- Matchday 9 of Final Round Qualifying Kicks Off at 7 p.m. MT in San Jose;
- Match to Be Broadcast on a One-Hour Delay on ESPN2 Beginning at 10 p.m. ET;
- Fans Can Follow Live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker
MIAMI (October 3, 2005) — U.S. Men’s National Team Manager Bruce Arena has selected 18 players to prepare for the penultimate World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Saturday, October 8 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Kickoff at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa is set for 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast on a one-hour tape delay on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
The U.S. sits in first place in the final round hexagonal with a 6-1-1 record, becoming the first team in CONCACAF to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup after defeating Mexico 2-0 on Sept. 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Costa Rica, currently in third place and five points ahead of Guatemala, can secure their place in the World Cup with a victory against the United States. (For a complete look at 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region, visit the competitions page at ussoccer.com.)
"Obviously our main goal has been accomplished, which was qualifying for the 2006 World Cup," said Arena, who saw the U.S. qualify first from their region for the first time in 71 years. "However, the last two games in this round are extremely important, not only from a competitive aspect, but also in evaluating players as we look towards the vital preparations for the 2006 World Cup."
Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard will make his first appearance for the United States in the final round hexagonal, as well as his first for the team in 2005. The 2003 English Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year has one qualifying cap to his credit, earning his fifth career shutout for the MNT in the 2-0 win against El Salvador on Sept. 4, 2004, in Foxboro, Mass.
The roster features four starters from the USA’s last meeting against Costa Rica, a 3-0 U.S. win on June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, led by PSV Eindhoven midfielder DaMarcus Beasley. The 22-year old is the leading capwinner in 2006 qualifying on the roster, having started 12 matches and scoring four goals. He continues to add to his career-best scoring tally in a single year with the full team, having recorded four goals and four assists. Veteran defender Eddie Pope returns to the U.S. fold after missing the last three qualifiers, and with 72 appearances to his credit, ranks as the USA’s most experienced player in the squad. Carlos Bocanegra and Bobby Convey have both become regulars for the first XI at Fulham and Reading, respectively.
Two other veterans called into the match are defender Oguchi Onyewu of Standard de Liege in Belgium and midfielder Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids. Surprisingly, Onyewu will be looking for just his 11th all-time cap this weekend following his sparkling performance in the team's victory over Mexico last month. Mastroeni has 42 caps to his credit and wore the captain's armband for the U.S. in their goalless draw in Guatemala on Sept. 7.
The U.S. roster boasts Major League Soccer’s leading marksman in striker Taylor Twellman, whose 16 goals top the MLS scoring table. The San Jose Earthquakes contribute the largest contingent, sending four players to Miami. Brian Ching is back in the squad, already with four qualifying appearances under his belt and two goals, including the game-tying finish in the 89th minute of the 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Aug. 18, 2004. Defenders Wade Barrett and Danny Califf also make their return, while Ricardo Clark is the only player on the U.S. roster yet to receive his first cap with the full team.
The U.S. has a lifetime record of 11-9-4 against Costa Rica, but has never won on the road and holds a 0-5-1 record in six qualifying appearances in Costa Rica. In their last 10 meetings, the U.S. holds a 6-3-1 advantage against the Ticos, with all six wins coming in the U.S. and all three losses coming in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The U.S. team began training Monday morning in Miami. After the Costa Rica match on Oct. 8, the team will depart directly for Boston in advance of their final World Cup qualifier against Panama (tickets). That match takes place Wednesday, October 12 in Foxboro, Mass. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
U.S. Roster vs. Costa Rica
ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2) – Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Tim Howard (Manchester United)
Defenders (8) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Wade Barrett (San Jose Earthquakes), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Lewis (Leeds United), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders (5) –DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), Ricardo Clark (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)
Forwards (3) –Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Santino Quaranta, (D.C. United), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
--U.S. Men's National Team Staff--
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (Fairfax, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Myernick (Denver)
Assistant Coach: Curt Onalfo (Fairfax, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coaches: Milutin Soskic (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
Fitness Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Charlottesville, Va.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Los Angeles)
Trainers: Jim Hashimoto (Wilmington, Del.), Bruce Snell (Seattle)
Doctor: Bert Mandlebaum (Los Angeles)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Ryan Maxfield (Los Angeles)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)