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U.S. Men Two Days From Facing Colombia


CLOSING IN ON COLOMBIA: U.S. Soccer's own version of March Madness kicks off almost 48 hours from now when they face Colombia on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium, and fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.  The team went through a 30-minute pool workout this morning, with one more pre-match session scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  Frankie Hejduk continues to do rehab on his ankle and is unlikely to suit up against Colombia.


DEPARTURES:
Three players have departed the Carson camp and returned to their clubs.  Ben Olsen rejoined D.C. United over the weekend in preparation for their March 9 encounter with Jamaican side Harbour View FC in the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Kansas City Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin shares similar responsibilities as the Wizards host Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica that same evening.  Meantime, Real Salt Lake defender Eddie Pope is hampered by a pelvic injury and returned to Salt Lake to continue treatment.

ALL_ACCESS - BLOOD WORK: All_Access, the exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the U.S. MNT, will track the team's progress throughout this exciting month of action.  In the latest installment, the team went to a local clinic for blood testing. Clearly, some players handled it better than others.  For a humorous look at the national team's day at the doctors, click here to find the video on the competitions page.

COLOMBIA COMING TO TOWN: After gathering in Bogota last night, the Colombian national team travels this afternoon and will arrive into Fullerton on Monday evening.  Led by head coach Reinaldo Rueda, the 17-man contingent will train tomorrow morning at Titan Stadium.  Millonarios defender Edwin Garcia was injured in a match against Independiente Medellin on Saturday and will not make the trip.  Currently in sixth place in CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Colombia is gearing up for a pair of away qualifiers against Venezuela (March 26) and top of the table Argentina four days later.

Colombia Roster vs. United States
Goalkeepers (2): Juan Carlos Henao (Santos Futebol), Breiner Castillo (Aucas)
Defenders (6): Humberto Mendoza (Atlético Nacional), Aquivaldo Mosquera (Atlético Nacional), Camilo Zúñiga (Atlético Nacional), César Fawcett (Real Cartagena), Andrés Orozco(Dorados de Sinaloa), José Julián De La Cuesta (Cádiz España)
Midfielders (6): Andrés Casañas (Envigado), Héctor Hugo Hurtado (Atlético Nacional), Juan Carlos Ramírez (Independiente Santa Fe), Aldo Leao Ramírez (Independiente Santa Fe), John Viáfara (Once Caldas), John Javier Restrepo(Cruz Azul)
Forwards (3): Edixon Perea (Atlético Nacional), Hugo Rodallega (Deportes Quindío), Luis Gabriel Rey (Morelia)

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN EARNIE SCORED? Mention the Colombian team and fans immediately hearken back to the day that helped change the course of  U.S. Soccer history.  The date was June 22, 1994, and the U.S. faced Colombia in their second group match of the World Cup USA '94. On that glorious afternoon, Earnie Stewart scored the goal of his - and any players, for that matter - career.  Re-live the day as Earnie and fellow U.S. national team players and staff talk about their memories of that special moment in this Center Circle Spotlight.

DAVIS CUP DISAPPOINTMENT: Bruce Arena and members of the coaching staff were guests of AEG at Friday's singles matches between the USA and Croatia in the first round of Davis Cup tennis action held at the Home Depot Center.  Sitting alongside former Lakers coach Phil Jackson and former commissioner of Major League Baseball Peter Ueberroth, the group watched as Andre Agassi dropped a straight-set loss to Ivan Ljubicic.  The U.S. would go on to lose the series 3-2, marking the first time in the 105-year history of the tournament that the team has been defeated in the first round at home.


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