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U.S. MNT To Face Costa Rica in Gold Cup

U.S. MNT Gold Cup Notes
July 25, 2003
Coral Gables, Florida

More than pride is at stake when the U.S. meets Costa Rica in the third place match of the Gold Cup this Saturday in Miami (see below).  Kickoff at the Orange Bowl is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Galavision.  Fans can follow the action live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.  The regional rivals are no strangers, the sides holding an even 9-9-4 record in the all-time series.  The teams last meet in the 2002 Gold Cup final,  with goals by Josh Wolff and Jeff Agoos handing the United States a 2-0 victory and the tournament title.

Despite losing a thrilling semifinal match to Brazil on Wednesday evening in Miami, the United States is still alive in a bid to secure CONCACAF's lone position at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. The USA's hopes hinge on a victory by Brazil against Mexico in Sunday's championship game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Should Brazil win, and should the United States defeat Costa Rica in the third-place contest on Saturday in Miami, a single playoff game between the U.S. and Mexico will be played to determine the CONCACAF champion. (Costa Rica is no longer alive in this scenario, having lost to Mexico in the semifinals). According to the  CONCACAF tournament rules: The CONCACAF Champion will be the team with the highest final ranking. The singular exception to this is when the two highest ranked CONCACAF teams finished second and third in the final standings and the second place team has not played the third-place finisher in the semifinals; in that case there will be a playoff. The playoff match(es) will be played at a date following the conclusion of the Gold Cup at a venue(s), date(s) and time(s) to be jointly agreed by both teams and CONCACAF.

- The loss to Brazil ended a series of impressive streaks for the United States in Gold Cup play.  The team went 11 matches without a defeat in regulation time, and played 801 minutes of shutout soccer.
- Kasey Keller now has 15 appearances in the Gold Cup, fourth place on the all-time list.  Former U.S. international Eric Wynalda set the mark with 21 games played.  Should Keller start tomorrow, he'll move into a third place tie with Mexican forward Claudio Suarez.
- Keller and Frankie Hejduk are the only U.S. players to have played every minute of every game in the last two Gold Cup matches, a string of nine matches.
- Carlos Bocanegra now has three career international goals, all three coming in 2003 and all coming off headers.  The Chicago Fire defender has logged 1,061 minutes for the MNT this year, second only to Landon Donovan.  He's also second on the team in scoring (3g, 2a), again behind Donovan, who has registered seven goals and three assists.
- The U.S. and Costa Rica have met four times in Gold Cup history.  The USA holds an unblemished 4-0-0 record, outscoring the Ticos by an 8-3 margin.  The U.S. has recorded two shutouts, including last year's final.

No replacement will be named for injured forward Brian McBride, who suffered a minimally displaced fracture of his left orbital floor during the USA's 2-1 loss to Brazil.  Additionally, Cory Gibbs will serve a one-match suspension after being sent off in the 100th minute of the same match.  DaMarcus Beasley is near full fintess from the right ankle sprain suffered two weeks ago.  Steve Ralston, who has been hampered by a bruised right foot, will be available for selection.

"There's a little bit of that.  But knowing our guys, when the kick off rolls around they will be ready to play.  With the potential for a playoff, there's no question this game means something." -- U.S. Manager Bruce Arena, on whether it's difficult for a team to get up after such a disappointing loss

"You don't get to the semifinals without being a good team.  We know them inside out.  It's going to be a battle." -- Landon Donovan, on the matchup with Costa Rica

"The experience of playing in MLS has allowed me to develop to the point where I am now playing with the national team.  My goal right now is to play in the World Cup in 2006."  -- Carlos Bocanegra, asked about his future plans

"I think the mark of a great 'keeper is the ability to come up with a save when the team needs it most. There are a lot of good goalkeepers that don't take any risks, or do anything spectacular, and subsequently make few mistakes. When you come up with a save at key times in a game, it can directly influence the outcome." -- Kasey Keller, telling his definition of a great goalkeeper (read the full interview in this month's issue of Center Circle)


On the field for USA
July 23, 2003 – The Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla.. – 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Semifinal
United States       1   Carlos Bocanegra 62'
Brazil                     2    Kaka 89', Diego (pk) 100'
Attendance: 35,211

USA  — 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey; 8-Earnie Stewart (17-DaMarcus Beasley, 83), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.) (13-Richard Mulrooney, 71), 7-Eddie Lewis; 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (11-Clint Mathis, 30).

BRA — 1-Gomes; 2-Maicon, 3-Luisao, 4-Alex, 5-Adriano, 6-Paulo Almeida (9-Ewerthon, 86), 7-Julio Baptista, 8-Kaka (Capt.), 10-Diego, 11-Robinho (17-Carlos Alberto, 75), 15-Nilmar (16-Nadson, 81).

On the field for Costa Rica
July 24, 2003 – Estadio Azteca, Mexico City – 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Semifinal
Mexico           2    Marquez 19', Borgetti 28'
Costa Rica     0   
Attendance: 22,000

MEX - 1-Oswaldo Sanchez, 3-Omar Briseno, 4-Rafael Marquez (2-Fernando Salazar-46) Ricardo Osorio, 18-Salvador Carmona, 6-Octavio Valdez, 7-Omar Bravo (11-Daniel Osorno-64), 8-Pavel Pardo, 9-Jared Borgetti, 20-Rafael Garcia, 21-Jesus Arellano (15-Juan Pablo Rodriguez-78).

CRC - 23-Ricardo Gonzalez, 3-Luis Marin, 4-Alexander Castro, 5-Gilberto Martinez (20-Pablo Chinchilla-46), 6-Wilmer Lopez (17-Steven Bryce-68), 10-Walter Centeno, 13-Luis Daniel Vallejos, 14-Erick Scott, 19-Mauricio Wright, 21-Winston Parks (7-Rolando Fonseca-55), 22-Carlos Castro.

Vs. Costa Rica
February 2, 2002 – The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.– 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Final
Costa Rica                0   
United States            2   Josh Wolff 37', Jeff Agoos 63'
Attendance: 14,432

CRC: 1-Erick Lonnis; 5-Gilberto Martinez, 3-Luis Marin (10-Walter Centeno, 46), 21-,Reynaldo Parks; 22-Carlos Castro, 8-Mauricio Solis, 6-Wilmer Lopez, 16-Steven Bryce, 15-Harold Wallace (17-Hernan Medford, 59); 11- Ronald Gomez, 9-Paulo Wanchope.
Subs not used: 4-Max Sanchez, 13-Geovanny Jara, 14-Austin Berry, 18-Alvaro Mesen, 20-William Sunsing.

USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 12-Jeff Agoos, 17-Carlos Bocanegra; 13-Cobi Jones - capt. (9-Brian West, 85), 14-Chris Armas, 7-Eddie Lewis, 21-Landon Donovan; 20-Brian McBride (5-Clint Mathis, 89), 15-Josh Wolff (8-Richie Williams, 79).
Subs not used: 1-Tony Meola, 4-DaMarcus Beasley, 8-Richie Williams, 10-Brian Maisonneuve, 26-Danny Califf.

The United States has played in the third place match one other time in their history.  On Jan. 21, 1996, the U.S. faced Guatemala at the L.A. Coliseum in Los Angeles.  In front of 88,000 fans, Jeff Agoos, Jovan Kirovski, and EricWynalda all scored as the USA cruised to a 3-0 victory.

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