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Arena's Suspension Reduced by FIFA; Returns to Bench for World Cup Qualifier vs. Mexico


CHICAGO (Wednesday, January 10, 2001) - U.S. Soccer has received notice from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee that the previously announced three-game suspension for U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena has been reduced to two games. The announcement clears the way for Arena to coach the U.S. in their final round World Cup qualifying opener against Mexico on Feb. 28 in Columbus, Ohio.

"Our match against Mexico is obviously an important one, and it is our hope that we can kick off our World Cup qualifying campaign with a strong performance and three points," said Arena from the team's current training camp in Chula Vista, Calif. "We have some important games before that match to help us prepare for the entire round of qualifying. "From this point on, every day of preparation is important."

Arena currently has 27 players in camp preparing for the team's first two matches of the year (on Jan. 27 in Oakland; live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. PT; and on Feb. 3 in Miami; live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET). The camp runs through Jan. 18, when it will break before reconvening on Jan. 22 in Oakland.

Following their qualifying opener in Columbus, the U.S. will travel to Honduras for the team's first road qualifier on March 28 (live on PPV at 8:30 p.m. ET), before returning to the U.S. to host Costa Rica at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on April 25 (live on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. CT).

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