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Men's National Team Members Fighting for Spots on Gold Cup Roster

PASADENA, Calif. (Thursday, January 17, 2002) - The U.S. Men's National Team is currently training in Pasadena, Calif. in preparation for the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup being staged from January 19 to Feruary 2 in Miami and Pasadena, Calif.  The U.S. plays the Korea Republic on January 19 and Cuba on January 21 to open group play (both matches available live on pay-per-view at 3 p.m. PT).

TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: The U.S. team began to take its foot off the pedal in training today in advance of Saturday's opening match against the Korea Republic.  After a warm-up and a session of "5 v. 2's," the team focused on finishing exercises.  The goalkeepers suffered a difficult morning as the USA's strikeforce looked clinical in their ability to find the back of the net.  After training the team moved camp to Pasadena, with tomorrow's training session at the Rose Bowl serving as the final tuneup.  On Friday, Bruce Arena will name the18-man roster, with seven players in reserve as per tournament rules.

CHAT LIVE WITH TONY MEOLA FRIDAY AT 12 PM ET ON ESPN.COM: U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola will answer questions live tomorrow morning at 12 p.m. ET.  Fans can submit questions by logging on to Meola led the U.S. to the inaugural FC Gold Cup championship in 1991, posting three shutouts and earning the Golden Ball as the tournament MVP.  He is a two-time World Cup veteran (1990 and 1994) and served as the starting U.S. goalkeeper from 1989-94. Meola, who holds the U.S. record for most goalkeeper appearances with 97, made three appearances in 2001, all friendly matches, and posted a 1-2-0 record. He currently holds the U.S. National Team record for wins with 36, and shutouts with 31.

ETC: A 24-hour virus ran through training camp in Claremont, forcing several players to miss sessions throughout the week.  Everyone has fully recovered and is fit for duty ... More than 1000 media representatives have been credentialed for the FC Gold Cup, including a number from countries outside of the 12 competing nations, looking to cover future opponents in Korea/Japan 2002 ... The team will remain in camp in Pasadena for the duration of the tournament.