The United States, fresh from a thrilling last-minute victory over Chile, returns to action on February 12 with a first round match against Haiti at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The USA will close out the opening round against Peru at the Orange Bowl on Feb. 16.
Hosted by CONCACAF (also known as The Football Confederation), the Gold Cup is held every two years and features the best teams from North and Central America, the Caribbean, and select invited teams. The United States qualified automatically as hosts of the tournament, as did defending champions Mexico. Central American champions Costa Rica are joined by qualifiers Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala and Canada. The field is rounded out by the two most recent Carribean champions, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, and three invited teams: Peru, Colombia and South Korea.
"This is an important tournament to the CONCACAF countries and it is certainly important to the USA," head coach Bruce Arena noted. "It will provide us with the opportunity to test ourselves under tournament conditions against some of the teams we could see in World Cup qualifying."
The 1998 edition of the Gold Cup provided U.S. Soccer with one of its most thrilling moments when Kasey Keller's goalkeeping and Preki Radosavljevic's second-half goal propelled the USA to a shock 1-0 upset over Brazil in Los Angeles.
New to Arena's squad in 2000 is Ernie Stewart, who last appeared with the National Team on August 1, 1999 in the USA's 1-0 loss to Mexico in Mexico City. Currently playing in Holland's second division with NAC Breda, Stewart started four of the five games he played for the National Team in 1999.
Other European-based players summoned by Arena for the competition include Brad Friedel (Liverpool, England), Jovan Kirovski (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Claudio Reyna (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), and Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany).
After winning the first-ever Gold Cup title in 1991, the U.S. has seen arch-rival Mexico take the next three championships. Mexico and the U.S. have met a total of three times in the prestigious event, and played before 91,255 in the 1998 final, won by Mexico, 1-0.
Of the 25 players selected by Arena, 18 will be active for the matches. National Teams will be allowed, with the approval of the Football Confederation, to summon a player named on the list of seven reserve players in the event of serious injury or to replace a player who must return to his club team. Once a player leaves he is no longer eligible to participate in the tournament.
The U.S. Men will convene in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this Saturday (Feb. 5) to begin training for the competition.
|United States Men's National Team|
|Roster of Eligible Players * Gold Cup * February 12-27, 2000|
|Agoos, Jeff||D||5'10"||175||5/2/68||97/3||Dallas||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||8/27/72||10/1||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Brown, C.J.||D||6'0"||185||6/15/75||10/0||Hayward, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Deering, Chad||D/M||6'1"||165||9/2/70||14/1||Plano, Texas||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Fraser, Robin||D||6'1"||175||12/17/66||22/0||Denver, Co.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Friedel, Brad||GK||6'4"||202||5/18/71||61/0||Bay Village, Ohio||Liverpool (England)|
|Harkes, John||M||5'11"||165||3/8/67||90/6||Kearny, N.J.||N.E. Revolution (MLS)|
|Hejduk, Frankie||M||5'8"||155||8/5/74||24/4||Cardiff, Calif.||Bayer Leverkusen (Germ.)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||6/16/70||121/9||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Kirovski, Jovan||F||6'1"||175||3/18/76||38/6||Escondido, Calif.||Borussia Dort. (Germ.)|
|Lassiter, Roy||F||5'10"||160||3/9/69||30/4||Raleigh, N.C.||Miami Fusion (MLS)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||5/17/74||16/2||Cerritos, Calif.||S.J. Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Llamosa, Carlos||D||5'11"||166||6/30/69||6/0||Maspeth, N.Y.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||6/19/72||36/9||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Meola, Tony||GK||6'1"||205||2/21/69||91/0||Kearny, N.J.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Olsen, Ben||M||5'8"||140||5/3/77||10/2||Middletown, Penn.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||30/3||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Presthus, Tom||GK||6'4"||205||4/5/75||1/0||Dallas||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Razov, Ante||F||6'1"||175||3/2/74||5/0||Whittier, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Reyna, Claudio||M||5'9"||160||7/20/73||67/7||Springfield, N.J.||Glasgow Rangers (Scot.)|
|Stewart, Ernie||M||5'9"||145||3/28/69||56/6||Point Arena, Calif.||NAC Breda (Holland)|
|Talley, Carey||D||6'2"||180||8/8/76||0/0||Cordova, Tenn.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Vanney, Greg||D||5'11"||170||6/11/74||5/0||Tempe, Ariz.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Williams, Richie||M||5'5"||145||6/3/70||9/0||Middletown, N.J.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Wynalda, Eric||F||6'1"||172||6/9/69||103/33||Westlake Village, Calif.||Miami Fusion (MLS)|
|General Manager||Pam Perkins||Evanston, Ill.|
|Head Coach||Bruce Arena||Fairfax, Va.|
|Assistant Coach||Dave Sarachan||Herndon, Va.|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Milutin Soskic||Aliso Viejo, Calif.|
|Trainer||Ivan Pierra||Fullerton, Calif.|
|Equipment Manager||Charles Raycroft||Herndon, Va.|
|Press Officer||Rich Schneider||Chicago|