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U.S. MNT Arrives in Panama, Prepares For Qualifying Match on Wednesday

U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
September 7, 2004
Panama City, Panama. has compiled a comprehensive look at the matchup against Panama in the third game of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  From stats and scores, to highlights and notes, is the best place to find info as the USA's qualifying campaign continues from Panama City on Wednesday, September 8 at 8 p.m. CT live on Fox Sports World and tape-delay on Telemundo (11:30 p.m. ET & PT). Fans can also follow along to the match live with's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

COMING AND GOING:  The USA traded a MetroStars alum for their current reigning No. 1, as goalkeeper Tim Howard returned to Manchester on Sunday night after recording a shutout in his first career World Cup qualifier Saturday against El Salvador.  Jonny Walker rejoined camp in time for Monday's training session in Boston, after spending the weekend in Kansas City as the MetroStars dropped a 1-0 decision.  Eddie Gaven and Eddie Johnson did not return to the U.S. fold, meaning the team traveled to Panama with 20 players.  Following is the Panama travel list:

  Kasey Keller (Tottenham Hotspur), Jonny Walker (MetroStars)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Greg Vanney (SC Bastia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), Landon Donovan, (San Jose Earthquakes), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
FORWARDS (3): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Brian McBride (Fulham FC)

GROUP 1 UPDATE: With the win against El Salvador, the USA moved atop Group 1 with four points.  Meantime, Jamaica have put themselves firmly behind the eight ball with just one point from their first two matches, both played at the "The Office" in Kingston.  On Saturday, the Reggae Boyz were reduced to 10 men after 33 minutes and would once again surrender a last-minute goal as Panama grabbed a 2-1 away victory.

Group 1 Standings
Team                            P    W    L    D    GF:GA    GD    PTS
United States               2     1     0     1        3:1        +2        4
Panama                        2     1     1     0        3:3          0        3
El Salvador                   2     1     1     0        2:3         -1        3
Jamaica                        2     0     1     1        2:3         -1        1

NEW TO ALL_ACCESS VIDEO! continues to grow and now offers the next step on inside access - behind the scenes video. Reports from training camp became available on the website beginning last week with transmissions from Boston.  In the latest segment, watch post-match comments from the USA's 2-0 victory against El Salvador, including Claudio Reyna's thoughts, the unusual sending off, and thoughts from the goalscorers. To access the segment, click here on the All_Access video icons here in the notes.


SUSPENDED: Panama enters Wednesday's contest with three players forced to the sidelines through suspension, the trio of Alberto Blanco, Victor Miranda, and Luis Tejadapicking picking up their second cautions of 2006 World Cup qualifying Saturday in Kingston. They are replaced on the roster by Ricardo Phillips (returning from suspension), Juan Carlos Cubilla and Donaldo Gonzalez.  The United States has the following six players carrying a caution: Bobby Convey, Conor Casey, Cory Gibbs, Eddie Lewis, Eddie Pope and Claudio Reyna.

TURNING 200: U.S. goalkeeper coach Milutin Soskic achieved a personal milestone in the USA's 1-1 draw against Jamaica in August, coaching his 200th game for the United States.  A member of the 1960 Yugoslavian Olympic team and the 1962 World Cup side, "Sholi" has served under three U.S. coaches beginning with Bora Milutinovic, and has coached in three World Cups.  Soskic was presented with a signed jersey commemorating his 200th game, as well as a Rolex watch.

