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EUROPEAN-BASED MNT READY TO FACE RED-HOT ECUADOR SQUAD THURSDAY AT CREW STADIUM LIVE ON ESPN AT 8 ET


CHICAGO, Ill. (Mon., June 4, 2001) - -
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June 4, 2001

EUROPEAN-BASED MNT READY TO FACE RED-HOT ECUADOR SQUAD THURSDAY AT CREW STADIUM LIVE ON ESPN AT 8 ET

ECUADOR ON FIVE-GAME CONMEBOL WINNING STREAK AFTER 2-1 WIN OVER PERU: The U.S. Men's National Team welcomes Ecuador in an international friendly Thursday, June 7 at Columbus Crew Stadium. The match, which will be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. ET and is presented by Budweiser, marks the U.S. Men's National Team's third visit to Crew Stadium in the last nine months. Bruce Arena's men meet an Ecuadorian team on fire, having won their last five World Cup qualifiers, including a 2-1 victory against Peru on Saturday. Ecuador currently sits in third place in CONMEBOL qualification with 25 points and an 8-4-1 record, with the top four teams receiving automatic berths to World Cup 2002. The match serves as a tune-up for several important U.S. qualifiers in the coming weeks, with a June 16 meeting in Jamaica and a June 20 home match against Trinidad and Tobago just around the corner. The U.S. will be looking to extend its unbeaten streak at Crew Stadium after posting consecutive shutouts in World Cup qualifying play in the team's last two trips to the Ohio venue. Tickets for the June 7 match are available by calling TicketMaster at 614-431-3600 or going online at www.us-soccer.com.

ARENA UNVEILS EURO-BASED ROSTER FOR JUNE 7; REGIS TO MISS COLUMBUS MATCH: The U.S. will employ a mostly foreign-based side, led by midfield captain Claudio Reyna, who recently completed his season with Scottish club Glasgow Rangers. Returning to the U.S. side is Ajax Amsterdam midfielder John O'Brien, entering his first training camp since September of 2000. The match also marks the first full national team camp for U-20 and Olympic forward Conor Casey and German-based midfielder Joe Enochs. U.S. defender David Regis of FC Metz in France will not join the U.S. side for the match against Ecuador due to the death of his father. Originally named to the 18-man roster, Regis has remained at home with his family and will not be replaced in the squad. The complete 17-man U.S. roster is below: Goalkeepers: Brad Friedel, Tim Howard; Defenders: Gregg Berhalter, Steve Cherundolo, Robin Fraser, Mike Petke, Tony Sanneh; Midfielders:Joe Enochs, Eddie Lewis, Clint Mathis, John O'Brien, Claudio Reyna, John Thorrington, Richie Williams: Forwards: Conor Casey, Jovan Kirovski, Joe-Max Moore.

VETERAN AGUINAGA, HIGH-SCORING DELGADO LEAD ECUADOR SQUAD INTO OHIO: Ecuador Men's National Team head coach Hernan Gomez has announced a strong 18-player roster last week for the South American team's two-game trip to North and Central America next week. Gomez picked a roster of mostly domestic-based players, including goalkeeper Jose Cevallos and midfielder Ulises de la Cruz (both from Barcelona of Ecuador). High-scoring forward Agustin Delgado and attacking midfielder Alex Aguinaga, both of whom play professionally for Necaxa of Mexico, lead a contingent of four foreign-based players available for the trip. Delgado had a goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over Peru, giving him eight goals in 13 qualifiers and tying him for the CONMEBOL scoring lead with Brazil's Romario. The complete 18-man Ecuador roster is below: Goalkeepers: Jose Cevallos, Geovanny Ibarra; Defenders: Marlon Ayovi, Ulises DeLaCruz, Geovanny Espinosa, Raul Guerron, Ivan Hurtado, Augusto Porozo; Midfielders: Alex Aguinaga, Juan Aguinaga, Kebler Chala, Edison Mendez, Alfonso Obregon, Wellington Sanchez, Edwin Tenorio; Forwards: Agustin Delgado, Angel Fernandez, Ivan Kaviedes.

USA MATCH AT MEXICO ON JULY 1 TO MARK UNIQUE BROADCAST ON ESPN: For the first time in their history, U.S. Soccer and ESPN have acquired the English-language broadcast rights for the U.S. Men's National Team's upcoming World Cup qualifier on July 1 from Estadio Azteca in Mexico. The game will be broadcast in its entirety on a three-hour tape-delay on ESPN at 4 p.m. ET on July 1 (which follows a 1 p.m. ET live Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo). With the U.S. facing Jamaica in Kingston live on ABC on Saturday, June 16 at 2 p.m. ET, and with two other road games scheduled for broadcasts in September and October, fans of the U.S. Men will have seen 7 of 8 road qualifiers broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with the eighth being offered to fans live on pay-per-view.


