The matches mark the first of six the United States will play in Group "E" qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. After the two road games in Guatemala and Costa Rica, the USA will return home for three consecutive games in the United States. The Men's National Team will face Barbados at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on August 16; Guatemala at Washington D.C.'s RFK Stadium on September 3; and Costa Rica at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on October 11.
The United States will play its final Group "E" semifinal qualifying match in Barbados, at either the National Stadium or the Kensington Oval in St. Michael, on November 15. The top two teams in each of the three qualifying groups will advance to the next stage of qualifying, where six teams will battle for the three CONCACAF spots in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea.
"These are the games we've been looking at since I took the job of head coach," Arena said of the upcoming matches. "Everything we've done as a team in the last 18 months has revolved around preparing ourselves for World Cup qualifying, and I expect a very tough test from our first two games on the road."
The selection of Tab Ramos, 33, marks the midfielder's first call-up to an Arena-led USA squad, and his first appearance with the team since the 1998 World Cup in France. A gifted playmaker who has represented his country on 78 occasions, Ramos scored a spectacular goal against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying in 1997, and scored his first international goal against the Central American nation on April 30, 1989.
"Tab has shown that he can definitely add something to the National Team. His recent form with his club team has been outstanding, and he has experience playing World Cup qualifiers on the road, so he's a natural fit for the team."
Ten of the 18 players on the squad named by Arena play for Major League Soccer clubs in the United States, with three-time league champ D.C. United and Western Division powerhouse Los Angeles Galaxy providing five of the ten American-based players. Defenders Eddie Pope and Jeff Agoos and midfielder Ben Olsen will represent D.C. United, while defender Robin Fraser and forward Cobi Jones will represent the Galaxy.
The balance of the roster for the first two qualifying matches played professionally in Europe last season. Veteran captain Claudio Reyna (Rangers, Scotland) leads a group that includes goalkeepers Kasey Keller (Rayo Vallecano, Spain) and Brad Friedel (Liverpool, England), and defenders David Regis (FC Metz, France) and Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany). The midfield includes Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England), Tony Sanneh (Hertha Berlin, Germany), and Earnie Stewart (NAC Breda, Holland).
The match against Guatemala, the USA's first step on the road to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, will be televised live on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET) on Sunday, July 16. The July 23 game in Costa Rica will also be shown live on ESPN2 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The United States team will begin training for the two important matches on Monday, July 10, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After departing for Guatemala on Friday, July 14, and returning after the match on Sunday, the team will again train in Ft. Lauderdale for the week leading up to the Costa Rica match.
|United States Men's National Team|
World Cup Qualifying Roster
July 16, 2000 vs. Guatemala
July 23, 2000 vs. Costa Rica
|Agoos, Jeff||D||5'10"||175||5/02/68||101/3||Dallas||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||8/27/72||17/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Deering, Chad||D/M||6'1"||165||9/02/70||16/1||Plano, Texas||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Fraser, Robin||D||6'1"||175||12/17/66||26/0||Denver, Colo.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Friedel, Brad||GK||6'4"||202||5/18/71||65/0||Bay Village, Ohio||Liverpool (England)|
|Hejduk, Frankie||M||5'8"||155||8/05/74||27/5||Cardiff, Calif.||Bayer Leverkusen (Germ.)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||6/16/70||129/13||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Keller, Kasey||GK||6'2"||190||11/29/69||42/0||Lacey, Wash.||Rayo Vallecano (Spain)|
|Kreis, Jason||M||5'10"||155||12/29/72||13/1||Omaha, Neb.||Dallas Burn (MLS)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||5/17/74||22/2||Cerritos, Calif.||Fulham FC (England)|
|Olsen, Ben||M||5'8"||140||5/03/77||17/3||Middletown, Penn.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||32/3||High Point, N.C.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Ramos, Tab||M||5'7"||140||9/21/66||78/7||Kearny, N.J.||NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS)|
|Razov, Ante||F||6'1"||175||3/02/74||9/2||Whittier, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Regis, David||D||5'11"||160||12/02/68||11/0||Valenciennes, France||F.C. Metz (France)|
|Reyna, Claudio||M||5'9"||160||7/20/73||74/8||Springfield, N.J.||Glasgow Rangers (Scot.)|
|Sanneh, Tony||M||6'2"||160||6/01/71||10/1||St. Paul, Minn.||Hertha Berlin (Germany)|
|Stewart, Earnie||M||5'9"||145||3/28/69||59/7||Point Arena, Calif.||NAC Breda (Holland)|
|Head Coach||Bruce Arena||Fairfax, Va.|
|Assistant Coach||Dave Sarachan||Herndon, Va.|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Milutin Soskic||Aliso Viejo, Calif.|
|General Manager||Pam Perkins||Evanston, Ill.|
|Team Administrator||Maria Hernandez||Chicago|
|Team Doctor||Dr. Bert Mandelbaum||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Athletic Trainer||Jim Hashimoto||Wilmington, Del.|
|Athletic Trainer||Anthony Garcia||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Equipment Manager||Aaron Barrett||Chicago|
|Press Officer||Rich Schneider||Chicago|