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U.S. MNT Faces 2007 Gold Cup Opponent Guatemala on Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park


ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO AS U.S. GEARS UP FOR GUATEMALA: The U.S. Men's National Team puts the finishing touches on their preparation for Guatemala (tickets) on Tuesday afternoon when they hold their lone training session at Pizza Hut Park. Log on at 6:15 p.m. ET to watch exclusive live look-ins and player interviews via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS (see complete MatchACCESS broadcast schedule below). The U.S. will meet their future opponent in this summer's Gold Cup on Wednesday, March 28, at 9 p.m. ET in Frisco, Texas, for the second time in as many years. The USA's second match in three days will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

QUICK HITS

• Twenty players are in Frisco and available for selection. The maximum number of substitutions will be six
• The match will be the 18th meeting all-time between the U.S. and Guatemala. Guatemala won the first four meetings between 1977 and 1988, but since the teams' second meeting in 1988, the U.S. has a 9-0-4 record including a 4-0-4 mark in World Cup qualifying. The U.S. has also never lost to Guatemala on U.S. soil
• Brian Ching has been released back to the Houston Dynamo as they continue to prepare for the second leg of the semifinal round of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Ahead, 2-0, after the first leg, they play away to Pachuca on April 5. Carlos Bocanegra, Brian Carroll, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu had already been given leave following the Ecuador game
• Four players on Wednesday's roster appeared in the USA’s 4-0 drubbing of Guatemala at Pizza Hut Park on Feb. 19, 2006: Jimmy Conrad, Brad Guzan, Eddie Johnson (1), and Heath Pearce. The start was the first cap for Guzan, the then-rookie Chivas USA ‘keeper becoming the ninth goalie in U.S. history to post a shutout in his international debut
• Johnson is the only player on the U.S. roster who has scored against Guatemala. In addition to scoring last time out, Johnson had the game-winning goal in the 2-0 victory on March 30, 2005, in the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
• With the 3-1 win against Ecuador, the U.S. improved their record to 3-0-0 to start the 2007 campaign, scoring eight goals while surrendering only two
• Conrad is the only U.S. player to play every minute of every match this year (270). Donovan is second with 269 minutes, having been subbed out in the final minute of the Ecuador victory
• Kasey Keller is the leading capwinner on the roster with 96 international appearances while two players – Jay DeMerit and Frank Simek – are in search of their first cap. DeMerit is the only player on the roster who has never been a part of the U.S. national teams at any level
• Benny Feilhaber made his debut with the full team in the 3-1 win against Ecuador on Sunday
• Keller is also the oldest player at 37 years of age. At 19 years old, Michael Bradley is the youngest on the block
• The U.S. has a 7-2-5 record in Texas a 6-1-4 mark in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. The U.S. is unbeaten in Texas in their last 12 matches, with the last loss coming to Ecuador on June 10, 1988, in Houston.

MatchACCESS CONTINUES LIVE STREAMING VIDEO FROM PIZZA HUT PARK: U.S. Soccer and ussoccer.com will continue live MatchACCESS streaming video coverage from Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The U.S. Men’s National Team faces Guatemala on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET in a nightcap of a doubleheader that includes the U.S. Under-20 MNT facing the Haiti MNT at 6 p.m. ET and two of the week's events will be broadcast live exclusively on ussoccer.com. This week's coverage includes exclusive look-ins and interviews from the U.S. Men’s National Team's pre-game practice session in the stadium on Tuesday, and then full coverage of the U.S. U-20's game against the full Haiti National Team on Wednesday. MatchACCESS coverage kicks off on Tuesday night at 6:15 p.m. ET, followed by the U-20 MNT vs. Haiti broadcast at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, live from the stadium. Thomas Rongen’s U-20 squad is preparing for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Canada and is holding a week-long training camp with top players including Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Chris Seitz and Danny Szetela. 

ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS Live Video Web Streaming Schedule

Date Event Time Notes
Tuesday, March 27 MNT Practice 6:15 p.m. ET / 3:15 p.m. PT Live look-ins & exclusive interviews
Wednesday, March 28 U-20 MNT v. Haiti 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT Full-game coverage
       

LANDON CLOSING IN ON HISTORY: With the three-goal performance against Ecuador, Donovan moved into a tie for first place with Eric Wynalda on the USA’s all-time points list (84). While it took Wynalda 106 caps, the 25-year old Donovan reached the milestone in 87 appearances. Already with five goals in three games this year, Landon is tied for second place with legendary U.S. forward Brian McBride (30), just four behind Wynalda.

THE BRADLEY TRIFECTA: U.S. MNT head coach Bob Bradley has already claimed a spot in the record books just three games into his tenure. With the win against Ecuador, Bradley became the first coach in U.S. history to win his first three matches. Combined with his other duties as coach of the U-23’s, he is now 3-0-2 in matches representing the United States during his tenure.

