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U.S. MNT Faces Canada in Gold Cup Semifinal Thursday Night in Chicago


U.S. Men’s National Team Gold Cup Update
June 20, 2007
Chicago, Ill.

SET FOR THE SEMIFINALS: The U.S. Men’s National Team is in Chicago and set to take on northern neighbor Canada in the semifinals of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Arriving in Chicago was a homecoming of sorts for some of the players, many of whom grew up in the area or played for the Chicago Fire. Studio 90 cameras were at practice to talk to these players and capture the team’s training prior to Thursday’s game (watch). The match will kick off at 6 p.m. CT at Soldier Field. Fans can watch the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and TeleFutura, or follow along online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS

  • With the 2-1 win against Panama, the United States advanced to the semifinals for the eighth time in nine previous Gold Cup tournaments and improved their record to 11-4-4 in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup
  • The U.S. has all 22 players in camp available for selection, with Brad Guzan remaining with Chivas USA
  • DaMarcus Beasley, Frankie Hejduk, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu all picked up yellow cards in the quarterfinal win against Panama. If they receive a caution in this match, they would be suspended for the final
  • For Canada, only Martin Nash carries a caution into Thursday’s game
  • Heading into Thursday’s encounter, the U.S. holds an 11-8-9 advantage in the lifetime series with Canada that dates back to 1925. The U.S. has not lost a match to their northern neighbors since 1985, a 12-match unbeaten run that includes a 6-0-6 record and six straight shutouts
  • Sierra Mist Man of the Match Landon Donovan’s penalty kick goal against Panama was his 10th career goal in the Gold Cup, making him the USA’s all time leading scorer in the tournament and putting him only two behind the tournament record held by Mexican Luis Roberto Alves
  • Donovan now has collected 89 career points with the USA, extending the record he set on June 9 against Trinidad & Tobago. With 32 career goals, he is in sole possession of second place on the USA’s all-time scoring charts, just two behind Eric Wynalda
  • Carlos Bocanegra’s game-winner was the third of his Gold Cup career, and seventh in 47 appearances with the national team
  • The recent U.S. captain tallied his first-ever international goal in the 4-0 win against Canada on Jan. 18, 2003. Steve Ralston also scored that day
  • The only other player on the roster who has scored against Canada is Donovan, who got a second-half stoppage time goal in the 2-0 win on July 9, 2005 in Seattle
  • Six players on the roster appeared in the semifinal against Canada in the 2002 edition of the Gold Cup, a 4-2 win for the U.S. in penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time: DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan, Frankie Hejduk, Kasey Keller, Pablo Mastroeni
  • Keller earned the shutout in regulation and made two stellar saves in the penalties, while Donovan scored the first of the USA’s four attempts
  • Keller holds a 2-0-1 lifetime record against Canada, with a 0.00 GAA during 300 combined minutes of action. He blanked the Canadians in the 2-0 win during Gold Cup group play in 2005, and also kept a clean sheet in their first meeting of final round qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, a 3-0 win on March 16, 1997 in Palo Alto, Calif.
  • The victory against Panama 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
  • Keller, who is the all-time leader in Gold Cup appearances for the USA (22), became the only player in U.S. history to appear in six of the regional championship tournaments when he started against Trinidad. Frankie Hejduk is second among active players in Gold Cup appearances with 20 during five tournaments
  • A total of 13 players have now cut their Gold Cup teeth in the first three games, 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 seven 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)
  • Keller is the oldest player at 37 years of age. At 19 years old, U-20 midfielder Michael Bradley is the youngest on the block
  • Johnson is currently leading MLS in scoring, with nine goals in as many matches. Taylor Twellman is second on the charts with seven goals
  • 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
  • The USA is 1-2-2 lifetime at Soldier Field in matches against Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland and England. The team last played in Chicago on May 28, 2005, falling 2-1 to England. The USA’s lone goal that day came off the foot of Clint Dempsey, marking his debut goal for the senior team

THREE FOR THREE?: The U.S. and Canada have met twice previously in Gold Cup play, including the semifinal of the 2002 tournament. The U.S. outshot Canada 36-10, but were thwarted by a career-defining performance from goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld and needed penalties to advance. The last meeting came in group play of the 2005 event, an own goal by Atiba Hutchinson and a Donovan-Beasley combination powering the U.S. to a 2-0 win.

USA REACHES .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 8-0-1 unbeaten streak through nine games in 2007, the USA's record currently stands at 189 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.

