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U.S. Men's National Team Ready for Denmark on Saturday, Jan. 20


U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
Carson, California
January 19, 2007


HERE WE GO: It's less than 24 hours until the 2010 World Cup cycle officially gets underway when the U.S. faces Denmark at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 20 (tickets). For the first time in over eight years, a new man will lead the U.S. onto the field when Bob Bradley presides over the inaugural game of the 2007 schedule. The players have done their best to shake off the rust of a long offseason in a short amount of time, and their two weeks of hard work will be put to the test tomorrow afternoon. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. PT, and fans can get a first glimpse of the scene when Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda, Bruce Arena and Allen Hopkins start the coverage at 1:50 p.m. PT live on ESPN2. The match will also be shown via tape delay on Galavision, and fans can follow along online live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO: MR. CONRAD'S TRAINING CAMP: We all have seen what kind of personality Jimmy Conrad has with the columns he writes for ESPN. Now he steps in front of the camera a la his Studio 90 appearance during the World Cup. In the latest installment of all_access videos, Conrad provides a truly unique look at a day in the life in the MNT training camp. From breakfast to bed time, get a glimpse at how he works and plays - as you will see, he does a lot of both. It's all part of the exclusive all_access videos from training camp that you can find only at ussoccer.com.

PODCAST: DAN AND HEATH SCOUT DENMARK: With most of the players on the Denmark roster plying their trade at home, who better to ask about their strengths and weaknesses than the two guys who lineup against them and, in some cases, with them? ussoccer.com turned to Dan Califf (Aalborg BK) and Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjaelland) to provide a rather insightful analysis of the players and style of the Danish team. Find out how Denmark like to play, where you can expect their attacks to come from and how the U.S. should go about beating them in this podcast scouting report.

PODCAST PART II: Bornstein 1v1: For U.S. national team newcomer Jonathan Bornstein, home is truly where the heart is.  Born just 15 minutes from the Home Depot Center where he now plies his professional trade, he has spent his entire life scoring goals, if not respect.  Going virtually unnoticed at every level, the unfailingly optimistic 22-year old turned a fourth round selection by Chivas USA in the MLS Draft into Rookie of the Year honors in 2006, all the while embracing a position he had not played in his entire soccer life.  Now reaching the international level for the first time, Bornstein spoke to ussoccer.com about the role of his family, his familiarity and admiration of head coach Bob Bradley, and the value of setting and achieving his lifelong goals.

QUICK HITS

  • Of the 28 players in camp, only 18 players will dress for the game Saturday, including two goalkeepers. The maximum number of substitutions will be six
  • Brian Mullan has been diagnosed with severe tendonitis in his left ankle and has returned to Houston for treatment. Pat Noonan is suffering from a right knee strain and is not likely to be available for Saturday’s match
  • The U.S. and Denmark have met four times in their history, with the United States still in search of their first victory after posting a 0-1-3 record. The teams’ last meeting on Jan. 18, 2004, marked the first-ever visit by the U.S. MNT to The Home Depot Center. Despite out-shooting Denmark, 16-4, the U.S. only collected a 1-1 draw after a pair of penalties on either side of halftime delivered each side their only goal of the match
  • Chris Albright and Landon Donovan are the only holdovers from that meeting, each playing a part in the USA’s goal. It was Albright who earned the penalty after being held in the box, while Donovan converted to even the score
  • Those two are not the only ones tied to the Denmark series, however. At the first meeting on Jan. 30, 1993, a hopeful Mike Sorber (more on him later) came on as a substitute for Dominic Kinnear in the 2-2 draw in Tempe, Ariz. Sorber would go on to start every game of the 1994 FIFA World Cup
  • This is the USA’s third trip to The Home Depot Center. After the debut against Denmark, a Taylor Twellman hat trick led the charge in the USA’s 5-0 win against Norway on Jan. 29, 2006, marking the largest margin of victory for the U.S. against a European team and tying the largest margin of victory ever against a non-CONCACAF team (5-0 vs. China on April 4, 1992)
  • The 24-year-old Donovan, a two-time World Cup veteran, is the leading cap-winner on the roster, having made 84 international appearances for the senior team. He is the USA’s all-time leader in assists (22), and sits in third-place on the all-time goal scoring list with 25. Pablo Mastroeni, who played in five World Cup matches during 2002 and 2006, has collected exactly 50 caps during his six-year international career
  • Twenty-one players in the U.S. group have played in five games or fewer with the senior team, and 11 are looking for their debut appearance
  • Two players on the roster got new addresses in MLS during the offseason, both heading to the west coast. Two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Joe Cannon moved to the Los Angeles Galaxy in a trade with Colorado, while Nate Jaqua joins him after being shipped here from the expansion Toronto FC
  • All but two of the 28 players in camp are plying their trade in MLS, with defenders Dan Califf and Heath Pearce – both members of professional clubs in Denmark – the European representatives
  • D.C. United contributed the most players to the Carson camp, sending five (Boswell, Carroll, Gros, Namoff, Perkins). The local LA Galaxy sent the quartet of Albright, Cannon, Donovan, and Jaqua
  • Five members of the 2006 MLS Best XI have been invited, including World Cup veteran Jimmy Conrad. Those also collecting individual accolades this year include Bobby Boswell (Defender of the Year), Troy Perkins (Goalkeeper of the Year), and Jonathan Bornstein (Rookie of the Year). Two of the top 10 scorers in MLS will be in Carson: Landon Donovan (12) and Kenny Cooper
  • Six players had received invitations to the January camp but were unable to attend: Brian Ching (knee), Brad Davis (wedding), Clint Dempsey (transfer to Fulham), Alecko Eskandarian (knee), Brad Guzan (back), Taylor Twellman (hernia)