GETTIN’ TRICKY: Donovan put three checks in the goalscoring column for the second time in his career, earning Sierra Mist Man of the Match honors when he tallied the hat trick against Ecuador. He did one better against Cuba in 2003, scoring four goals in a Gold Cup quarterfinal match on July 19, 2003, in Foxboro, Mass. He now holds two of the 10 all-time three-goal performances in U.S. history. The last hat trick for a U.S. player came on Jan. 29, 2006, when Taylor Twellman led the U.S. to a 5-1 pasting of Norway at The Home Depot Center. Here’s the complete list:

Four-Goal Games (4)
Nov. 8, 1925 - Archie Stark (vs. Canada, 6-1 W)
May 24, 1934 - Aldo “Buff” Donelli (vs. Mexico, 4-2 W)
Dec. 5, 1993 - Joe-Max Moore (vs. El Salvador, 7-0 W)
July 19, 2003 - Landon Donovan (vs. Cuba, 5-0 W)

Three-Goal Games (6)
July 17, 1930 - Bert Patenaude (vs. Paraguay, 3-0 W)
Nov. 2, 1968 - Peter Millar (vs. Bermuda, 6-2 W)
Jan. 27, 2003 - Brian McBride (vs. El Salvador, 4-0 W)
Oct. 13, 2004 - Eddie Johnson (vs. Panama, 6-0 W)
Jan. 29, 2006 - Taylor Twellman (vs. Norway, 5-0 W)
March 25, 2007 - Landon Donovan (vs. Ecuador, 3-1 W)

SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE: With two major tournaments looming this summer and qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup set to begin next year, establishing a pool of players with which to work is increasingly critical, and veterans and rookies alike need face time with the new coach. Utilizing both a January friendly and the double international fixture date in March, Bradley has managed to give 31 different players minutes already in 2007- including six players earning their first caps – giving him an increasingly sharper picture of the status of this group. “This camp provides a great opportunity to see some of our experienced players from Europe, as well as some new faces, and incorporate them into the group and share the ideas that we have been building on since the beginning of the year,” said Bradley. “By the end of these two games, we will have had the chance to work with a vast majority of our player pool. It will be extremely beneficial when we have to make decisions about the Gold Cup and Copa America.”

THE FC DALLAS CONNECTION: Two players on the collective rosters are used to spending the work week together. FC Dallas striker Kenny Cooper spent plenty of time last year teaming up with Guatemalan international Carlos Ruiz at Pizza Hut Park, combining to score 24 goals for the ‘Hoops’. Johnson, a Dallas alumnae, was also a frequent strike partner of El Pescadito during his tenure in the Lone Star State.

FELT LIKE HOME: The U.S. trained for the Ecuador and Guatemala matches at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, location of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program. For eight players – DaMarcus Beasley, Bradley, Donovan, Johnson, Justin Mapp, Onyewu, Pearce and Jonathan Spector – training at IMG Academies felt like home as each came through the U-17 Residency Program. Out of the eight, Bradley and Pearce are the only U-17 alums on the roster that did not play in a FIFA U-17 World Cup. Beasley, Donovan and Onyewu were part of the 1999 team that finished in fourth place, the best showing ever for a U.S. team at a U-17 World Cup. Johnson and Mapp were members of the ’01 squad that finished in 15th place, while Spector helped the U.S. back into the top five in 2003 in Finland.

NEW ROYAL BLUE MNT JERSEY PASSED ITS DEBUT WITH FLYING COLORS: U.S. Soccer and Nike sported the new 2007 U.S. Men's National Team Third Jersey on Sunday, and will also wear the team's striking royal blue and white pin-striped uniform on Wednesday against Guatemala. The 2007 MNT Third Jersey is another example of Nike's worldwide commitment to providing players with garments that are both comfortable and technically advanced. Nike fabric technology wicks sweat away from the body through the shirt while featuring raised nodes on the underside that lift the shirt away from a players' body to keep the skin drier and reduce shirt cling. The jersey also features breathable weave side panels that help keep a player cool. The Nike MNT 2007 Third Jersey has an embroidered U.S. Soccer Men's National Team crest logo over the left chest and the Nike swoosh design trademark on the upper right chest. [ORDER YOUR NEW 3RD JERSEY NOW]

WHAT ABOUT BOB? Already with three wins under his belt, Bradley’s credentials have been well established, starting with a record of wins unmatched in MLS history (124). In case you haven’t followed along, here’s the crib version: Bradley, 48, spent 2006 as head coach of Chivas USA in Major League Soccer, where he was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. During his one season at Chivas USA, Bradley turned around a team with the worst record in the league in 2005, leading them into the playoffs as the third-place finisher in the Western Conference. Bradley has previously been on the U.S. National Team coaching staff as an assistant with the Under-23 Men’s National Team at the 1996 Olympics and also assisted at several winter training camps and games during Bruce Arena’s tenure as Manager of the U.S. MNT. In addition to his record 124 career MLS victories, he also has one MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles to his name with the Chicago Fire, including The Double in 1998 during the club’s inaugural season. During his 12-year MLS career as a head or assistant coach, Bradley’s teams qualified for the playoffs every year.

