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U.S. Men's National Team Set to Take on El Salvador on Wednesday Night in Tampa

110 DAYS AND COUNTING: The countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup continues with less than four months remaining until the USA kicks off its campaign in South Africa with the June 12 match against England. Preparations for the tournament are reaching a head, as the next test for the U.S. comes in the form of fellow CONCACAF side El Salvador, with the two sides meeting on Feb. 24 in Tampa, Fla. Kickoff at Raymond James Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live via’s MatchTracker and at The game provides an additional opportunity for this group, comprised mostly of domestic-based players, as they look to make another impression with the coaching staff and eye a possible roster spot in South Africa.

MOVING TO TAMPA: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 20 players to travel to Tampa, Fla. for the Feb. 24 match against El Salvador at Raymond James Stadium. The U.S. team wrapped up a ten-day camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. and traveled to Florida on Sunday in preparation for the game. Watch as the team receives a warm welcome at Tampa International Airport ahead of Wednesday’s match.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

• Bob Bradley's roster of 20 players were all part of a training camp which began on Feb. 10 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
• Five players in the squad were part of the gameday squad of 18 when the USA last met El Salvador in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifying. Defenders Jonathan Bornstein and Chad Marshall played 90 minutes in the 2-1 win on Sept. 5, 2009, with midfielder Kyle Beckerman making a late substitute appearance in front of his hometown crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Brian Ching and Robbie Rogers were unused substitutes in the World Cup qualifying victory.
• Prior to the meeting in Utah, the USA faced El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier in San Salvador, El Salvador, on March 28, 2009. Ching, Sacha Kljestan and Heath Pearce started the memorable 2-2 draw, which saw the USA come from behind to claim a remarkable point on the road.
• In total, 10 players on the roster competed in the USA’s successful campaign to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. See note below for stats.
• The USA is 14-1-5 all-time against El Salvador, with 45 GF and 13 GA.
• The USA has never lost to El Salvador at home and owns an 11-0-2 record (35 GF, 5 GA) against Los Cuscatlecos.
• Five players on the U.S. roster have made an appearance against El Salvador. Bornstein and Ching have played in two games against El Salvador, while Beckerman, Marshall and Pearce have all made one appearance against Los Cuscatlecos.
• Four members of the 2009 MLS Best XI are included in the 20-man roster: Geoff Cameron, Conor Casey, Jeff Cunningham, and Marshall.
• The roster also boasts award winners in Visa Defender of the Year Marshall and Budweiser Golden Boot winner Cunningham.
• Four MLS teams have three players in the 20-person squad: Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake.
• Eight players – Beckerman, Ching, Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson, Marshall, Pearce and Troy Perkins – were part of the squad that reached the final of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
• Beckerman, Goodson and Rogers all netted their first international goals in that tournament.
• Dax McCarty hails from nearby Winter Park, Fla., part of the Orlando metropolitan area.
• Cunningham was born in Jamaica but after coming to the USA as a youth he grew up in Crystal River, Fla. before attending South Florida.
• Ching is the leading capwinner on the USA roster with 43 appearances and also its leading scorer with 10 goals. Pearce's 29 caps and Kljestan's three goals are both good for second best.
• There are 10 players on the roster with 10 caps or less, and two (defender Cameron and midfielder Chris Pontius) will be in search of their first appearance with the full team.
• Goodson's goal against Honduras on Jan. 23, 2010, marked his second career goal for the USA. His first goal, the winner in the USA's 2-0 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal victory on July 23, 2009, also came from a header and also came against Honduras.
• The USA began camp with a roster of players based solely in MLS. The addition of Norway-based Goodson midway through the camp in Carson means one player in Tampa plays their club ball overseas.
• The U.S. is 17-16-11 all-time in the month of February with the most recent win coming in last year's 2-0 victory against Mexico to open the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The U.S. has not lost a February game since 2004 when the team fell 1-0 to the Netherlands.
• The U.S. has a 10-14-5 record in Florida with a 2-1-0 mark in Tampa. The last time the MNT played in Florida was on March 25, 2007, when a Landon Donovan hat trick spurred the USA to a 3-1 win against Ecuador. For more on that game, see below.