  • The United States has only played Panama once in their history at the senior level.  Thomas Dooley and Eric Wynalda scored the goals as the U.S. won 2-1 July 14, 1993 in Dallas.
  • Eddie Pope returned to training Monday afternoon and participated throughout the session.  He will continue to be evaluated daily to determine his fitness for Wednesday.
  • In all, the U.S. line-up against El Salvador featured three players making their first ever World Cup qualifying starts, with Tim Howard earning his fifth career shutout for the MNT and Kerry Zavagnin and Brian Ching earning their eighth and fourth caps overall. For Ching, the game also marked his first ever start for the USA. 
  • In scoring in his second-consecutive World Cup qualifier, Ching became the seventh player in U.S. history to accomplish that feat. Willie Roy scored in three straight qualifiers, scoring four goals in three games during the 1954 World Cup qualifying phase.  The last player to hit in two straight was Earnie Stewart, the U.S. all-time leader in World Cup qualifying goals (9) tallying against Mexico on Feb. 28, 2001, then Honduras one month later.
  • Additionally, Ching became the 21st American to record his first goal under Bruce Arena, and is one of 53 players to get his first cap with Arena at the helm.
  • Second-half sub Cobi Jones earned his 162nd cap, extending his team record, and also registered his 28th World Cup qualifying appearance, second only to Earnie Stewart’s 30.  Jones is one appearance away from tying for fourth place on FIFA's all-time cap-winner list.
  • U.S. Manager Bruce Arena recorded his 50th win for the United States, becoming the first U.S. head coach to accomplish that feat.  During a six-year run that began in 1998, Arena has already established several records, including most victories, highest winning percentage (.645), and longest tenure.
  • The U.S. is currently enjoying an eight-match unbeaten run, which included at one point four consecutive shutout victories by four different goalkeepers.  Kicking off with a 1-0 win away to Poland on March 31, the streak also includes wins against Mexico (1-0), Honduras (4-0), and a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Grenada.  Overall the team looks to improve on its 6-1-4 record in 2004.
  • DaMarcus Beasley leads the U.S. in goal scoring in 2004 with four tallies, including three in the second round qualifying series against Grenada.  He recorded his first multiple-goal game in the June 13 qualifier in Columbus.  Beasley also leads the team in games played (11) and minutes played (900).
  • Landon Donovan is the overall point leader in 2004, the goal against El Salvador upping his total to three goals and four assists for 10 points.  His 17th-career tally moved Donovan into a tie for 5th place on the all-time U.S. scoring charts, equaling Earnie Stewart.
  • Kasey Keller is tops on the all-time win list for U.S. goalkeepers with 39 wins in 71 appearances, having surpassed Tony Meola in the USA's 3-0 win against Grenada in the first leg of second round qualifying on June 13 in Columbus. Keller’s clean sheet that day was the 34th of his career, extending his U.S. record.
  • Also recording a personal milestone on that day was Greg Vanney, whose important strike in second half stoppage time marked the first goal of his U.S. career after 29 appearances.
  • The U.S. has shown itself to be a 90-minute team in 2004, a credit to the side's conditioning and mentality.  Of the 16 goals scored in 2004, nine have come in the final 15 minutes.  Two of those goals sealed a U.S. victory, and four of them secured a draw after the team trailed 1-0.

On the field for the USA
September 4, 2004 – Gillette Stadium, Foxboro – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Semifinal Round, Group 1
USA              2   Brian Ching 5, Landon Donovan 69
El Salvador  0       

: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (13-Cobi Jones, 69), 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 12-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey; 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.), 5-Kerry Zavagnin (11-Clint Mathis, 82), 21-Landon Donovan, 17-DaMarcus Beasley; 25-Brian Ching, 9-Conor Casey (20-Brian McBride, 76).

SLV: 1-Santos Rivera; 4-Mario Guevara, 5-Victor Velasquez (Capt.), 6-Erick Prado, 19-Alfredo Pacheco; 12-Denis Alas (ejected, 26), 17-Jorge Rodriguez, 18-Gilberto Murgas, 8-Edwin Gonzalez (7-Victor Merino, 46); 21-Josue Galdamez (9-Diego Mejia, 46), 11-Ronald Cerritos.
On the field for Panama
September 4, 2004 – National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Semifinal Round, Group 1
Jamaica    1    Damani Ralph 82
Panama     2    Roberto Brown 3,  Julio Dely Valdez 36

Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Claude Davis, Fabian Davis (Andy Williams 75th), Garfield Reid (Damani Ralph 46th), Tyrone Marshall, Micah Hyde, Ricardo Gardner, Theodore Whitmore, Marlon King (Jermaine Johnson 63rd), Ricardo Fuller.

PAN- Jaime Penedo, Victor Miranda, Luis Henriquez, Luis Moreno, Anthony Torres, Engin Mitre (Manuel Torres 54th), Alberto Blanco, Julio Medina (Luis Tajada 73rd), Julio Dely Valdez, Roberto Brown, Gary Ramos (Alberto Zapata 59th).