SEOUL, Korea (Sunday, June 2, 2002) - Bruce Arena put his squad through another two-hour training session this morning at Misari Practice Stadium on the outskirts of Seoul. Instead of the usual warmup and stretch with strength & conditioning coach Pierre Barrieu to start training, the U.S. pulled the balls out of the bags earlier than normal today. After juggling and lightly knocking the ball around for the first 10 minutes of training, the players got together for a jog and a stretch. The team then broke up into two full sides to play 11 v 11 on the full field. Arena and assistant coach Glenn Myernick stopped the game often to discuss in-game situations. After juggling the line-ups around and switching teams, practice concluded with the U.S. players having time to work on their own. Josh Wolff and Brian McBride worked on finishing on one end, while others practiced free kicks on the other side and another group used Barrieu to go through some abdominal workouts. Eddie Lewis' left foot looked extremely dangerous bending balls over and around the dummy wall. The U.S. team returned to the hotel for lunch and a team meeting and were then given the afternoon off.
ARENA TO CHAT ON ussoccer.com WITH U.S. FANS & MEDIA ON MONDAY AT 7 p.m. ET: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena, just one day before his World Cup debut, will chat live on U.S. Soccer’s “World Cup Plus” from Seoul with fans and media tomorrow (Monday, June 3) at 7 p.m. ET (actually 8 a.m. on Tuesday in Korea). Arena will discuss the team’s preparations for the World Cup as well as the USA’s stay in Korea, where the squad is preparing to open play in their fourth consecutive World Cup on Wednesday against Portugal.
REYNA PRESS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY AT 1:30 p.m.; PRACTICE OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES AT 10 a.m.: The U.S. Men's National Team will be available to the media at 1:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon (June 3) at the team hotel at the J.W. Marriott. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena and selected players will be available to the media at that time via a press conference and mixed-zone session. Claudio Reyna will be available to the media at Monday's press conference. Training on Monday at Misari Practice Stadium will be open for 15 minutes beginning at approximately 10 a.m. Media interested in attending the first 15 minutes of training should arrive at the complex at 9:30 a.m. to be allowed admittance to the training facility. After 15 minutes media will be escorted from the facility. There will be no interview availability at the practice site. At all times, an up-to-date schedule of training sessions and media availability can be found in the media-only section of ussoccer.com.
INJURIES HIT SOME OF WORLD'S BEST: The thigh injury that forced Zinedine Zidane to miss France's opening loss to Senegal is expected to force him out of the June 6 must-win match against Uruguay ... With an injured Filippo Inzaghi likely relegated to watching the game from the bench, Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni said that Francesco Totti and Christian Vieri will likely start together in attack ... Brazil captain Emerson is doubtful for Monday's match against Turkey.
BEASLEY WEIGHS IN AS LIGHTEST PLAYER IN TOURNAMENT: The USA’s DaMarcus Beasley earns the honor as the lightest player on a World Cup roster, weighing in at 57 kg, just one kilogram lighter than Brazil’s Juninho Paulista. “I don’t think that’s a problem at all for me,” said Beasley. “I‘ve played against bigger and stronger guys my whole life. I’m the lightest guy on every single team I’ve played on or played against, and it hasn’t bothered me one bit. I just use what I have. My speed lets me get around defenders and get around tackles.”
BRIAN HALL TO REFEREE ITALY-ECUADOR: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall will serve as the referee in tomorrow’s Group G match between Italy and Ecuador at Sapporo Dome Stadium. Hall will be joined by another CONCACAF official, as Canada’s Hector Vergara will serve as the 1st assistant referee. Hall, who is the first U.S.-born official ever selected to referee the world’s greatest sporting event, has been a Major League Soccer referee since the league’s inception in 1996. As a FIFA Referee, Hall has traveled to 27 different countries to apply his trade.
ARGENTINA OPENS “GROUP OF DEATH” WITH 1-0 WIN: Argentina topped Nigeria 1-0, as Gabriel Batistuta scored his 10th career World Cup goal. England and Sweden drew 1-1, as Sweden domintated play in the second half and then capitalized on a Danny Mills error to even the score. Quinton Fortune scored from the penalty spot in added time to give South Africa a 2-2 draw with Paraguay, coming from two goals back to snag one point. Spain topped Slovenia 3-1 to jump to the top of Group B. For more complete game recaps, please visit U.S. Soccer’s “World Cup Plus” at ussoccer.com.
YAHTZEE!: Roommates Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter have been engaged in a prolonged matchup in the game of Yahtzee since their arrival in Korea. Whatever time and location they can find, the duo compete as hard off the field as they do on the pitch. No comment so far on who has the early lead, but Hedjuk claims "it's a long tournament."
CHASTAIN BREAKS DOWN THE CUP: Check in at ussoccer.com as Brandi Chastain offers her frank commentary on the World Cup’s first two days. Chastain is one of just four U.S. Soccer “experts” who will be offering their insight and analysis at ussoccer.com during the World Cup. Chastain joins U.S. Under-17 MNT Head Coach John Ellinger, U.S. Soccer and World Cup referee Brian Hall and 2004 Olympic National Team hopeful D.J. Countess as they “Break Down the Cup.”
WORLD CUP PLUS: For up-to-the-minute World Cup updates, feature stories, quotes and more, visit U.S. Soccer's "World Cup Plus" at ussoccer.com. With updates coming to you live from Korea, the site offers exclusive audio and photos from the team's training camp in Seoul. Today on "World Cup Plus" find:
-- Review of today’s four matches
-- Quote Sheet – Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan
-- June 3 Game Previews
-- Exclusive photos from today's training session and daily life around the team
-- Updated group Standings and Schedules
-- Exclusive audio of Bruce Arena talking about his start in soccer
U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS COMING TO SEOUL: A contingent of U.S. Soccer fans and Sam's Army members will celebrate their arrival in Seoul on Tuesday evening (June 4) with a celebration beginning at 7 p.m. at the Nashville Skyline, a restaurant along the main strip of the Itaewon district in Seoul. The party is open to all American fans and is expected to be well attended by supporters from all over the U.S., as well as by the Korean media, who are expected to cover the event.
T-MINUS: There are 3 days until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which happens to correspond to the most goals the U.S. has ever scored in a World Cup game. The U.S. scored three goals in consecutive games at the 1930 World Cup, topping Belgium 3-0 in Montevideo, Uruguay on July 13 and four days later beating Paraguay by the same score.
THEY SAID IT: “Obviously we want to win it. If you come here with any other idea, you should not be here. That is your goal, it’s your dream to win the World Cup. Realistically, we feel we can get to the second round and once we get there, any of those teams we would play we feel we would have a chance to beat them, whether it would be Italy, Mexico, Croatia or Ecuador. We have played Italy, Mexico and Ecuador, and those are all teams we feel we can beat, and the same for Croatia. Our first goal is to get to the second round, and from there anything can happen.”
-- Landon Donovan, on the team’s goals at this World Cup