Average Age: 24.35
Average Caps: 11.2
Most Caps: 43 (Brian Ching)
Fewest Caps: 0 (Geoff Cameron and Chris Pontius)
Oldest: 33 (Jeff Cunningham)
Youngest: 22 (Chris Pontius and Robbie Rogers)
Play professionally in: USA (19), Norway (1)

WORLD CUP PREP: Wednesday's game is the second-to-last game scheduled for the USA before the naming of the 2010 FIFA World Cup roster. Following the match against El Salvador, the U.S. will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to meet the third-ranked Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam. The game against the Netherlands comes on the only FIFA match date prior to the start of preparations for the World Cup. After the World Cup roster is named in early to mid-May, the U.S. play a two-game Send-Off Series against the Czech Republic on May 25 at a location to be determined and then Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field on May 29.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the FIFA World Cup qualifying final round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score in the final qualifying match with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Team   GP    W    L    T   GF   GA   GD   Pts. 
United States*  10  6  2  2  19  12  7  20
Mexico*   10  6  3  1  17  11  6  19
Honduras*  10  5  4  1  17  11  6  16
Costa Rica   10  5  4  1  15  15  0  16
El Salvador   10  2  6  2  10  16  -6  8
Trinidad & Tobago   10  1  6  3  10  22  -12  6

* qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

COMING FROM BEHIND: The USA faced El Salvador two times in 2009, both in World Cup qualifiers. Though they took four out of six points from the meetings, the USA faced stern tests in both matches and had to come from behind on both occasions. On March 28, 2009, the USA found themselves in a two-goal defecit heading into the final thirteen minutes of the game. Goals from Jozy Altidore and Frankie Hejduk, his first World Cup qualifying goal in more than 12 years, leveled the score and gave the USA a valuable point on the road in San Salvador. The USA found themselves behind again to El Salvador on Sept. 5, 2009, going down early after a first half header from Christian Castillo. Bob Bradley's team responded well and turned the tide just before halftime with headed goals from Clint Dempsey and Altidore. Some late heroics from Tim Howard preserved the victory and gave the USA three more points in their quest for South Africa.

STAT MASTER: Forward Brian Ching holds or shares team highs in three categories centered around World Cup qualifying. On this 20-man roster, Ching is tied with Sacha Kljestan for most appearances with 10. The Hawaiian is also tied for a team high in starts. Both he and Heath Pearce lined up in the starting 11 nine times during the road to South Africa. Ching is also this roster's highest goalscorer in World Cup qualifying, notching four goals.

HAT TRICK FLASHBACK: Nearly three years ago the USA traveled to Tampa for the third game of Bob Bradley's coaching tenure. The USA, having won the previous two games, continued its victorious streak by dispatching Ecuador 3-1 on March 25, 2007. Landon Donovan was the peak performer on the day, netting three goals for his second career hat trick with the Men's National Team. More milestones in Tampa included Benny Feilhaber's first career appearance and start for the USA and a record crowd of 31,547, the highest ever for a U.S friendly in the state of Florida.

March 25, 2007 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. - International Friendly
USA       3    Landon Donovan 1, 66, 67
Ecuador  1    Felipe Caicedo 11

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (4-Jonathan Spector, 80), 12-Jimmy Conrad, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 2-Clint Dempsey (17-Brian Mullan, 80), 5-Benny Feilhaber, 10-Landon Donovan (capt.) (16-Brian Carroll, 91+), 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Justin Mapp, 83); 9-Eddie Johnson (8-Michael Bradley, 46), 11-Brian Ching (20-Taylor Twellman, 73)
Subs not used: 18-Kasey Keller
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ECU: 1-Rorys Aragon; 3-Ivan Hurtado (5-Jorge Guagua, 78), 4-Ulises de la Cruz, 17-Giovanny Espinoza, 18-Neicer Reasco (13-Oscar Bagui, 91+); 8-Edison Mendez, 14-Segundo Castillo, 16-Luis Valencia, 20-Luis Caicedo (19-Luis Saritama, 64); 10-Felipe Caicedo (11-Edmundo Zura, 72), 21-Carlos Tenorio (9-Felix Borja, 78)
Subs not used: 12-Daniel Viteri, 15-Edder Vaca
Head Coach: Luis Suarez

FORMER U-23S RETURN TO TAMPA: Five members of the current national team squad played in Raymond James Stadium during 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. Robbie Findley, Eddie Gaven, Sacha Kljestan, Dax McCarty and Marvell Wynne were all part of Peter Nowak's U-23 team which played three games in Tampa during the successful qualifying run to the Beijing Olympics. The U-23s drew Cuba 1-1 before consecutive 1-0 wins against Panama and Honduras propelled them into the semifinals where a win against Canada in Nashville earned them a berth at the Olympics. Findley, Gaven, Kljestan and McCarty featured in all three games in Tampa, with Gaven scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot against Honduras.

