U.S. Men's National Team in Kingston, Face Jamaica on Wednesday
USA-JAMAICA FROM KINGSTON: The U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Jamaica for the 13th time in the team's series history on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at the National Stadium in Kingston at 7 p.m. ET. U.S. World Cup defender Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96 – Germany) joined the team for the trip on Monday, after MetroStars defender Eddie Pope and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen returned to their respective clubs to start preparations for the 2003 MLS season. Defender Sasha Victorine, who started at right back in the USA's 1-0 loss to Argentina on Saturday, returned to L.A. on Sunday after suffering a right quad contusion against Argentina. Fans can follow the action live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics, or catch the Telemundo broadcast on tape delay on Wednesday evening at 12:30 a.m. ET / 11:30 p.m. CT & PT.
CUNNINGHAM COMES HOME: Jamaican-born forward Jeff Cunningham will enjoy a special homecoming tomorrow, wearing the U.S. jersey for the first time in his native country. Born and raised in Montego Bay, he moved to Florida at the age of 14. His sister and brother still live on the island, and Cunningham has rented a bus to transport 25 family members and friends on the four hour trip to Kingston for the match. Cunningham received his U.S. citizenship in November of 2001, appearing first for the USA in the 1-0 loss to Korea on Dec. 9 in Seogwipo. The Columbus Crew forward appeared on the front page of the sports section in today's Jamaica Gleaner.
REFURBISHED OFFICE: The National Stadium in Kingston has undergone a major facelift, with the Jamaican Football Federation installing a new grass field. With a process that began in November, the renovation was completed a few weeks ago. The Jamaican team trained on the pitch for the first time yesterday, giving it solid ratings. The U.S. will conduct its only training session on the new surface at 5 p.m. ET today. In leading the team out onto the practice field, Bruce Arena was heard saying, "This is now the best field in the Caribbean." The reconfigured stadium includes improved seating in the main stand, three new light banks, refurbished locker rooms, a revamped press box and new offices and VIP lounge.
NEW THREADS: The Jamaican national team will unveil its new uniforms for the first time tomorrow evening, the Reggae Boyz continuing to sport the traditional gold, green and black colors. The new jersey is predominately gold and green, with black shorts and gold socks. The USA will sport the all-white Nike kits it has worn in the friendlies against Canada and Argentina.
SMOOTH SAILING: The 31-person U.S. delegation arrived in Jamaica from Ft. Lauderdale early Monday evening, almost exactly 48 hours before kickoff. The team then made the 30-minute trip to the team hotel located near the harbor in Kingston, arriving just in time for dinner. All 18 players are expected to participate in today's training session.
STAT OF THE DAY: The U.S. Men's National Team has never lost to Jamaica. The U.S. is 7-0-5 in 12 previous meetings, outscoring the Reggae Boyz 21-5. At "The Office" in Kingston, the U.S. has won just once in five games, but has never lost and has surrendered just two goals (outscoring Jamaica 5-2 in Kingston).