SEOUL (Thursday, June 6, 2002) - The U.S. Men's National Team became just the third team to score three or more goals in the 2002 World Cup, and just the second team to score three goals in one half in this World Cup. Germany hammered Saudi Arabia 8-0, scoring four goals on both sides of halftime. Spain also found the net three times against Slovenia in a 3-1 win on Sunday.
MCBRIDE FIRST U.S. PLAYER TO SCORE IN TWO WORLD CUPS: With his goal in the 36th minute of the win against Portugal, Brian McBride became the first U.S. Men’s National Team player to score in two World Cups. McBride scored the only U.S. goal in the 1998 World Cup, scoring in the 2-1 loss to Iran on June 21, 1998. With two World Cup goals McBride is now tied for second in all-time World Cup goals among U.S. players. Bert Patenaude (1930 World Cup), who had the first hat trick in World Cup history, leads the U.S. with four goals, and Gino Pariani (1950) and McBride are the only other players who have scored multiple World Cup goals for the U.S.
TRAINING ON THURSDAY:Two distinctly different training sessions took place at Misari Practice Stadium on Thursday. The 10 field players who started against Portugal went for a light jog and stretch, with Coach Arena leading the jog at one point. The field players who didn't start in the match were put through a conditioning session with Strength & Conditioning Coach Pierre Barrieu, who guided the team through a series of wind sprints and agility drills. All three goalkeepers went through normal workouts with Goalkeeper Coach Milutin Soskic. The training session lasted just over an hour - one of the USA's shortest training sessions in Korea.
O’BRIEN CAUTION-LESS: John O’Brien was mistakenly credited with a yellow card in the game report sent out by U.S. Soccer following the U.S. – Portugal match. DaMarcus Beasley (92nd minute) was the only U.S. player that was cautioned in the match.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Senegal topping France and the U.S. defeating Portugal are two of the biggest surprises going back to the start of the 1990 World Cup, when Cameroon shocked Argentina. What do the two defeats of two of the world’s finest show? “I think the world of soccer is shrinking,” said Bruce Arena. “The traditional big powers in the game, are generally still the powers, but the gap has closed considerably.”
SEVEN PLAYERS EARN FIRST WORLD CUP CAP IN WIN OVER PORTUGAL: Seven U.S. players earned their World Cup cap in the win over Portugal last night - including six starters. Pablo Mastroeni, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Jeff Agoos, John O'Brien, Tony Sanneh all earned their first World Cup appearances while starting, and Carlos Llamosa made his first World Cup apperance in the 80th minute when he replaced Eddie Pope.
CONCACAF POSTS THREE WINS IN THREE GAMES: With wins by Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S. in the first round of group play, CONCACAF was the only confederation that had each team post a win in the opening round. “I’m not surprised,” Arena said of CONCACAF’s success. “I thought that Costa Rica would beat China and Mexico beat the team that finished third in the 1998 World Cup (Croatia), so that is quite an accomplishment, and obviously we had a good win ourselves. So I think it speaks well for our region, and hopefully our teams can continue to move forward and meet in the later rounds as well.” A breakdown of each confederation’s record after every team played one match.
Confederation (WC Teams) Record
CONCACAF (3) 3-0-0
CAF (5) 1-2-2
UEFA (15) 5-6-4
CONMEBOL (5) 2-2-1
AFC (4) 1-2-1
A LOOK AT THE BIGGEST U.S. WINS IN WORLD CUP HISTORY: The 3-2 win against Portugal certainly qualifies as one of the USA’s biggest wins in World Cup history, along with the shocking 1-0 win over England in 1950 and the 2-1 win over pre-tournament favorite Colombia in 1994. In the 1994 win against Colombia, ironically, the U.S. benefited from a Colombian defender inadvertently knocking a U.S. cross into the goal – similar to Jorge Costa’s own goal on June 5 in Suwon. In 1950 the U.S. knocked off European power England 1-0 in what many still refer to as the greatest upset in World Cup history.
Date Opponent Result Comment
June 29, 1950 England 1-0 W Many call the greatest upset in World Cup history
June 22, 1994 Colombia 2-1 W Hosts beat pre-WC favorites to advance to second round
June 5, 2002 Portugal 3-2 W U.S. tops one of top teams in the world, lead 3-0 in 1st half
WATCHING FROM THE U.S.: With more than 37,000 fans watching the U.S. – Portugal game in Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Korea, fans across the U.S. woke up at odd hours to cheer on the U.S. MNT on Wednesday morning. A crowd estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 showed up at Columbus Crew Stadium to watch the game as Crew star Brian McBride earned “Man of the Match” honors. Fans began lining up outside the Crew offices at 1:30 a.m. for the 5 a.m. match. The crowd was so large that Crew staff turned on the outdoor videoboard at the Stadium as fans spilled out of the office area and into the Stadium to watch the match. More than 400 fans showed up to watch the U.S. match at the Kansas City Wizards World Cup watch party at the Pavilion at Arrowhead.
