CHICAGO (Tuesday, April 29, 2003) — U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena announced an 18-man squad to face archrival and fellow World Cup finalists Mexico on Thursday, May 8 at Reliant Field in Houston. Kickoff for the match, which is being staged in conjunction with Major League Soccer and Houston Texans Entertainment, is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, Telemundo and the Radio Unica network. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
Nine players from the team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup will lineup in Houston, including six players that were on the field for the historic 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 last June. Leading the World Cup alumni is the strike partnership of Brian McBride and Landon Donovan, the duo netting both goals as the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time in 72 years.
MetroStars defender Eddie Pope and Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni were also in the first team that day, while D.C. United forward Earnie Stewart and U.S. all-time capwinner Cobi Jones entered as second-half substitutes. MetroStars forward Clint Mathis, who captained the U.S. side for the first three matches in 2003, returns to the U.S. side after being sidelined with a hernia injury. Chicago Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley and Columbus Crew defender Frankie Hejduk round out the list of World Cup veterans on the roster.
”The match against Mexico is another important element in our preparation for the upcoming tournaments this summer,” said Arena. “A match against one of our biggest rivals in front of a huge crowd is a great learning experience for our younger players, and provides another important step as we continue to build our team in advance of World Cup qualifying next year. We expect it to be a great challenge.”
The youth movement is quickly gaining seasoning, with seven players on Arena’s squad having appeared in all four U.S. matches in 2003. Chicago Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra, the 2002 MLS Defender of the Year, has scored the first two goals of his international career and amassed six points this year to lead the U.S. scoring charts. D.C. United midfielder Bobby Convey, who at 19 years old has already represented the United States at World Championships as a member of the Under-20 and Under-17 men’s national teams, looks for his fifth appearance this year.
The Mexico match also marks the return of Chris Armas to the USA camp. The Chicago Fire midfielder was sidelined for nearly a year after suffering a torn ACL a month prior to the 2002 World Cup. Armas, 30, was a perennial starter for the U.S. and is one of the top defensive midfielders in team history.
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history, the team has amassed a 3-1-0 record in 2003, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Venezuela. The match at newly christened Reliant Field marks the second appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in Houston. Tickets for the biggest soccer game in Houston history, which is being presented by Budweiser, are still available in the $27-$45 range and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Texas (including Fiesta, Foley’s and Wherehouse Music), by phone at 713-629-3700 and on-line at ussoccer.com. Groups of 30 or more can order tickets by calling toll free at 877-635-2002. Tickets are also available at the Reliant Stadium ticket office. (Click here for complete ticket information).
The United States is continuing 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 12-27 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.
U.S. Men's National Team
|Armas, Chris||M||5'7"||150||08/27/72||46/2||Brentwood, N.Y.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||F||5'7"||126||05/24/82||19/3||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Bocanegra, Carlos||D||6'0"||170||05/25/79||11/2||Alto Loma, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Brown, Adin||GK||6'4"||200||05/27/78||0/0||Pleasant Hill, Calif.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Califf, Dan||D||6'1"||175||03/17/80||5/0||Orange, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Convey, Bobby||M||5'8"||150||05/27/83||7/0||Philadelphia, Pa.||D.C. United (MLS)|
|Donovan, Landon||F||5'8"||148||03/04/82||33/8||Redlands, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Garcia, Nick||D||5'10"||160||04/09/79||4/0||Plano, Texas||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Hejduk, Frankie||D/M||5'8"||155||08/05/74||45/5||Cardiff, Calif.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Howard, Tim||GK||6'3"||210||03/06/79||5/0||North Brunswick, N.J.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Jones, Cobi||M||5'7"||145||06/16/70||159/14||Westlake Village, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Klein, Chris||M||6'1"||180||01/04/76||11/2||St. Louis, Mo.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|Mastroeni, Pablo||D/M||5'10"||170||08/26/76||13/0||Phoenix, Ariz.||Colorado Rapids (MLS)|
|Mathis, Clint||M/F||5'10"||170||11/25/76||29/11||Conyers, Ga.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|McBride, Brian||F||6'1"||170||06/19/72||66/20||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Columbus Crew (MLS)|
|Mulrooney, Richard||M/D||5'9"||160||11/03/76||6/0||Memphis, Tenn.||San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
|Pope, Eddie||D||6'1"||180||12/24/73||56/5||High Point, N.C.||MetroStars (MLS)|
|Stewart, Earnie||M/F||5'9"||145||03/28/69||85/15||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: Rick Guter (Fairfax. Va.)
Dave Andrews (Seattle)
Team Doctor: Bert Mandelbaum (Los Angeles)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Joe Ahearn (Chicago)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)