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U.S. U-23 MNT Set to Face Cameroon in Final Olympic Warmup


U.S. Men’s Olympic Team
ING Cup - Hong Kong
Pre-Game Notes
August 1, 2008


SETTLED IN KOWLOON: The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team is set for their second match of the ING Cup in Hong Kong, taking on Cameroon on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET). The team has been training in Hong Kong for nearly a week, arriving on July 25 in the Kowloon section of the city. The U.S. is coming off of a scoreless draw against Ivory Coast in its first game of the four-team tournament, while Cameroon fell to the Netherlands, 2-0, in their opener. Fans can follow Saturday’s match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

A NEW SCORING SYSTEM: To encourage an offensive style at the ING Cup, tournament organizers have given an added incentive to attacking teams. In addition to the three points for a win and one point for a draw, teams will earn one additional point for every goal they score. In other words, if a team wins 4-2, they earn a total of seven points for that game (three for the win, four for the goals). The losing team in that scenario would also earn two points for two goals scored.

ING Cup Standings
Team  GP   W    L    T   GF  GA   GD    Pts.
NED     1      1    0    0     2      0    +2      5
USA      1      0    0    1     0      0     --       1
CIV       1      0    0    1      0      0     --       1
CAM     1      0    1    0     0       2     -2      0

ING Cup Schedule/Results
Date           Match-up/Result                           Time (Local/ET)
July 30       USA 0, Ivory Coast 0
                    Netherlands 2, Cameroon 0
Aug. 2         USA vs. Cameroon                        5 p.m. / 5 a.m. 
                    Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast         7:30 p.m./7:30 a.m.

THE FULL ROSTER: All 16 of the USA’s field players saw action on Wednesday night against Ivory Coast, as Peter Nowak took full advantage of the six substitutions allowed at the ING Cup. With three group games in seven days during the first round of the Olympics, Nowak will make sure that all 18 of his players are prepared to play at any time.

2008 U.S. MEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (4): Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (Monaco), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Brian McBride (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

U.S. Men's Olympic Team Upcoming Schedule
Date        Opponent             Kickoff/Results                    Competition
July 30    Ivory Coast           0-0 T                                       ING Cup
Aug. 2     Cameroon            5 p.m. / 5 a.m ET                 ING Cup
Aug. 7     Japan                     5 p.m. / 5 a.m. ET               2008 Beijing Olympics
Aug. 10   Netherlands         7:45 p.m. / 7:45 a.m. ET    2008 Beijing Olympics
Aug. 13   Nigeria                   5 p.m. / 5 a.m. ET               2008 Beijing Olympics

THE ING CUP: The four-team ING Cup, which kicked off with two games on Wednesday night, will conclude with a double-header on Saturday evening at Hong Kong Stadium. The U.S. will battle Cameroon at 5 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) before the Netherlands and the Ivory Coast round out the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. start time.

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. and Cameroon squared off during the 2000 Olympic Games, drawing 1-1 in front of nearly 25,000 fans outside of Sydney. Peter Vagenas scored the lone goal for the Americans that day, and the point earned contributed to the USA’s run up to the semifinals.
  • Cameroon went on to win Olympic Gold in Sydney 2000, beating Spain in penalty kicks in the Gold Medal Match.
  • The two nations have met just once previously at the full international level, a scoreless tie at the FIFA Confederations Cup on June 23, 2003 in Lyon, France.
  • Midfielder Dax McCarty was a late addition to the U.S. roster, joining the team on July 24 after defender Nathan Sturgis suffered a hamstring injury. Kansas City Wizards defender Michael Harrington was added to the team’s list of alternates.
  • McCarty, who is one of 12 players who helped the team qualify for the Olympics in March, joined midfielder Freddy Adu, and defenders Maurice Edu and Michael Orozco on the Qualifying Tournament Best XI. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan earned an Honorable Mention.
  • Of the four players named as alternates to the U.S. team, only goalkeeper Dominic Cervi will travel with the team throughout their stay in China.
  • Seven players were part of the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Jozy Altidore was among the leaders of that tournament with four goals, Adu had three and Michael Bradley scored the overtime winner in the Round of 16 match against Uruguay.
  • Six players participated in the 2005 edition of the U-20 World Cup, including Adu and Danny Szetela, the only players to have appeared for the U.S. more than once. Other members of the 2005 team included Benny Feilhaber, Patrick Ianni, Sacha Kljestan and Marvell Wynne.
  • The U.S. team ranges in age from 18 (Altidore) to 36 (Brian McBride). The other two overage players – Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst - were both born in 1984, making them less than a year too old to be considered Under-23.
  • Parkhurst was named Major League Soccer’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 at just 23 years old, while Guzan was last year's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year at the same age. Edu was also an award winner last year, as he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year
  • Seitz, Ianni, Orozco, Edu and Wynne were part of a defensive unit that allowed only two goals during Olympic Qualifying in March.

