U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
June 3, 2003
ALL IN: Twenty four players reported for training camp Sunday as the U.S. MNT began preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup. Twenty-two rostered players were joined by U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and FC St. Pauli defender Cory Gibbs for the first two workouts of the 11-day camp. The only notable absence was San Jose forward Landon Donovan, who was excused from reporting for duty as the 'Quakes suffered a rash of injuries and are in dire need of his services. The team began day two with the infamous "beep test", a somewhat grueling fitness evaluation, with Crew defender Frankie Hejduk the last man standing. The team will continue once-a-day sessions before departing for Richmond on Saturday morning. The coaching staff is expected to decide by Thursday which MLS players will be released for the upcoming matches this weekend.
GIBBS REPLACES POPE: FC St. Pauli defender Cory Gibbs has been added to the USA's Confederations Cup roster after the team learned that defender Eddie Pope has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in the patella of his left knee. Pope, 29, underwent an MRI examination yesterday after taking a knock in the first half of the Metro's 1-1 draw away to Columbus over the weekend. Gibbs, 22, is making his first appearance in a camp with the senior team. He was a member of the USA's bronze-medal winning team at the 1999 Pan American Games, and played on the U.S. Under-20 MNT in the 1999 World Youth Championships in Nigeria along with Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Califf, Steve Cherundolo, Tim Howard and Taylor Twellman.
KIWIS HIT THE BEACH: The New Zealand national team arrived in the U.S. on Sunday, after drawing 1-1 with Scotland on May 27 in Glasgow. The Kiwis travel this morning to Virginia Beach, where they will play a friendly against the Virginia Beach Mariners at 7 p.m. ET at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex. The team will return to their base camp in suburban Maryland tomorrow morning, where they will train before moving operations to Richmond this Saturday. The New Zealand friendly result:
Scotland 1 Crawford 10'
New Zealand 1 Nelsen 47'
Scotland: Robert Douglas, Maurice Ross (Graham Alexander 46), Andy Webster, Steven Pressley, Gary Naysmith, Christian Dailly, Jackie McNamara (Brian Kerr 83), Paul Devlin, James McFadden, Kevin Kyle (Andy Gray 60) and Stevie Crawford.
New Zealand: Michael Utting (Jason Batty 46), David Mulligan (Duncan Oughton 46), Chris Zoricich (Scott Smith 70), Aaran Lines (Chris Bouckenooghe 80), Mark Burton, Chris Jackson (Raf de Gregorio 54), Ryan Nelsen, Vaughan Coveny, Simon Elliott, Gerard Davis and Noah Hickey.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR JUNE 8 CLASH WITH NEW ZEALAND: Advance tickets for the USA vs. New Zealand contest, a doubleheader along with the A-League's Richmond Kickers vs. Atlanta Silverbacks, ranging in price from $18 to $40 can be purchased starting Friday, May 2, at 10 a.m. ET through all Richmond area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ukrop's Supermarket, Farm Fresh and Hecht's), by phone at 804-262-8100 (Richmond), 757-671-8100 (Virginia Beach), or 800-527-6384 (Northern Virginia), and on-line at www.ussoccer.com. Information on group discounts can be obtained by calling 312-528-1290.
BRAZIL ANNOUNCES FOREIGN-BASED CONTINGENT FOR CONFEDERATIONS CUP: Brazil national team head coach Carlos Albeirta Parreira has named the 11 foreign-based players who will travel to France later this month. Defenders Roque Junior and Lucio, who played in the World Cup final against Germany last June, were included as was Paris St Germain midfielder Ronaldinho. "Every time we take part in something, it's important that we play well, win the title and are crowned champions," said Parreira. The former MetroStars head coach will name the home-based players this week, and the team will take part in a pre-tournament friendly on June 11 against Nigeria in Abuja.
Goalkeeper: Dida (AC Milan)
Defenders: Belletti (Villareal), Roque Junior (AC Milan), Fabio Aurelio (Valencia), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Lucio (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders: Eduardo Costa (Girondins), Emerson (AS Roma), Ronaldinho (Paris St Germain), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich)
Forward: Adriano (Parma)
NEWCOMERS: Two players on the Confederations Cup roster are expecting new additions to their families. Gregg Berhalter, along with wife Rosalind and two-year old son Sebastian, will welcome their second child in October. Meantime, Dan and Erin Califf are expecting their first child, daughter Paige, to arrive sometime in November.
RETRO IS IN: The USA's retro jersey for this weekend's match has proven to be a hot mover from the virtual shelves of ussoccerstore.com. The limited-edition jersey, unveiled last week, matches the style of the uniform worn by the United States in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, in which the United States produced one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, a 1-0 defeat of tournament favorites England. Designed by Nike, the retro jersey is part of a series of celebrations in commemoration of the 90-year Anniversary of U.S. Soccer.
THEY SAID IT: "It's been very frustrating for me personally. I've always wanted to come into camp, but every time I had a chance something prevented me from coming in. The national team is my highest goal, and now that I'm finally here I have to make the best of my opportunity."
--U.S. defender Cory Gibbs, on his first appearance in a senior national team training camp. Gibbs has previously been called into camp three times, only to have injuries and club commitments forcing last-minute withdrawals.
"Our original plan was to have two international games this week, in order to give every player a chance to play. Since we can only dress 18 players for New Zealand, this is an opportunity to give our guys as much playing time as possible."
--U.S. Manager Bruce Arena, on the decision to release players for their MLS matches this weekend