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U.S. MNT Arrives in Boston as Players Get Ready for El Salvador and Panama

U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
September 1, 2004
Boston, Mass.


ALL IN: The last of the USA's 23-man contingent arrived in Boston yesterday as the MNT gets set for its World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET (live on Fox Sports World and Telemundo), the Fulham duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride joined by Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard and Preston midfielder Eddie Lewis.  On Monday, Bocanegra nodded home his first goal of the year in Fulham's 4-3 loss to Portsmouth, Howard kept it clean against Portsmouth in the scoreless draw at Old Trafford, and Eddie Lewis and company blanked Rotherham 2-0.  With the roster now complete, the team will conduct its first full session this afternoon.

NEW TO TOTALLY HOME VIDEO! continues to grow and now offers the next step on inside access - behind the scenes video .  Reports from training camp will be available on the website beginning this week with transmissions from Boston.  In the first of two segments, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena talks about "team building".  In the second segment, recent arrivals from Europe, Bobby Convey and Clint Mathis, explain why there is no place like home. To access the segments, click on the video icons in this story. 


LATE GAME HEROICS: The U.S. has shown itself to be a 90-minute team in 2004, a credit to the side's conditioning and mentality.  Of the 16 goals scored in 2004, nine have come in the final 15 minutes.  Two of those goals sealed a U.S. victory, and four of them secured a draw after the team trailed 1-0.   These late-game heroics are rooted in the team's method of preparation, which involves both team selection and meticulous fitness planning.  For insight on how the team gets ready to go 90, click here to read an article on U.S. MNT fitness coach Pierre Barrieu's fitness program for the players. And for footage of players actually going through a workout with Barrieu, click on the video segment above about Bruce Arena talking about team building.  

MCBRIDE A MENACE:  Fulham forward Brian McBride has been absolutely clinical against El Salvador, his six career goals against the Azules leading all U.S. scorers. He's proven the ability to score when it counts, as two goals came in the USA's 4-2 victory in a 1998 World Cup qualifier on Nov. 16, 1997 at Foxboro Stadium, while he tallied a goal and an assist in the 2-0 victory in the opening game of the 2003 Gold Cup in Foxboro last July.  Rounding out his total against El Salvador was a hat trick in the 4-0 win on Jan. 27, 2000 in Pasadena.


THE SEMIFINAL ROUND SETUP:  The semifinal round will consist of three four-team groups playing a six-game round robin competition, with the top two finishers from each group moving onto the final round of qualifying in 2005.  Taking place from Aug.18-Nov.17, the U.S. and Jamaica are joined in Group 1 by El Salvador and Panama.  Group 2 consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, while Group 3 is made up of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  El Salvador has jumped out to an early lead in Group 1, having posted a 2-1 victory home to Panama on matchday one, with the U.S. and Jamaica splitting the spoils in Kingston.  For a complete look at all the standings and schedules for CONCACAF qualifying, click here.

EL SALVADOR ROSTER: El Salvador, which arrived into Boston this afternoon, has brought an 18-man roster for their match against the U.S. MNT on Saturday: GOALKEEPERS (2): Miguel Montes (Alianza FC), Santos Rivera (Limeno); DEFENDERS (5): Marvin Gonzalez (CD F.A.S.), Mario Guevara (Alianza FC), Eric Downson Prado (AD Isidro), Alexander Rosales (AD Isidro), Victor Velasquez (CD F.A.S.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Urbina (Once Municipal), Edwin Gonzalez (Limeno), Victor Merino (LA Firpo), Gilberto Murgas (CD F.A.S.), Alfredo Pacheco (CD F.A.S.), Jorge Rodriguez (CD Aguila), William Torres (CD Aguila); FORWARDS (4): Denis Alas (San Salvador FC), Ronald Cerritos (Alianza FC), Josue Galdamez (Limeno), Diego Mejia (Monagua).

COMING TOMORROW, VANNEY ONE-ON-ONE:  U.S. defender Greg Vanney seems finally to be settling into form.  After missing out on the 2002 World Cup with a knee injury and inconsistent form after a move to France, the left-footed defender has found a steady role at Bastia and has quietly regained the confidence to put him in position for a regular place in the USA's World Cup qualifying campaign.  After playing eight games for the MNT in 2003 - the most of his career - Vanney tallied his first international goal in second-half stoppage time of the USA's 3-0 win against Grenada in the first match of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying.  Check back tomorrow as Vanney reveals his thoughts on his past, present and future in this week's version of "one-on-one." 

PICTURES, PICTURES AND MORE PICTURES: Carlos Bocanegra, Bobby Convey, Tim Howard, and many more can be seen going through their first day of practice in Boston as they get ready to take on El Salvador on Saturday. Click here to see the pics.