U.S. Men to Host Four-Time World Cup Champs Brazil on March 3 at the Rose Bowl
CHICAGO (Tuesday, January 23, 2001) - The United States will host four-time World Cup champion Brazil in an international friendly at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on March 3, 2001, at 1 p.m. PT. The historic match will culminate a busy week for the Americans, who play their first final-round World Cup qualifier against Mexico three days earlier on Feb. 28 in Columbus.
Tickets for the USA's match against Brazil are available through the Los Angeles Galaxy ticket office at 877-3GALAXY. The match, which is being sponsored by Budweiser, is being staged in cooperation with the Anschutz Entertainment Group.
"This will be an important game in our World Cup preparation," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, "Anytime you can match-up against a team of Brazil's quality there is a little extra incentive. We enjoyed the challenge of playing them in the Confederations Cup in Mexico in 1999, and it will be nice to have another chance to measure ourselves against the world's best."
The game marks Brazil's first match in the Rose Bowl since the team won the World Cup on July 17, 1994, outlasting Italy on penalty kicks. Brazil has been in fine form of late, taking their last three CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers by a combined score of 12-0. With new head coach Emerson Elão at the helm, the Brazilians will field a strong team for the ABC-televised match, which comes just three weeks prior to the team's next World Cup qualifier at Ecuador on March 27.
Brazil's high-powered attack is expected to be led by 1994 World Cup Golden Ball winner Romario, who has returned to peak form for Brazil. The diminutive striker has tallied seven goals in the team's last three qualifiers, including a hat-trick against Bolivia and a four-goal performance against Venezuela.
The United States has had past success against FIFA's top-ranked team, including an historic 1-0 win in the semifinals of the 1998 Gold Cup, the team's only victory against Brazil. U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller turned in what is widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeeping performances in U.S. history in the match, making 10 saves and eliciting Romario to say that it was "the greatest performance I've ever seen by a goalkeeper ... It was an honor to be on the field with him."
More recently, the Brazilians topped the U.S. 1-0 in the 1999 Confederations Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. The teams also met on Brazil's march to the 1994 World Cup crown, when the Americans put together an inspired performance in losing 1-0 in the round of 16. Despite having won just once in nine matches against Brazil, the last five contests between the two nations have all been decided by just a single goal.
The Americans have played nine games at the Rose Bowl since 1990, with their last appearance coming against Iran on January 16, 2000, where they battled their 1998 World Cup foes to a 1-1 draw in front of 50,181 fans.
The U.S. will play three matches prior to traveling to Pasadena, including their World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus on Feb. 28 (7:30 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo). Prior to that Bruce Arena's squad will face China on Jan. 27 in Oakland (2:30 p.m. PT / ESPN2 & Telemundo) and Colombia on Feb. 3 in Miami (4 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo ).