WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS TO FEATURE BRAZIL-TURKEY REMATCH, UPSTART KOREA: The 32-team opening field of 2002 World Cup participants is down to just four hopefuls – favorite and four-time champions Brazil, World Cup semifinal rookie’s Korea Republic, Turkey and three-time champs Germany. Brazil, who edged England 2-1 with a game-winning free kick from Ronaldinho, will be pitted against Turkey, who scored a fantastic golden goal to slip by Senegal 1-0, in what will surely be an intense rematch on Tuesday (June 25), live on ESPN and Univision at 7:30 a.m. ET. Brazil was lucky to defeat Turkey 2-1 in their opening round Group C match on June 3, earning a controversial penalty kick in the 89th minute that Rivaldo converted for the win. In the other semi-final, which will also be broadcast on ESPN and Univision live on Wednesday (June 26) at 7:30 a.m. ET, co-host Korea Republic will try to knock off another top European team when they meet Germany. Korea was fortunate to hold Spain scoreless over 120 minutes and then advanced 5-3 in a penalty kick shootout last Saturday. The 2002 World Cup Final will take place on Sunday (June 30) in Yokohama, Japan, live on ABC and Univision at 7 a.m. ET, with the Third Place match will be shown on tape delay at 1:30 p.m. ET on ABC a day earlier (June 29) in Daegu, Korea.
U.S. WORLD CUP STARS RIDING MEDIA BUZZ IN NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES THIS WEEK: Having returned from Seoul this weekend, a group of seven U.S. Men’s National Team players – Jeff Agoos, Gregg Berhalter, Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis, Brian McBride, Claudio Reyna, Tony Sanneh, along with head coach Bruce Arena – will be all over Manhattan participating in a whirlwind 24-hour media tour in New York City that kicks off tonight with a guest spot on “Late Show with David Letterman” and a live prime time interview as part of the debut of Connie Chung’s new two-hour news special on CNN. The media tour will also include featured segments on “Today”, “Good Morning America”, “CBS Early Show” and “Live! With Regis and Kelly” on Tuesday morning (June 25). U.S. forward Landon Donovan will get to know MTV personality Carson Daly, as he is also scheduled to appear on MTV’s “Total Request Live” and NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly”. Donovan will then return to Los Angeles, where he is set to appear on “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn” on Wednesday night (June 26). Also, Clint Mathis is scheduled to be the guest on Thursday’s (June 27) edition of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”.Date: Show (Players) - Network: Broadcast Times/Segment
- Mon., June 24: “Late Show” (Donovan/ALL) - CBS: 11:35-12:35 p.m. ET/12:15 a.m. ET
- Mon., June 24: Connie Chung (Arena, Donovan, McBride) - CNN: 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/TBD
- Tue., June 25: “Today” (Arena, Donovan, Reyna, Sanneh) - NBC: 7:00-10:00 a.m. ET/7:30-8:00 a.m. ET
- Tue., June 25: “Good Morning America” (Mathis, McBride) - ABC: 7:00-10:00 a.m. ET/7:15-7:25 a.m. ET
- Tue., June 25: “Early Show” (Agoos, Berhalter) - CBS: 7:00-9:00 a.m. ET/8:00-8:15 a.m. ET
- Tue., June 25: “Live! w/ Regis & Kelly” (Donovan, Mathis, McBride, Reyna) - CBS: 9:00-11:00 a.m. ET/TBD
- Tue., June 25: “Total Request Live” (Donovan) - MTV: 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET/TBD
- Tue., June 25: “Last Call” (Donovan) - NBC: 1:35-2:05 a.m. ET/1:45-2:00 a.m. ET
- Wed., June 26: “Late Late Show” (Donovan) - CBS: 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET/1:15-1:35 a.m. ET
- Thu., June 27: “Daily Show” (Mathis) - COM: 11:00-11:30 a.m. ET/11:15-11:30 a.m. ET
U.S. DOMINATES, BUT FALLS SHORT TO THREE-TIME WORLD CUP CHAMPS IN ULSAN: Despite putting together its best single-game performance of the tournament, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s historic run to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals came to and end last week in Ulsan, Korea, where they fell 1-0 to three-time world champion Germany. Despite controlling the majority of the match and posting an 11-6 shot advantage, the U.S. was held scoreless by world class goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who posted six amazing saves on the day. With the loss, the team heads back to the U.S. having produced its best showing in World Cup history in the modern era (since the tournament expanded to 24 teams in 1982, then later to 32 teams in 1998) and having achieved their best ever performance since the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, when the USA won two games, scored seven goals and advanced to the semi-finals.