U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE

U.S. MNT TRAINING SCHEDULE IN COLUMBUS: The U.S. Men's National team will train this week at Obetz, the training center of the Columbus Crew, at 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The team will train Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Columbus Crew Stadium. All sessions are open to the media. These training times are tentative. All media wishing to attend training are encouraged to call the voice mail of Michael Kammarman at 312-528-1246 the morning of each event for the most up-to-date schedule information.

U.S.-ECUADOR LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS: Two players -- goalkeeper Brad Friedel and defender Robin Fraser -- on the USA roster played in the 1-0 loss to Ecuador on August 7, 1997 in Baltimore, Md. ... The U.S. is 0-4-3 in seven lifetime meetings with Ecuador, including three losses in the United States ... Despite the USA's hot start in World Cup qualifying, the team is surprisingly just 1-2 in three previous friendlies in 2001, having lost consecutive international friendlies to two other South American squads, Colombia and Brazil, earlier this year.


U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE

SUNHOLZ TO DISCUSS U-20 ROSTER ON WEEKLY MLS CALL TOMORROW AT 3 P.M. ET: Less than one week before the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team departs for Argentina and the XIth FIFA World Youth Championship, head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz, along with U-20 midfielders Bobby Convey and DaMarcus Beasley, will be featured on MLS' weekly conference call tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET. The Tuesday call will coincide with Suhnholz's announcement of his final 18-man roster for the trip to Argentina. The roster will be released tomorrow morning, and Suhnholz will review his selection of the final 18 during the conference call. To be on the call, please dial (800) 624-6265 and enter the participant code (83070) a few minutes before 3 p.m.

YNT PLAYERS IN MLS ACTION: With the FIFA World Youth Championship just two weeks away, U-20 star Landon Donovan continued his fine form, finding the net in the Earthquakes 2-1 win against Colorado on Saturday and extending his point streak to three games. The goal was Donovan's second of the year, and the Earthquakes are an impressive, undefeated 5-0-3 since he joined the starting line-up on April 28. Seth Tremblyreturned from duty with the U.S. Under-20's in Toulon and played the entire second half in the Rapids' loss. Trembly has seen action in three games for Colorado this season. Bobby Convey continued to lead D.C. United and recorded his fifth assist of the year in a 2-1 home loss to DaMarcus Beasley and the Chicago Fire. Convey played all 90 minutes and is tied for the team lead, playing 809 of 819 minutes this season. Convey is tied for fourth in the league with five assists. Beasley played the first 68 minutes in his team's win, marking the first time this season Beasley has not played the entire match. U.S. Under-18 standout Devin Barclay started and played all 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards. Barclay has appeared in eight of 10 matches this year for the Mutiny. Edson Buddle came off the bench late in the first overtime period for the Columbus Crew, who drew 1-1 with the L.A. Galaxy. Buddle has played in seven of the team's nine matches.

LEONE'S U-19 WOMEN WIN YOUTH TOURNAMENT IN HOUSTON: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracy Leone led her troops to capture the 2001 U.S. Youth Soccer Cup in Houston with a convincing 3-0 victory over the USYSA ODP All Stars in the championship match last Saturday. The USA advanced to final game after posting back-to-back shutouts last week over China, 4-0, on Thursday (May 31) and Finland, 7-0, on Tuesday (May 29). Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.) was named the top goalkeeper of the tournament after posting shutouts in all three matches.

U.S. UNDER-18 MEN FINISH FOURTH AT EUROVOETBAL TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team finished fourth at the Eurovoetbal Tournament in Groningen, Holland, falling to Feyenoord 2-4 in a penalty kick shootout after the third-place match ended in a 0-0 draw. The U.S. team stormed through group play to finish atop Group A and advance to the semifinals with three wins and two ties from five matches. The USA fell to FC Twente 1-0 in the semifinals on Monday, before playing a scoreless draw against Feyenoord in the third-place match. In the teams' earlier meeting, the U.S. topped Feyenoord 2-1 on goals from Migeul Saavedera (Dallas Burn) and Grabavoy. Dimi Colon led the U.S. attack with one goal and three assists, while Ned Grabavoy added two goals for the U.S. Steve Cronin manned the nets for the United States, notching four shutouts in seven matches. The matches in the Eurovoetbal Tournament last 60 minutes. The U.S. Under-18s now travel to Portugal, where they will participate in the International Tournament of Lisbon this wekeend (June 7-10). The U.S. kicks off against Austria on June 7, before playing South Africa on June 8 and Portugal on June 10.

