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U.S. to Open 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup Against Grenada in Seattle on July 4


FOCUSING ON THE REGION: Less than one week after completing a historic run to the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team begins its quest for a third-consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup championship when it takes on Grenada on Saturday, July 4, at 6 p.m. PT. Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Sounders, will provide the backdrop for the Americans’ first game, before they cross the country to face Honduras on July 8 at 9 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The U.S. rounds out group play against Haiti on July 11 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET. All of the U.S. matches in the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and the Univision networks, with all three group games airing on TeleFutura (complete broadcast schedule). Ticket information for the Gold Cup is available at goldcup.org.

Group B Schedule
Date      Match                                             Time (ET)      Venue
July 4    Honduras vs. Haiti                        7 p.m.          Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.
July 4    Grenada vs. United States          9 p.m.          Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.
July 8    Haiti vs. Grenada                          7 p.m.           RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
July 8    United States vs. Honduras       9 p.m.           RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
July 11  United States vs. Haiti                 7 p.m.          Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
July 11  Honduras vs. Grenada                9 p.m.          Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.

CONCACAF EXPANDS U.S. ROSTER TO 30 PLAYERS: CONCACAF announced a provision that allows any team participating in the FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the same year to expand its Gold Cup roster from 23 to 30 players. The provision was provided due to the extreme circumstances that teams face due to playing in back-to-back tournaments. As a result of this provision, the U.S. has added seven players to the U.S. roster for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. All seven players were members of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squad in South Africa last month. Forwards Jozy Altidore and Conor Casey, midfielders Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan, defender Jonathan Bornstein and goalkeeper Brad Guzan will be eligible for selection during the entire tournament; however, the U.S. will not have all seven players present for each Gold Cup match. The exact schedule for these players will be announced as it becomes available. Only 18 players will be eligible to dress for any given game.

BRADLEY, GULATI PREVIEW GOLD CUP, REVIEW CONFEDERATIONS CUP: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati participated in a media teleconference on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Gold Cup opener. The duo discussed a wide range of topics including a preview of the CONCACAF Gold Gold and a review of the team’s run at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. A quote sheet is available at ussoccer.com, or listen to a podcast of the entire call.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: If food, family or fireworks are keeping you away from your TV or an Official U.S. Soccer bar on Saturday night, follow the score and more with U.S. Soccer on Twitter. Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer.

QUICK HITS

  • The U.S. has previously played only once on July 4, a 1-0 loss to eventual-champion Brazil in the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal in Palo Alto, Calif.
  • The U.S. and Grenada have met only twice in their history with the U.S. holding a 2-0-0 record. Both wins came during a second round home and away FIFA World Cup qualifying series in 2004.
  • The U.S. is the two-time defending champion of the tournament, hoisting the trophy in 2005 and 2007. The U.S. also won the 1991 and 2002 editions.
  • The U.S. holds a 34-4-5 all-time record in the regional event and has outscored opponents 81-26.
  • The Americans have never lost in group play at the Gold Cup, holding a 21-0-1 record. The only tie came on July 12, 2005, in a scoreless affair with Costa Rica in Foxborough, Mass.
  • The U.S. has never lost or tied a CONCACAF opponent at the Gold Cup when scoring a goal. The U.S. scored two goals in a tie with Colombia in the semifinals of the 2000 edition. The only loss when scoring a goal was a 2-1 defeat to Brazil in the 2003 edition.
  • The U.S. is 5-2-1 all-time in Seattle. The first three meetings came in the 1970s, and included a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Canada in 1976.
  • The U.S. has won their last four matches in Seattle, beating Honduras 4-0 at SAFECO Field in 2002, and has made their last three appearances at Qwest Field, beating Venezuela, Cuba and Canada.
  • The U.S. last played at Qwest Field to start their championship run in the 2005 Gold Cup, topping Cuba 4-1 on July 7 and shutting out Canada 2-0 two days later.
  • The 23-player roster for the game against Grenada, carries over four players from the FIFA Confederations Cup squad: Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Heath Pearce and Luis Robles.
  • Davies scored a goal in the must-win game against Egypt in the final game of the group stage in South Africa and added an assist on Landon Donovan’s goal in the final.
  • Seven players will be looking to make their national team debut during the Gold Cup: goalkeeper Robles, defender Jay Heaps and midfielders Logan Pause, Stuart Holden, Colin Clark, Sam Cronin and Brad Evans.
  • Five of the potential debutants make up more than half the U.S. midfield on the original 23-man roster. Going into the Gold Cup, the midfield has played 188 minutes combined, with Kyle Beckerman the only one of the eight to play a full game.
  • Evans, who plays for the Seattle Sounders, will be looking to earn his first cap in front of his hometown fans at Qwest Field.
  • Cherundolo leads the squad in caps with 51 international appearances.
  • Brian Ching and Michael Parkhurst are the only returnees from the 23-man squad that won the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • In fact, the 2009 squad includes more players that won the trophy in 2005, with Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad and Santino Quaranta returning from the group that won the regional title after a penalty-kick shootout against Panama.
  • Ching leads the roster in scoring with nine goals in his international career so far. All other players on the roster have a combined nine goals scored.
  • Four players have collegiate ties to the Northwest. Ching attended Gonzaga, while Cherundolo, Pearce and Robles all attended the University of Portland.
  • Ching played for the United Soccer League’s Seattle Sounders in 2002, scoring 16 goals.
  • Four players have appeared in a CONCACAF final round qualifying match.
  • Eight of 23 players have appeared in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while two players, Cherundolo and Conrad, have appeared in a FIFA World Cup match.
  • Eight players have made at least one appearance in 2009.
  • Five players were on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for the Beijing Games: Guzan, Parkhurst, Holden, Adu and  Robbie Rogers.
  • The average age on the roster is 26, 1.2 years older than the U.S. squad at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
  • Goalkeeper Jon Busch will not join the team and will remain with the Chicago Fire unless needed due to suspension or injury.

