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Update from Men's National Team Training Camp


The U.S kicks off against rival Mexico tomorrow (Wednesday, April 3) at 8 p.m. MT at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo.  The match will be broadcast live on Telemundo and can be heard live on the Futbol de Primera radio network.  Fans can also follow the action live online with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF: The U.S. MNT trained twice today, including one session in the snow this morning on a nearly frozen field. This evening the U.S. Men went through a final, light training session at Invesco Field.  Brian West has fully recovered from a bout with sickness earlier in the week and will be available for selection tomorrow night, but U.S. striker Brian McBride is questionable for tomorrow's match as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

STREAKING: Twenty-year-old Landon Donovan has not missed a match for the U.S. since his World Cup qualifying debut against Honduras in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 1, 2001. The streak now standing at 14 games, Donovan has begun 2002 in brilliant form, scoring three goals and earning Chevrolet Man of the Match honors on three separate occasions.

28 AND COUNTING: With the 4-0 win against Honduras in Seattle on March 2, U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena became the second winningest coach in U.S. history, surpassing his predecessor Steve Sampson on the career wins list.  Arena has collected a lifetime record of 28-13-13 since taking the reigns in October 1998, and has started out his fourth full year with the team with a solid 6-2-1 record.  Arena is closing in on the all-time mark of 31 wins set by Bora Milutinovic from 1991-95.

OFF TO A FLYING START:  2002 has begun in spectacular fashion for the U.S., even eclipsing the promising beginning of a year ago.  The 6-2-1 record marks their best start in the modern era.  Nine matches, five wins, five shutouts and one continental championship.  Amazing goals (Beasley v. South Korea, Donovan v. Honduras), game-preserving saves (Keller v. Canada) and  MVP performances (McBride v. El Salvador).  If a great start forebodes success as it did in 2001, the U.S. can embrace cautious optimism heading into Korea this summer.  A look at the numbers after the first nine games each year in the Bruce Arena era:

                 1999     2000     2001     2002
Record
      6-2-1    4-1-4    5-2-2    6-2-1
GF               14       15          10         16
GA               6          8            5           6
SO               4          3            5            6

APPROACHING THE CENTURY MARK:  Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola holds 97 caps for the United States, the most of any U.S. ‘keeper and just three shy of the coveted century mark.  In addition, Meola is the USA’s all-time leader in wins (36) and shutouts (31).

MEOLA vs. MEXICO:  Tony Meola first played against Mexico on March 12, 1991, a 2-2 draw in the North America Nations Cup.  He has a lifetime record of 3-1-1 against the Tricolor, posting shutouts in all three victories. The lone loss came in the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, the U.S. falling 4-0 on July 25, 1993 in Mexico City.

MEXICO ARRIVES IN COLORADO:  The Mexican National Team arrived in Denver on Tuesday, and trained Tuesday night at Invesco Field.  This match against the U.S. will serve as the final match for Javier Aguirre to evaluate his squad before announcing his World Cup roster on April 15.

BACK AT MILE HIGH: The U.S. men return to Denver for a full international friendly for the first time in nearly 10 years, last appearing in a 1-0 loss to Scotland on May 15, 1992. More recently, though, the U.S. played at the original Mile High Stadium on July 13, 1999, defeating English club-team Derby County 2-1 in preparation for the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.

vs. MEXICO: The U.S. and Mexico are no strangers to each other, and own the most notorious rivalry in the region.  Since the opening meeting between the nations for a World Cup qualifier in 1934, the teams have met 45 times.  While Mexico holds a lifetime advantage of 8-28-9, the United States has won three of the last four meetings, including a 2-0 win in Columbus on February 28, 2001, that began the USA’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign.  All three of those victories came by shutout.  Since 1990, the teams have met 18 times, precisely splitting the games with a 6 wins, 6 losses and 6 ties each.

QUOTABLE:
“I don’t need to tell these guys that this game represents their last chance to perform prior to the selection of the World Cup roster.  This game is very important for them.”
- U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, on the MLS players and the match against Mexico.

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