U.S. MNT Gold Cup Notes
July 8, 2003
OPENING DAY: The U.S. MNT got its first taste of the New England summer heat today as training camp opened in Providence, R.I. Eighteen players went through the paces in an hour-long session that saw temperatures rise into the mid-90's. Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, the subject of an injury concern after the USA's 2-0 win against Paraguay in Columbus on Sunday, is fully fit and participated in training. The U.S. will train once a day this week in advance of their opening match of group play against El Salvador this Saturday. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro is set for 6:30 p.m. ET, and fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S.-El Salvador match will be broadcast July 13th on Galavision beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
BOCA'S BACK: U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra returns to pen "Off the Ball," a personal chronicle about the team's daily events during the Gold Cup. Bocanegra's musings from France during the Confederations Cup, ranging from training updates to food critiques to his famous "four questions," were an extremely popular segment of ussoccer.com's coverage of the tournament. Look for the first installment of the Gold Cup edition of "Off the Ball" tomorrow.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: There has certainly been no rest for the weary during the summer months with the MNT. Since June 1, the team has spent 30 days on the road, beginning in Fairfax, Va., and including stops in six different cities in the U.S. and Europe. While several players have been released to play for their MLS clubs during the stretch, only four players on the roster -- Cory Gibbs, Eddie Lewis, Earnie Stewart, and Greg Vanney -- have been with the national team for every day the team has been together. Along with Lewis and Stewart, midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey are the only players to appear in all five of the USA's matches over the month-long span.
STEWART BREAKS SCORELESS SPELL: With the insurance goal in the waning seconds of Sunday's 2-0 victory against Paraguay, midfielder Earnie Stewart ended a personal scoring drought for the MNT that lasted nearly two years. His last goals came during the USA's 3-2 loss to Honduras in World Cup qualifying play on Sept. 1, 2001 at RFK Stadium. "You always try to work hard and try to get involved in the game," said the 34-year old veteran who has amassed 92 caps and 16 goals for the MNT during a 12-year career. "It's great to finally score. I've been on the unlucky end of not scoring over the last couple months, and I'm happy to be on the positive side of it."
EL SALVADOR UPSET: Goals by Diego Mejia in the 30th minute and Rudi Corrales a half hour later gave El Salvador a shock 2-1 victory against Mexico in a Gold Cup tunep at the Home Depot Center on Sunday. The Salvadorans had not defeated Mexico since a 2-1 win in World Cup qualifying play way back on April 4, 1993. El Salvador plays Guatemala tonight at Reliant Stadium in Houston, their final match before Gold Cup action kicks off this weekend.
CONCACAF GOLD CUP FACT: U.S. all-time scoring leader Eric Wynalda made his mark on the confederation championship as the only player to appear in five Gold Cup tournaments. Wynalda, who made stops in San Jose, Miami, New England and Chicago during his tenure in MLS, has the played the most games (21) in tournament history, and is second on the all-time scoring list with nine goals.
For complete coverage, log onto the CONCACAF Gold Cup section at ussoccer.com