INTO THE NEXT 50: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 57 games under his belt, seeing 89 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 complete, a review of the body of work during the past nearly-three years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Bradley’s 31 victories in 50 games outdistanced his predecessor Bruce Arena, who had collected 25 victories at that point in his tenure. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:

• Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
• Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
• Won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15).
• Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
• Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008).
• Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
• Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
• Played matches on four continents.
• Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup.

All-Time: 34-17-6
Qualifying: 13-3-2
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 105
Goals Against: 68
Shutouts: 22

Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 24-5-5, 66 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA
UEFA: 6-6-0, 16 GF, 14 GA
AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
CAF: 2-0-0, 4 GF, 0 GA

Record when …
Leading at half: 21-3-2
Losing at half: 2-6-2
Tied at half: 11-8-2

By year …
2007: 12-5-1
2008: 9-3-2
2009: 13-8-3
2010: 0-1-0

GROUPED TOGETHER: The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria. The USA has faced England, ranked ninth in the FIFA World Rankings, on nine prior occasions and holds a 2-7-0 record against the 1966 World Cup champions. Most recently the two sides met in a friendly on May 28, 2008 at Wembley Stadium, where Fabio Capello's side earned a 2-0 victory. Slovenia (ranked 33rd) and Algeria (28th) have never faced the United States and the games in South Africa will mark the first meetings between the countries in any competition.

U.S. MNT 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C Schedule

Date Opponent  Time (Local/ET)  Venue 
June 12 England 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.  Rustenburg
June 18  Slovenia  4 p.m. / 10 a.m.  Ellis Park Stadium; Johannesburg 
June 23  Algeria 4 p.m. / 10 a.m.  Tshwane/Pretoria 

ELITE GROUP: Here is a look at the 32 teams from around the world who have booked their tickets to South Africa and the confederations they're coming from:

Host Country: South Africa
AFC – Asia (43 teams, 4.5 berths): Australia, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic
CAF – Africa (53 teams, 5 berths): Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria
CONCACAF – North America, Central America, Caribbean (35 teams, 3.5 berths): Honduras, Mexico, USA
CONMEBOL – South America (10 teams, 4.5 berths): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
OFC (10 teams, .5 berths) – New Zealand
UEFA – Europe (53 teams, 13 berths): Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland

Of these teams, only the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea Republic have participated in all six World Cups since 1990.

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Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol
Founded: 1935 (Joined FIFA in 1938)
Interim Head Coach: José Luis Rugamas
Best World Cup Finish: First Round, 1970 and 1982
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, two times (2003 most recent)
Caps Leader: Luis Guevara Mora (89)
Top Scorer: Jorge González (41)
Key Players: Arturo Alvarez, Rudis Corrales, Ramon Sanchez

El Salvador Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Miguel Montes (Aguila), Dagoberto Portillo (F.A.S.)
DEFENDERS (7): Dennis Alas (Firpo), Alexander Escobar (Metapan), Marvin Gonzalez (F.A.S.), Mardo Henriquez (F.A.S.), Alfredo Pacheco (F.A.S.), Manuel Salazar (Firpo), Deris Umanzor (Aguila)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Edgar Alvarez (San Jacinto College), Ramon Flores (F.A.S.), Josue Odir Flores (Metapan), Shawn Martin (Aguila), Juan Carlos Moscoso (F.A.S.), Osael Romero (Chivas USA), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS (3): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Rudis Corrales (Aguila), Andres Flores (Metapan)

COMMENCING A NEW ERA: The departure of former manager Carlos de los Cobos, who left El Salvador to take the reigns at the Chicago Fire, has ushered in a new period for Los Cuscatlecos. José Luis Rugamas takes over as manager, albeit with the interim tag still attached. A stern test awaits Rugamas in his first game in charge: a meeting with CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table-toppers USA. El Salvador performed valiantly in World Cup qualifying as they progressed all the way to the final round, recording memorable results, including a 2-2 draw with the USA and a 2-1 victory against Mexico, along the way. De los Cobos built the team into a feisty outfit, one which was difficult to play against and competed fiercely, whether on the road or at home. They will need to summon some of that fighting spirit for their new manager in a difficult game at Raymond James Stadium.

