SEOUL, Korea (Wednesday, May 29, 2002) - Wednesday's training session was one of the most grueling to date in Korea, with the team doing fitness work the final half hour of the two-hour training session at Misari Practice Stadium. Training opened with the usual variety of warm-ups and stretching led by Pierre Barrieu. Immediately after the team broke off into three teams of seven (six field players and goalkeeper) to play small-sided matches to goal. The three goalkeepers were all tested often on the 30-yard field, as the U.S. got plenty of chances to practice combination work and finishing in the final third. Even the defenders got into the offense, with Eddie Pope scoring the goal of the tournament, weaving through two defenders and finishing with ease. Jeff Agoos also managed to put a long-distance bomb off the crossbar. The red team of Landon Donovan, Eddie Lewis, David Regis, Steve Cherundolo, Josh Wolff, Pope and Kasey Keller went undefeated and were crowned champions, as the U.S. team looked as sharp as they have since their arrival in Korea. The session ended with Barrieu leading the team through a variety of fitness exercises. For Barrieu’s fitness session, each player strapped on a Nike heart monitor. To no one’s surprise Frankie Hejduk, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart were at the front of the pack in the session-ending running.
EXCLUSIVE AUDIO, PHOTOS NOW AVAILABLE ON ussoccer.com's MEDIAWORLD: Exclusive audio from U.S. Soccer coaches and players can now be heard at MediaWorld on ussoccer.com. New sound clips and photos from Korea are added each day. To view the latest images and audio, click on the "Image of the Day" in the lower right hand corner of the "World Cup Plus" section.
STEWART TO PARTICIPATE IN LIVE ONLINE CHAT FROM SEOUL ON MAY 29 AT 7 p.m. ET: U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Earnie Stewart, the 2001 Chevy Male Athlete of the Year, will chat live from Seoul with fans and media on Wednesday (May 29) at 7:00 p.m. ET. Stewart will discuss the team’s preparations for the World Cup as well as the USA’s stay in Korea, where the squad is preparing to open play in their fourth consecutive World Cup. Stewart, who started 15 of the USA’s 16 qualifying matches in the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign, recorded one of the USA’s most memorable goals when he scored the gamewinner against Colombia in the 1994 World Cup. Stewart is the all-time leader for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying appearances (27) and goals (9).
THURSDAY PRACTICE OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES AT 10 a.m.; MIXED TRAINING SESSION IN THE AFTERNOON WITH COSTA RICA CLOSED: The U.S. Men's National Team will be available to the media at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (May 30) 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 Thursday 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. In the afternoon, the U.S. will conduct a mixed training session with Costa Rica which will be closed to the media. 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.
T-MINUS: There are 8 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 number of shutouts the U.S. has recorded in 2002. The U.S. posted seven straight shutouts at home from Jan. 21 - April 3.
THEY SAID IT:
“Obviously when you observe a team of Portugal’s quality, you aren’t going to see too many weaknesses. There are a lot of strengths. We are well aware that. Obviously we will prepare our team accordingly. They have a great team, and I know they have aspirations of winning this World Cup and it will be interesting to
-- U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, on the USA's first opponent in the 2002 FIFA World Cup