U.S. Returns to D.C. to Prepare for Panama
October 11, 2004
BACK HOME: The U.S. team returned to Washington, D.C., in the early hours Sunday morning, arriving at the team hotel just after 7 a.m. local time. With the suspension of Cory Gibbs, the roster has been reduced to 20 players. The team will hold its final training session tomorrow afternoon at RFK Stadium, just over 24 hours before game five of the semifinal round kicks off against Panama. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
TWO POINTS AWAY: The U.S. is two points away from securing a place in the final round of qualifying, meaning a victory against Panama on Wednesday would seal the deal. The USA is now on eight points, with Panama and Jamaica each holding five points while El Salvador is last with three points. If the U.S. gets at least two points from the final two games and reaches a total of ten points, only one team between Panama and Jamaica will be able to secure enough points to earn the second spot in the group. Following are the most obvious scenarios in which the U.S. can qualify for the final round:
1. A victory against Panama on Wednesday or Jamaica on Nov. 17
2. A tie against Panama combined with a Jamaica loss to El Salvador (U.S. qualifies Wednesday)
3. A tie against Panama and a tie against Jamaica on Nov. 17 (U.S. finishes first in the group)
* With a tie against Panama, the U.S. can finish no lower than tied for second in the group and would face a goal differential tiebreaker to determine their placement.
Group 1 Standings
Teams GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
USA 4 2 0 2 6 2 +4 8
Jamaica 3 1 1 2 6 4 +2 5
Panama 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 5
El Salvador 3 1 3 0 2 8 -6 3
For a complete look at schedules and standings in 2006 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, click here.
COBI CLIMBS TO THIRD ON FIFA ALL-TIME APPEARANCE LIST: With his appearance against El Salvador on Saturday, Cobi Jones earned his 164th cap for the United States, tying Adnan Khamees Al Talyani of the United Arab Emirates for third place on the all-time capwinners list. Next on the target list is Mohamed Al-Deayea of Sauda Arabia, who has 166 appearances. Jones has also equaled the mark for most World Cup qualifying appearances for the U.S., his 30 games played tying long-time friend and U.S. roommate Earnie Stewart. Jones and his teammates spoke about his accomplishments this afternoon. Watch the video by clicking on the icon above.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Picking up his second caution in 2006 World Cup qualifying in the 2-0 win against El Salvador, Gibbs becomes the first U.S. player to receive a suspension since the qualifying campaign began in June. Five players on the current roster are carrying a yellow card into Wednesday's match: Conor Casey, Bobby Convey, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis and Eddie Pope.
JOHNSON JOINING THE RECORD BOOK: Ed Johnson became just the seventh player since 1986 to score a goal in his first-ever appearance for the U.S. Men's National Team, notching the second goal in the USA's 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Oct. 9. In the 89-year history of the U.S. MNT, Johnson is one of 38 overall players to accomplish the feat. Additionally, Johnson is the first MNT player in 29 years to accomplish the feat in a World Cup qualifying game. (The last player to make his U.S. MNT debut in a World Cup qualifying game and score a goal was Boris Bandov in 1976.) The 20-year-old Johnson has had one of the more prolific scoring careers in U.S. Soccer Youth National Team history, starring for the U-17s, U-20s and U-23s since 2000 and scoring 33 career goals in 48 international youth games.
First Game, First Goal History (since 1986)
Date Name Opponent Score
Feb. 7, 1986 Bruce Murray v. Uruguay 1-1 T
June 8, 1987 Ted Hantak n. Egypt (at Korea) 1-3 L
June 14, 1988 Rob Ryerson v. Costa Rica 1-0 W
March 12, 1991 Dante Washington v. Mexico 2-2 T
Sept. 8, 1999 Chris Albright at Jamaica 2-2 T
Oct. 25, 2000 Landon Donovan v. Mexico 2-0 W
Oct. 9, 2004 Ed Johnson at El Salvador 2-0 W
FRANKIE GOES 7&7: Long-time followers of U.S. defender Frankie Hejduk will be surprised to learn that his start against El Salvador, his fourth of 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, marked the most matches he has ever appeared in during any qualifying phase. He gathered a combined three appearances on the road to France '98 and Korea/Japan '02. His seven total appearances in qualifying now matches the total number of games he has played in the actual World Cup finals, playing all three matches in France and missing only the 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 in Korea through suspension.
ARENA AND THE ARMBAND: When Landon Donovan sported the captain's armband against El Salvador, he became the 16th player during Arena's tenure to serve as team captain. Claudio Reyna has far and away served the most often, leading the team onto the field 39 times since 1998. Kasey Keller, the USA's all-time leader in wins (40) and shutouts (35), is second on the list with 10.
ONE STREAK ENDS ... The victory in El Salvador ended a dubious streak for the U.S. as the team won a World Cup qualifying game in Central America for the first-time ever outside of Honduras. Going into Saturday’s game, the U.S. had been 0-for-11 (0-5-6) in trying to earn a full three points in Central American qualifying games outside of Honduras, which included a single draw in their only previous qualifying game in El Salvador (a 1-1 tie in 1997).
... AND ANOTHER CONTINUES: The win extended the team’s record unbeaten streak to 11 games, the longest in team history. The USA has twice put together nine-game streaks, in 1991 and 1998. The U.S. is 7-0-4 during the streak and improved the team’s overall record to 7-1-5 in 2004. The streak included at one point four consecutive shutouts by four different goalkeepers. The U.S. is also enjoying a remarkable 27-match unbeaten run against CONCACAF opponents dating back to Sept. 5, 2001, a 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Costa Rica.