games on Oct. 13 against Panama in Washington, D.C., and Nov. 17 against Jamaica in Columbus, Ohio.
U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
Aug. 30, 2004-Sept. 7, 2004
ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard (Manchester United), Kasey Keller (Tottenham Hotspur), Jonny Walker (MetroStars)
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Greg Vanney (SC Bastia)
Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), Landon Donovan, (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (4): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Dallas Burn), Brian McBride (Fulham FC)
U.S. Men’s National Team Staff
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (Fairfax, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Myernick (Denver)
Assistant Coach: Curt Onalfo (Fairfax, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Milutin Soskic (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Fitness Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Charlottesville, Va.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Los Angeles)
Trainers: Jim Hashimoto (Wilmington, Del.), Bruce Snell (Tacoma, Wash.)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Ryan Maxfield (Los Angeles)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)