CHICAGO (August 23, 2007) — Two-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho headlines an all-star cast as Brazil head coach Dunga announced their 22-man roster for the upcoming “Clash of Champions” against the United States on Sunday, September 9 in Chicago. The five-time World Champions will be making their first-ever visit to the Windy City, and will bring 18 players from the roster that defeated Argentina, 3-0, to capture the 2007 Copa America.
Kickoff at Soldier Field is set for 3 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley will announce the U.S. roster next week.
More than 20,000 tickets have been sold in the first few days for this unique event. Tickets starting at $40 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, f.y.e., Hot Tix, and Ritmo Latino). Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com (download) or call 312-528-1290.
Brazil will be making a rare trip to the United States with their full roster as they begin preparations for the start of South American World Cup qualifying in October, led by two-time FIFA World Player of the Year and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho. The midfield magician put his legendary skills on display Wednesday night, recording a goal and an assist in Brazil’s 2-0 win against Algeria. He has scored 40 goals for Barcelona during the last two seasons, and scored two goals as part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side.
A.C. Milan midfielder Kaká, who led all scorers in the 2007 UEFA Champions league with 10 goals to help Milan win their seventh European championship crown, is regarded as one of the most superb passers in the world. Real Madrid striker Robinho scored 14 goals in helping his side capture the 2006-07 Spanish league title, and ended as the leading scorer in the 2007 Copa America with six goals. His fellow Real Madrid striker, Julio Baptista, and Sevilla defender Daniel Alves scored two of the three goals in the 3-0 Copa America championship win against Argentina.
Former Brazilian international midfielder Dunga took the reigns following the 2006 World Cup, and has amassed a 12-2-3 record since then, including a pair of 3-0 victories against archrivals and No. 2 ranked Argentina.
Brazil Roster vs. United States
GOALKEEPERS (2): Doni (Roma), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
DEFENDERS (8): Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Alex Silva (São Paulo), Lúcio (Bayern Munich), Juan (Roma), Alex (Chelsea), Kleber (Santos), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin),
MIDFIELDERS (8): Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Mineiro (Hertha Berlin), Josué (VfL Wolfsburg), Fernando (Bordeaux), Elano (Manchester City), Kaká (AC Milan), Julio Baptista (Real Madrid), Diego (Werder Bremen)
FORWARDS (4): Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Robinho (Real Madrid), Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow), Afonso (SC Heerenveen)
This unique game pits the champions of CONCACAF against the champions of CONMEBOL after both teams captured their confederation championships earlier this summer. In Maracaibo, Venezuela, in July, Brazil dominated in a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Argentina in the final to collect their eighth Copa America crown. Goals by Julio Baptista and Daniel Alves paced the Seleção, the victory elevating Brazil back to the No. 1 position in the FIFA World Rankings. With 60,000 fans on hand at a sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago, the United States defeated Mexico, 2-1, in the final to secure their second-consecutive Gold Cup title. Landon Donovan netted the equalizer and Benny Feilhaber’s thunderous strike became the game-winner as the U.S. extended their unbeaten home streak against Mexico to nine matches over eight years.
The U.S. has only one victory in the lifetime series against Brazil, holding a 1-11-0 record overall in meetings dating back to 1930. The lone win came on Feb. 10, 1998, in Los Angeles during the Gold Cup, with Preki Radosavljevic tallying the game-winner and Kasey Keller turning in a magical performance which Brazilian legend Romario described as “the greatest performance I have ever seen from a goalkeeper.” The teams last met in the 2003 edition of the Gold Cup, goals by Diego and AC Milan midfielder Kaka delivering Brazil a thrilling 2-1 golden goal victory in overtime in the tournament semifinals.
By virtue of their respective titles, both the USA and Brazil will compete in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, a tournament which is contested by the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships (CAF, CONMEBOL, UEFA, AFC, OFC, CONCACAF), along with the FIFA World Cup champion (Italy) and the host country (South Africa).
After the Brazil clash, the U.S. then takes advantage of a double FIFA date in October, first facing Catalonia on Oct. 14 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain, and then traveling to face Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel. Both October matches will also be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.