LOOKING BACK AT THE ’07 RUN: In the 2007 Gold Cup final, the U.S. continued their domination of Mexico with a sterling, come-from-behind 2-1 masterpiece to claim their fourth all-time CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. Despite a 1-0 halftime deficit, a confident and powerful U.S. team dominated Mexico in the second half behind a Landon Donovan penalty kick and the 2007 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards’ Best Goal from Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber’s one-time, full-volley blast sailed into the upper left corner past a helpless Oswaldo Sanchez and, after some heroic late goalkeeping from Tim Howard, held up as the game winner. That win earned the U.S. a place in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup as regional champions. The U.S. advanced to the final after a narrow 2-1 win against a tough Canadian side in the semifinal and a 2-1 win against a determined Panama in the quarterfinals. In the group phase, the U.S. was backed by three-consecutive shutouts in wins against El Salvador (4-0), Trinidad & Tobago (2-0) and Guatemala (1-0).

CONFED CUP RECAP: The U.S. made a historic run in the FIFA Confederations Cup, culminating in its first-ever final in a major international championship. After opening with two losses in group play to reigning FIFA World Cup champion Italy and eventual Confederations Cup champion Brazil, the U.S. clinched an unlikely berth to the semifinals by virtue of a 3-0 win against Egypt in the final group match. A semifinal appearance meant a date with No. 1-ranked Spain, who entered the game with a 35-match unbeaten streak. Goals in each half from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey lifted the U.S. to one of its greatest performances of all time and launched them into the final for a rematch with Brazil. The U.S. led the five-time world champion for 64 minutes, with first-half goals from Dempsey and Donovan, but eventually fell as Brazil scored three unanswered goals for a 3-2 victory. It was the first time in U.S. history that they lost after taking a two-goal lead. Even with the disappointing loss, the second-place finish stands as the best-ever performance for the U.S. in a FIFA competition.

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ussoccer.com HAS EXCLUSIVE ALL_ACCESS VIDEO: Follow the U.S. team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup with exclusive all_access videos at ussoccer.com. See the team’s reaction, preview the games with Studio 90 and get an exclusive look inside the team. View the videos at ussoccer.com.

U.S. VICTORY NOMINATED FOR ESPY'S 'BEST UPSET' AWARD: The USA's victory against No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup has been nominated for the 2009 ESPY's 'Best Upset' Award. The 2-0 win that ended Spain's record-tying 35-match unbeaten run has been added to the list as an instant candidate. You can vote for the USA's effort on the official ESPY's website. The 2009 ESPY's will air July 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

IN FOCUS: GRENADA
Founded: 1924 (Joined FIFA in 1978)
Head Coach: Tommy Taylor
FIFA World Ranking: 88
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Has never qualified
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: First appearance

GETTING HERE: Grenada qualified for its first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup with a surprise appearance in the Caribbean Cup final. After coming in second in its group by virtue of wins against Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, the latter of which is still in contention for World Cup qualifying, the Spice Boyz advanced to the semifinals. After a scoreless regulation and extra time, Grenada prevailed against Cuba in penalties but fell to Jamaica 2-0 in the Caribbean final. It was the second time that Grenada advanced to the Caribbean final, but in doing so the Spice Boyz earned their first ever ticket to the regional championship. With a population of 90,000, Grenada is the smallest nation ever to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

TAYLOR TAKES THE HELM: Tommy Taylor was named manager of Grenada just more than a month ago, and after friendlies against Barbados and Antigua & Barbuda, his first competition game will be against the United States in Seattle. The 57-year-old is a veteran of England's Leyton Orient and West Ham United, where he won the FA Cup as a player in 1975. Prior to taking over the Spice Boyz, Taylor had coaching spells with English clubs Cambridge, Darlington and Boston United. Taylor took over for player-coach Anthony Modeste, who led the team in qualifying for the Gold Cup both on the field and on the bench.

Grenada Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Andre Baptiste (Harrow Borough FC), Josh Charles (Hard Rock), Desmond Noel (Queens Park Rangers)
DEFENDERS (6): Anthony Modeste (Portsmore), Cassim Langaine (Carib Hurricane), Marc Marshall (Grenada Boys), Rimmel Daniel (Gillingham), Michael Mark (Eagles Super Strikers), Patrick Modeste (Queens Park Rangers)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Byron Bubb (AFC Wimbledon), Ricky Charles (Queens Park Rangers), Dwayne Leo (South Stars), Shane Rennie (ASOMS Paradise), Kwasi Paul (unattached), Euon Brown (unattached)
FORWARDS (6): Delroy Facey (Notts County), Kithson Bain (Ball Dogs), Denron Daniel (Hard Rock), Marcus Julien (Eagles Super Strikers), Lyndon Antoine (unattached), Jake Rennie (unattached)

MOVIN’ ON UP: Grenada football is in the midst of a resurgence, with the Caribbean championships held late last year serving as a wake-up call to its CONCACAF foes. Since October 2008, the small island nation has jumped from a FIFA world ranking of 141 to 88, surpassing Guatemala, Canada and El Salvador along the way. Currently ranked ninth in the region, Grenada will be looking to make a splash in its first-ever Gold Cup appearance.

THE REST OF THE REGION: Runners up in 2007, Mexico will be looking to return to the Gold Cup final in 2009 and will lead the charge out of Group C. Panama, who were runners up in 2005, will be looking to return to form but will have to fight off Guadaloupe, who surprised everyone in 2007 during their run to the semifinals, and Nicaragua. The battle for Group A is led by Costa Rica, who currently tops the Final Round 2010 World Cup qualifying standings. Caribbean champion Jamaica and the always dangerous El Salvador will be fighting to advance alongside Canada.

Complete Schedule

HOPING FOR ANOTHER TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA: After five of 10 games, the U.S. sits in second place in the CONCACAF region’s FIFA World Cup qualifying, two points behind Costa Rica. The difference between the top two teams in the standings is the result of a 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica suffered by the U.S. on June 3 on the artificial surface of San Jose’s Saprissa Stadium. Following the loss in Costa Rica, the U.S. defeated Honduras on June 6, in Chicago to continue an undefeated run in home qualifiers that dates to 2001. The road to South Africa started for the U.S. with a 9-0 aggregate win in a two-game series against Barbados, and continued in the fall as the U.S. posted a 5-1-0 record in the CONCACAF semifinal round in a group with Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and Cuba.

CONCACAF FINAL ROUND QUALIFYING UPDATE: The fourth and fifth match days of CONCACAF qualifying wrapped up, with the majority of games taking place on Saturday, June 6, and Wednesday, June 10. To get a head start on their departure to South Africa, FIFA granted the U.S. permission to move up their qualifier at Costa Rica to June 3. The top three teams in the hexagonal table automatically earn berths to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, while the fourth-place team will face a two-leg playoff against the fifth-place finisher in South America. The next set of games is slated for Aug. 12, when the U.S. travels in an attempt to earn their first victory against Mexico at the famed Estadio Azteca.

Standings and Schedule

BOB ON THE JOB: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 43 games under his belt, seeing more than 70 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 in full swing, a review of the body of work during the past two years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:

  • produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup
  • won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15)
  • defended the CONCACAF Gold Cup title and qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008)
  • won back-to-back games in Europe for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, @ Switzerland and March 26, 2008, @ Poland)
  • won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008, @ Poland)
  • played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2)
  • played matches on four continents
  • posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup

THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Record                            Record vs. …                                               Record when …
All-Time: 27-12-4          CONCACAF: 16-2-3, 44 GF, 14 GA         Leading at half: 18-2-1
Qualifying: 10-2-1         CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA              Losing at half: 1-4-1
Goals For: 82                UEFA: 6-4-0, 15 GF, 10 GA                        Tied at half: 8-6-2
Goals Against: 45         AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
Shutouts: 18                  CAF: 2-0-0, 4 GF, 0 GA

LAST TIME …
On the field for the USA
June 28, 2009 – Ellis Park – Johannesburg, South Africa; FIFA Confederations Cup Final
USA   2       Clint Dempsey 10, Landon Donovan 27
BRA   3       Luis Fabiano 46, 74, Lucio 84

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 21-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 15-Jay DeMerit, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 10-Landon Donovan, 22-Benny Feilhaber (2-Jonathan Bornstein, 75), 13 -Ricardo Clark (4-Conor Casey, 88), 8-Clint Dempsey; 9-Charlie Davies, 17-Jozy Altidore (16-Sacha Kljestan, 75)
Subs not used: 6-Heath Pearce, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 11-Marvell Wynne, 18-Brad Guzan, 19-Freddy Adu, 20-Jose Francisco Torres, 23-Luis Robles
Not available: 12-Michael Bradley (suspension), 14-Danny Califf (absent)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

BRA: 1-Julio Cesar; 2-Maicon, 3-Lucio, 14-Luisao, 16-Andre Santos (13-Daniel Alves, 66); 18-Ramires (7-Elano, 67), 8-Gilberto Silva, 10-Kaka, 5-Felipe Melo; 9-Luis Fabiano, 11-Robinho
Subs not used: 6-Kleber, 12-Victor, 15-Miranda, 17-Josue, 19-Julio Baptista, 20-Kleberson, 21-Alexandre Pato, 22-Nilmar, 23-Gomes
Not eligible: 4-Juan (injury)
Head Coach: Dunga

On the field for Grenada
Note: Grenada has since played two friendly matches from which box scores are not available. They fell to Barbados 5-0 on Feb. 8, and tied Antigua and Barbuda 2-2 on June 28.

Dec. 14, 2008 – National Stadium – Kingston, Jamaica – Caribbean Zone Gold Cup Qualifying Final
Jamaica   2       Luton Shelton 16, 70
Grenada    0

Lineups:
JAM: Donovan Ricketts; Shavar Thomas, Dane Richards (Omar Cummings, 71), Eric Vernan, Andy Williams (Roland Dean), Luton Shelton (Keneil Moodie, 87), Demar Phillips, Tyrone Marshall, Rudolph Austin, Jason Morrison, Oneil Thompson
Head coach: John Barnes

GRN: Desmond Noel; Shannon Phillips (Marvin Frederick, 46), Cassim Langaigne, Marc Marshall, Ricky Charles, Kithson Bain, Anthony Modeste, Dwayne Leo, Marcus Julien (Finbar Williams, 75), Kwan Baptiste (Junior Williams, 81)
Head coach: Anthony Modeste

USA vs. Grenada
June 20, 2004 – National Cricket Stadium – St. George’s, Grenada – FIFA World Cup Qualifying
USA            3      Landon Donovan 6, Josh Wolff 19, DaMarcus Beasley 77
Grenada    2      Jason Roberts 12, Ricky Charles 78

Lineups:
USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 12-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey (3-Greg Vanney, 88); 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (5-Kerry Zavagnin, 80), 14-Chris Armas, 21-Landon Donovan, 17-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Brian McBride, 16-Josh Wolff (8-Earnie Stewart, 63).
Subs not used: 24-Jonny Walker, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Steve Cherundolo, 11-Jovan Kirovski
Head coach: Bruce Arena

GRN: 1-Kellon Baptiste; 11-Anthony Modeste (capt.), 5-Franklin Baptiste, 14-Brian Benjamin, 15-Kennedy Phillip (21-Kitson Bain, 59), 10-Ricky Charles; 16-Byron Bubb (19-Ricky Morris, 89), 9-Shalrie Joseph (23-Arkenson Neckles, 65), 20-Anthony Bedeau, 12-Patrick Modeste; 30-Jason Roberts.
Subs not used: 31-Desmond Noel, 2-Eric George, 8-Nigel Bishop, 13-Everett Watts.

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