CARY, N.C. (Wednesday, May 1, 2002) - The United States Men's National Team kicked off its preparation for the 2002 FIFA World Cup today with the opening of a 10-day training camp in Cary, North Carolina. Bruce Arena's men spent just under an hour at the newly christened SAS Park, home of the WUSA's Carolina Courage. In temperatures just above 80 degrees, the players were paced through a taxing fitness evaluation. Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen - Germany) led the pack in the timed run, passing the mile mark at 5:12 on the field course. The balls came out of the bag for the final 20 minutes for a small-sided match. Carlos Llamosa (New England Revolution), Joe-Max Moore (Everton - England) and Clint Mathis (MetroStars) are nursing minor injuries and spent the afternoon in the gym. After conducting full physical exams this evening, the team will hold double sessions for the remainder of the week.
IN CAMP:To the delight of U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, 21 players have arrived in Raleigh to participate in the 10-day camp, the biggest boost coming with the arrival of team Claudio Reyna. Reyna was allowed to enter camp on time, but will return for his side's relegation battle on the final matchday of the English Premier League on May 11. Sunderland need one point at home to Derby to guarantee a place in England's top flight next year. Greg Vanney, named as an alternate for the World Cup, has also joined camp and will return to France for the French Cup as FC Bastia meets at the Stade de France in Paris on May 12. Only three players are counted among the missing. John O'Brien remained with Ajax to challenge for the domestic double, as Ajax currently sit in first place of the Dutch Honor Division with one match remaining and the Dutch Cup final scheduled for May 12 against FC Utrecht. David Regis stayed with FC Metz as they battle to avoid relegation with one match remaining, a win against last-place Lorient guaranteeing a place in Le Championnat next year. Surprisingly, Eddie Lewis as been held back at Fulham and his arrival date is unknown.
GROUP D SHAPING UP:Following the USA's lead, both Korea and Poland have named preliminary rosters for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Korea begins training camp tomorrow on the resort island of Jeju, while Poland heads to Germany from May 12-17 before a final tuneup match against Estonia on May 18 in Warsaw. Final rosters are not due to FIFA until May 20.
KOREA preliminary roster:
Goalkeepers (club): Choi Eun-sung (Taejon Citizen), Kim Byung-ji (Pohang Steelers), Lee Woon-jae (Suwon Blue Wings);
Defenders (club): Choi Jin-chul (Chonbuk Hyundai), Hong Myung-bo (Pohang Steelers), Kim Tae-young (Chunnam Dragons), Lee Min-sung (Pusan I.cons), Hyun Young-min (Ulsan Hyundai);
Midfielders (club): Ahn Jung-hwan (AC Perugia - Italy), Choi Sung-yong (Suwon Blue Wings), Kim Nam-il (Chunnam Dragons), Lee Eul-yong (Bucheon SK), Lee Young-pyo (Anyang LG), Park Ji-sung (Kyoto Purple Sanga), Song Chong-gug (Pusan I.cons), Yoo Sang-chul (Kashiwa Reysol), Yoon Jong-hwan (Cerezo Osaka);
Forwards (club): Cha Doo-ri (Korea Univ.), Choi Tae-uk (Anyang LG), Choi Yong-soo (JEF United Ichihara), Hwang Sun-hong (Kashiwa Reysol), Lee Chun-soo (Ulsan Hyundai), Seol Ki-hyeon (RSC Anderlecht - Holland).
POLAND preliminary roster:
Goalkeepers (club): Jerzy Dudek (Liverpool - England), Radoslaw Majdan (Goeztepe Izmir), Adam Matysek (RKS Radomsko);
Defenders (club): Jacek Bak (Lens - France), Arkadiusz Glowacki (Wisla Krakow), Tomasz Hajto (Schalke 04 - Germany), Tomasz Klos (FC Kaiserlsautern - Germany), Marek Kozminski (Ancona), Tomasz Waldoch (Schalke 04 - Germany), Michal Zewlakow (Excelsior Mouscron), Jacek Zielinski (Legia Warsaw);
Midfielders (club): Tomasz Rzasa (Feyenoord Rotterdam - Holland), Jacek Krzynowek (FC Nuremberg - Germany), Rodoslaw Kaluzny (Energie Cottbus - Germany), Arkadiusz Bak (Widzew Lodz), Piotr Swierczewski (Olympique Marseille - France), Bartosz Karwan (Legia Warsaw), Maciej Murawski (Legia Warsaw), Pawel Sibik (Odra Wodzislaw);
Forwards (club): Pawel Kryszalowicz (Eintracht Frankfurt - Germany), Cezary Kucharski (Legia Warsaw), Emmanuel Olisadebe (Panathinaikos Athens - Greece), Marcin Zewlakow (Excelsior Mouscron), Maciej Zurawski (Wisla Krakow)
THEY SAID IT:
"It's a good starting point. Many of the players are feeling the effects of a long season, but we will spend the next five weeks getting them proper rest and the same time increasing their physical capacity. It's going to be a challenging camp."
- USMNT strength and conditioning coach Pierre Barrieu, on assessing the team's performance in the fitness evaluation.