WHAT ABOUT BOB?: New U.S. head coach Bob Bradley’s credentials have been well established, starting with a record of wins unmatched in MLS history (124). In case you haven’t followed along, here’s the short version: Bradley, 48, spent 2006 as head coach of Chivas USA in Major League Soccer, where he was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. During his one season at Chivas USA, Bradley turned around a team with the worst record in the league in 2005, leading them into the playoffs as the third-place finisher in the Western Conference. Bradley has previously been on the U.S. National Team coaching staff as an assistant with the Under-23 Men’s National Team at the 1996 Olympics and also assisted at several winter training camps and games during Bruce Arena’s tenure as manager of the U.S. MNT. With 124 career victories, Bradley is the winningest coach in the history of MLS, winning one MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles with the Chicago Fire, including The Double in 1998 during the club’s inaugural season. During his 12-year MLS career as a head or an assistant coach, Bradley’s team’s qualified for the playoffs every year.

STARTING OVER (AGAIN): Each new four-year cycle brings opportunities for new blood and the first training camp of the campaign has seen many fresh faces. There are 21 players on the Carson roster with five caps or less, with 11 in search of their first-ever appearance with the senior team. With many of the USA’s young prospects involved in leagues across Europe as well as qualifying for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, that number is sure to grow as the team building continues. The pattern of evaluating new talent is a common one; in fact, a comparison between this group and the players who began training the very same day four years ago in Bradenton, Fla., reveals a striking consistency in the way the development process begins. A quick look inside the numbers:

                                                                2003        2007
Roster Size                                              26            29
Average Age                                             24.4        25
Average Caps                                         7.9           8.4
Players from Previous World Cup        6              5
Players on MLS Best XI                           6              5

THE BREEDING GROUND OF SUCCESS: The roster lays claim to several players with success at the youth national team level. Kyle Beckerman, an inaugural member of the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., played in all six games of the USA’s fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand and competed in qualifying for the 2004 Olympics. Justin Mapp, another Residency graduate and veteran of two World Youth Championships, started and played in all five matches with the U.S. U-20’s at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, scoring the game-winning goal against the Ivory Coast to help the squad advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Current MLS Cup champion Ricardo Clark has been a member of the U-20 and U-23 national teams, appearing on the USA’s 2003 World Youth Championship roster that reached the quarterfinals in the United Arab Emirates. Sacha Kljestan was a member of the U-20 side that advanced to the knockout phase of the 2005 World Youth Championship in Holland after defeating Argentina in their opening game. Altogether, 12 players on the training camp roster have been a part of a FIFA World Championship roster with the United States at either the World Cup, Olympics, U-20 or U-17 level.

