U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Men to Close Out 2002 World Cup Qualifying with Final Match Sunday at Trinidad & Tobago, Live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET
ARENA NAMES 21-MAN ROSTER FOR NOV. 11 MATCH AGAINST TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena named a 21-man squad that will train for the team's final qualifier of the 2002 campaign against Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, November 11 at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Matchday 10 of the Hexagonal will kickoff at 2 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ABC. "With the task of qualifying completed, we look at this match as game one of our preparation for World Cup 2002," said Arena. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to give some newer players a chance to get experience at this level. At the same time, we are heading to Trinidad with the idea of continuing to build upon our success and make ourselves a better team." The squad features seven starters from the USA's historic 2-1 win against Jamaica on Oct. 7, including Chevrolet Man of the Match Joe-Max Moore. Six European-based players have joined the camp in Ft. Lauderdale. The U.S. will welcome the return to training of fellow Georgia natives Josh Wolff and Clint Mathis, both key members of the USA's qualification campaign who have been sidelined for several months due to injury. Wolff has been sidelined since April, but has been involved in full training with the Chicago Fire for several weeks. Mathis, who tore the ACL in his right knee in the U.S. camp prior to the friendly against Ecuador on June 7, has recently returned to fitness training. Arena has called on a total of 15 players from MLS squads. The complete roster is listed below:
Goalkeepers (3): Kasey Keller, Nick Rimando, Zack Thornton;
Defenders (6): Jeff Agoos, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Llamosa, Eddie Pope, Greg Vanney;
Midfielders (7): DaMarcus Beasley, Cobi Jones, Jesse Marsch, Clint Mathis, Richard Mulrooney, John O'Brien, Earnie Stewart;
Forwards (5): Landon Donovan, Jovan Kirovski, Joe-Max Moore, Ante Razov, Josh Wolff.
MARSCH REPLACES "IN DEMAND" REYNA ON U.S. ROSTER: U.S. MNT captain Claudio Reyna will not join training camp for the USA's upcoming qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago, Head Coach Bruce Arena announced this weekend. Reyna will be replaced by Chicago Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch on the 21-man roster that will train for the November 11 match in Port of Spain, Trinidad. "Rangers manager Dick Advocaat requested that Claudio be given time to rest," said Arena. "We decided it was in the best interest of both the player and the club to allow Claudio to remain in Glasgow." Jesse Marsch is making his first appearance in a U.S. men's training camp. Marsch, 27, has been a three-time MLS Cup champion and two-time U.S. Open Cup champion with both the Fire and his former club, D.C. United. Marsch has appeared in over 100 games for Chicago and was a member of the 2001 MLS Western Conference All-Star team. Marsch becomes the sixth Fire player to join training camp, the most of any club.
O'BRIEN TO CHAT WITH FANS ONLINE ON www.ussoccerfan.com THURSDAY AT 7 p.m. ET: Coming off a solid performance in the USA's 2-1 win over Jamaica on Oct. 7, European-based midfielder John O'Brien will be the special guest on a U.S. Soccer online chat on Thursday (Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. ET live on www.ussoccerfan.com. Fans and media can log on to the new and improved U.S. Soccer site to learn more about the promising, young former Olympian and how the U.S. squad is getting ready to play their final qualifying match on Sunday (Nov. 11) in Trinidad & Tobago. Sunday's match also marks the first final round World Cup qualifier for the U.S. in Trinidad since Paul Caligiuri's famous "Shot Heard Around the World" on Nov. 19, 1989 that sent the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years. Only registered members of www.ussoccerfan.com may participate in the Live Chat event, so be sure to sign up and reserve your chat alias today.
SECOND EDITION OF "CENTER CIRCLE" E-ZINE TO HIT INBOXES THIS WEEK: This week, U.S. Soccer Communications will showcase the second edition of its brand new e-zine "Center Circle," a monthly newsletter designed to give soccer fans a look behind closed doors in order to better know the players and personalities that make up the U.S. Men's, Women's and Youth National Teams. "Center Circle" features a variety of first-hand player viewpoints and unique interview variations. This month, fans get a CD review from Lorrie Fair, a quirky Q&A with U-23 goalkeeper D.J. Countess, a word association with Shannon MacMillan and more. The edgy, fun new fan-friendly online publication is featured exclusively at www.ussoccer.com.
