SEOUL (June 4, 2002) - The U.S. Men’s World Cup Team trained at Suwon World Cup Stadium tonight. What some said would be an hour car ride turned into 25 minutes with the help of a police escort. The U.S. team arrived at the new stadium and exited off the bus and walked 35 yards to the gamefield. The set-up at the stadium is extremely efficient, with the bus driving into the stadium and parking just steps from the locker room. The U.S. team trained for just over an hour at the Stadium. The players warmed up for 15 minutes before breaking up into a large 10 v 10 possession game, while the goalkeepers trained on the other end of the field with U.S. goalkeeper coach Milutin Soskic. To finish practice the U.S. played a full-field 11 v 11 match to get used to the field and its conditions. The players enjoyed the new stadium and were impressed by the playing surface.
PORTUGAL CHECKS OUT OPPONENTS:Portugal arrived at the stadium before their scheduled practice time on Tuesday night. And naturally the team wanted to look at the field and the playing surface. However the U.S. team was still training. The Portuguese milled around the tunnel area leading off the field until the U.S. practice came to a close. As the U.S. players exited, pleasantries were exchanged by some. U.S. forward Joe-Max Moore stopped to catch up with his former Everton teammate and Portugal defender Abel Xavier. The two played together at Everton for parts of three seasons, starting in 1999, before Xavier moved to Liverpool during the 2001-2002 season.
ARENA’s RESPONSE TO KOREA – POLAND MATCH: U.S. head coach Bruce Arena watched Korea post an impressive 2-0 win over Poland on Tuesday. Following the game, Arena had this to say: "I thought that Korea played very well tonight. We know from experience that they are a strong team, and we expect a difficult match on Monday night."
SEOUL COMES ALIVE FOR KOREA WIN: Following the Korea win on Tuesday night, the city of Seoul and the whole country took to celebrating the wonderful performance. Fans roamed the street celebrating, and a crowd of more than 100 fans gathered outside one of the U.S. hotels and serenaded the hotel guests with a popular "Korean Team Fighting" chant. An hour after the game, the entire match was being replayed on three separate television channels.
OPENING GAME RECORDS: The U.S. has posted a 1-4-1 record in opening World Cup games in its history. Their only win came in their first-ever World Cup game. The U.S. has been outscored 18-7 in those matches, but has only been shutout once – in 1998.
Date Opponent Result Location
July 13, 1930 Belgium 3-0 W Montevideo, Uruguay
May 27, 1934 Italy 1-7 L Rome, Italy
June 25, 1950 Spain 1-3 L Curtiba, Brazil
June 10, 1990 Czechoslovakia 1-5 L Florence, Italy
June 18, 1994 Switzerland 1-1 T Detroit, Mich.
June 15, 1998 Germany 0-2 L Paris, France
USA’s LAST THREE CUP OPENERS: The U.S. will be opening up play in their fourth straight World Cup on Wednesday. Members of the 2002 U.S. World Cup Team all participated in the previous three openers. Tony Meola started in goal in the openers in 1990 and 1994. Earnie Stewart started in the ’94 opener and Cobi Jones came off the bench to replace him. And in 1998 Kasey Keller started the opener against Germany in goal, and Eddie Pope, David Regis, Claudio Reyna, Earnie Stewart and Cobi Jones also started in the 2-0 loss. Frankie Hejduk came off the bench in the second half in that game. The line-ups from each of the last three World Cup openers:
1990: Meola, Trittschuh, Armstrong, Windischmann, Stollmeyer (Balboa), Caligiuri-GOAL, Harkes, Ramos, Wynalda, B. Murray (Sullivan), Vermes.
1994: Meola, Balboa,Caligiuri, Kooiman, Lalas, Harkes, Dooley, Ramos, Sorber, Wynalda-GOAL (Wegerle), Stewart (C. Jones).
1998: Keller, Dooley, Regis, Pope, Deering (Ramos), Maisonneuve, Burns (Hejduk), Reyna, Stewart, Jones, Wynalda (Wegerle).
U.S. vs. EUROPEAN OPPONENTS IN THE WORLD CUP: The U.S. has played 11 matches against European foes in World Cup competition, posting a 2-8-1 record. In the three World Cups held in the 1990s, the U.S. was 0-6-1 against European teams.