ON THE SCHEDULE IN ‘07: After the Denmark match, the U.S. will host regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 7 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (Tickets) The U.S. is still finalizing the first of two matches on a double fixture date in March, the 25th still be determined while the USA has confirmed a rematch of their defeat of Guatemala in Frisco, Texas, for March 28 at Pizza Hut Park. The United States will compete in two major championships next summer. The three-time champions will first try to defend their title against 11 other teams at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scheduled from June 6-24 in several cities across the United States. Just a few days later, the U.S. will participate in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event.

NOWAK NAMED ASSISTANT COACH: U.S. Soccer has named Peter Nowak the assistant coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team. The 42-year-old Nowak, who coached D.C. United to an MLS Cup title in 2004, is being reunited with U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley, having captained the Chicago Fire for five years from 1998-2002 while Bradley served as head coach. A former captain of the Polish national team, Nowak’s professional career spanned 23 years and five countries. Nowak began his career in Poland before heading to Turkey, Switzerland and Poland. In 1998, Bradley brought him to the expansion MLS club Chicago Fire, where he won the 1998 MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup. For five years, Nowak patrolled the midfield for the Fire, being named to the MLS Best XI three times and leading the Fire to another Open Cup title in 2000. He was named head coach of D.C. United in 2004, where he led the team to a combined 42-27-25 regular season record, including winning the Supporters’ Shield for best regular season record in 2006 with a 15-7-10 record. In addition to his duties of helping prepare the U.S. team for Olympic qualifying for the 2008 Beijing games, Nowak began assisting Bradley with the full national team, beginning Jan. 4 in Carson, Calif.

MORE HELPING HANDS: Bob Bradley has supplemented his coaching staff for this camp with two faces very familiar to him. Former U.S. international midfielder Mike Sorber has joined the group in Carson and will stay throughout the month. The current Saint Louis University assistant coach earned 68 caps for the USA, starting every game of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Sorber played for Bradley in Chicago during their U.S. Open Cup winning season in 2000. Chivas USA goalkeeper coach Zak Abdel will train the goalkeepers. The ex-Egyptian national team goalkeeper previously assisted Sigi Schmid with the U.S. U-20 MNT that participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland.

OFFICALLY OFF THE MARKET: Female fans of the national team will be saddened to discover that Landon Donovan is now officially off the market. A year ago, the two-time U.S. Soccer Player of the Year became engaged to actress and long-time girlfriend Bianca Kajlich. A year later, the couple celebrated their nuptials at a New Year’s Eve ceremony in Santa Barbara, Calif. Congrats from everyone at the U.S. Soccer family to the newlyweds.

LAST TIME…

vs. Denmark
January 18, 2004 – The Home Depot Center, California– International Friendly

USA           1    Landon Donovan (pen)          76
Denmark  1    Thomas Roll-Larsen (pen)   28

USA: 1-Jonny Walker; 5-Chris Albright (2-Frankie Hejduk, 79), 23-Eddie Pope (capt.), 3-Nick Garcia, 15-Bobby Convey; 12-Steve Ralston (17-Chris Klein, 62), 8-Richard Mulrooney (13-Kerry Zavagnin, 71), 13-Chris Armas (11-John Wolyniec, 88), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 9-Ante Razov (16-Josh Wolff, 62), 10-Landon Donovan.

DEN: 1-Peter Skov-Jensen; 19-Ulrik Vinzents, 10-Per Nielsen, 2-Martin Albrechtsen (18-Bo Svensson, 58), 14-Asbjorn Sennels; 12-Martin Retov (17-Nicolai Stokholm, 47+), 20-Morten Wieghorst (capt.) (11-David Rasmussen, 74), 5-Morten Bisgaard (9-Jan Kristiansen, 79), 15-Michael Silberbauer (7-Steffen Hojer, 64); 13-Thomas Roll-Larsen, 3-Tommy Bechmann (4-Soren Borg, 58).

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