SEOUL (June 7, 2002) - The USA’s 3-2 win over Portugal set a record for the largest audience to watch a soccer game on ESPN2 – despite the 5 a.m. ET start. The U.S. win got a 1.19 rating and was watched in an average of 998,000 households, according to Nielsen Media Research.
STEWART, JONES APPROACH U.S. WORLD CUP APPEARANCE RECORD: After playing one half in the USA’s 3-2 win over Portugal, Earnie Stewart and Cobi Jones are each one World Cup appearance away from tying the U.S. Soccer record of nine appearances, held by Tab Ramos. Ramos played nine World Cup matches for the U.S. across Italy ’90, USA ’94 and France ’98. Both Stewart and Jones played in USA ’94 and France ’98, before appearing on June 5. The two tied Eric Wynalda, whose eight World Cup appearances rank second all-time. Cobi Jones is the all-time U.S. leader in caps with 156, and Earnie Stewart is the all-time U.S. leader with 27 World Cup qualifying appearances.
BRIAN HALL SERVES AS FOURTH OFFICIAL FOR ARGENTINA-ENGLAND MATCH: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall served as the fourth official for tonight’s heated Argentina-England clash in Sapporo, England. Hall refereed the Italy-Ecuador match on June 3. Hall and the 71 other referees and assistant referees will learn shortly whether or not they will work another game in the 2002 World Cup. Each of the 36 referees was guaranteed one game as a referee and one as a fourth official, and each of the 36 assistant referees was guaranteed two games running the lines.
WORLD CUP TODAY: The Argentina – England storybook continued tonight, with David Beckham scoring the game’s only goal in England’s 1-0 win. Beckham, who was vilified for his role in England’s loss to Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, exacted his revenge in the 44th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Michael Owen was tripped in the box. In other games, Spain fell behind early but still rolled by Paraguay 3-1, and Sweden eliminated Nigeria from the tournament with a 2-1 comeback win.
DONOVAN ONE OF THREE FINALISTS FOR MALE ESPY AWARD: MNT forward Landon Donovan has been nominated for the ESPY Best Male Soccer Player Award after a 2001 in which he helped the U.S. qualify for their fourth straight World Cup and led the San Jose Earthquakes to the MLS Cup. Donovan played in eight matches for the U.S., including four qualifiers. Donovan tore up MLS in his first season, earning MVP honors at the MLS All-Star Game and leading the league in scoring during the playoffs.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COACH: U.S. assistant coach Dave Sarachan celebrated his birthday today. After the team’s lunch the players and staff sang “Happy Birthday” to Arena’s top assistant, while chiding him about his age. Sarachan spent the evening celebrating his birthday with his wife, and his two kids.
“ZOHN’S ZONE” SHOWS FANS LIFE OFF THE FIELD: Ethan Zohn, the million-dollar winner from the hit reality show “Survivor: Africa” a former professional soccer player, is following the U.S. Team and the World Cup in Korea/Japan for “Ethan Zohn’s Zone”, an online journal that will provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look inside the U.S. team and the athletes taking part in the 2002 World Cup. Watch Ethan train with some of the players, check out the sights in Korea and much more. Fans are able to access Ethan’s daily entries on www.ussoccer.com, the ultimate destination for up-to-the-minute World Cup news.
JOHN ELLINGER BREAKS DOWN THE CUP: U.S. Under-17 MNT Head Coach John Ellinger offers his commentary on the first round of group games as part of ussoccer.com’s “Breaking Down the Cup” series. Ellinger discusses his tournament favorites, the surprises of the first round and more. In addition to Ellinger, U.S. Soccer and World Cup referee Brian Hall , WNT star Brandi Chastain and Under-23 goalkeeper D.J. Countess are all sharing their thoughts and opinions on the World Cup with fans at ussoccer.com.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"I simply selected the lineup that I thought would give us the best chance to win."
-- U.S. Head Coach Bruce Arena
UPCOMING TV GAMES:
Saturday, June 8 - 2:25 a.m. ET - ESPN2 - South Africa vs. Slovenia - B - Daegu
Saturday, June 8 - 4:55 a.m. ET - ESPN2 - Italy vs. Croatia - G - Ibaraki
Saturday, June 8 - 7:25 a.m. ET - ESPN - Brazil vs. China - C - Seogwipo
Saturday, June 8 - 1:00 p.m. ET - ABC - Argentina vs. England - F - Sapporo (Delayed)