GOLD CUP UPDATE: The 2007 edition of the confederation championship proved quite unpredictable through the preliminary phase, and the surprises kept pace right on through the quarterfinals. After a mixed bag in group play, Canada simply overwhelmed an outmatched Guatemala team, exploding for three goals and a comprehensive shutout win. The clock has yet to strike midnight on Guadeloupe’s Cinderella run through the Gold Cup, the tiny islanders bolting out to a 2-0 lead against Honduras in their quarterfinal matchup and holding on for a 2-1 win. And in the other match in Houston, there were plenty of sparks as Mexico and Costa Rica dueled for 120 minutes in match that included three red cards and the Costa Ricans playing at least one man down for nearly 75 minutes. A goal by Jared Borguetti in the 103rd minute helped Mexico escape with a 1-0 win and set up and intriguing matchup with the unpredictable Guadeloupeans. For all the latest standings, news, and updates, go to the special Gold Cup section on ussoccer.com

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.

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.

U.S. MNT GOLD CUP BY THE NUMBERS:

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

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

32-4-5 – Lifetime record in the Gold Cup. In addition to winning three times, the U.S. has finished second twice and third twice

ON THE HORIZON - ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA & PARAGUAY IN COPA AMERICA: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay for the 2007 Copa America, a 12-team tournament which will take place from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. The U.S. will open the tournament against Argentina on Thursday, June 28 at Estadio Jose “Pachencho” Romero in Maracaibo. The U.S. will then face Paraguay on July 2 at Estadio Agustin Tovar “La Carolina” in Barinas, before finishing group play against Colombia on July 5 at Estadio Metropolitano de Futbol de Lara in Barquisimeto. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event. The last time the U.S. competed in the tournament in 1995, the U.S. upset defending champion Argentina, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they defeated Mexico and eventually finished in fourth place.

AND THEN A TRIO OF FRIENDLIES ACROSS THE POND: Following a busy summer of tournament play, the U.S. has scheduled a series of friendlies in Europe. The team will play its first match on European soil in 2007 when they travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. For the double fixture date in October, the U.S. will first meet Catalonia on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the famed Camp Nou in Barcelona (time TBD), marking the debut match between the teams. Three days later, the U.S. will take on 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland for the first game between the two sides in nearly 13 years, and the first since the 1-1 draw in the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States. All three matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, and fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

LAST TIME...

On the field for the USA
June 16, 2007 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Quarterfinal
USA            2    Landon Donovan 60’ pen, Carlos Bocanegra 62’
Panama    1    Blas Perez 85’

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 Canada
June 16, 2007 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Quarterfinal
Canada          3      Dwayne De Rosario 17’, Ali Gerba 33’. 44’
Guatemala    0

CAN: 22-Pat Onstad, 3-Ante Jazic, 5-Andrew Hainault, 6-Julian DeGuzman, 7-Paul Stalteri (capt), 10- Ali Gerba (17-Iain Hune, 67’), 11-Richard Hatsings, 13 -Atiba Hitchinson (20 -Chris Pozniak, 90’), 14- Dwayne De Rosario (18- Issey Kakajima-Farran, 89’), 15 -Patrick Bernier, 16-Martin Nash

GUA: 1-Ricardo Tigueno, 3-Pablo Meglar, 5-Henry Medina, 6-Gustavo Cabrera, 7-Claudio Albizuris (13- Nestor Martinez, 54’), 8-Jose Contreras, 11-Marvin Avila (12-Carlos Figueroa, 75’), 14-Rigoberto Gomez, 15-Luis Swisher (19-Mario Rodriguez, 27’), 18-Carlos Quinones, 20-Carlos Ruiz

Vs. Canada
January 22 2006– Torero Stadium, San Diego, Calif. – International Friendly
USA          0
Canada    0

USA: 24-Matt Reis; 6-Heath Pearce, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 23-Eddie Pope (capt.), 2-Frankie Hejduk (17-Chris Klein, 46); 14-Ben Olsen (5-Kerry Zavagnin, 46), 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Clint Dempsey; 16-Josh Wolff (7-Chris Rolfe, 73), 11-Brian Ching, 20-Taylor Twellman (9-Eddie Johnson, 56 ; 15-Freddy Adu, 81)

CAN: 1-Greg Sutton, 2-Adam Braz, 3-Ante Jazic, 4-Gabriel Gervais, 5-Marco Reda, 8-Adrian Serioux (17-Stephen Ademolu, 84); 5-Marco Reda, 10-Sandro Grande (7-Will Johnson, 70), 11-Patrick Bernier, 13-Atiba Hutchinson; 9-Rob Friend, 14-Dwayne De Rosario (capt.)


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