A LOOK AT CAMEROON: Cameroon coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile will be leading Cameroon into its third Olympics, hoping to repeat the nation’s past successes. He will call on veterans Stephane Mbia, Alexandre Song and Landry Nguemo, who have all recently earned caps with the full team. During qualifying, the team went undefeated, scoring 14 goals while allowing only four in six games, putting their potent attack on display.

Cameroon Roster (Starters vs. Netherlands in Bold)
1-Joslain Leonnel Mayebi, 2-Albert Legrand Baning, 3-Antonio Ghomsi, 4-Stephane Bikey Amougou, 5-Alexandre Song Billong, 7-Marc Mboua, 8-Aurelien Chedjou Fongang, 9-Anicet Bebbe Mbangue, 10-Aymard Christian Bekamenga, 11-Steve Bangweni Songo’o, 12-Roland Bebey Kingue, 13-Julio Nkoulou Ndoubena, Constant Mand Jeck, 16-Patrick Tugnyemb, 17-Alain Junior Olle Olle, 18-Alexis Enam Mendomo, 19-Serge Charles Ngal, 20-Henri Ewane Elong

PRE-GAME TALK: The U.S. team has become a fan-favorite in Hong Kong, and the heavy media coverage of the event has focused much of its interest on the Americans. In a press conference Friday afternoon, Freddy Adu and Brad Guzan talked about their Saturday match-up with Cameroon and the upcoming Olympic Games. You can read what they have to say by clicking here.

FINAL PREPARATIONS: Though the Cameroon match remains to be played before the start of the Olympic Football Tournament, the USA’s focus is on preparing for the world stage. The U.S. has been drawn into a difficult Group B of the Olympic Games and will open against Japan on Aug. 7 before facing the Netherlands on Aug. 10, with both games taking place at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Tianjin. The team will then travel to Workers Stadium in Beijing to conclude group play on Aug. 13 against 1996 gold medalist and 2005 Under-20 World Cup champion Nigeria.

NBC TO PROVIDE CHANNEL EXCLUSIVELY FOR OLYMPIC SOCCER COVERAGE: NBC Universal will launch a channel exclusively dedicated to full coverage of Men’s and Women’s Soccer at the 2008 Olympic Games. A total of 32 Men’s and 26 Women’s Soccer Games will be shown in their entirety on the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, in addition to coverage on USA Network, MSNBC and live streaming on NBCOlympics.com. The seven NBC Networks — NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Oxygen, Telemundo and Universal HD — will provide an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, all in high definition. NBCOlympics.com will also provide over 3,000 hours of on-demand access to full event replays and extensive highlights. The NBC Olympic Soccer Channel is available on most major cable, satellite and telephone companies and distributors.

BUSY BLOGGING: The Olympic Team is back in blog action since making the journey to the Far East. You can read all about the trip and keep up on the latest happenings and behind-the-scenes news on the YNT Blog. Click on http://ynt-ussoccer.blogspot.com/ to keep up with the action.


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