STEWART, JONES SET NEW WORLD CUP APPEARANCE RECORD AT 11 GAMES: After setting the U.S. record for all-time World Cup appearances at 10 games by appearing as substitutes in the 2-0 win over Mexico on June 21, veteran midfielders Jones and Stewart again came off the bench in the second half against Germany as the USA pushed for an equalizer and increasing their U.S. record to 11 World Cup caps. Retired U.S. midfielder Tab Ramos was the previous record-holder coming into the 2002 World Cup, having earned nine World Cup caps across the 1990, ’94 and ’98 tournaments. Jones and Stewart made their World Cup debuts in 1994 and have appeared in the two Cups since.
U.S. MEN MAKE FIRST WORLD CUP APPEARANCES ON LENO, LETTERMAN LAST WEEK: After numerous appearances on the three major network morning shows and in the nation's top sports magazines over the past month, members of the U.S. Men's National Team made their first appearances via satellite on the late-night talk show circuit this week. The team made its debut on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, with a group of four players -- Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones, Clint Mathis and Joe-Max Moore -- doing a live interview with the wacky host immediately after his monologue. The team also appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman", helping Dave read a World Cup-themed Top 10 list about 20-25 minutes into the show. Midfielder Cobi Jones and forward Landon Donovan were also featured alongside world star David Beckham in a piece about “hot soccer players” on the news magazine show “Extra”. Below is the Top Ten list from the “Late Show”:
Top Ten Ways To Get Americans Excited About Soccer
10. Rename the sport "Deathball 3000" - (Midfielder Landon Donovan)
9. From now on, you can't use your feet either - (Midfielder Claudio Reyna)
8. Constitutional amendment stating if U.S. wins World Cup, every American gets a brand new car - (Midfielder John O'Brien)
7. More players who look like Mia Hamm, fewer players who look like Davor Vugrinec - (Forward Clint Mathis)
6. Instead of "Goooooal!" have that announcer guy yell, "Yahtzee!" - (Defender Gregg Berhalter)
5. Printed on every red card, a collectible "Star Wars" photo - (Defender Jeff Agoos)
4. Drunken monkey goalies - (Goalkeeper Brad Friedel)
3. Find a way to involve that hilarious San Diego chicken - (Defender Tony Sanneh)
2. You mean millions of Americans aren't getting up in the middle of the night to watch us play? - (Forward Joe-Max Moore)
1. Give Tiger Woods a soccer ball, America will never lose again - (Midfielder Cobi Jones)
USA’s EARN SECOND “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED” COVER IN LESS THAN A MONTH: Less than a month since U.S. World Cup team forward Clint Mathis graced the cover of the 2002 World Cup preview issue (May 27, 2002) of "Sports Illustrated", U.S. forward Landon Donovan is featured on this week's cover after the USA's landmark 2-0 win over Mexico that earned them a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1930. The new issue, dated June 24, hit newsstands on June 19. The ever-popular Donovan, along with Mathis and Beasley, was also featured on the June 10th cover of “ESPN The Magazine”. Donovan becomes just the third U.S. Soccer Male since 1994 (Ernie Stewart) and the second MLS player ever to grace the cover of America's largest sports weekly. This is the 11th time in Sports Illustrated's history, which dates back to 1954, that soccer has been the magazine's main cover subject. Brandi Chastain and the U.S. Women's National Team were both cover subjects of SI in 1999 when the U.S. captured the 1999 Women's World Cup and then were later named the Sportswomen of the Year.
U.S. TEAM RECOGNIZED ON FLOOR OF HOUSE IN J.C. WATTS RESOLUTION: Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. (Okla.) officially introduced a resolution last week commending the players and coach of the United States National Soccer Team in the World Cup and encouraging them prior to the team’s match against Germany. The resolution has not yet been brought to the floor or voted on as of yet, as members of the House were hoping for the U.S. to advance to the semifinals and beyond. "As our soccer team prepares to play the Germans on Friday, I want to recognize the outstanding job these athletes have accomplished. Getting to the quarterfinals is no easy task," said Watts. "This resolution commends Coach Arena and all of the players of the U.S. National Soccer Team for a job well done. The United States National Soccer Team is a perfect example of the American Dream. Rising above low expectations and defeating the dire predictions of sportswriters and pundits, our soccer team has shot and scored their way to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.”
