Day Off Sees Players Tour DMZ, Relax, Golf
U.S. TEAM TOURS DMZ IN KOREA: The U.S. Men's National Team, led by head coach Bruce Arena, toured the DMZ on Saturday along the border of North and South Korea. Arena and assistant coach Glenn Myernick were joined by 11 players as they toured U.S. Military Camp Bonifas (located just 400 meters south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone) and the DMZ, which was highlighted by a visit to the Freedom House.
Freedom House Impresses
The Freedom House is a conference room actually built along the line of demarcation (38th parallel), and is controlled on one side by North Korea and on one side by South Korea. While touring the room, the players were led across the room into North Korea and back. During the four-hour tour of the area, the team stopped at posts throughout the camp to visit with troops, eventually conducting an autograph session at The Sanctuary Club on base.
DMB at the DMZ
The players on the tour included Jeff Agoos, DaMarcus Beasley (DMB), Gregg Berhalter, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, John O'Brien, Eddie Pope, Claudio Reyna and Tony Sanneh. For Agoos and Donovan, the trip was their second tour of the DMZ, having previously visited the area with the U.S. on Dec. 6, 2001, prior to the team's post-Draw friendly with Korea. "I was clueless until today,'' said Beasley, the youngest player on the U.S. squad. "People take for granted what goes on in the world. You forget how much people do for our country. This is a way of seeing what they do day in and day out." Before departing, Arena could be seen waving out of an open window from the Chinook-47 helicopter, which transported the team from Seoul into the Joint Security Area (JSA), which houses Camp Bonifas and the U.S. and Republic of Korea forces which patrol and protect the DMZ.
Strong Media Contingent Travels to DMZ
The U.S. media corps traveling to the DMZ numbered 39 strong and included writers from Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reuters, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Wall St. Journal and Washington Post, among others. Additionally, camera crews from AP TV, ESPN, Futbol Mundial, Reuters TV and Telemundo also made the hour-long bus ride from Seoul into the DMZ to cover the visit.
Background on the DMZ
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is an area of land ncompassing a four-kilometer wide strip of land straddling the 151-mile long Military Demarcation Line (MDL). The July 27, 1953, Armistice Agreement established the DMZ along the approximate line of ground contact between the opposing forces at the time the truce ended the Korean War. As the base camp for the United Nations Command Security Force, Camp Bonifas was previously known as Camp Kitty Hawk before being named after Captain Arthur G. Bonifas in 1986. Bonifas and UNC security officer Lieutenant Mark T. Barrett were slain in the line of duty in the area in 1976.
TEE-TIME!: As half the U.S. squad toured the DMZ in South Korea, a contingent of six players took advantage of their first day off in Seoul by hitting the links. Brad Friedel, Eddie Lewis, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Mathis, Brian McBride and Josh Wolff, as well as assistant coach Dave Sarachan, took advantage of a clear day to enjoy the golfing amenities of a local course in Seoul. As part of the day's event, each golfer had his own personal caddie, all of whom were female.
PRACTICE OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES AT 10 a.m.; MEDIA AVAILABILITY SCHEDULED FOR 1:30 p.m.: The U.S. Men's National Team will be available to the media at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon (June 1) at the team hotel at the J.W. Marriott. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena and selected players will be available to the media at that time via a press conference and mixed-zone session. Training on Saturday at Misari Practice Stadium, located in the southeast corner of Seoul, will be open for 15 minutes beginning at approximately 10 a.m. Media interested in attending the first 15 minutes of training should arrive at the complex at 9:30 a.m. to be allowed admittance to the training facility. After 15 minutes media will be escorted from the facility. There will be no interview availability at the practice site. At all times, an up-to-date schedule of training sessions and media availability can be found in the media-only section of ussoccer.com.
WORLD CUP PLUS: For up-to-the-minute World Cup updates, feature stories, quotes and more, visit U.S. Soccer's "World Cup Plus" at ussoccer.com. With updates coming to you live from Korea, the site offers exclusive audio and photos from the team's training camp in Seoul. Today on "World Cup Plus" find:
- One-on-One with Steve Cherundolo
- Sound bites from a Q&A session with Steve Cherundolo
- Seoul: City Greets Soccer's Best (detailing the World Cup flavor that is consuming Seoul)
- June 1 Game Previews
- Group-by-Group Breakdowns
- This Day in History (May 31)
- Breaking Down the Cup with Brandi Chastain (a candid look at the World Cup)
T-MINUS: There are 5 days until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which happens to correspond to the total number of goals scored by the U.S. and Portugal in four all-time games between the two countries (who will meet on June 5 in Suwon). The U.S. is 1-2-1 in those four games and neither team has ever scored more than one goal in their previous encounters.