Arena has chosen a mostly European-based group of players for the team's trip to Moscow, selecting 10 players for the match who currently play professionally overseas and six Major League Soccer stars. Four players will make their first appearance with the national team this year, including Joe-Max Moore, Kasey Keller, Earnie Stewart, and Gregg Berhalter.
Keller makes his first appearance since winning the 1999 Chevrolet Athlete of the Year award. A two-time winner of the prestigious award, Keller is currently the only American playing in Spain's top league, the Primera Liga.
Moore, currently starting for Everton in England's Premier League, joins the team for the first time since November 17, 1999, when he started in the USA's 2-1 loss to Morocco. The third all-time leader in goals for the United States with 20, Moore has made an immediate impact on English football since his transfer to Everton, scoring six times in only 15 games.
"This game is important because it gives us an opportunity to take a look at some of the players we've been unable to utilize because of their European club team commitments," Bruce Arena said in explaining his squad selection.
Two other players could see their first National Team game action this year despite having previously being named to the squad earlier this year. Gregg Berhalter was named to the Iran roster but was replaced because of injury, and Earnie Stewart was an alternate in the Gold Cup.
The marquee match-up marks the first time in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team program that the USA has traveled to Moscow for a full international. The match against Russia will mark the first meeting between the teams since January 29, 1994, when the two battled to a 1-1 draw in Seattle, Washington. The U.S. is 0-1-2 all-time against Russia, but has also played two matches against the Commonwealth of Independent States (going 1-1-0 in 1992), and four against the Soviet Union (going 0-3-1 dating back to 1979).
"I've watched Russia play in their qualifying games for the European 2000 Championship and they are one of the strongest teams we've seen to date," Arena said of the upcoming opponent. "With a demanding travel schedule and a quality opponent like Russia, these game conditions will better prepare us for the U.S. Nike Cup in June and World Cup qualifying this fall."
The men's team will be playing its first match since March 12, when the team came from behind in extra time to tie Tunisia on Ben Olsen's goal in Birmingham, Alabama. The squad has jumped out to an impressive 3-0-3 record in 2000, and will use the Russia match as a tune-up for the U.S. Nike Cup in June, where it will face South Africa, Ireland and Mexico.
The U.S. Men's National Team players will arrive in Moscow on Monday, April 24, and will hold just one training session in Russia before the game on Wednesday. Players and staff will depart from Moscow on Thursday, April 27, enabling MLS players to rejoin their respective teams in time for weekend games.
The Russia match will be available live via pay-per-view on most cable systems and the DISH Network for $19.99. The match will also be rebroadcast in prime-time at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
|USA Men's National Team|
Roster for International Friendly vs. Russia
April 26, 2000 * Moscow, Russia
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||08/27/72||14/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Berhalter, Gregg||D||6'1"||175||08/01/73||9/0||Tenafly, N.J.||Cambuur (Holland)|
|Deering, Chad||D/M||6'1"||165||09/02/70||15/1||Plano, Tex.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Fraser, Robin||D||6'1"||175||12/17/66||25/0||Denver, Co.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Friedel, Brad||GK||6'4"||202||05/18/71||64/0||Bay Village, Ohio||Liverpool (England)|
|Hejduk, Frankie||M||5'8"||155||08/05/74||24/4||Cardiff, Calif.||Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||06/16/70||125/11||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Keller, Kasey||GK||6'2"||190||11/29/69||39/0||Lacey, Wash.||Rayo Vallecano (Spain)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||05/17/74||20/2||Cerritos, Calif.||Fulham FC (England)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||06/19/72||39/10||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Moore, Joe-Max||F||5'9"||150||02/23/71||79/20||Irvine, Calif.||Everton (England)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||32/3||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Regis, David||D||5'11"||160||12/02/68||8/0||Valenciennes, France||FC Metz (France)|
|Reyna, Claudio||M||5'9"||160||07/20/73||70/7||Springfield, N.J.||Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)|
|Sanneh, Tony||M||6'2"||190||06/01/71||6/1||St. Paul, Minn.||Hertha Berlin (Germany)|
|Stewart, Earnie||F||5'9"||145||03/28/69||56/6||Point Arena, Calif.||NAC Breda (Holland)|