U-17s WIN 2-1 IN SWITZERLAND, EXTEND INTERNATIONAL WIN STREAK TO 10 GAMES: The United States' Under-17 Men's National Team extended their record 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 win against Switzerland in Zurich. The USA's 10-game win streak is the longest in the history of the Men's National Team program and dates back to June 9, 2000, when the U.S. topped Germany 3-1 in the Salerno Tournament in Italy. During the run, the U.S. has outscored their opponents 32-9. Forward Ed Johnson continued his unprecedented terror in international matches, scoring his 22nd international goal in the 88th minute to secure the win for the Americans, and has now scored in eight of the USA's last nine internationals. The Dallas Burn striker has tallied a whopping total of 15 goals in those nine matches. The USA is an all-time 10-0-1 when Johnson scores. The U.S. Under-17's are currently in Germany competing in the Theesen International Tournament, a ten-team competiton that concludes today. The U.S. went ahead in the 12th minute when Justin Mapp set up Mike Magee for Magee's fifth international goal. Switzerland equalized in the 62nd minute, setting up Johnson's dramatic late game heroics.

UNDER-16 GIRLS SHOOT UP THE TEXAS SHOOTOUT: The U.S. Under-16 Girls National Team put on three impressive performances at the Texas Shootout in Houston, Texas, outscoring their opponents 9-1 in the tournament, including an impressive 5-0 win against the Under-18 National Champions SoCal Blues. The U.S. opened against the Houston Challenge with a 2-1 win on May 30. The U.S. followed with a 2-0 win against CRSC Infiniti on June 1, before topping the SoCal Blues behind two goals and an assist from Amy Burlingham. Burlingham was replaced at halftime, and then re-entered the match in the 71st minute. She promptly assisted on a goal in the 71st minute, before scoring in the 72nd and again in the 73rd minute. Katherine Mahoney had two goals and two assists in the three matches, including both goals in the win against CRSC Infiniti.


2001 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE

OPEN CUP FIRST ROUND MATCHES SET AS PDL TEAMS PREPARE TO HOST USASA: The first round match-ups for the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which feature eight amateur qualifiers facing off for four spots in the single-elimination tournament, were finalized this weekend when the amateur Mexico S.C. defeated the San Francisco Glens 2-1 to capture their second straight U.S. Amateur Soccer Association Region IV Championship on Sunday in Salt Lake City. With the win, Mexico S.C. (of Selma, Calif.) will face off against the Premier Development League's Central Coast Roadrunners who qualified last week after finishing first in their United Soccer League qualifying group. The first round matches will take place on or before June 13 as the four Premier Development League (PDL) teams host the four representatives of the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association (USASA). The eight amateur qualifiers have been drawn into a first round bracket by the U.S. Open Cup Committee, where three teams will be making their second consecutive tournament appearance (Mexico S.C. - Calif., and Uruguay S.C. - Fla. of the USASA and the Mid Michigan Bucks of the PDL). The four winners of their respective matches will join the 28 remaining teams (12 - Major League Soccer, 16 - A-League/D3 Pro) in the field of 32 which begins second round competition on June 27.

CHARLESTON, MILWAUKEE, NASHVILLE ADVANCE FROM A-LEAGUE/D3 PRO: The A-League's Charleston Battery, Milwaukee Rampage and Nashville Metros clinched their respective groups in USL Qualifying to secure spots in the field of the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Battery sealed the number one spot in Group 5 with a 5-0 win over the Carolina Dynamo of the D3 Pro League last Friday. In other groups, the Nashville Metros blanked the D3 Pro Greenville Lions 3-0 on Friday and captured the Group 6 title, while the Milwaukee Rampage ended the Minnesota Thunder's chance to clinch the Group 7 crown after a 1-0 win in Blaine, Minnesota last Wednesday (May 30). Charleston, Milwaukee and Nashville join the Connecticut Wolves, El Paso Patriots, Rochester Raging Rhinos and the New Jersey Stallions as seven of the 16 A-League/D-3 Pro teams qualified for the 2001 U.S. Open Cup. The qualifying round concludes this week as 18 teams battle for the remaining 11 slots to the single-elimination tournament.

