Men's National Team Training Camp Update
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Tuesday, January 30, 2001) - Utilizing a lineup comprised mainly of players who did not start against China last Saturday, the United States Men's National Team breezed past defending Swiss League champions FC St. Gallen in a closed-door scrimmage at Florida Atlantic University today. Josh Wolff and Landon Donovan scored for the United States in a physical 2-1 victory.
"This was a good practice game for us. It gave us a chance to give 90 minutes to some of our players who didn't see any time against China, and to continue to move forward with some of the things we do tactically as well as improve the overall fitness of our team," Arena commented after the match.
One of the few players who did play in both games was Clint Mathis, who played 70 minutes against China and was on the field for the entire scrimmage today.
"It was good to get out here and get another game in as far as my comfort level playing in a slightly different position than I do in MLS," said Mathis, who set up Wolff's first half goal. "It's always a positive when you can play another team as opposed to an intra-squad scrimmage. I was able to get a few more touches on the ball today and that can only help me get better under pressure situations I'll see in the big games."
Midfielder Cobi Jones saw his first game action of 2001 and looked sharp in a 90-minute appearance. Jones, who was scheduled to be a part of the USA's roster for the China game but was unavailable for personal reasons, looks to continue the offensive production that made him one of the most explosive players on the team in 2000. Jones should figure prominently in Arena's game plan when the United States squares off in a Gold Cup rematch against Colombia on Saturday afternoon at the Orange Bowl in Miami (ESPN2 & Telemundo).
"I'm looking forward to the game on Saturday. Colombia is a strong opponent and we always match up well with them," said Jones after the game. "I expect this match to be another hard-fought battle. Playing in Miami, I expect they will have good support in the stands, and hopefully we'll get a lot of fans out there supporting us as well."
The USA will continue its training in preparation for the final friendly before the all-important February 28 World Cup qualifier against Mexico with a 3:30 practice at Florida Atlantic University on Wednesday.