CHICAGO (May 19, 2004) — United States Men’s National Team Manager Bruce Arena has selected an 18-man roster to face Honduras on June 2 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast on Telemundo via tape delay (11:30 p.m. ET/PT). Once again, the U.S. game will also be available live in high definition format on HDNet. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The friendly will serve as the USA’s final warm-up before 2006 World Cup qualifying kicks off June 13 against Grenada in Columbus.
Players will begin reporting to the Boston area for training on May 28, with the MLS-based players joining the team after their domestic matches on the weekend.
"We have been building this team for almost two years since the last World Cup, and we’re reaching an important stage,” said Arena, who has led the team to a 2-1-2 record in 2004. “We’ve had some good results recently, and some good competition for spots on the field. This is a last opportunity for the players on this roster to demonstrate their form and fitness as we make our final decisions about the group that will begin World Cup qualifying next month.”
U.S. captain Claudio Reyna will reach a career milestone in Foxboro, appearing in his 100th international game for the United States. A veteran of three World Cups, the 30-year-old from Livingston, N.J., began his international career in 1994, and has served as team captain since Arena took the helm in November of 1998. In 2002, he became the first American ever named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star team.
The U.S. roster boasts a pair of powerhouse goalkeepers. Brad Friedel, 33, earned the USA’s first win in Europe under Arena, the 1-0 victory against Poland on March 31 his first appearance for the USA since the 2002 World Cup. Tim Howard is coming off his first season at Manchester United, the 25-year-old following in his elder’s footsteps by becoming the second American in a row to be named the PFA Goalkeeper of the Year in England after Friedel was similarly honored in 2003. The trip to Boston marks Howard’s first domestic appearance for the national team since departing the MetroStars in July of last year.
Several players are coming off the conclusion of their seasons in Europe. The Fulham duo of Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra come to Boston having helped their side finish ninth in the English Premier League, the highest finish in club history. McBride, with 23 career international goals for the senior team, is still one goal shy of second place on the USA’s all-time goal-scoring list behind New England Revolution forward Joe-Max Moore. Eddie Lewis, having recently recovered from hernia surgery, is coming off his most prolific season ever in England, scoring six goals while boasting numerous assists for Preston North End.
German side Hannover 96 send the dynamic duo of defender Steve Cherundolo and striker Clint Mathis after ensuring that the club will spend another season in Germany’s top division. Conor Casey, whose 13 goals for Karlsruhe is good for fifth best in the German second division, has cut his teeth at the international level this year, starting in the USA’s victories against Poland and Mexico.
Making his debut for the U.S. in 2004 is D.C. United midfielder Earnie Stewart. He played 13 times for the USA in 2003, the most appearances in one year in his 13-year international career. Sitting on 97 caps, he is the all-time U.S. leader in World Cup qualifying appearances (27) and goals (9). San Jose Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan, who earned Chevrolet Man of the Match honors for his dominating performance in the 1-0 win against Mexico on April 28 in Dallas, has been on fire of late in league play, now tied for second place on the MLS scoring charts with eight points (2G, 4A). Two players on the roster, Chicago Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley and United midfielder Bobby Convey, are the only senior players to have appeared in all five of the USA’s matches in 2004.
The U.S. has a 4-3-2 all-time record against Honduras that dates back to 1965. In their last meeting, the U.S. defeated a young Honduran team 4-0 in a friendly in front of 38,534 fans in Seattle on March 2, 2002, both Donovan and Mathis netting a pair in the shutout victory. The match will mark the first meeting between U.S. MNT manager Arena and Honduras head coach Bora Milutinovic, who held the position from 1991-1995 and led the U.S. to the Round of 16 at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. begins CONCACAF World Cup qualifying June 13 against Grenada in Columbus, Ohio (ESPN2, 1 p.m. ET), with the return leg scheduled for June 20 in St. George’s, Grenada (ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET). Following the MNT World Cup qualifiers against Grenada, the U.S. will meet Poland in a domestic friendly on July 11 in Chicago. Should the U.S. advance through their preliminary qualifying round, the team's six-game, four-team semifinal round competition will begin on August 18 away to either Jamaica or Haiti.
U.S. ROSTER - VS. HONDURAS - FOXBORO, MASS. - JUNE 2
ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2): Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers), Tim Howard (Manchester United)
Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Cory Gibbs
(Dallas Burn), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Tony Sanneh (FC Nürnberg), Greg Vanney (FC Bastia)
Midfielders (6): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes),
Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Earnie Stewart (D.C. United)
Forwards (3): Conor Casey (Karlsruhe), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96), Brian McBride (Fulham FC)
U.S. Men’s National Team Staff
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (Fairfax, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Myernick (Denver)
Goalkeeper Coach: Milutin Soskic (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Fitness Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Charlottesville, Va.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Los Angeles)
Trainers: Todd Daniel (Portland, Ore.), Rich Monis (Chicago)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Ryan Maxfield (Los Angeles)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)