CHICAGO (Thursday, February 26, 2004) - U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has selected 18 players to face fellow CONCACAF World Cup qualifying participant Haiti on Saturday, March 13 at The Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. Kickoff for the match is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be shown live on HDNet. The match will also be available to DirecTV viewers via pay-per-view, and fans can follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.The 18-player roster has a distinctly MLS flavor, with 17 of the participants playing in the USA’s top domestic league. Only Fulham FC defender Carlos Bocanegra will represent the MNT’s foreign-based contingent. The team will arrive in Miami on Sunday, March 7, with training scheduled to begin the following day.
“This is a group of players who continue to build upon their experiences at the international level,” said Arena. “With World Cup qualifying only four months away, our focus continues to be on developing a deep and experienced roster for the two-year qualifying process. These games give our MLS players a chance to prove themselves at this level.”
The U.S. side has a strong blend of experience and youth, with half of the roster having at least 20 caps for the senior team. Eight of ten MLS teams are represented, with the Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy and MetroStars each contributing a trio of players. Long time national team stalwart and Fire captain Chris Armas is joined by 2003 MLS MVP finalist Ante Razov and DaMarcus Beasley, the USA’s Chevrolet Man of the Match in the 1-1 draw against Denmark on Jan. 18. Joining team captain Eddie Pope are MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker and forward John Wolyniec, who each earned their first caps for the U.S. in the Denmark match.
San Jose Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan continues to lead the U.S. attack, the 2003 Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year posting 15 goals in 46 appearances for the MNT. Meantime, D.C. United midfielder Bobby Convey continues his indefatigable service to the national team programs, having played in 15 of 16 matches for the senior team in 2003 while also captaining the U-20 side to a fifth-place finish at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
The Sunshine State is well represented, with several players registering time in Florida on their soccer résumés. New England midfielder Steve Ralston earned 1997 MLS Rookie of the Year honors as a member of the Tampa Bay Mutiny, after attending Florida International University. Rapids defender Ritchie Kotschau spent two seasons with the Mutiny, one of only seven players in the league to appear in all 32 regular season matches in 2000. Further south, U.S. World Cup defender Pablo Mastroeni was part of the 2001 MLS regular season champion Miami Fusion. Mastroeni played 11 times for the U.S. in 2003, now with 25 international caps to his credit.A pair of players could make their first domestic appearance for the MNT since joining the MLS ranks if they appear in the match in Miami. Dallas Burn defender and Ft. Lauderdale native Cory Gibbs is coming off a solid performance in the USA’s 1-0 loss against Holland, having spent much of the evening neutralizing Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistlerooy. Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jovan Kirovski returns to the national team fold after playing five matches in 2003, scoring the USA’s game-winning goal against Venezuela on March 29 in Seattle. Kirovski also scored the game-winning goal in the USA’s last meeting against Haiti, a 3-0 win in the Gold Cup on Feb. 12, 2000.
The U.S. begins CONCACAF qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on June 13, 2004, against the winner of the home-and-away series between Grenada and Guyana, with their first match scheduled to be played in the United States. After Haiti, the U.S. MNT travels to Poland on March 31, and has game dates set for April 28 and May 26 at sites and against opponents still to be finalized. Following the MNT World Cup qualifiers on June 13 and June 20 against either Grenada or Guyana, the U.S. will meet Poland in a domestic friendly on July 11. Should the U.S. advance through their preliminary qualifying round, their six-game, four-team semifinal round competition will begin in August.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||08/27/72||52/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5'8"||145||05/24/82||29/4||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Bocanegra, Carlos||D||6'0"||170||05/25/79||21/4||Alto Loma, Calif.||Fulham FC (England)|
|Califf, Dan||D||6'1"||175||03/17/80||11/0||Orange, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Convey, Bobby||M/D||5'8"||150||05/27/83||20/1||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Donovan, Landon||F||5'8"||148||03/04/82||46/15||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Gibbs, Cory||D/M||6'3"||178||01/14/80||8/0||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Hartman, Kevin||GK||6'1"||174||05/24/74||1/0||Palos Verdes, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Kirovski, Jovan||F||6'1"||175||03/18/76||59/9||Escondido, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Kotschau, Ritchie||D||5'10"||175||11/22/75||0/0||Levittown, N.Y.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Mastroeni, Pablo||D/M||5'10"||170||08/26/76||25/0||Phoenix, Ariz.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Mulrooney, Richard||M/D||5'9"||160||11/03/76||13/0||Memphis, Tenn.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Noonan, Pat||F||6'0"||170||08/02/80||0/0||Baldwin, Mo.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||58/5||High Point, N.C.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Ralston, Steve||M||5'9"||160||06/14/74||15/2||St. Louis, Mo.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Razov, Ante||F||6'1"||175||03/02/74||23/6||Whittier, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Walker, Jonny||GK||6'3"||180||09/13/74||1/0||Memphis, Tenn.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Wolyniec, John||F||6'1"||172||01/24/77||1/0||Staten Island, N.Y.||MetroStars (MLS)|
Goalkeepers (2): Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jonny Walker (MetroStars);
Defenders (5): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Ritchie Kotschau (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Pope (MetroStars);
Midfielders (7): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Richard Mulrooney (San Jose Earthquakes), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution);
Forwards (4): Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ante Razov (Chicago Fire), John Wolyniec (MetroStars).
- 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 Coach: Milutin Soskic (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Fitness Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Charlottesville, Va.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Los Angeles)
Trainers: Jaime Rojas (Chicago)
Jacob Joachim (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Ryan Maxfield (Los Angeles)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)