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U.S. MNT Two Days Away From Facing Brazil at Soldier Field Live on ESPN2 & Univision


U.S. MNT Notes
Chicago, Ill.
Sept. 7, 2007

CONCENTRATING ON THE "CLASH": The U.S. Men's National Team have been training in Chicago for the past week and are now just two days away from facing the five-time FIFA World Cup champion Brazil in the "Clash of Champions." The 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion United States will take on the 2007 CONMEBOL Copa America champion Brazil at 3 p.m. CT at Soldier Field in Chicago. Fans can follow along live on ESPN2, Univision and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS

  • Eighteen players will dress for both the United States and Brazil, with a maximum of six substitutions
  • Twelve players from the USA’s 2007 Gold Cup roster will be in uniform, including leading scorer Landon Donovan and Benny Feilhaber, who netted the championship-winning goal against Mexico: The dozen: DaMarcus Beasley (3), Carlos Bocanegra (1), Michael Bradley, Jay DeMerit, Clint Dempsey (1), Landon Donovan (4), Benny Feilhaber (1),Tim Howard, Eddie Johnson (1), Oguchi Onyewu, Frank Simek, Jonathan Spector
  • With four goals in the tournament, Donovan moved into a tie for first place on the USA’s all-time goalscoring chart with 34 career goals
  • Brazil brings 16 players from the group that captured the 2007 Copa America, led by tournament leading scorer Robinho (6), and Julio Baptista and Daniel Alves, the goalscorers in the 3-0 victory against Argentina in the final. The Copa winners: Afonso, Daniel Alves, Diego, Doni, Elano, Fernando, Gilberto, Gilberto Silva, Josué, Juan, Julio Baptista, Kleber, Maicon, Mineiro, Robinho, Vagner Love
  • Donovan is the leading capwinner on the U.S. roster, the 25-year-old having 95 international appearances to his credit; at the other end of the spectrum, Davy Arnaud and Chris Seitz are the only players seeking their first cap, each also making their debut in a camp with the full team
  • The USA is 10-4-1 in 2007, scoring 28 goals while surrendering 15. The team has posted five shutouts, three by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who now has 10 clean sheets in 24 international appearances
  • Carlos Bocanegra earned his 50th appearance for the United States in the Aug. 22 match against Sweden. The Fulham-based defender has six career goals at the international level, including the game-winner in the 2-1 victory against Panama in the 2007 Gold Cup quarterfinal. Bocanegra is now serving as captain for both club and country, having worn the captain’s armband five times for the USA in 2007
  • Bocanegra is the only player on the U.S. roster to have scored against Brazil, netting the USA’s goal in the 2-1 loss in the semifinals of the 2003 Gold Cup
  • Kansas City Wizards striker Eddie Johnson is currently tied for second place on the MLS scoring charts with 14 goals. He has 11 goals in 30 games for the United States, including the insurance goal in the 2-0 win against Trinidad &Tobago on June 9 in Los Angeles
  • 1860 Munich striker Josh Wolff is making his first appearance in camp for the U.S. since the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The 30-year old veteran of two World Cups has nine goals in 48 appearances for the United States
  • The U.S. has only one victory in the all-time series against Brazil, holding a 1-11-0 record overall in meetings dating back to 1930. The lone win came on Feb. 10, 1998, in Los Angeles during the Gold Cup, with Preki Radosavljevic tallying the game-winner and Kasey Keller turning in a magical performance which Brazilian legend Romario described as “the greatest performance I have ever seen from a goalkeeper.” The teams last met in the 2003 edition of the Gold Cup, with goals by Diego and AC Milan midfielder Kaka delivering Brazil a thrilling 2-1 golden goal victory in overtime in the tournament semifinals
  • After an 11-year absence from Chicago, the U.S. will now be playing its fifth match at Soldier Field since 2004. Prior to the semifinal and the sold-out final of the 2007 Gold Cup, the U.S. made its return to the Windy City in a 1-1 draw against Poland on July 11, 2004, before a boisterous crowd of 39,592. The following year, nearly 48,000 fans witnessed a 2-1 defeat at the hands of England. The U.S. has a 3-2-2 record in Chicago since 1992, which includes a win against No. 8 ranked Portugal and a draw with current World Champion Italy

ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Average Age: 25

Play professionally in: England (8), USA (5), Germany (3), Belgium (1), Holland (1), Scotland (1),
Average Caps: 27.8
Most Caps: 95 (Landon Donovan)
Least Caps: 0 (Davy Arnaud, Chris Seitz)
By state: California (6), New Jersey (2), Texas (2), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Pennsylvania (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1)
Oldest: 33 (Kerry Zavagnin)
Youngest: 20 (Michael Bradley)

BRAZIL BRINGS THE NOISE: Two-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho headlines an all-star cast as Brazil head coach Dunga announced their 22-man roster for the “Clash of Champions” and the team’s first-ever visit to Chicago. The midfield magician put his legendary skills on display on Aug. 22, recording a goal and an assist in Brazil’s 2-0 win against Algeria. He has scored 40 goals for Barcelona during the last two seasons, and scored two goals as part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side. A.C. Milan midfielder Kaká, recently crowned the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year after leading all scorers in the 2007 UEFA Champions league with 10 goals in helping Milan to their seventh European championship crown, is regarded as one of the most superb passers in the world. Real Madrid striker Robinho scored 14 goals in helping his side capture the 2006-07 Spanish league title, and ended as the leading scorer in the 2007 Copa America with six goals. His fellow Real Madrid striker, Julio Baptista, and Sevilla defender Daniel Alves scored two of the three goals in the 3-0 Copa America championship win against Argentina. Former Brazilian international midfielder Dunga took the reigns following the 2006 World Cup, and has amassed a 12-2-3 record since then, including a pair of 3-0 victories against archrivals and No. 2 ranked Argentina.

Brazil Roster vs. United States
GOALKEEPERS (2): Doni (Roma), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
DEFENDERS (8): Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Edu Dracena (Fenerbahce), Lúcio (Bayern Munich), Juan (Roma), Gladstone (Sporting Lisbon), Kleber (Santos), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin),
MIDFIELDERS (8): Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Mineiro (Hertha Berlin), Josué (VfL Wolfsburg), Fernando (Bordeaux), Elano (Manchester City), Kaká (AC Milan), Julio Baptista (Real Madrid), Diego (Werder Bremen)
FORWARDS (4): Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Robinho (Real Madrid), Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow), Afonso (SC Heerenveen)

BRAZIL’S BOUNTY: Brazil’s reputation as the best team in the world is built on a long history of international success. Consider the following:

  • Brazil is the only country to play in all 17 World Cups.
  • They have a lifetime record of 60-13-14, with 191 goals for and 82 goals against
  • Five-time World Champions: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
  • Eight time Copa America Champions: 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007
  • Confederation Cup Champions: 2005

LANDON TAKES OVER THE RECORD BOOKS: The stat book is running out of room for the records set by the 25-year-old two-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year as he continues to cement his place in the history books. Already the USA’s all-time leader in assists (26), his game-tying goal in the Gold Cup final against Mexico put him in a tie for first place for three separate records. In addition to tying Eric Wynalda for most goals all-time (34) for the national team, he has equaled the mark for most goals in a single year (9) set by Wynalda in 1996, and most points in a year (21), sharing the record with Cobi Jones. The USA’s all-time capwinner with 164 appearances, Jones recorded six goals and nine assists in 2000.

CHICAGO CONNECTIONS: DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra and Josh Wolff are alumni of the Chicago Fire team coached by Bradley that captured the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. That group also included current U.S. assistant coaches Peter Nowak and Mike Sorber. Nowak started in the 2-1 win against Miami Fusion on Oct. 21, 2000, at Soldier Field. Two other players on the roster hold ties to the Chicagoland area. West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector hails from Arlington Heights, Ill., while Watford defender Jay DeMerit played his college ball for the Flames at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

BENNY BORN BRAZILIAN: U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber will be squaring off against his native country on Sunday, as the 22-year-old was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and lived there until age six when his father, an oil trader, moved to California. The UCLA walk-on earned his citizenship at age 18, and played for the United States in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup two years later.

CONVEY’S FIRST START: A 17-year old Bobby Convey made his first start for the national team in the USA's 2-1 loss to Brazil on March 3, 2001, in front of 45,387 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Clint Mathis got the USA's goal, which was sandwiched between a free-kick strike by Ronaldinho and the game-winner from Euller. "It was amazing to make my first start against some of best players in the world," Convey told ussoccer.com. "I was matched up against Cafu, who I had watched growing up and got to swap jerseys with at the end of the game. I remember Ronaldinho scoring the free kick, and afterwards getting the chance to talk to guys like him and Romario. There was a huge crowd there, the game was live on television ... at 17 years old, it can’t get much better than that.”

TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION: There are plenty of connections between players on both teams. The USA’s Michael Bradley and Brazil’s Afonso share the same locker room at SC Heerenveen in Holland. DaMarcus Beasley and Kaká faced off in the 2005 Champions League semifinals while Beasley was at PSV and Kaká with AC Milan.

At the international level, there was the thrilling 2-1 encounter in the 2003 Gold Cup semifinal that featured several players from both teams. For the USA, Carlos Bocanegra scored the USA’s goal and was joined by Beasley, Bobby Convey and Landon Donovan. Representing Brazil in what was essentially their U-23 team were Diego, (who scored the golden goal game-winner in the 100th minute), Julio Baptista, Kaka (who captained the team and scored the game-tying goal in the 88th minute,), Maicon, and Robinho.

The teams also met in the Confederations Cup earlier that summer, the No. 1 ranked Brazilians snaring a 1-0 win on June 21 in Lyon. The participants that day:

USA: Beasley, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Convey, Donovan, Howard
Brazil: Lucio, Juan, Kleber, Ronaldinho

AMERICANS IN EUROPEAN CLUB TOURNEYS: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers qualified for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage after beating Red Star Belgrade 1-0 on aggregate over the course of two legs. The Scottish club is drawn in a tough group E, featuring German champions VFB Stuttgart, six-time defending French league champions Lyon, and star-studded FC Barcelona, whose own FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho is on Brazil’s roster for Sunday’s game.

In the UEFA Cup, Tim Howard and Everton face Metalist Khurky at Goodison Park on September 20, before traveling to the Ukraine for the return leg on October 4. Also in the first round of that tournament, Michael Bradley and Heerenveen face off on the same dates against Swedish side Helsingborg. Both Everton and Heerenveen automatically qualified for the UEFA Cup after their sixth and fifth placed finishes in their respective domestic leagues. Meanwhile, Oguchi Onyewu’s Standard Liege qualified for the UEFA Cup proper after defeating Käerjen 97 from Luxemborg in the final qualifying round. Standard Liege will now face Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg.

BRAZIL GEARING UP FOR 2010 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: The matches against the United States and Mexico will serve as final tune-ups for Brazil as they kick off CONMEBOL qualifying next month for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The 18 game, round-robin tournament between the 10 nations of South America begins on Oct. 13 with Brazil on the road against Colombia, followed by a home match against Ecuador. In the 2006 campaign, Brazil edged Argentina at the top of the table with 25 points from nine victories and seven draws. Four teams from South America will qualify automatically for South Africa, while the fifth place team will enter a playoff.

ROSTER CHANGES: Kansas City Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin was added to the roster on Sept. 5 to replace Pablo Mastroeni, who is still recovering from an illness that forced him out at halftime of the Rapids 1-1 draw at Columbus this past Sunday. Zavagnin has made 21 appearances for the United States, having played in six matches during the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. An alternate for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 33-year-old last played for the U.S. in the 4-1 loss to Germany on March 22, 2006 in Dortmund.

For Brazil, defenders Alex and Alex Silva have been forced out through injury, replaced by Edu Dracena of Turkish club Fenerbahce and Gladstone from Sporting Lisbon

EXPANDING THE POOL: With qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup now less than a year away, the process of developing a deep player pool is in full swing, and U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has wasted no time getting a grip on the available talent. Through 15 games in 2007, he has already handed a cap to 51 different players. Of those 51, a total of 32 are based in MLS and 19 on clubs overseas. Additionally, he has given 17 players their first cap. The list of neophytes: Kyle Beckerman, Jonathan Bornstein, Kenny Cooper, Charlie Davies, Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber, Herculez Gomez, Josh Gros, Kamani Hill, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor, Brian Namoff, Lee Nguyen, Michael Parkhurst, Frank Simek, Marvell Wynne and Sal Zizzo.

AND SEEING THE WORLD: While the post-World Cup year is typically quiet, the U.S. has been extraordinarily active. By year’s end, the team will have played in 19 matches, two major international tournaments (Gold Cup and Copa America), competed against three teams in the top ten of the FIFA Rankings (No. 1 Brazil, No. 2 Argentina, and No. 10 Mexico), and made four overseas trips (Venezuela, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland).


LAST TIME...

On the field for the USA

August 22,, 2007 – Ullevi Stadium - Barquisimeto, Venezuela – International Friendly
Sweden  1      Kim Kallstrom 56’
USA         0

SWE: 1-Rami Shaaban; 2-Mikael Nilsson (13-Matías Concha, 46), 3-Olof Mellberg, 4-Petter Hansson (14-Daniel Majstorovic, 46), 5-Erik Edman; 6-Daniel Andersson (capt.); 9-Kennedy Bakircioglü, 8-Kim Källström, 7-Christian Wilhelmsson (15-Niclas Alexandersson, 46); 10-Zlatan Ibrahimovic (19-Markus Rosenberg, 66), 11-Johan Elmander (16-Dusan Djuric, 76)

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (12-Jay Demerit, 76), 13-Jonathan Bornstein (17-Jonathan Spector, 64); 5-Benny Feilhaber, 4-Michael Bradley, 25-Pablo Mastroeni (15-Bobby Convey, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Sal Zizzo, 76); 10-Landon Donovan (20-Kamani Hill, 64), 8-Clint Dempsey (9-Charlie Davies, 85)

On the field for Brazil

August 22, 2007 – Montpellier, France – International Friendly
Brazil    2     Maicon 62’, Ronaldinho 81’
Algeria 0

BRA: 1-Doni (12-Julio Cesar); 2-Maicon (13-Diego Alves 67), 3-Alex Silva, 4-Naldo, 6-Kleber; 5-Mineiro (17-Lucas 63), 7-Elano (18-Kaka 46), 8-Josue (16-Fernando 46), 10-Julio Baptista (20-Ronaldinho 46); 9-Vagner Love, 11-Robinho (19-Diego 70)

ALG: 1-Lounes Gouaoui; 17-Larbi Hosni (8-Chadli Amri 67), 4-Ismael Bouzid, 21-Anthar Yahia (7-Yacine Bezzaz 67), 12-Aberraouf Zarabi; 2-Madjid Bougherra, 15-Karim Ziani (18-Lazhar Hadj Aissa 86), 6-Yazid Mansouri, 3-Nadir Belhadj; 10-Rafik Saifi (9-Hameur Bouazza 90+1), 11-Karim Matmour (14-Kamel Ghilas 76)

Vs. Brazil

July 23, 2003 – The Orange Bowl - Miami, Florida – 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
USA     1    Carlos Bocanegra 62’
Brazil   0    Kaka 88’, Diego 100’

USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey; 8-Earnie Stewart (17-DaMarcus Beasley, 83’), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (13-Richard Mulrooney, 71’), 7-Eddie Lewis; 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (11-Clint Mathis, 30’)
Subs not used: 24-Adin Brown, 3-Greg Vanney, 19-Steve Ralston

BRA: 1-Gomes; 2-Maicon, 3-Luisao, 4-Alex, 5-Adriano, 6-Paulo Almeida (9-Ewerthon, 86’), 7-Julio Baptista, 8-Kaka (capt.), 10-Diego, 11-Robinho (17-Carlos Alberto, 75’), 15-Nilmar (16-Nadson, 81’)
Subs not used: 12-Negri, 13-Coelho, 14-Andre Bahia, 18-Thiago Motta

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