MEMORIAL DAY IN KOREA: June 6 is Memorial Day, a national holiday, in Korea. Just as Americans do in the U.S., on Memorial Day the Koreans honor those that have given their lives to defend their country. As a result the streets were much less crowded as the U.S. team drove to Misari Practice Stadium this morning.
BRIAN HALL TAKES TO FIELD TOMORROW FOR ARGENTINA-ENGLAND: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall will be a part of the most anticipated match of the first round tomorrow, when Argentina takes on England at Sapporo Dome Stadium in Sapporo, Japan. Hall will serve as the fourth official for the match. On June 3 Hall worked as the referee in the Italy-Ecuador match. Italy dominated and coasted to a 2-0 win.
ARGENTINA-ENGLAND HIGHLIGHTS JUNE 7 MATCHES: The most anticipated match of the first round takes place tomorrow, when Argentina takes on England at Sapporo Dome Stadium in Sapporo, Japan, at 8:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET). Much of the Argentina-England clash deals with things that have occurred outside a soccer field, but the two have also played two memorable matches. In Mexico ’86, the Diego Maradona led Argentina past England in a game that is remembered for the stark contrasts in Maradona’s two goals. One goal – his slalom run from midfield through the English defense – is regarded as the finest goal in World Cup history, but the first goal of the game – the “Hand of God” – is regarded as the most infamous goal in World Cup history. The match will be shown live in the U.S. on ESPN2 at 7:25 a.m. ET. Spain-Paraguay and Sweden-Nigeria also take place tomorrow.
CONGRESSMAN WALSH MENTIONS MNT ON HOUSE FLOOR: Representative James Walsh (R – NY) made a brief one-minute remark on the House Floor this morning regarding the USA’s win over Portugal. Walsh and several of his staff watched the game at the Republican Club, which opened just for him and his staff. The following statement was read by Rep. Walsh on the House Floor Wednesday morning: “Early this morning while most Americans were sound asleep, about a billion people from all over the globe, myself included, watched a group of talented young American athletes do something truly remarkable. Against all odds the U.S. Men's Soccer team defeated Portugal in their first game of the 2002 World Cup. The Portuguese were one of the favorites to win the World Cup outright but our team prevailed 3-2. And it was no fluke! We took them apart in the first half with slashing attacks and wore them down with tough defense in the second half. It was a balanced effort with everyone contributing under Coach Arena's guidance. The win gave the U.S. the opportunity to move into the quarter finals (sic) but they have more work to do. They play the host team Korea and then Poland with the two best teams from the group moving on. These young men have already exceeded expectations. They are off to the best start of any American team in history. Please tune in. Set the alarm clocks for an early rise, brew some strong coffee and enjoy a great spectacle. They deserve our support!”
MEDIA OPPORTUNITY AT NIKEPARK ON FRIDAY: Nike invites media to attend a special event at NikePark Seoul on Friday (June 7). Like the NikeParks in France in 1998, and at the European Championships in 2000, NikePark Seoul is a 3-dimensional visual and interactive football experience. This Friday at 11 a.m., Friends and Family of the U.S. National Team are scheduled to visit NikePark to "play in the cage" and have lunch. Nike will bus media to and from NikePark. Two huge domes located in Seoul's Exhibition Center district contain dozens of small soccer fields and cage-encased pitches for open 3 v. 3 play. Video game stations, foozball tables, soccer shooting interactives, volleying and juggling stations cover the floors. Korean school children are everywhere, as local schools conduct daily field trips to NikePark. There are multi-media displays around the park showing World Cup games, player highlights, and clips from The Secret Tournament ad.
Pick-up: Friday, June 7th @ 11:00 AM at The Renaissance Hotel
Drop-off: Media will be transported back to the J.W. Marriott by 1:30 p.m. for the U.S. Soccer daily press conference. Media who wish to return directly to The Renaissance Hotel will be dropped off there.
NikePark is located at: 2nd Fl., Exhibition Center Office, 23 Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-Ku, Seoul, Korea 150-876.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“That difference is probably obvious. It is pretty upbeat. I remember getting on the bus after the Germany game, and our busses were right next to each other. Everyone was looking over and they were all laughing, playing cards and having a great time, so to come out of this game (with three points) was a great feeling. But the difference is for one day. We got to enjoy it last night, but now it is back to business.”
- Brian McBride, on the difference between the win over Portugal and the team’s opening loss in 1998: