23-PLAYER TO BE UNVEILED ON ESPN: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena will name his 23-player U.S. roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan on the 6 p.m. ET edition of ESPN's SportsCenter.
U.S. MNT WORLD CUP ROSTER ANNOUNCEMENT "BY THE NUMBERS":
93 -- players called into at least one camp during Arena era
73 -- players with at least one cap during Arena era
57 -- games Arena has coached the U.S. MNT since taking over in October 1998
47 -- players with at least one cap in 2001
38 -- players earning their first-ever cap during Arena era
37 -- players with at least one cap in 2002
31 -- players with at least one cap in the final round of 2002 World Cup qualifying
29 -- games Arena has won as U.S. MNT head coach
10 -- games played this year
7 -- games won this year
7 -- games played against teams in the 2002 World Cup
3 -- titles the U.S. has won under Arena (2000 Nike U.S. Cup; 2000 Group E semifinal round CONCACAF World Cup qualifying; 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup)
U.S. MEN FALL 2-1 TO IRELAND IN SWAMP-LIKE CONDITIONS IN DUBLIN: Despite a first-half goal from U.S. defender Eddie Pope and stellar play from U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, the U.S. Men's National Team fell 2-1 to Ireland last week in the rain and muck of Lansdowne Road in Dublin. The match was the last for the U.S. prior to head coach Bruce Arena's final 23-player World Cup roster announcement tonight. The winner for Ireland came in the 83rd minute, with defender Gary Doherty getting into the area and over the top of U.S. defender Tony Sanneh to head home a cross from veteran Steve Staunton. The U.S. almost tied the match in the 87th minute when Josh Wolff took an Eddie Lewis cross directly out of the air and fired a shot on goal that was tipped wide by goalkeeper Shay Given. The Irish got on the board just six minutes into the match when standout Fulham defender Steve Finnan broke free on the right wing to hit a perfect cross into the area that midfielder Mark Kinsella steered home with an over-the-shoulder volley that beat U.S. starter Brad Friedel to the far post. The U.S. tied the match in the 34th minute through a patented Pope header off a corner kick sent in from the left side by John O'Brien. The goal was the first that Ireland has surrendered at home in a span of six games (dating back to August 2001).
“NIKE ROAD TO KOREA” UP NEXT FOR WORLD CUP TEAM AFTER NORTH CAROLINA CAMP: The U.S. World Cup Team will officially take shape when the players and coaches head to Cary, N.C., for a 10-day camp from May 1-10 prior to the three-game “Nike Road to Korea” series up the East Coast on May 12, 16 and 19.
UPDATE ON MNT PLAYERS IN EUROPE: Brad Friedel and Blackburn earned a third consecutive win, defeating Middlesbrough 3-1 on Saturday to stay out of the relegation zone with three weeks left in the English Premier League season. Kasey Keller made his fifth consecutive league appearance for Tottenham, helping them to a 1-1 draw with Bolton. A week after being ejected for two yellow cards versus Liverpool, Claudio Reyna went a full 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 3-0 loss to West Ham United. Jovan Kirovski earned time in the final game of his 2001-02 season, coming off the bench to play 24 minutes in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 loss to West Brom as the English First Division season came to a close. In Holland, John O’Brien and his Ajax teammates made it four wins in a row, defeating FC Utrecht 1-0 to stay atop the Dutch Honor Division with two weeks left in the season. On the opposite end of things, midfielder Earnie Stewart and NAC Breda fell to RKC 4-1. In Germany, Tony Sanneh played all 90 minutes in FC Nurnberg’s 2-1 loss to Schalke 04. Conor Casey and Steve Cherundolo will help Hannover 96 battle Arminia Bielefeld today.
— U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
WAMBACH REPLACES PARLOW ON U.S. WOMEN'S ROSTER FOR SAN JOSE: Forward Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom has replaced the Atlanta Beat's Cindy Parlow on the USA's 18-woman roster that will face Finland on April 27 at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Parlow, who has 46 goals in 106 international matches and has been playing some of the best soccer of her national team career of late, was forced to bow out with an injured right ankle. Wambach has just one appearance for the U.S. Women's National Team, seeing 14 minutes of action on Sept. 9, 2001 in the USA's 4-1 win over Germany during the 2001 Nike U.S. Women's Cup. Wambach was Washington's top selection (2nd overall) in the 2002 WUSA player draft from the University of Florida and was a key member of the USA's Under-21 Nordic Cup championship team last summer. The match will be a part of the first-ever doubleheader with the U.S. Women's National Team and WUSA squads as the San Jose CyberRays face the Carolina Courage at 4:30 p.m. are priced at $28 / $17 for Silver, $25 / $15 for Bronze and $14 / $10 for the Cyberzone and are available by calling TicketMaster at 408-998-8497 (San Jose), 415-421-8497 (San Francisco), or 510-625-8497 (Oakland).
— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
LEONE ANNOUNCES U.S. U-19 WNT ROSTER FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING IN MAY: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone named the 18 players who will represent the USA at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament to be held May 7-11, 2002, on the islands of Trinidad & Tobago. The winners of the two groups in the tournament will earn berths to the first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship to be held Aug. 17 - Sept. 1, 2002, in Canada. "This team is on a mission," said Leone, who 11 years ago to this day was a member of the U.S. team that opened qualifying on another Caribbean island (Haiti) as the U.S. Women's National Team went on to earn a berth at the 1991 Women's World Cup. Leone looked at 54 players in game action over the past 16 months of preparation for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament and has assembled a team of some of most talented young players in U.S. history. Leone named five college freshman, eight high school seniors, three high school juniors and two high school sophomores to her roster. Should the U.S. qualify, she will have another three months to evaluate her team before picking a final roster for the 12-team world championship tournament to be held in Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. The U-19s have never lost an international match in their two-year history, compiling an 8-0-1 mark, and in those matches have outscored the opposition 44-2. Kelly Wilson has scored a team-leading 11 goals, while Lindsay Tarpley has pounded in nine scores.
Goalkeepers (2): Kim Bingham (San Ramon, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.);
Defenders (4): Jessica Ballweg (Santa Clara), Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Jessica Trainor (Univ. of Virginia);
Midfielders (7): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Allison Graham (Fayeteville, Ga.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas), Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn.), Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif.), Leslie Osborne (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.), Anne Schefter (Yakima, Wash.);
Forwards (5): Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Megan Kakadelas (USC), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kelly Wilson (University of Texas).
U.S. UNDER-21 WNT KICKS OFF WEEK-LONG CAMP AT OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER: U.S. Under-21 head coach Jerry Smith brought in 24 players to the ARCO U.S. Olympic Training Center for a week-long training camp that began yesterday. Smith is evaluating his pool in preparation for the 2002 Under-21 Nordic Cup, the annual tournament that serves as the top competition in the world for U-21 women and will be contested in Finland this summer.
Goalkeepers (2): Nicole Barnhardt (Stanford), Erin Miller (Nebraska);
DEFENDERS (5): Abby Crumpton (Michigan), Amy LePeilbet (Arizona State), Ally Marquand (Stanford), Lauren Orlandos (Portland), Nandi Pryce (UCLA);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Betsy Barr (Portland), Kim Yonkers (California), Whitney Jones (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Mary McDowell (North Carolina), Sarah Rahko (Boston College), Lindsey Vanderspiegel (William & Mary), Kelly Worden (Virginia);
FORWARDS (8): Alyssa Ramsey (North Carolina), Laura Schott (California), Marcia Wallis (Stanford), Angela Woznuk (San Diego Surf), Veronica Zepeda (Santa Clara), Tara Hurless (Illinois), Alena Thom (Wake Forest), Vonda Mathews (Miami).
U.S. UNDER-20 MNT TO PLAY EXHIBITIONS THIS WEEK IN SOCAL: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will gather next week for a training camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. from April 21-29. U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen has invited 24 players into camp, including 16 players who have not yet seen time with the Under-20s. Mike Magee, who scored five goals in his first four games with the Under-20s, returns to the squad after missing three games in Mexico due to injury. Six of the players invited in to camp come from last year’s Under-17 MNT that competed at the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Tobago. David Chun, Gray Griffin, Paul Johnson, Mike Magee, Adam Schuerman and Chefik Simo all played with John Ellinger’s squad in 2000 and 2001. The Under-20s will play three games in Southern California, in addition to an intra-squad scrimmage that will take place on April 26. The Under-20s will play the Univ. of San Francisco on April 23, travel to Los Angeles to the face the Galaxy on April 24, and then face the U.S. Under-18 MNT on April 28.
Goalkeepers (3): Clint Baumstark (Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham), Noah Palmer (Univ. of Maryland), Adam Schuerman (Elmbrook United);
Defenders (9): David Chun (Irvine Strikers), Gray Griffin (Charlotte SC), Allen Handy (Florida International Univ.), Ugo Ihemelu (Southern Methodist Univ.), Matt Kovar (Loyola Marymount Univ.), Drew Moor (Solar SC), Danny O’Rourke (Indiana University), Troy Roberts (Univ. of California – Berkeley), Will Rorat (California Heat);
Midfielders (6): Ian Carey (Davis Eclipse), Clint Dempsey (Furman Univ.), Mike Enfield (UCLA), Chris Karcz (Rutgers Univ.), Brian Plotkin (Chicago Sockers), Chefik Simo (Solar SC);
Forwards (5): Knox Cameron (Univ. of Michigan), Paul Johnson (Princeton, N.J.), Mike Magee (Chicago Sockers), Vince Vitale (Busch), Brett Wiesner (Univ. of Washington).
