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U.S. MNT to Kick Off 2006 FIFA World Cup Preparations with Jan. 22 Friendly vs. Canada in San Diego


U.S. To Begin 2006 Schedule with Two Southern California Friendlies;
USA Undefeated in Last 11 Matches vs. Northern Neighbors

CHICAGO (November 29, 2005) — The USA’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2006  Germany will continue on Jan. 22, 2006 in San Diego, as the U.S. Men’s National Team hosts Canada in their first match of the year. The U.S. will kick off at Torero Stadium at 5 p.m. PT, and the match will be available online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Television information will be announced at a later date.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $25 to $90 go on sale starting Tuesday, December 6, at 10 a.m. PT on-line at ussoccer.com, at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion Box Office (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and by phone at 619-260-7550 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets through the University of San Diego by calling 619-260-7550.

The match will be a part of a nearly one-month long training camp that begins Jan. 4 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. A week after the Canada match, the U.S. returns to The Home Depot Center to face Norway on Jan. 29, 2006 at 2 p.m. PT live on ESPN2 (tickets).

"Canada are traditionally a very solid team, and this game will be a good test for our domestic players as we begin the critical process of building a roster for the 2006 World Cup," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena.  "We are looking forward to playing in San Diego, a city with a rich soccer history.  It should be an excellent event."

This match marks the first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 42-year old Torero Stadium, home to the University of San Diego football and soccer teams. The U.S. Women’s National Team played Japan to a 0-0 draw in Jan. 2003 at the stadium, which served as the home for the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit. The U.S. will be in search of their first win in five trips to San Diego, losing to Peru, Mexico and Iceland while drawing Paraguay in the 1990s. 

The U.S. has faced Canada 27 times, the second most common opponent for the U.S. after Mexico. The U.S. has not lost to Canada in 20 years (11 games), posting a 6-0-5 record during that span. Overall, the U.S. has an 11-8-8 lead in a series that dates back to 1925, longer than any CONCACAF opponent.

Most recently, the U.S. defeated Canada in group play en route to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship in July 2005. A Landon Donovan diving header and a Canada own goal lifted the U.S. to a 2-0 win on July 9 in Seattle. The U.S. also faced Canada in January 2002 prior to the World Cup, drawing 0-0 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal before prevailing 4-2 on penalty kicks. 

The U.S. is one of 32 finalists that will compete in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, qualifying first from CONCACAF and finishing atop the group in CONCACAF for the first time. The World Cup Draw, which will determine group pairings, will take place Dec. 9 in Leipzig, Germany. The USA has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as its base of operations in Germany.

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