CHICAGO (September 3, 2007) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 19-man roster that will face five-time World Cup champions Brazil on Sept. 9 in Chicago. The U.S. team began training this afternoon in the Windy City in preparation for the match against the No. 1 ranked Brazilians. Kickoff for the “Clash of Champions” at historic Soldier Field is set for 3 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Ticket sales for Brazil’s first-ever visit to Chicago have surpassed 28,000 and continue to move quickly. Tickets starting at $40 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, f.y.e., Hot Tix, and Ritmo Latino). Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
"The schedule this year has included some great challenges, and playing against Brazil is another outstanding opportunity for this group,” said Bradley, who is 10-4-1 in 2007 and returns to the site of the 2007 Gold Cup Championship final. “We have a good mix of players in camp, and are excited about the chance to play against one of the best teams in the world. It’s great to be back in Chicago for a match of this caliber. It should be an exciting afternoon.”
The U.S. roster includes 13 players from the squad that captured the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Chicago. Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan led the U.S. with four goals in the tournament, and has currently amassed nine goals in 11 matches this year. With 34 career international goals, the 25-year-old is one goal away from becoming the USA’s all-time leader in scoring. Derby County midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who this year became the seventh player in U.S. history to appear in 10 or more matches in his first calendar year with the full team, scored the championship winning goal in the 2-1 victory against regional rival Mexico. Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni was named to the Gold Cup Best XI while collecting his third confederation championship medal.
Fourteen of the 19 players on the roster ply their trade in five different countries in Europe (Belgium, England, Germany, Holland, and Scotland). Fulham FC sends the duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, with the defender having earned his 50th international appearance in the match against Sweden last week. Dempsey scored his first goal for the senior team at Soldier Field, netting the USA’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss to England on May 28, 2005. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who minded the nets in the Gold Cup final, has already posted ten shutouts in 23 career games for the United States. Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has three goals and three assists in 2007 and was the USA’s second leading scorer in the Gold Cup.
1860 Munich striker Josh Wolff, who makes his first trip with the U.S. since the 2006 FIFA World Cup, joins Beasley and Bocanegra as alumni who played professionally for the Chicago Fire. The trio was part of the team coached by Bradley that captured the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. That group also included current U.S. assistant coach Peter Nowak, who started in the 2-1 win against Miami Fusion on Oct. 21, 2000, at Soldier Field.
Two other players on the roster hold ties to the Chicagoland area. West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector hails from Arlington Heights, Ill., while Watford defender Jay DeMerit played his college ball for the Flames at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
On the domestic front, the Kansas City Wizards send the attacking pair of Davy Arnaud and Eddie Johnson. Johnson, who has 11 goals in 30 games for the senior team, is currently tied for first place on the MLS scoring chart with 14 goals. Arnaud is one of two players on the roster without a cap, joined by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz. The 20-year-old netminder turned in one of the stellar performances for the Under-20 MNT during the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada last month.
Brazil head coach Dunga has called on a full strength side, led by two-time FIFA World Player of the Year and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho. The midfield magician put his legendary skills on display last week, recording a goal and an assist in Brazil’s 2-0 win against Algeria. He has scored 40 goals for Barcelona during the last two seasons, and scored two goals as part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side.
A.C. Milan midfielder Kaká, who led all scorers in the 2007 UEFA Champions league with 10 goals in helping Milan to their seventh European championship crown, is regarded as one of the most superb passers in the world. Real Madrid striker Robinho scored 14 goals while helping his side capture the 2006-07 Spanish league title, and ended as the leading scorer in the 2007 Copa America with six goals. His fellow Real Madrid striker, Julio Baptista, and Sevilla defender Daniel Alves scored two of the three goals in the 3-0 Copa America championship win against Argentina.
This unique game pits the champions of CONCACAF against the champions of CONMEBOL after both teams captured their confederation championships earlier this summer. In July, Brazil dominated favored Argentina in the championship match to post a comprehensive 3-0 victory and collect their eighth Copa America crown. Goals by Julio Baptista and Daniel Alves paced the Seleção, the victory elevating Brazil back to the No. 1 position in the FIFA World Rankings. With 60,000 fans on hand at a sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago, the United States defeated Mexico 2-1 in the final to secure their second-consecutive Gold Cup title. Landon Donovan netted the equalizer and Benny Feilhaber’s thunderous strike became the game-winner as the U.S. extended their unbeaten home streak against Mexico to nine matches over eight years.
After the Brazil clash, the U.S. then takes advantage of a double FIFA date in October, first facing Catalonia on Oct. 14 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain, and then traveling to face Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel. Both October matches will also be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.
U.S. MNT Roster
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2): Tim Howard (Everton FC), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (4): Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich)
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF
Head Coach: Bob Bradley (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Peter Nowak (Naples, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sorber (St. Louis)
Goalkeeper Coach: Juergen Sommer (Indianapolis)
Fitness Coach: Anthony Slater (Los Angeles)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Trainers: Dave Andrews (Seattle)
Rich Monis (Chicago)
Doctor: Adam Bennett (Chicago)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Jesse Bignami (Long Beach, Calif.)
Video Coordinator: Mark Liskevych (Chicago)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)
Goalkeepers (2): Doni (Roma), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
Defenders (8): Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Alex Silva (São Paulo), Lúcio (Bayern Munich), Juan (Roma), Alex (Chelsea), Kleber (Santos), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin),
Midfielders (8): Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Mineiro (Hertha Berlin), Josué (VfL Wolfsburg), Fernando (Bordeaux), Elano (Manchester City), Kaká (AC Milan), Julio Baptista (Real Madrid), Diego (Werder Bremen)
Forwards (4): Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Robinho (Real Madrid), Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow), Afonso (SC Heerenveen)