— U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
U.S. WOMEN TO FACE NORWAY ON JULY 21 IN BLAINE, MINNESOTA LIVE ON ESPN: The U.S. Women's National Team will face long-time rival Norway on July 21 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., in a match to be televised live on ESPN at 12 p.m. CT (1 p.m. ET). Tickets are currently available at all TicketMaster outlets or charging by phone at 651-989-5151. Complete ticket information is also available at ussoccer.com. Group tickets of 10 or more people are avilable by calling the Minnesota Thunder at 763-785-3668. The USA played in Blaine last summer, defeating Canada 1-0 in front the largest crowd ever to watch a soccer game at the National Sports Center when 15,614 fans showed up to cheer on the U.S. women. The NSC holds 10,000 fans but additional seats can be added to accommodate an overflow. The U.S. women will be looking to break a frustrating four-game losing streak to the Norwegians, who are the only team in the world with an all-time winning record against the U.S. women, who are 13-18-2 vs. the Scandinavians.
— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE —
U.S. UNDER-19 WOMEN OPEN EUROPEAN TOUR WITH 2-1 WIN OVER GERMANY: The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team opened its five-game European tour last week with a 2-1 victory over Germany’s Under-19 WNT in Nettetal, Germany, a suburb of Dusseldorf. The USA will also play the German U-21s and the Duisburg women's club before traveling to Sweden to face the Swedish U-19 women and the Hammarby club. In their first game since winning the 2002 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in early May to earn a berth the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, the U.S. U-19s shook off the jet lag to earn a hard-fought victory over the two-time reigning European champions. Midfielder Lori Chalupny scored the USA's first goal in the 40th minute, but Germany's Anne-Katherine Sabel tied the match 11 minutes into the second half. U.S. forward Heather O'Reilly, who had arrived in Germany that morning after completing the last final exam of her junior year of high school, came off the bench at halftime and got the winning goal in the 72nd minute. The win over Germany was significant in that it was the U-19s first-ever match against a top-quality European U-19 national team and a team that is also a co-favorite to win the first-ever FIFA Under-19 World Championship being contested in Canada from Aug. 17-Sept. 1, 2002.
— 2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE —
MEXICO S.C. DISQUALIFIED, SAN DIEGO GAUCHOS ADVANCE VIA FORFEIT: U.S. Soccer announced last week that U.S. Amateur Soccer Association Region IV representative Mexico S.C. of Fresno, Calif., was disqualified from the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after using an ineligible player in their First Round game against the host San Diego Gauchos of the D3 Pro League on June 11. The decision was made at the conclusion of a conference call hearing conducted by the U.S. Open Cup Discipline Panel after the San Diego Gauchos filed a protest the following day after dropping a 6-5 decision on penalty kicks to Mexico S.C. on June 11th after both teams battled to a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation and two scoreless sudden death overtime periods. After reviewing the testimony and documentation presented at the hearing by both parties (San Diego, Mexico S.C.), the Open Cup Discipline Panel concluded that Mexico S.C. knowingly listed a player on its roster as “Jose Luis Rosas” when in fact they knew that this individual was named “Jose Espindola,” and that Mr. Espindola was previously registered as a professional player with the D3’s Carolina Dynamo. Therefore, the Open Cup Discipline Panel voted unanimously the disqualification of Mexico S.C. from this year’s competition as the squad forfeits its First Round match. San Diego is declared the victor 2-0 of the June 11th match and will now advance to the Second Round slated for this Wednesday. The Gauchos will now travel to Blaine, Minn., to take on the host Minnesota Thunder (A-League) in 2002 Open Cup Second Round action at the National Sports Center.
SECOND ROUND OF 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEK: The Second Round of the 2002 Open Cup begins this week with one encounter on Tuesday as the A-League’s Seattle Sounders travel to Salt Lake City to face D3’s Utah Blitzz at Cottonwood High School. The Second Round concludes the next day with seven match-ups as the A-League’s Minnesota Thunder starts off “Elimination Wednesday” as they host the D3 Pro League’s San Diego Gauchos at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The 1995 U.S. Open Cup winner Richmond Kickers (A-League) enter the 2002 competition in the Second Round on Wednesday, and will travel to meet the Raleigh CASL Elite from the Premier Development League (PDL) at the SAS Stadium in Cary, N.C., while another former champion (1999) Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) host the Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. Formerly known as the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms, the New York Freedoms (D3) – the last team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles in 1982-83 – visit the Milwaukee Rampage Sports Complex in Franklin, Wisc., to take on the host Milwaukee Rampage (A-League), while the South Jersey Barons (D3) welcome the Hampton Road Mariners (A-League). Rounding out “Elimination Wednesday” are the Greenville Lions (D3) greeting the Charleston Battery (A-League) at Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, S.C., and the Memphis Express (PDL) traveling to Clarkston, Ga., to meet the Atlanta Silverbacks at DeKalb Memorial Stadium.
MLS TEAMS JOIN OPEN CUP IN THIRD ROUND: The Third Round kicks off with the Second Round survivors facing eight MLS teams on July 17. U.S. Soccer placed the MLS squads into the Third Round brackets and have confirmed the following fixtures for July 17: the Columbus Crew will host the winner of the Raleigh-Richmond match, while the Colorado Rapids, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards and the MetroStars will be on the road for their respective Third Round games. The Rapids take on the winner of the Greenville-Charleston encounter, the Burn meets the victor of the Memphis-Atlanta game, the Wizards will travel to either Des Moines or Rochester, and the MetroStars battle the Hampton Roads-South Jersey winner. The remaining Third Round fixtures for MLS teams will be determined pending the results from the Second Round as follows: The San Jose Earthquakes will either host Seattle or visit Utah; defending Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will either travel to face Minnesota or play San Diego Gauchos at a site to be determined; and the Chicago Fire will either greet the N.Y. Freedoms or head north to take on Milwaukee. U.S. Soccer also determined the respective home teams for the 2002 quarterfinals via a lottery conducted. The winners from the following Third Round regional brackets will host quarterfinal matches on August 7:
1) NY/NJ MetroStars vs. South Jersey/Hampton Roads
2) Chicago Fire vs. Milwaukee/N.Y. Freedoms
3) Dallas Burn vs. Memphis/Atlanta
4) San Jose Earthquakes vs. Utah/Seattle
— AROUND THE U.S. SOCCER NATION —
REFEREE HALL GIVEN IMPRESSIVE FOURTH ASSIGNMENT OF 2002 WORLD CUP: U.S. World Cup referee Brian Hall has been named as the fourth official for this Wednesday’s semifinal match between Brazil and Turkey in Saitama, Japan. Working with him in the semifinal will be referee Kim Nielsen from Denmark and assistant referees Maciej Wierzbowski (Poland) and Igor Sramka (Slovakia). After the first 54 matches, Brian Hall was one of just 16 referees and 16 assistant referees named to officiate the final eight matches. Only the final 32 officials will work four matches in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Brian Hall has been involved in three group matches in Japan, refereeing two first round matches and serving as the fourth official in another. Hall refereed Italy-Ecuador on June 3, and then worked as the fourth official in the highly anticipated England-Argentina match on June 7. Hall was assigned a third match and worked as the center official in England’s 0-0 draw with Nigeria on June 12. Hall, who is the first U.S.-born official ever selected to referee in the World Cup, has been an MLS referee since the league’s inception in 1996.
USA-MEXICO MATCH IS HIGHEST-RATED GAME OF 2002 WC ON ESPN: ESPN’s June 17th telecast of the U.S. vs. Mexico “Round of 16” match at 2:30 a.m. ET, seen in an average of 1.98 million television homes based on a 2.29 rating, delivered the most-watched and highest-rated telecast of the 2002 FIFA World Cup on ESPN and ESPN2 to date, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The match delivered the weekend’s most-watched program on cable among men 18-34 and the most-viewed night program ever on cable (starting 1 a.m. – 6 a.m.) for men 18-34 and for 18-49.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: Often criticized and misunderstood over his tenure as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Bruce Arena came out of the 2002 World Cup with flying colors, having guided the team to its best tournament performance ever in the modern era. From his decision to start Brad Friedel in goal, to his formation switch that produced the team’s most complete performances in its last two matches, to his rotation of the many versatile U.S. players to new positions, Arena seemingly made all the right moves to help the USA to its landmark success in Korea.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: It’s hard to believe how quickly the World Cup has gone, but now it’s come down to the final week. The semi-final pairings shape up to produce a final match-up between the two countries with the richest World Cup history (four-time champs Brazil and three-time champs Germany), but with the way this upset-laden edition of soccer’s biggest competition has gone, I wouldn’t bet on it. Tune in at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday (June 30) to find out if the rich get richer or the final will produce a first-ever World Cup champion.
SOCCER SHOCKER: With just four games to be played, who would’ve thought that pre-tournament minnows like Korea Republic and Turkey would be just two wins from a first ever World Cup title? Behind playmaker Hasan Sas, Turkey has looked very good and posted deserving results in its Cup run, including solid performances against co host Japan and Cinderella side Senegal. Korea Republic has used its boisterous home crowds, relentless attack (not to mention some favorable decisions from the linesmen) to get this far, having knocked off three European powers – Portugal, Italy and Spain – in successive matches.
“I am proud, and I like very much the way the American team plays. They never, were afraid. They always moved forward, and the team was very well organized. We talk about the ‘beautiful game'. America was one of those teams that played the beautiful game, no doubt.”
- Former Brazilian World Cup star Pele (USA Today, June 23).