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Three Days and Counting Until U.S. vs. Mexico Showdown

U.S. MNT Training Camp Update
Columbus, Ohio
August 31, 2005

ALMOST ALL IN: With the arrival of goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann from Reading last night, Bruce Arena's 25-man roster for the Mexico qualifier is now complete.  Hahnemann's partner at Reading, Bobby Convey, is suspended for the match but will join the side this weekend in advance of the match against Guatemala on Sept. 7 in Guatemala City.  Arena announced the full roster this afternoon, and the team heads towards final preparations for MatchDay 7 of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  Kickoff at sold-out Columbus Crew Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic (7:25 p.m. ET) and Telemundo.  Fans can also follow the match live on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

ARENA PREVIEWS MEXICO SHOWDOWN: U.S. Manager Bruce Arena addressed an international media audience in a nearly hour-long teleconference call this afternoon, taking questions on the roster selection, the rivalry against Mexico, his thoughts on the state of CONCACAF, and much more.  For the first time, you can listen to the entire teleconference through the audio podcasting section of  Highlights of the call are also available in a transcript by clicking here.

There has been much discussion and much reported, but here are the facts on the how's and when's the U.S. Men's National Team can qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany on Saturday, Sept. 3 when they take on Mexico.

1. WIN: The U.S. advances outright with a win.
2. TIE: Should the U.S. tie, they will need Trinidad & Tobago to win or draw against Guatemala at home AND will need Panama to win or tie at home to Costa Rica.
3. LOSE: Should the U.S. lose, they will need the TRI-GUA game to end in a draw AND will need Panama to beat Costa Rica.

Additionally, it should be noted that neither the USA or Mexico can clinch a spot in the World Cup based solely on the result of the TRI-GUA match which is set to kickoff three hours before USA-Mexico.

The U.S.-Mexico match this Saturday is all about a little R&R. Rest and recuperation? I think not. Try respect and rivalry. Over the past 70 years, the epic battles waged between the top two CONCACAF teams has created the biggest rivalry in the region and, with the U.S. finally getting the upper-hand during the past five years, the respect level for each other has pulled even.’s All_Access Video takes you behind the scenes to find out what the U.S. players are saying about both of these topics with two brand-spanking new videos added to the continually growing list of exclusive clips on the MNT.

U.S.-MEXICO CLIFFS NOTES: You want stats?  We've got you covered in that department here with loads and loads of stats on the U.S.-Mexico rivalry. Now, while some people like to partake in a good treasure hunt for those statistical golden nuggets - and we respect that - for those of you looking for the Cliffs Notes version, here is a cheat sheet on the numbers that pundits will be pondering heading into the USA's biggest home game since the '94 World Cup.

NEXT ON THE HOTLIST - BRIAN MCBRIDE: U.S. forward Brian McBride will take his turn tomorrow on ESPNews, scheduled to appear at approximately 4:10 p.m. ET.  The USA's all-time leader in World Cup qualifying goals (10) - and second overall (29) behind Eric Wynalda - will be making his 12th career appearance against Mexico this weekend in front of his former home fans in Columbus.  Eddie Johnson and Kasey Keller each talked shop with ESPNews anchor Brian Kenny earlier this week, as they continue coverage on the countdown to kickoff for Saturday.

THEY SAID IT: "He seems to be getting better every year, which is a credit to him.  He's a great professional.  He's our most lethal finisher.  There's no one else on the team that can do what he does..." 
-- U.S. captain Claudio Reyna. on the play of Brian McBride (Columbus Dispatch, 8/31) is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.