2001 OPEN CUP DRAW TO TAKE PLACE IN CHICAGO ON JUNE 13: The 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Draw will be held at the U.S. Soccer Federation headquarters in Chicago on June 13 at 1 p.m. ET, marking the second straight year Soccer House has hosted the event. Also for the second straight year, fans will be able to follow the draw live as it unfolds at U.S. Soccer's website at www.us-soccer.com. The 2001 edition of the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States will again see the tournament brackets divided into two regions (east and west). Prior to the June 13 draw, the U.S. Open Committee will determine the first round brackets for the eight amateur qualifiers (four U.S. Amateur Soccer Association, four Premier Development League) in early June. The four survivors of opening round play will join all 12 Major League Soccer teams along with 16 A-League/D3-Pro League squads in the field of 32 which is slated to begin second round action on June 27. For complete information on the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, log on to www.us-soccer.com.


AROUND THE U.S. SOCCER NATION

FORMER U.S. SOCCER PRESIDENT FRICKER SUCCUMBS TO CANCER AT AGE OF 65: Former U.S. Soccer Federation president Werner Fricker, a successful Horsham, Pa.,-based developer and the man who helped bring soccer's World Cup to the United States in 1994, died last Wednesday at the age of 65 after a year- long battle with cancer. In his playing days, he was a star midfielder for the United German Hungarians of Philadelphia soccer club from 1954 to 1969, a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992. However, it was as president of the U.S. Soccer Federation from 1986 to 1990 that he made his greatest impact. He helped build soccer in this country and led the successful bid to host the 1994 World Cup. Fricker was born in Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia, of German and Hungarian heritage.

CREW DROPS BAYER LEVERKUSEN 4-3 FOR GERMAN TEAM'S ONLY LOSS OF U.S. TOUR: The Columbus Crew remained unbeaten all-time in international exhibition matches at Crew Stadium with a 4-3 victory over Bayer Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga at Crew Stadium last Tuesday. Jeff Cunningham scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute as Columbus improved to 3-0-1 all-time in international exhibitions. Brian McBride gave the Crew a 2-0 halftime lead with a pair of goals late in the first half. It was Bayer's first and only loss on its three-game U.S. tour, which it concluded with a 2-1-0 record. Leverkusen defeated D.C. United 4-3 on May 23 and the A-League's Pittsburgh Riverhounds 6-4 on May 27.


U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

PEAK PERFORMANCE: Ecuador forward Agustin Delgado was "The Man" yet again for his country, supplying the dramatic game-winning goal in the 92nd minute to help the upstart South American nation earn three points and remain in third place in CONMEBOL qualifying with an 8-1-4 record. In the previous 12 qualifying matches, Delgado had struck for an impressive seven goals.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: This Thursday's MNT match versus Ecuador should make for great TV (live on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET), as the pick of the European-based litter will combine with a few MLS players to take on an Ecuador team that's playing surprisingly well in their CONMEBOL qualifying campaign. The South American squad should provide just what the Americans need to prepare for a tough trio of upcoming CONCACAF qualifying matches on June 16 (@ JAM), June 20 (vs. T&T) and July 1 (@ MEX).

SOCCER SHOCKER: There were a host of shocking scorelines coming out of Korea and Japan last week as the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup got underway. Among them was Canada tying Brazil 0-0, Australia defeating newly #1-world-ranked France 1-0, and upstart South Korea downing Mexico 2-1. Mexico's dismal 2001 results continued with a 4-0 loss to France that came just a week after a 4-0 loss to England.

30 YEARS OF SOCCER AMERICA: May 30 - June 6, 1992 - The U.S. Men's National Team captured the inaugural U.S. Cup Title held over six dates in four venues. The tournament which featured three European teams (Ireland, Italy and Portugal), saw the Americans finish first in the four-nation round-robin group with a record of two wins and one draw. The USA opened the competition with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Ireland on May 30, on a rain-soaked RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The U.S. continued their winning streak with a 1-0 shutout of Portugal on June 3 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Americans concluded tournament play battling world-power Italy to a 1-1 draw on June 6 at Soldier Field.

QUOTABLE:

    " "They (MetroStars) could play in the Bundesliga. There are MetroStars players who could play for Bayern, but I'm not going to name them or I will drive their price up." --Bayern Munich head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, after a 2-0 defeat at the Meadowlands


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