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U.S. MNT Begins Second Week of Training at Home Depot Center

U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
January 31, 2005
Carson, California

WEEK TWO: Monday morning marks the beginning of the second week of U.S. Men's National Team training camp in Carson, Calif., as Bruce Arena's men return from a Sunday sabbatical for a double session.  Of the 28 players in camp, only Chicago Fire defender Tony Sanneh has suffered effects from the intense week, a minor hip strain sidelining the 'Big Cat' for last Saturday's session. The team will continue training in California through Feb. 5, then head to Miami before making the jump to Port of Spain, Trinidad. The U.S. opens play in the final round hexagonal of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying on Feb. 9 against Trinidad & Tobago. Kickoff at the Queen's Park Oval is set for 2:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

U.S. Training Camp Roster
Goalkeepers (4) – Jon Busch (Columbus Crew), Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids), Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nick Rimando (D.C. United)
Defenders (8) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Nick Garcia (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ritchie Kotschau
(Colorado Rapids), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Tony Sanneh (Chicago Fire)
Midfielders (9) – Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Diego Gutierrez (Kansas City Wizards), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Clint Mathis (Real Salt Lake), Brian Mullan (San Jose Earthquakes), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Clyde Simms (Richmond Kickers)
Forwards (7) – Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United), Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn), Mike Magee (MetroStars), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

A DAY IN THE LIFE: The training schedule has been typical of a camp in the new year, albeit with a somewhat accelerated fitness regimen. Sessions last anywhere from 70 to 90 minutes, with extra fitness scheduled once a day. Of course, as Bruce Arena would say, there's no substitute for just playing soccer.  To get a feel for a day in the life, here's Monday's team schedule:

6 a.m.-9:30 a.m. - Breakfast available
8:30 a.m. - Training room and equipment room open
9:30 a.m. - Depart for training                       
10-11:30 - Training and media interviews
12:30 - Lunch and team meeting
1-3 p.m. - Weight training (optional)
3:30 p.m. - Training room and equipment room open
4:30 p.m.- Depart for training
5-6:30 p.m. - Training and media interviews

ALL_ACCESS - 15 DAYS TO FITNESS: All_Access, the exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the U.S. MNT, returns this week with a special segment called 15 Days to Fitness, as follows the unique journey of preparing a team to undergo the rigors of a World Cup qualifier with such short preparation time.  In today's installment, U.S. fitness coach Pierre Barrieu discusses the challenge of training a group that has been off from soccer for three months, their fitness level upon arrival, and how this camp fits into the overall plan for the year.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH BEN OLSEN: U.S. National Team and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen has seen a lot in seven years. The 1999 Chevy Young Male Athlete of the Year has collected league championships, appeared for the U.S. in the 2000 Olympic Games, and had a promising national team career stunted by persistent injuries that sidelined him for nearly two years. Now 27 and injury free, Olsen is coming off a championship season with United and is looking to reclaim a spot in Bruce Arena’s player pool. sat down with Olsen at the national team’s training camp headquarters to discuss his health, the meaning of loyalty, and what it means to him to be back with the U.S. MNT. "I’m realistic.  I don’t think I should be starting for the national team right now," said Olsen.  "I’ve got some catching up to do. But the opportunity to catch up and to re-learn the international game is an opportunity I want. I have the opportunity right now to prove that I belong here.”   For the full interview, click here.

HELP FROM HAMMARBY: The U.S. were fortunate to find an opponent to aid in their training efforts, as Swedish first division side Hammarby are conducting pre-season workouts at The Home Depot Center.  The Phil Anschutz-owned team is even staying in the same hotel.  The teams met in a closed-door session last Thursday, a Jimmy Conrad goal after four minutes the lone strike in the encounter.  Bruce Arena gave 22 players 45 minutes each that afternoon in what he described as "a perfect opportunity to get our players some match fitness."

SOCA WARRIORS WARM UP WITH HAITI: The Trinidad and Tobago national team continues preparation for the Feb. 9 encounter with a two-game stint against Haiti this week, beginning with a Feb. 1 match at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.  The teams reunite two days later on the same ground.  Trinidad have played seven matches already since December, posting a 4-3-0 record. The Soca Warriors defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines by a 3-2 aggregate goal margin in the third round of the Digicel Cup, advancing to the final round which will determine the Caribbean entrants into the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

AROUND THE HEXAGONAL: Panama suffered consecutive 2-0 defeats to Ecuador on Jan. 26 and Jan. 29 in Ecuador, those matches representing Panama's final tuneups before Feb. 9. ...  Panama also named their 25-man roster for the upcoming UNCAF Nation's Cup, which will qualify four Central American teams for the 2005 Gold Cup.  The tournament is being held from Feb. 19-27 in Guatemala ... Guatemala defeated the Denmark U-23 National Team 3-2 on January 29 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.  Carlos Ruiz led the chapines with a pair of goals ... Mexico announced a 19-man roster to face Costa Rica on Feb. 9 in San Jose.  FC Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez heads the contingent, along with striker Jared Borguetti. Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Jesús Arellano, and goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez have all been left out due to injury. Mexico played Sweden to a scoreless draw in their last preparation match on Jan. 26 in San Diego.