U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
UPDATE ON MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS IN EUROPE: Brad Friedel's superb form continued on the weekend, as he made several show-stopping saves to help Blackburn snatch a last-minute 2-1 victory away to Southampton. Rovers are now unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions. Gregg Berhalter made his first start for Crystal Palace since Sept. 12, but he and fellow international Jovan Kirovski could only help muster a 2-2 draw with Walsall. Claudio Reyna helped Glasgow Rangers increase their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, as the Light Blues earned a 2-0 win over Aberdeen to remain seven points behind SPL leaders Celtic. ‘Gers defeated Dynamo Moscow in midweek UEFA Cup action, advancing to meet Paris St. Germain in the third round. In Holland, Earnie Stewart and NAC Breda collected a pair of wins this week. Stewart scored a pair in NAC Breda's 3-1 win away to Sparta midweek, then appeared in their well-earned 2-1 win against Feyenoord. John O'Brien continued to hold a place in the Ajax first team, the Amsterdam side posting disappointing results on the week. Ajax was bounced from the UEFA Cup after falling 1-0 at home to FC Copenhagen, then only managed a 1-1 draw with 12th place de Graafschap on the weekend. Tony Sanneh returned to the lineup for FC Nurnberg after being sidelined for one match with a quad injury, only to see his side trounced 5-0 by Wolfsburg. FC Nurnberg have now fallen to the bottom of the Bundesliga table. Cory Gibbs was credited with an own goal in the 6th minute in FC St. Pauli's 3-1 loss to TSV 1860 Munich. Steve Cherundolo and his Hannover 96 side remain unbeaten in the second Bundesliga, grabbing their seventh league win of the season against FC Schweinfurt by a 4-1 margin. Cherundolo had two assist in the win and was named to Kicker Magazine's "Team of the Week." Hannover is undefeated in all competitions, with an unbeaten run standing at 13 matches. On-loan American Conor Casey made his second appearance for Hannover in the winning effort.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
FIFA WOMEN'S COMMITTEE SETS 2003 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP DATES, CITIES: Following their meetings on Oct. 30, the FIFA Committee for Women's Football announced the final dates and cities for the upcoming 2003 Women's World Cup in China. The 16-team tourney is scheduled to take place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 16, 2003, in four cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu. The tournament is the fourth Women's World Cup to be contested, and the second in China, which hosted the inaugural 1991 event won by the United States. Sweden hosted the 1995 Women's World Cup, while the USA hosted the hugely successful 1999 event.
FIFA TO HONOR WOMEN'S WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR FOR FIRST TIME: In addition, to the tournament details surrounding the Women's World Cup and first U-19 World Championship, FIFA also announced last week that this year will mark the first time that a World Woman Player of the Year will awarded at FIFA's annual World Player of the Year event. This year's gala is scheduled for Zurich on December 17, 2001, and as with the men, will see women's national team head coaches from around the world vote for the prestigious annual honor. Finally, the FIFA Committee for Women's Football also heard plans from FIFA to introduce a monthly ranking of women's national teams beginning in the second half of 2003. A similar ranking for men's national teams worldwide has existed since 1993.
U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
FIRST U-19 WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DATES SET: The FIFA Committee for Women's Football also announced last week that the first edition of the U-19 Women's World Youth Championship will take place from Aug. 17 to Sept. 1, 2002, in three Canadian cities: Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. The event has already attracted nearly 100 teams contesting the 12 finalist places. The U.S. Under-19 women will attempt to qualify for the tournament sometime this coming spring.
U.S. UNDER-17s END THREE-GAME TOUR OF MEXICO WITH WIN: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team ended their three-game tour of Mexico with a 2-1 win against the U-19 Chivas Team in Guadalajara, Mexico, last Friday. The Under-17's began last week with a 2-2 draw against Chivas' U-18s, before losing 1-3 to Tecos Under-19s and then wrapping up with a win against the older Chivas team. The U.S. team is made up of players still training in Bradenton, Fla., from this year's Under-17 Men's National Team and players already in training for the 2003 Under-17 World Championship. The Under-17s played four games before heading to Mexico, posting three wins against older Florida club teams before losing 4-0 to Major League Soccer's Tampa Bay Mutiny.