Date Opponent Result
July 13, 1930 Belgium 3-0 W
May 27, 1934 Italy 1-7 L
June 25, 1950 Spain 1-3 L
June 29, 1950 England 1-0 W
June 10, 1990 Czechoslovakia 1-5 L
June 14, 1990 Italy 0-1 L
June 19, 1990 Austria 1-2 L
June 18, 1994 Switzerland 1-1 T
June 26, 1994 Romania 0-1 L
June 15, 1998 Germany 0-2 L
June 25, 1998 Yugoslavia 0-1 L
WORLD CUP PLUS: For up-to-the-minute World Cup updates, feature stories, quotes and more, visit U.S. Soccer's "World Cup Plus" at ussoccer.com. With updates coming to you live from Korea, the site offers exclusive audio and photos from the team's training camp in Seoul. Today on "World Cup Plus" find:
-- Review of today’s three matches
-- In-depth look at Portugal
-- Quote Sheet – Bruce Arena, John O’Brien
-- June 5 Game Previews
-- Exclusive photos from today's training session and daily life around the team
-- Updated Group Standings and Schedules
-- Exclusive audio
-- The latest entry from the Ethan Zohn Zone sees Ethan taking in his first U.S. Soccer press conference
U.S. vs. UEFA’s GROUP 2: To qualify for their first World Cup in 16 years, Portugal had to survive the most difficult in European qualifying. “Group 2” included Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Andorra. Portugal and Ireland tied at the top of the group standings with a 7-0-3 record. Portugal earned first-place in the group because of their superior goal differential (33-7). In their run up to the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. played Netherlands and Irealnd, two of Portugal’s Group 2 rivals. What follows is a quick comparison between how the U.S. and Portugal fared against the Netherlands and Ireland.
@ Ireland 1-2 L April 17, 2002
@ Netherlands 2-4 L May 19, 2002
vs. Ireland 1-1 T October 7,2000
@ Ireland 1-1 T June 2, 2001
@ Netherlands 2-0 W October 11, 2000
vs. Netherlands 2-2 T March 28, 2001
U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS PARTY IN SEOUL: A contingent of U.S. Soccer fans and Sam's Army members partied it up on Tuesday night, meeting at a Seoul steakhouse to watch Korea-Poland, swap stories and talk about Uncle Sam’s squad. More than 100 U.S. fans turned up at Nashville’s to watch Korea net a deserved 2-0 win.
SUWON, THE CITY: Suwon is the capital of Kyonggi-Do Province and is the home to many of Korea’s high-tech companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK, as well as a number of research institutes and universities. Since ancient times Suwon is a city that has been known for its breathtaking scenery and abundant streams and mountains. The city of Suwon has a population of 772,000 and is located 29 miles directly south of Seoul. As part of the city infrastructure modified for the 2002 World Cup, the city has seen construction of the Suwon Convention City 21, along with the Image Theme Park and a World Miniature Castle Park where visitors can see a unique collection of scale models of famous castles from around the world. The Hwaseong Observation Tower will be put in place as a central feature of all these projects to commemorate the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Suwon World Cup Stadium: The Suwon World Cup Stadium was completed in May 2001, and has a capacity of 44,047. The stadium features a design harmonizing the history of the ancient city with high-tech architecture. Suwon is known for having some of the most passionate soccer fans in the country and is the home ot the Samsung Blue Wings, who won back-to-back league titles in 1998 and 1999.
T-MINUS: There is only one day left until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which happens to correspond to the number of goals scored by the U.S. in the 1998 World Cup.
THEY SAID IT: “Definitely, we have been here quite awhile, and when you are a week-and-a-half out you don’t really feel why you are here. But now that the Cup has started everyone has been excited watching a lot of the games and we are really looking forward to playing.”
--- U.S. midfielder John O’Brien, on how things have changed for the team now that the tournament has started
UPCOMING TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Tuesday, June 4 - 1:00 p.m. ET - Classic - Brazil vs. Turkey (Taped 6/3)
Tuesday, June 4 - 3:00 p.m. ET - Classic - Italy vs. Ecuador (Taped 6/3)
Wednesday, June 5 - 2:25 a.m. ET –ESPN2 - Russia vs. Tunisia
Wednesday, June 5 - 4:55 a.m. ET - ESPN2 – United States vs. Portugal
Wednesday, June 5 - 7:25 a.m. ET - ESPN2 - Germany vs. Ireland
Wednesday, June 5 - 3:00 p.m. ET - ESPN2 – United States vs. Portugal (Rebroadcast)
Wednesday, June 5 - 3:00 p.m. ET - Classic - Korea vs. Poland (Taped 6/4)