On the field for USA

Jan. 23, 2010 – The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif. – International Friendly
USA          1       Clarence Goodson 70
Honduras 3       Carlos Pavon (penalty kick) 19, Jerry Palacios 37, Roger Espinoza 53

USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Jimmy Conrad (capt.), 8-Chad Marshall (2-Heath Pearce, 61), 4-Marvell Wynne; 14-Robbie Rogers (6-Brad Davis, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber (10-Dax McCarty, 77) 7-Kyle Beckerman (9-Conor Casey, 60), 16-Sacha Kljestan (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 61); 19-Jeff Cunningham (3-Clarence Goodson, 46), 17-Robbie Findley
Subs not used: 18-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

HON: 12-Donis Escober; 5-Erick Norales, 6-Johnny Palacios, 23-Mauricio Sabillon, 17-Roger Espinoza (7-Mariano Acevedo, 90); 19-Danilo Turcios, 20-Amado Guevara (capt.) (13-Melvin Valladares, 56), 21-Emilio Izaguirre, 15-Walter Martinez (14-Oscar Garcia, 68); 9-Carlos Pavon (25-Georgie Welcome, 78), 16-Jerry Palacios (10-Ramon Nunez, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 2-Osman Chavez, 4-Carlos Palacios , 18-Noel Valladares
Head Coach: Reinaldo Rueda

On the field for El Salvador
Oct. 14, 2009 – Estadio Cuscatlan, San Salvador – 2010 World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 10
El Salvador   0
Honduras      1           Carlos Pavon 64

SLV: 1-Miguel Montes; 2-Alexander Escobar, 3-Marvin González (9-Rudis Corrales, 66), 4-Ramon Flores, 12-Manuel Salazar, 13-Deris Umanzor; 6-Arturo Álvarez, 7-Ramón Sánchez (capt.), 10-Eliseo Quintanilla (8-Osael Romero, 39), 17-Christian Castillo; 11-William Reyes (14-Dennis Alas, 72)
Subs not used: 5-Luis Hernandez, 6-Juan Carlos Moscoso, 15-Alfredo Pacheco, 18-Dagoberto Portillo
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos

HON: 18-Noel Valladares; 2-Jonny Palacios, 3-Edgar Alvarez (17-Danilo Turcios), 5-Erick Norales; 7-Amado Guevara, 8-Wilson Palacios, 10-Julio Cesar de Leon, 12-Emilio Izaguirre, 16-Mauricio Sabillon; 9-Carlos Pavon (13-Carlo Costly, 76), 11-David Suazo (6-Hendry Thomas, 84)
Subs not used: 1-Denis Escober, 4-Carlos Palacios, 14-Oscar Garcia, 15-Ramon Nunez
Head Coach: Reinaldo Rueda

On the field vs. El Salvador
Sept. 5, 2009 – Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah – 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 7
USA              2    Clint Dempsey 41, Jozy Altidore 45+2
El Salvador  1    Christian Castillo

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector, 15-Chad Marshall, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 8-Clint Dempsey , 5-Benny Feilhaber (16-Kyle Beckerman, 80), 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 9-Charlie Davies (7-Stuart Holden, 73), 17-Jozy Altidore (14-Jose Francisco Torres, 85)
Subs not used: 6-Steve Cherundolo, 11-Brian Ching, 13-Robbie Rogers, 18-Brad Guzan
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

SLV: 1-Miguel Montes; 3-Marvin González, 4-Mardoqueo Gonzalez, 12-Manuel Salazar, 13-Deris Umanzor; 5-Ramón Flores (14-William Reyes, 63), 6-Arturo Álvarez (8-Osael Romero, 50), 7-Ramón Sánchez (capt.), 10-Eliseo Quintanilla (9-Rudis Corrales, 75), 17-Christian Castillo; 11-Rodolfo Zelaya
Subs not used: 2-Alexander Escobar, 15-Alfredo Pacheco, 16-Denis Alas, 18-Dagoberto Portillo
Head Coach: Carlos de los Cobos