AROUND THE U.S. SOCCER NATION
CONCACAF ANNOUNCES DATES, VENUES FOR 2002 GOLD CUP: CONCACAF announced last week the dates and venues for the 2002 Gold Cup. The sixth edition of the tournament will be played at two U.S. venues - the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. - from January 18 - February 2. For a second consecutive tournament, 12 teams will participate in the Gold Cup, which will be divided into four groups of three teams. Two groups will play at the Orange Bowl, while the other two will see action at the Rose Bowl. A pair of quarterfinal matches will be played in each venue, with the semifinals and final set for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, respectively. Defending champion Canada will be joined by the USA and Mexico from the North Zone. The remaining teams qualified through the regional championships played earlier this year. Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Martinique were the top three countries in the Caribbean Football Union's Copa Caribe, while the UNCAF (Union Centroamericana de Fútbol) will be represented by Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Cuba defeated Panama in a playoff to grab the 10th automatic spot for the FC countries. In addition, CONCACAF announced that South Korea will be one of the two guest teams for the 2002 Gold Cup. The 12th and final participant, will be announced at a later date. Tickets for the 2002 Gold Cup will go on sale to the public on Nov. 15 in both markets.
NIKE PROJECT 40 SQUAD DOWNS FOREST 3-1, ENDS TOUR OF ENGLAND TOMORROW: The Nike Project 40 team will play the third and final match of their recent tour of England tomorrow (Nov. 6) against Crewe Alexandria. Last week, the Pro-40's topped a strong Nottingham Forest reserve side 3-1 at Wilford Lane Academy, behind goals from Devin Barclay (Tampa Bay Mutiny), Martin Klinger (MetroStars) and Marvin Quijano (L.A. Galaxy). Forest jumped on top early, when Craig Westcarr, who is part of Forest's first team, tallied in the 2nd minute. Klinger equalized in the 37th minute and Barclay scored again three minutes before the half. Quijano sealed the deal just two minutes into the second half with a penalty kick. Forest was last season's FA Premier Academy League Champions and have only lost one game from 10 matches so far this season. The U.S. opened the tour of England with a 0-6 loss to Manchester United's reserves on Oct. 30. Manchester United put together a strong line-up that included Jesper Blomqvist, Danny Webber and Michael Clegg. Webber scored twice in the first 14 minutes to put the romp in motion.
D.C. TOPS METROSTARS 1-0, FREEDOM DOWNS POWER TO CONCLUDE "UNITY GAMES": Dallas Burn defender Jorge Rodriguez, playing as a guest player for D.C. United, scored the lone goal of the match on a sensational volley as United defeated the NY/NJ MetroStars 1-0 in the second game of the "Unity Games" doubleheader before a patriotic crowd of 22,235 at RFK Stadium. In the women's preliminary match between WUSA rivals, the Washington Freedom defeated the New York Power, 3-1. Both benefit games honored those affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. The pre-game ceremonies honored fire, police and rescue workers from the Washington and New York metropolitan areas.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMANCE: The UNC women's soccer team finished the regular season undefeated with a 2-0 win against Ohio State this weekend. Anson Dorrance's team has now won 25 straight games dating back to October 27, 2000. In their 16-match regular season, Carolina outscored their opponents 60-8, posted 10 shutouts and won all but two of their games by two or more goals. UNC starts ACC tournament play on Thursday (Nov. 8) against heated rivals N.C. State.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: With a berth to the 2002 World Cup already secured, Sunday's U.S. MNT match versus T&T marks the next official step in preparing for next summer's tournament of all tournaments. Many eyes will be on the possible return of Josh Wolff, who has been injured for most of the final qualifying campaign after playing a key role in helping the U.S. to nine points in its first three matches.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Despite the sellout success of the 1996 tournament and the inspiring storylines of the 2000 event, the FIFA Committee for Women's Football has had to go on the offensive to strongly recommend to the IOC to maintain the number of teams at the 2004 Olympic Women's Soccer Tournament at 12. Having already confirmed the competition with 12 teams, the International Olympic Committee has recently recommended dropping the number to 10 teams in 2004.
"The reason I agreed to play is simple. It is an absolute pleasure for me to come here and be a part of such a special game. Soccer can bring people together, and I hope the money that was raised will help the families."
- German legend Jurgen Klinsmann, after the retired forward played the final 42 minutes for D.C. United in a 1-0 win over the MetroStars in the second leg of the "Unity Games" at RFK Stadium (Washington Post)