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U.S. to Field "Championship of Heroes" Team


CHICAGO (Thursday, May 6, 1999) - The U.S. Soccer Federation announced plans today to field a team for the inaugural Championship of Heroes tournament taking place in Trinidad and Tobago in June. The eight-team tournament features former international players at least 35-years-old (or retired from professional soccer) from Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and host Trinidad & Tobago, in addition to the United States.

Veteran U.S. forward Roy Wegerle, who earned 41 international caps as a member of two U.S. World Cup Teams, was appointed by U.S. Soccer as player/coach of the Heroes team and will be responsible for assembling the 20-player roster. Wegerle, who turned 35 earlier this year, recently retired from professional soccer after a distinguished career.

"This is a great honor," said Wegerle. "With some of the international names taking part, the tournament is sure to grab some worldwide attention. We're starting from a scratch a bit with our team, but once we contact the players on our wish list, I'm confident we will be fielding a good, solid team."

To be eligible for selection, a player must have at least two international caps and be either a minimum 35-years-old as of Dec. 31, 1999, or retired from the professional game. The only other tournament stipulation requires seven of the 11 players on the field at all times to have at least 10 caps.

The short list of eligible U.S. players includes former U.S. World Cup standouts Fernando Clavijo (1994 World Cup) and Thomas Dooley (1994 & 1998), as well as forward Eric Eichmann (1990). Dooley will miss the team's first match on June 17 against Spain at the Centre of Excellence in Port-of-Spain, but has been released by the Columbus Crew for the games on June 19 vs. England and June 21 vs. Germany.

Although the team will not have an official training camp together prior to their June 13 departure for Trinidad, Wegerle has designed a fitness training schedule for the team to ensure everyone arrives at close to the same fitness levels. The final roster must be submitted by May 26.

A number of famous names are rumored to be taking part in the tournament, including Andreas Brehme (Germany), Emilio Butragueno (Spain), Careca (Brazil), Gary Lineker (England), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany), Chris Waddle (England), Ray Wilkins (England) and Zico (Brazil).

The U.S. has been drawn into Group B with Spain, England and Germany. Group A consists of Brazil, France, Italy and Trinidad & Tobago. The top two teams from each group will meet in the semifinals on June 23 and 24. The third place match is scheduled for June 26 and the final is June 27.

In addition to competing for prize money totaling more than $1.5 million, the teams will compete for the Joao Havelange Trophy, named in honor of the former FIFA President who will present it to the winning team at the Championship of Heroes Final in the National Stadium in Port-of-Spain on June 27.

U.S. "Championship of Heroes" Team
PRELIMINARY PLAYER POOL
Name Pos. D.O.B. Caps/G Name Pos. D.O.B. Caps/G
Amr Aly M 8/01/62 8/0 Tom Kain M 7/01/63 4/0
Desmond Armstrong D 11/2/64 81/0 Ty Keough D 12/19/56 9/0
Jimmy Banks D 9/02/64 36/0 John Kerr, Jr. F 3/06/65 16/2
Tony Bellinger M 12/8/57 7/1 Hayden Knight F 3/17/57 3/0
Chico Borja M 8/24/59 11/3 Cle Kooiman D 7/04/63 12/1
Michael Brady F 7/01/64 3/0 Paul Krumpe M 3/04/63 25/0
David Brcic GK 1/21/58 4/0 Jacques Ladouceur M 4/29/59 9/0
Dan Canter D 11/16/61 9/0 Doc Lawson D 2/01/58 3/0
Fernando Clavijo D 1/23/57 61/0 Neil Megson D 7/27/62 2/0
Michael Collins M 11/17/61 2/0 Janusz Michallik M 4/22/66 44/1
Ricky Davis M 11/24/58 35/7 Bruce Murray F 1/25/66 86/21
Thomas Dooley D/M 5/12/61 81/7 George Pastor F -- 7/0
Jeff Duback GK -- 4/0 Hugo Perez M 11/08/63 73/13
Jeff Durgan D 8/28/61 7/1 Bruce Savage D 12/21/60 16/0
Eric Eichmann F 5/07/65 29/4 Troy Snyder D 11/24/65 5/0
Dale Ervine F 5/19/64 5/0 John Stollmeyer D 10/25/62 31/0
Mike Fox M 9/24/61 17/0 Chris Sullivan F 4/18/65 18/2
Chance Fry M 6/29/64 4/0 Gregg Thompson D 8/04/60 12/0
Jim Gabarra M 10/22/59 14/0 Perry van der Beck F 11/6/59 24/2
Brent Goulet F 6/19/64 8/0 David Vanole GK 2/06/63 14/0
Jean Harbor F 9/19/65 15/0 Martin Vasquez D 12/24/63 7/0
Jeff Hooker D -- 11/1 Roy Wegerle F 3/19/64 41/7
Bernie James D 11/25/58 2/0 Head Coach: Roy Wegerle
ROSTER NOTES: The final "Championship of Heroes" roster will be announced during the final week of May. ... The 45 players listed above are eligible players selected for notification by coach Roy Wegerle. ... A few players above have yet to be officially contacted by U.S. Soccer to verify their schedule availability. ... Eligible players already contacted who are unable to participate have not been listed.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Trinidad & Tobago
GROUP A
National Stadium
GROUP B
Centre of Excellence
June 16 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Italy June 17 England vs. Germany
Brazil vs. France USA vs. Spain
June 18 Italy vs. Brazil June 19 Spain vs. Germany
Trinidad & Tobago vs. France England vs. USA
June 20 France vs. Italy June 21 England vs. Spain
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Brazil USA vs. Germany

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