2006 FIFA World Cup Update
June 20, 2006
LOOKING FOR THREE POINTS & SOME HELP: After a physically and emotionally draining 1-1 draw with Italy in the second game of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. is looking to recover physically and harness the emotional energy used in one of the greatest games in U.S. Soccer history. For the U.S. to advance out of Group E, they must win and have the Italy vs. Czech Republic result fall just right (scenarios below). That puts the focus squarely on Ghana, who shocked the Czech Republic with a 2-0 victory in their last outing. The U.S. and Ghana square off with everything at stake on Thursday, June 22, at 4 p.m. local time at Frankenstadion in Nuremberg, Germany. The match will be broadcast live at 9:55 a.m. ET in the U.S. on ESPN and Univision, and fans can also follow along live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
GROUP OF STEEL: The U.S. plays in the only group in the World Cup where not a single team has sealed their fate going into the final game of group play (meaning no one has clinched a spot in the next round and all four teams are still alive). It is truly “The Group of Steel.” Find out who dubbed Group E “The Group of Steel” in Center Circle.
USA 0, Czech Republic 3
Italy 2, Ghana 0
Italy 1, USA 1
Czech Republic 0, Ghana 2
Czech Republic vs. Italy 4 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
Ghana vs. USA 4 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
The U.S. can advance if any of the following scenarios occur on Thursday:
a. The U.S. beats Ghana, and Italy beats the Czech Republic
b. The U.S. beats Ghana by five or more goals, and Italy ties the Czech Republic
c. The U.S. beats Ghana by four goals, Italy ties the Czech Republic, and the U.S. outscores the Czech Republic by three or more goals
d. The U.S. beats Ghana, the Czech Republic beats Italy, and the combined margins of victory are six or more goals
e. The U.S. beats Ghana, the Czech Republic beats Italy, the combined margins of victory are five goals, and the U.S. scores three or more goals than Italy
• The U.S. departed from Hamburg to Nuremberg on Tuesday, June 20, after training at HSV in the morning (photos). The team will train at Frankenstadion on Wednesday afternoon
• Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope will serve suspensions against Ghana for the red cards they received on June 17 vs. Italy. The remaining 21 players will dress and are available for selection. U.S. Soccer has yet to receive any further notification of additional game suspensions for Mastroeni or Pope
• Claudio Reyna and Oguchi Onyewu are carrying yellow cards into the match. If they receive a yellow card in the match vs. Ghana, and the U.S. advances, they will be suspended for the Round of 16
• During his eight-year tenure with the national team, Bruce Arena has compiled an overall record of 71-29-28, with a 2-3-2 record in World Cup play
• Three players on the U.S. roster are tied for the most appearances in 2006, with Eddie Johnson, Landon Donovan and Josh Wolff both appearing in 10 of the team’s 12 matches. Pope and Donovan have the most starts (9). Donovan holds the lead in minutes played, reporting for 835 minutes during 10 matches
• The U.S. has never faced Ghana at the full senior level
• Ghana is appearing in its first FIFA World Cup, but has twice won the FIFA U-17 World Cup (1991 & 1995) and twice finished as runner-up at the FIFA U-20 World Cup (1993 & 2001)
• Ghana dropped their opener, 2-0, to Italy, but won their second match, 2-0, vs. the Czech Republic.
• Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari scored Ghana’s goals vs. the Czech Republic, but both will miss the match vs. the U.S. due to receiving yellow cards in Ghana’s first two games
• Frankenstadion, the home of FC Nuremberg, has already hosted three matches in the tournament. Two CONCACAF teams have put forth strong performances in this venue, with Mexico beating Iran, 3-1, and Trinidad & Tobago hanging scoreless with England until the 83rd minute before falling 0-2. The third match in the venue was a scoreless tie between Japan and Croatia
• Seven U.S. players have made their World Cup debuts through two games: Johnson, Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad, Bobby Convey and Clint Dempsey. On June 12, Cherundolo, Convey and Onyewu were in the starting lineup, and Johnson came on as a substitute. Dempsey and Bocanegra started on June 17, while Conrad came on as a substitute
• Arena has used a total of 17 players on his 23-man roster through the first two games. In 2002, Arena used a total of 18 players through the first two games
• The 1-1 tie with Italy was the first World Cup point earned by the U.S. on European soil. The U.S. is now 0-8-1 in World Cup games in Europe
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the three own goals that have benefited the U.S. in the World Cup are second only to the four own goals put in by Italian opponents. Interestingly, the U.S. has advanced out of their group in both 1994 (Colombia) and 2002 (Portugal) when they have had the benefit of an own goal
• Reyna, Pope and Brian McBride are tied for third on the list of U.S. players with the most appearances in the World Cup. Each has nine, along with Tab Ramos. Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart have the record with 11 each
• Both Reyna and Kasey Keller are making their fourth appearances on a World Cup roster. Keller is the only player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup to have been included on the roster during Italia ‘90
• Overall, 11 players have appeared on a World Cup roster prior to 2006, with 10 having played in at least one World Cup match prior to 2006
• McBride is the only player in U.S. history to score goals in multiple World Cups (1998, 2002). His three career World Cup goals are good for second place on the all-time U.S. chart, one behind Bert Patenaude who scored four in the 1930 World Cup. With 30 career goals in all competitions, McBride is four behind Eric Wynalda
• At 24 years old, Donovan is already the leading assist man in U.S. history (23), and is third on the scoring list with 25 goals
• Seven players on the roster have scored at least one goal in 2006, with Dempsey leading the pack with a trio after scoring the insurance goal against Venezuela, his fifth for the senior team. Three players have recorded a pair in Pope, Brian Ching and Ben Olsen. Olsen netted the USA’s lone goal in the 1-1 draw against Jamaica on April 11 in Cary; and Pope scored in back-to-back games for the first time in his international career, against Norway and Japan, respectively. Cherundolo got his first-ever goal for the national team in the 4-1 loss to Germany, McBride tallied No. 30 in his career with the game-winner against Latvia, and Johnson rounds out the ’06 goal scorers
• As in 2002, the U.S. made two changes to the roster prior to the start of the tournament. Chris Albright replaced Frankie Hejduk just one day after the team was announced when Hejduk suffered a torn ACL. Gregg Berhalter then came in for Cory Gibbs after the defender injured his knee
RED, WHITE (BLACK) AND BLUE; McBRIDE’S TOUGHNESS LEADS USA: For the vast audience of the World Cup, perhaps unfamiliar with McBride’s hard-nosed style of play, Saturday offered a fitting introduction to the U.S. forward. After a stray elbow caught him just under the left eye, he lay stricken on the field of Fritz-Walter-Stadion, likely horrifying those watching the former Columbus Crew player for the first time. However, for American fans, McBride’s return to the pitch was never in doubt. Sure enough, after some handy work by the American medical staff, McBride sprinted back onto the field and continued to lead the U.S. attack for the remaining 60 minutes. Find out why McBride relishes the physical play or hear Arena explain his importance to the USA’s success (listen).
ARENA PLEASED AS DONOVAN, U.S., ANSWER THE CALL vs. ITALY: Heading into the USA’s match vs. Italy, Arena challenged his team as a whole and several players individually, including Donovan. The USA’s all-time assist leader responded, playing a major role in the USA’s gutsy 1-1 draw. Find out how Donovan answered the call, or listen to the podcast as Arena and Donovan discuss one of the greatest results in U.S. Soccer history.
STUDIO 90: Since the U.S. MNT has arrived in Germany, ussoccer.com's Studio 90 has been providing fans with all the behind-the-scenes access they could ever have dreamed. An informative news and interview show, Studio 90 has given fans an inside look at the team's trip to Germany by providing highlights from training and daily press conferences, and conducting in-studio player interviews that dissect the team and its personalities as they make their way through the World Cup. A new episode of Studio 90 will be available every day during the U.S. Men's journey through the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Look for each day's episode at http://studio90.ussoccer.com/ in the early evening (ET).
BITS, LAUGHS OUTTAKES…GERMANY: ussoccer.com brings you photo galleries, videos, podcasts and even a daily web show, but there are still some things that slip through the cracks. For those moments, ussoccer.com presents “Bits, Laughs, Outtakes … Germany,” the 24-hour-a-day blog that brings you those moments when the camera isn’t rolling.
PHOTO GALLERIES FROM GERMANY: U.S. Soccer continues the tradition of bringing you the best sights of the U.S. MNT camp in Germany. Check out ussoccer.com’s latest photo galleries that include extended coverage of the USA’s thrilling 1-1 draw vs. Italy plus photos from each training session and a few other team events.
PODCASTS: Hear how the U.S. Men are faring in Germany straight from the coaches and players themselves in ussoccer.com’s podcasts [Subscribe | Archive]. Listen to post-match reaction, scouting reports and daily press conferences with Bruce Arena and select players.