U.S. UNDER-18 MNT TO CONDUCT THIRD CAMP OF 2002: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will kick off their third training camp of 2002 on Saturday (April 27), when coach Bob Jenkins joins 21 players at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Jenkins is filling in for U.S. Under-18 MNT head coach George Gelnovatch. The Under-18 MNT has posted a 2-3-1 record in 2002, with two losses coming to MLS teams (Chicago Fire and L.A. Galaxy). The Under-18s will arrive in Southern California on Saturday afternoon and train once that evening. The Under-18s will then face the Under-20 MNT on April 28 in the first of their three matches. The Under-18s are also scheduled to play the San Diego Sockers on May 1 and the Univ. of Cal-Berkeley on May 3.
Goalkeepers (2): Andrew Kartunen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Jason Landers (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.);
Defenders (6): Taylor Canel (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif.), Hunter Freeman (Allen, Texas), Steven Purdy (Morgan Hill, Calif.), Jeff Serafini (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Michael Zaher (Las Vegas, Nev.);
Midfielders (7): Jeffrey Chambers (Christiana, Pa.), Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif.), William Hall (Shirley, N.Y.), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire - MLS), Patrick Ianni (Lodi, Calif.), Ryan Solle (Broadway, N.C.), Josh Villalobos (Fayetteville, N.C.);
Forwards (6): Arturo Alvarez (Houston, Texas), Chad Barrett (Beaverton, Ore.), Adam Cristman (Glen Allen, Va.), Andrew Daniels (Milwaukee, Wisc.), Nathan Norman (Rochester, Mich.), Desmond Williams (Ocala, Fla.).
— AROUND THE SOCCER NATION —
TOZER ANNOUNCES ROSTER FOR 2002 GENK CUP IN BELGIUM: U.S. Futsal National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer announced the 12-player roster that will compete at the 2002 Genk Cup from May 8-11 in Genk, Belgium. This is the first U.S. trip to Belgium in nearly 10 years after dropping a 4-2 decision to the host in an international friendly on September 26, 1992 in Antwerp. The annual Genk Cup, which is sanctioned by FIFA and Belgium's Football Association, features 24 invited teams (club and national sides) from around the world. The U.S. has been placed in Group G alongside host club Zvk Ford Genk and Oquido Affligem Futsal Club, both of Belgium. The U.S. roster is composed of nine players with international matches under their belts, including seven that competed in the first-ever international home matches in Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C., last month. Leading the way for the Americans is defender Sean Bowers (Baltimore Blast), who is ranked third all-time in appearances for the USA with 21. Forward and Blast teammate Lee Tschantret leads the attack with six goals in 10 international appearances and midfielder Bernie Lilavois (Buena Park, Calif.) with four tallies in seven matches.
Goalkeepers (2): Dan Green (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Scott Hileman (Baltimore Blast-MISL);
Defenders (4): John Ball (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Sean Bowers (Baltimore Blast-MISL) Pat Morris (Philadelphia Kixx-MISL), Matt Tanzini (Harrisburg Heat-MISL);
Midfielders (4): Steve Butcher (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Bernie Lilavois (Buena Park, Calif.), Pat White (Milwaukee Wave-MISL); FORWARDS (2): Nino DaSilva (Kansas City Comets-MISL), Lee Tschantret (Baltimore Blast-MISL).
— U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT —
PEAK PERFORMERS: One of the stories early on in the 2002 MLS season has to be the solid play of rookies and other first-year players. A pair of U.S. Under-23 MNT players in particular have shown well, and actually faced off this weekend. Defender Kelly Gray scored the game-winner and cleared a ball off the goal line in the Chicago Fire’s 2-0 win over the previously undefeated MetroStars. Despite the loss, midfielder Brad Davis has scored two game-winning goals for the MetroStars. Meanwhile, former U.S. U-20 MNT forward Taylor Twellman also had a big weekend, scoring in the Revolution’s first win of the season, 2-0 over the Columbus Crew.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Sure, all of the attention in the soccer world right now is on the 2002 World Cup and the U.S. Men’s National Team, but what about the U.S. women? The reigning world champs will get together for just the second home match of the year when they take on Finland this Saturday (April 27) at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Brandi, Tiff and Mac are playing better than ever, and the U.S. has never lost to the Scandanavians in eight previous contests, so don’t miss the offensive fireworks on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Coming off a 2001 campaign that saw Atlanta establish themselves as the team to beat (pun intended) with arguably the best offense and defense in the league, things haven’t gone so well since their overtime loss in the inaugural WUSA Founders Cup. Despite keeping its loaded roster intact and being picked almost unanimously to win the league in 2002, the Beat has stumbled out of the gate, losing the first two matches.
“I wanted to mention how extremely touched we were by the generous donation made by the Irish players in supporting the firefighters and policemen in New York. I can’t put into words how thankful we are for that gesture. It was absolutely magnificent. The game is one thing, the World Cup is another, but the real story in this world is how people get along with each other. On behalf of U.S. Soccer I want to thank the Irish players, the Irish Federation, and the Irish people for their generous support of the many people who were affected by the events of September 11.”
- U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena, on the donation (from their bonuses from the World Cup qualifier against Iran) of 275,000 Euros made by Irish players to the Sept. 11 fund.