CHICAGO (Tuesday, March 18, 2003) - U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has chosen an 18-man roster that will face fellow World Cup finalists and current Asian Champions Japan at Seattle Seahawks Stadium on March 29 in Seattle. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Radio Unica. Fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
"This is our first opportunity since the World Cup to have mix of our foreign and domestic-based players," said Arena. "These matches are an important part of the process as we begin to develop a new team that will be prepared to compete in World Cup qualifying in 2004."
The Seattle camp reunites ten players from the U.S. squad that made an historic run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. Included in the roster is Washington native Kasey Keller, second on the USA’s all-time goalkeeping list for wins (31) and shutouts (28), who has collected an astonishing 13-0-4 record on home soil since 1998. Returning is the strike partnership of Brian McBride and Landon Donovan, who together scored four of the USA’s seven goals in Korea/Japan, including both goals in the USA’s 2-0 win against Mexico in the Round of 16. The camp also marks the reunion of the midfield corps of Pablo Mastroeni, John O’Brien, DaMarcus Beasley and Earnie Stewart, who last took the field together as starters in the 3-2 upset victory against Portugal in the USA’s opening match.
Once again, MLS players dominate the roster, with 14 of 18 men plying their trade in the United States. Two players from the 2002 MLS Best XI – defender Carlos Bocanegra and goalkeeper Tim Howard – make their fourth appearance for the U.S. men this year. Bocanegra has registered his first two goals in a U.S. uniform in 2003, netting the game-winner in the 4-0 dismantling of Canada in Ft. Lauderdale, and the first goal in the 2-1 win against Jamaica in Kingston.
The Columbus Crew makes the largest contribution to the roster, sending four players to Seattle. Along with McBride, newly signed defender Frankie Hejduk makes his return to the U.S. lineup for the first time in 2003. MetroStars defender Eddie Pope could play his first competitive match since the end of the 2002 MLS season, after completing a four-month rehabilitation following knee surgery.
The United States and Japan have met only one time at the senior international level, with Japan capturing a 3-1 victory on March 14, 1993 in Tokyo. The countries most recently clashed in the quarterfinals of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The United States, facing a Japanese side that included European stars Hidetoshi Nakata (Parma -Italy) and Junichi Inamoto (Fulham –England), captured a dramatic 5-4 win in penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation, advancing the USA into the medal round.
Advance tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $70 are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, at the Seahawks Stadium ticket office, by phone (Seattle 206-628-0888; Tacoma 253-627-8497), and online at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can order through U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
The USA is continuing its preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer. In June, the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the USA will defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.
U.S. Men's National Team Roster
|Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5'7"||126||05/24/82||18/3||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Bocanegra, Carlos||D||6'0"||170||05/25/79||10/2||Alto Loma, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Buddle, Edson||F||6'1"||170||05/21/81||0/0||New Rochelle, N.Y.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Cherundolo, Steve||D||5'6"||145||02/19/79||11/0||San Diego, Calif.||Hannover 96 (Germany)|
|Convey, Bobby||M||5'8"||150||05/27/83||6/0||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Donovan, Landon||F||5'8"||148||03/04/82||32/7||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Garcia, Nick||D||5'10"||160||04/09/79||3/0||Plano, Texas||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Hejduk, Frankie||D||5'8"||155||08/05/74||44/5||Cardiff, Calif.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Howard, Tim||GK||6'3"||210||03/06/79||5/0||North Brunswick, N.J.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Keller, Kasey||GK||6'2"||190||11/29/69||60/0||Lacey, Wash.||Tottenham Hotspur (England)|
|Kirovski, Jovan||F||6'1"||175||03/18/76||54/7||Escondido, Calif.||Birmingham City (England)|
|Klein, Chris||M||6'1"||180||01/04/76||10/2||St. Louis, Mo.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Martino, Kyle||M||5'10"||144||02/19/81||1/0||Westport, Conn.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Mastroeni, Pablo||D/M||5'10"||170||08/26/76||17/0||Phoenix, Ariz.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||06/19/72||65/20||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|O’Brien, John||M||5'9"||150||08/29/77||20/2||Playa del Rey, Calif.||Ajax (Holland)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||55/5||High Point, N.C.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Stewart, Earnie||M/F||5'9"||145||03/28/69||84/15||Point Arena, Calif.||D.C. United (MLS)|
- U.S. Men’s National Team Staff -
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (Fairfax, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Myernick (Denver)
Assistant Coach: Curt Onalfo (Oak Hill, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Milutin Soskic (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Strength Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Charlottesville, Va.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Evanston, Ill.)
Trainers: Dave Andrews (Seattle)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Joe Ahearn (Chicago)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)