MNT TO FACE GUATEMALA, T&T AND EL SALVADOR IN GROUP B OF GOLD CUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group B for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup with Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador and will play first round matches in Los Angeles and Boston. The U.S. will begin the defense of its 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup title on June 7 vs. Guatemala at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, and will also play their second group match there on Saturday, June 9, vs. Trinidad & Tobago at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. The group stage will end for the U.S. on June 12 vs. El Salvador at 7 p.m. ET after a cross country trip to Foxborough, Mass. All three U.S. group matches will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura. If the U.S. finishes first or second in Group B, it will play a quarterfinal match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on June 16, but a third place finish would mean a trip to the other quarterfinal site, Reliant Stadium in Houston, on June 17. The semifinals are on June 21 at Chicago’s Soldier Field, and the final will be played at the same location on Sunday, June 24. All matches except the final will be played as doubleheaders. If both the U.S. and Mexico finish in the top two in their respective groups, the earliest the rivals could face-off is the final.

AND THEN ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA AND PARAGUAY IN COPA AMERICA: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay for the 2007 Copa America, a 12-team tournament which will take place from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. The U.S. will open the tournament against Argentina on Thursday, June 28 at Estadio Jose “Pachencho” Romero in Maracaibo. The U.S. will then face Paraguay on July 2 at Estadio Agustin Tovar “La Carolina” in Barinas, before finishing group play against Colombia on July 5 at Estadio Metropolitano de Futbol de Lara in Barquisimeto. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event. The last time the U.S. competed in the tournament in 1995, the U.S. upset defending champion Argentina, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they defeated Mexico and eventually finished in fourth place.

BUT BEFORE, IT’S A TUNEUP AGAINST CHINA ON JUNE 2 AT SPARTAN STADIUM IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to the Bay Area on June 2, 2007, to take on China at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision, and will be available to fans online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. One year after topping Japan, 3-2, in San Francisco, the U.S. will play in Spartan Stadium for the first time in four years in the team’s final friendly before the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America. Tickets starting at $22 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, all San Jose area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino and FYE) and by phone at 408-998-8497. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer.

LAST TIME…
On the field for the USA
March 25, 2007 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida – International Friendly

USA           3 Landon Donovan 1', 66’, 67’
Ecuador   1 Felipe Caicedo 11’

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Steve Cherundolo (4-Jonathan Spector, 80), 12-Jimmy Conrad, 22-Oguchi Onyewu; 2-Clint Dempsey (17-Brian Mullan, 80), 5-Benny Feilhaber, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Justin Mapp, 83), 10-Landon Donovan (capt.) (16-Brian Carroll, 91+); 9-Eddie Johnson (8-Michael Bradley, 46), 11-Brian Ching (20-Taylor Twellman, 73)
Subs not used: 18-Kasey Keller
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ECU: 1-Rorys Aragon; 3-Ivan Hurtado (5-Jorge Guagua, 78), 4-Ulised de la Cruz, 17-Giovanny Espinoza, 18-Neicer Reasco (13-Oscar Bagui, 91+); 8-Edison Mendez, 14-Segundo Castillo, 16-Luis Valencia, 20-Luis Caicedo (19-Luis Saritama, 64); 10-Felipe Caicedo (11-Edmundo Zura, 72), 21-Carlos Tenorio (9-Felix Borja, 78)
Subs not used: 12-Daniel Viteri, 15-Edder Vaca
Head Coach: Luis Suarez

On the field for Guatemala
March 25, 2007 – Bridgetown, Barbados – International Friendly

Barbados     0
Guatemala   0

BRB:
Omari Eastmond, Dwight James, Johnathan Straker, Greg Belle, Jarvis Forde, Norman Forde, Gregory Goodridge, Malcolm Marshall, Paul Lovell, Rivierre Williams

GUA: Ricardo Trigüeño, Néstor Martínez (C. Albizuris, 64’), Pablo Melgar, G. Cabrera, Henry Medina, F. Thompson, Leonel Noriega (C. Quiñónez, 64’), Carlos Figueroa (M. Ávila, 64’), José Contreras (S. De Mata 73’), M. Rodríguez (E. Villatoro, 80’), D. Pezzarossi

vs. Guatemala
February 19, 2006 – Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas – International Friendly

USA              4 Ben Olsen 38’, Brian Ching 45+, Eddie Johnson 47’, Chris Klein 71’
Guatemala  0


USA: 24-Brad Guzan (18-Zach Wells, 80); 6-Heath Pearce, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 23-Eddie Pope (capt.), 2-Frankie Hejduk (4-Bobby Boswell, 76); 5-Kerry Zavagnin (25-Brian Carroll, 63);14-Ben Olsen 21-Santino Quaranta, 71, 17-Chris Klein; 16-Josh Wolff (9-Eddie Johnson, 46), 11-Brian Ching, 7-Chris Rolfe (10- Kyle Martino, 80)

GUA: 1-Ricardo Jerez; 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Luis Swisher, 5-Henry Medina; 7-Martin Machon (15-Juan Carlos Plata, 46), 8-Gonzalo Romero (13-Leonel Noriega, 83), 11-Guillermo Ramirez (10-Marvin Avila, , 14-Selvyn Ponciano, 19-Mario Rodriguez (12-Carlos Figueroa,46);16-Julio Giron (capt.)( 17-Patrick Howell, 88), 20-Carlos Ruiz (9-Mario Acevedo, 63)

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