CHICAGO (June 10, 2008) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named 21 players to train in advance of the USA’s first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Barbados on Sunday, June 15. Kickoff at The Home Depot Center is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. team arrived into Los Angeles on Monday and will begin training Tuesday at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center. The second leg of the series will be played on June 22 in Barbados.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $19 to $66 are on sale at ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy’s, Wherehouse Music, FYE and Ritmo Latino). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center Box Office on Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
The roster largely resembles the team that battled No. 1-ranked Argentina to a 0-0 draw on June 8 at Giants Stadium, with 19 of 21 players selected from that group. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra returns to the fold, while Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching has also been added to the mix.
All told, there are 13 players on the roster with experience in World Cup qualifying. Landon Donovan, who became the fourth youngest male player in history to reach 100 caps when he went 90 minutes against Argentina, leads the roster with 20 all-time World Cup qualifying appearances. His seven career goals in World Cup qualifying are also a team best, tied with Eddie Johnson. The Fulham-based striker became the first player in U.S. history to score three goals as a substitute when he recorded a hat trick in the 6-0 semifinal round qualifying victory against Panama on Oct. 13, 2004, at RFK Stadium. Eddie Lewis is the second-leading capwinner in qualifying on the roster (17), while Frankie Hejduk is entering his fourth qualifying campaign. Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who continues to improve his form after returning from a knee injury suffered last November, appeared in 13 matches in the 2006 cycle.
Tim Howard, who is coming off a sparkling performance against Argentina that included seven saves en route to earning Sierra Mist Man of the Match Honors, begins the road to South Africa as the first choice ‘keeper for the United States. The Everton-based goalkeeper boasts 18 career wins and 11 shutouts in 31 appearances at the full international level. In front of Howard stands a backline with growing experience as a unit. Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce all started the matches against England, Spain and Argentina. Onyewu helped marshal Standard de Liege to their first Belgian League title in 25 years. Danny Califf, who partnered with Onyewu against Argentina, captained Aalborg to their fourth Danish league crown before moving to his new club, FC Midtjylland.
Eight players on the roster are in search of their first taste of qualifying at the full international level. The roster boasts five players who are age-eligible to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, led by SC Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley. The 20-year-old is coming off one of the most prolific seasons ever for a U.S. player in Europe, recording 20 goals in all competitions and helping earn Heerenveen a place in the UEFA Cup. Four players on the roster – Freddy Adu, Dominic Cervi, Maurice Edu and Sacha Kljestan- were part of the Under-23 team that helped the U.S book a ticket to Beijing by reaching the finals of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament in March.
Beginning their effort to qualify for their sixth-consecutive World Cup, the U.S. is coming off the most successful qualifying campaign in team history. During the last cycle, the U.S. compiled a 12-2-4 record over 18 matches with 10 shutouts, scoring 35 goals, while allowing just 11. The U.S. finished undefeated at home during the qualifying campaign, going 8-0-1, with all eight victories coming by shutout. In the seventh match of the final round hexagonal, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley gave the U.S. a 2-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 3, 2005, marking the first time since 1934 that the U.S. was the first team from the CONCACAF region to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. and Barbados have only met twice before in their history, the matches taking place in the Semifinal Round of 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying in a group that also included Guatemala and Costa Rica. The U.S. dominated both matches, winning, 7-0, on Aug. 16, 2000, in Foxborough, Mass., before cruising to a 4-0 victory in the final group match on Nov. 15, a win that booked the USA’s passage to the final stage.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION*
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract: 0/0), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA: 0/0), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 3/2 SO)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract: 11/1), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland: 1/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96: 14:0), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC: 0/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 11/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 7/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica: 0/0), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 14/4), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen: 0/0), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC: 0/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 0/0), Eddie Lewis (Derby County: 17/2), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 9/0)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 6/2), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 20/7), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 7/0), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC: 7/7)
*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals