ONE TO GO: The U.S. Men's National Team held their final training session of 2005 this morning at Harvard University (photos). The group spent just over an hour doing shadow drills and working out assignments on restarts. The U.S. will play its last match of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup against Panama (tickets) tomorrow night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Kickoff for MatchDay 10 is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. As always, fans can also follow along on usssoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. starting lineup against Panama will be posted at ussoccer.com approximately one hour before kickoff.
ALL_ACCESS - PANAMA PREVIEW: U.S. Manager Bruce Arena once again sets the table for the Panama match as he addressed reporters in advance of Wednesday night's match. Additionally, hear Brian Carroll talk about the possibility of getting his first sniff with the senior team as all_access video gives you a head's up on the team's preparation for Panama (watch).
BY THE NUMBERS: You want numbers? We got numbers. Everything you always wanted to know - but were afraid to ask your friends - about the USA's brief but important history against Panama can be found in ussoccer.com's breakdown. For example, did you know that the U.S. and Panama have only played five times in their history, but four of those five matches have come in official competitions. Find out more interesting facts and figures as we give you the matchup by the numbers.
PANAMA PLAYING FOR PRIDE: Long eliminated from contention for a place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Panamanians enter this match with an eye towards the future while saying goodbye to a pair of living legends. Despite their performance in qualifying, the Marearoja hit an impressive milestone of their own this summer, reaching the Gold Cup finals for the first time in the country's history. On Matchday 9, Panama boss Jose Hernandez ran out a youthful side in the 1-0 loss to T&T, and is expected to continue experimenting with his roster tomorrow night. At the same time, there will be a fond farewell to the twins Julio and Jorge Dely Valdes, as the 37 year-olds retire (for the second time) from international competition. Jorge netted 21 goals in 52 games for Panama, while his brother scored 20 in 46 contests. Find out what to expect from a Panama team that has nothing to lose in U.S. Assistant Coach Curt Onalfo's exclusive scouting report.
• The U.S. reports no injuries in advance of tomorrow night's match
• Clint Dempsey is the only player on the roster carrying a yellow card into the Panama match. While another yellow card would not result in a suspension, any player picking up two yellow cards or a red card would be suspended for matches in the World Cup
• Carlos Bocanegra and Eddie Lewis are not available for selection for this match, both picking up their second yellow cards of the campaign against Costa Rica last Saturday night
• The U.S. is 7-0-1 at home in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, with all seven victories coming by shutout. The lone goal surrendered came in the 1-1 draw against Jamaica in the last match of the semifinal round on Nov. 17, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. They have not given up a goal in the final round on U.S. soil, outscoring their opponents 8-0, while recording multiple goals in three games
• Panama enters the match in search of their first-ever victory against the U.S., with the hosts holding a lifetime advantage of 3-0-2. Remarkably, four of the meetings have come in official competitions, including three 2006 World Cup qualifiers and the 2005 Gold Cup final. In those games, Panama has been pounded for ten goals while managing just one on the positive side of the ledger
• The USA's 6-0 shutout against Panama in the semifinal round of qualifying in Washington, D.C., marked the second-largest margin of victory for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying, second only to the 7-0 victory against Barbados on August 16, 2000, in semifinal round qualifying for the 2002 World Cup
• Three players on the U.S. roster appeared in the 3-0 victory on June 8 in Panama. Steve Ralston provided the assist on Landon Donovan's second goal of the match and Eddie Pope started in central defense while Clint Dempsey replaced DaMarcus Beasley in the 63rd minute
• Dempsey and Santino Quaranta are the only two players to have appeared in the 2005 Gold Cup championship match against Panama on July 24 in New Jersey. While Dempsey got the start, Quaranta entered in the 62nd minute and netted the first goal in the penalty kick tie-breaker to help USA to their third Gold Cup crown
• Seven players on the U.S. roster are looking to get their first World Cup qualifying appearance: Danny Califf, Brian Carroll, Ricardo Clark, Jay Heaps, Daniel Hernandez, Justin Mapp and Matt Reis. Of that group, only Califf has earned a cap for the full team
• Additionally, three other players have only one World Cup qualifier to their credit: Chad Marshall, Kyle Martino and Jonathan Spector (which is also his only cap)
• At only 19 years of age, Spector is the puppy on the 18-man roster, but not by much. Ten players on the roster are 25 years old or younger. Eddie Pope is the elder statesman of the group, a seasoned 31-year old with 73 caps to his credit
• With Pope's appearance against Costa Rica, he joined Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna at the top of the USA's all-time cap list in World Cup qualifying. The trio have each earned 31 caps over various qualifying campaigns.
• Taylor Twellman is tops on the MLS goalscoring charts, his 16 goals and seven assists one ahead of D.C. United's Jaime Moreno
• While in search of his first cap with the full team, Justin Mapp has played for the U.S. National Teams at every level, beginning with the U-14's. After Freddy Adu, he was the youngest player on the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates
On the field for the USA
October 8, 2005 – Estadio Ricardo Saprissa – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Final Round, Matchday 9
Costa Rica 3 Paulo Wanchope 32’, Carlos Hernandez 60’, 88’
CRC: 18-Jose Porras; 3-Luis Marin (capt.), 5-Gilberto Martinez, 2-Jervis Drummond, 12 Leonardo Gonzalez; 8-Mauricio Solis (20-Douglas Sequiera, 59), 10-Walter Centeno, 11-Ronald Gomez, 15-Harold Wallace; 19-Alvaro Saborio (16-Carlos Hernandez, 59), 9-Paulo Wanchope (21-Wins)
Subs not used: 1-Alvaro Mesen, 4-Michael Umana, 17-Roy Myrie, 22-Jafet Soto
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 23-Eddie Pope, 4-Carlos Bocanegra (10-Kyle Martino, 75); 5-Chris Albright (21-Santino Quaranta, 63), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-Eddie Lewis (capt.), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 15-Bobby Convey; 20-Taylor Twellman, 9-Brian Ching
Subs not used: 24-Kevin Hartman, 3-Wade Barrett, 8-Jonathan Spector, 12-Danny Califf, 13-Ricardo Clark
On the field for Panama
October 8, 2005 – Estadio Rommel Fernandez – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Final Round, Matchday 9
Trinidad & Tobago 1 Stern John 61’
PAN :1-Jaime Penedo; 4-Ubaldo Guardia, 3-Luis Moreno, 5-Ramon Torres, 2-Joel Solanilla; 8-James Brown (13-Miguel Olivares, 84), 6-Gabriel Gomez, 11-Angel Lombardo, 10-Julio Medina; 18-Anthony Basile (Edwin Aguilar, 67), 18-Gabriel Torres (7-Jorge Dely, 76)
TRI: 21-Kelvin Jack; 4-Marvin Andrews, 6-Dennis Lawrence, 7-Christopher Birchall, John Emery; 10-Russel Latapy, 11-Carlos Edwards, 14-John Stern, 16-Silvio Spann, 17-Dwight Yorke, 18-Densill Theobald (15-Keninyne Jones, 61)
July 24, 2005 – Giants Stadium, E. Rutherford, N.J. – 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final
USA 0 (3 pk) Santino Quaranta, Landon Donovan, Brad Davis
Panama 0 (1 pk) Felipe Baloy
USA: 18-Kasey Keller (capt.); 2-Frankie Hejduk, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 4-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Greg Vanney; 14-Chris Armas, 5-John O’Brien, 10-Landon Donovan; 8-Clint Dempsey (21-Brad Davis, 84), 16-Josh Wolff (9-Santino Quaranta, 62), 7-DaMarcus Beasley (15-Ben Olsen, 114)
Subs not used: 1-Marcus Hahnemann, 22-Tony Sanneh, 24-Matt Reis
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 2-Carlos Rivera, 3-Luis Moreno, 4-Jose Torres, 5-Felipe Baloy; 6-Gabriel Gomez, 8-Alberto Blanco, 10-Julio Medina (17-Luis Henriquez, 87), 20-Engin Mitre (21-Angel Luis Rodriguez, 43); 7-Jorge Dely Valdes, 18-Luis Tejada.
Subs not used: 11-Roberto Brown, 12-Jose Calderon, 14-Roman Torres, 16-Ubaldo Guardia, 19-Gustavo Avila