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U.S. Men's National Team Set for June 12 World Cup Opener vs. the Czech Republic


U.S. Men’s National Team
2006 FIFA World Cup Update
Hamburg, Germany
June 11, 2006

CZECH-UP TIME:
It's been just under four years since the U.S. Men's National Team completed their last World Cup campaign, and now the next phase is less than 24 hours away. The eyes of soccer fans across the world will be focused on Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday when the USA takes on the number-two ranked Czech Republic at the FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPNHD beginning at 11:55 a.m. ET. Fans can also watch the match live on Univision and follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS:

• The team arrived into Essen early Saturday evening, holding their only training session at the FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen on Sunday afternoon
• All 23 players will dress and are available for selection
• During his eight-year tenure with the national team, Bruce Arena has compiled an overall record of 71-28-27, with a 2-2-1 record in World Cup play
• Three players on the U.S. roster are tied for the most appearances in 2006, with Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Josh Wolff all appearing in 9 of the team’s ten matches. Wolff has the most starts (8). Donovan holds the lead in minutes played, reporting for 655 minutes during eight matches
• Seven players on the roster have scored at least one goal in 2006, with Clint Dempsey leading the pack with a trio after scoring the insurance goal against Venezuela, his fifth for the senior team. Three players have recorded a pair in Brian Ching, Eddie Pope, and Ben Olsen. Olsen netted the USA’s lone goal in the 1-1 draw against Jamaica on April 11 in Cary; and Pope scored in back-to-back games for the first time in his international career, against Norway and Japan, respectively. Cherundolo got his first-ever goal for the national team in the 4-1 loss to Germany, McBride tallied No. 30 in his career with the game-winner against Latvia, and Eddie Johnson rounds out the ’06 goal scorers.
• The USA will wear blue/blue/blue, while the Czech Republic will wear white/white/white. Officially, the USA-Czech Republic will be match number No. 10 in the tournament, and the U.S. is designated as Team A. Of the eight matches played in the tournament so far, Team A has gone 4-3-1
• The referee is Carlos Amarilla of Paraguay. While he has not run the middle for a U.S. game at the senior level, he refereed the 1-1 draw between the U.S. and Ukraine at the FIFA World Youth Championship 2001 in Argentina. DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu were all on the field for that match. (The USA goal was scored by Kenny Arena)
• The U.S. has not played the Czech Republic since the country separated from Slovakia in 1996. The teams’ only previous meeting came in their opening match of the 1990 World Cup, a 5-1 victory for the Czechoslovakians
• Prior to the separation, Czechoslovakia had qualified no less than eight times for the World Cup, reaching the final two times and losing both, to Italy, 2-1, in extra time in 1934 and in 1962 falling 3-1 to Brazil. Interestingly, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia got to keep the official records of the country prior to separation
• Brian Ching suffered a laceration over his right eye during Friday’s training session. The cut required 13 stitches, but will not prevent Ching from being available for Monday’s match
• The FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen has already hosted one match, the surprising 2-0 win for Ecuador against Poland on opening night
• Both Claudio Reyna and Kasey Keller are making their fourth appearances on a World Cup roster. Keller is the only player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup to have been included on the roster during Italia ‘90
• Reyna, Brian McBride and Eddie Pope boast the most appearances in World Cup matches on the U.S. team, each having appeared in seven contests
• Overall, 11 players have appeared on a World Cup roster, with 10 having played in at least one World Cup match
• McBride is the only player in U.S. history to score goals in multiple World Cups (1998, 2002). His three career World Cup goals are good for second place on the all-time U.S. chart, one behind Bert Patenaude who scored four in the 1930 World Cup. With 30 career goals in all competitions, McBride is four behind Eric Wynalda
• At 24 years old, Landon Donovan is already the leading assist man in U.S history (23), and is third on the scoring list with 25 goals
• U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo and Czech midfielder Jiri Stajner are teammates at Hanover 96, the only two players on opposite rosters tomorrow that play professionally for the same club
• As in 2002, the U.S. made two changes to the roster prior to the start of the tournament. Chris Albright replaced Frankie Hejduk just one day after the team was announced when Hejduk suffered a torn ACL. Gregg Berhalter then came in for Cory Gibbs after the defender injured his knee

CAPTAIN'S STANCE: Want to know the psyche of the team less than 24 hours before the kickoff of their 2006 FIFA World Cup opener vs.the Czech Republic? Who better to ask than U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and Manager Bruce Arena? The two meet the media in Gelsenkirchen before the team's final training session on Sunday, June 11, and the quote sheet has all their best answers.

MOOCH OPENS THE BOOK ON THE CZECH REPUBLIC: Since Dec. 10, 2005, U.S. assistant coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick has been tasked with scouting for the USA's opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and this afternoon, he literally showed us the book on the Czech Republic. From the strengths of their varied and sophisticated attack to their world-class goalkeeper, the Czechs are a team loaded with experience. Mooch gives you the low-down on what to expect as he breaks down the USA’s first World Cup opponent in this exclusive podcast scouting report.

STUDIO 90: Leading up to the USA's first World Cup match, ussoccer.com's Studio 90 has been providing fans with all the behind-the-scenes access they could ever have dreamed. An informative news and interview show, Studio 90 has allowed fans an inside look at the team's trip to Germany by providing highlights from training and daily press conferences, and conducting in-studio player interviews that dissect the team and its personalities as they make their way through the World Cup. The past few episodes have included one-on-ones with Kasey Keller, Eddie Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley, who all plopped down on Studio 90's couch. A new episode of Studio 90 will be available every day during the U.S. Men's journey through the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Look for each day's episode at http://studio90.ussoccer.com/ in the early evening (ET).

BITS, LAUGHS OUTTAKES…GERMANY: ussoccer.com brings you photo galleries, videos, podcasts and even a daily web show, but there are still some things that slip through the cracks. For those moments, ussoccer.com brings you “Bits, Laughs, Outtakes…Germany,” the 24-hour-a-day blog that brings you those moments when the camera isn’t rolling. Read Marcus Hahnemann's first-person account of the trip to the Tool concert, get a taste of World Cup fever in Hamburg, receive the first 'blackberry' blog, and whatever else we have thought of. Keep checking back often to get the latest update about the MNT’s journey through the World Cup.

PHOTO GALLERIES FROM GERMANY: U.S. Soccer continues the tradition of bringing you the best sights of the U.S. MNT camp in Germany. Check out ussoccer.com’s latest photo galleries that include training shots from the stadium in Gelsenkirchen, a night with the players' friends and families at a welcome reception, press conference photos and more.

PODCASTS: Hear all about how the U.S. Men are fairing in Germany straight from the coaches and players themselves in ussoccer.com’s podcasts. Listen as Bruce Arena and Kasey Keller preview the Czech Republic match and a host of other players give their thoughts on the USA's first opponent. Don't worry if you haven't been keeping up, the archive of podcasts is there for the taking.


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