U.S. Continues Preparations in Seoul; Opener vs. Portugal Nine Days Away
POLICE ESCORT 8, GRIDLOCK TRAFFIC 1: Through four full days in Seoul, the U.S. team has been able to avoid the notoriously heavy traffic in the Korean capitol thanks to an efficient and omnipresent police escort. From the drive to the hotel after landing at the Incheon International Airport on Thursday night to the usual 20-minute jaunt to and from Misari Practice Stadium everyday for training, the police escort has been virtually unstoppable on nine trips through the city. On Tuesday evening, though, a late practice session saw the police escort come to a grinding halt in gridlock, rush-hour traffic along the 88 Highway for the first time. With two motorcycles, a squad car and a SWAT Team Chevy Suburban leading the way, the police escort attempted to clear a path, but had to settle with moving along at an abbreviated pace and providing "rush hour" entertainment for thousands of motorists on the highway.
STEWART TO PARTICIPATE IN LIVE ONLINE CHAT FROM SEOUL ON MAY 29 AT 7 p.m. ET: U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Earnie Stewart, the 2001 Chevy Male Athlete of the Year, will chat live from Seoul with fans and media on Wednesday (May 29) at 7:00 p.m. ET. Stewart will discuss the team’s preparations for the World Cup as well as the USA’s stay in Korea, where the squad is preparing to open play in their fourth consecutive World Cup. Stewart, who started 15 of the USA’s 16 qualifying matches in the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign, recorded one of the USA’s most memorable goals when he scored the gamewinner against Colombia in the 1994 World Cup. Stewart is the all-time leader for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying appearances (27) and goals (9).
BREAKING DOWN THE CUP COMES TO ussoccer.com’s “WORLD CUP PLUS”: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall, who was recently appointed to two first round World Cup matches, is the latest U.S. Soccer expert to “Break Down the Cup.” Visit ussoccer.com to read about Hall’s first few days in Korea, his excitement when he learned of his World Cup assignments and much more. Throughout the World Cup D.J. Countess, John Ellinger and Brandi Chastain will all be “Breaking Down the Cup” at ussoccer.com.
WIRELESS MANIA: When you are guaranteed to be spending three to four weeks halfway around the world in a time zone 13-hours ahead of home, e-mail and Internet access is high on the wish list for players trying to make a hotel seem more like a home. To that end Avaya, the Official Provider of Voice and Data Communications for the U.S. Men's and Women's National Soccer Teams and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, has set up an amazing wireless Internet network around the team and staff hotels which literally makes getting on-line as easy as turning on your computer. Many of the players spent Sunday and Monday afternoons having their laptops configured for the Avaya Wireless Home/SOHO System. "The system is incredible," said forward Joe-Max Moore. "This technology and Avaya's techinical people have been great in getting everyone set-up. We really can't say enough about how easy they've made it for us to keep in touch with everyone at home."
PRACTICE OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES AT 10 a.m.; MEDIA AVAILABILITY SCHEDULED FOR 1:45 p.m.: The U.S. Men's National Team will be available to the media at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon (May 29) at the team hotel at the J.W. Marriott. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena and selected players will be available to the media at that time via a press conference and mixed-zone session. Training on Wednesday at Misari Practice Stadium, located in the southeast corner of Seoul, will be open for 15 minutes beginning at approximately 10 a.m. Media interested in attending the first 15 minutes of training should arrive at the complex at 9:30 a.m. to be allowed admittance to the training facility. After 15 minutes media will be escorted from the facility. There will be no interview availability at the practice site. At all times, an up-to-date schedule of training sessions and media availability can be found in the media-only section of ussoccer.com.
AVAYA TO HOST MEDIA RECEPTION AT MARRIOTT IN SEOUL ON WEDNESDAY: Avaya, the Official Provider of Voice and Data Communications for the U.S. Men's and Women's National Soccer Teams and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, will host a media cocktail reception at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Seoul, Korea on Wednesday (May 29) at 7 p.m. local time in Room 1AB, located on the hotel's third floor. Media wishing to attend the event can RSVP to Renaldo Juanso at email@example.com or by phone at 408-577-7557. The informal reception is designed to welcome the U.S.-based media to Korea and to socialize with executives from Avaya and the U.S. Soccer Federation.
EXCLUSIVE AUDIO, PHOTOS NOW AVAILABLE ON ussoccer.com’s MEDIAWORLD: Exclusive audio from U.S. Soccer coaches and players can now be heard at MediaWorld on ussoccer.com. Listen to Bruce Arena, Tony Meola and more U.S. players discuss the World Cup, Korea and the city of Seoul. New sound clips and photos from Korea are added each day. To view the latest images and audio, click on the “Image of the Day” in the lower right hand corner of the “World Cup Plus” section.
LARGE MEDIA CONTINGENT FOLLOWING TEAM CONTINUES TO GROW: With less than ten days until the USA’s first match of the World Cup, the mass of media following the U.S. each day continues to swell. Journalists from Poland, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Korea, England, Malaysia, Japan, France, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Italy and more have joined the U.S. media in focusing on the U.S. camp. The number of U.S. reporters continues to grow daily, with more coming in as the opener against Portugal approaches.
T-MINUS: There are 9 days until the U.S. Men's National Team opens 2002 FIFA World Cup play against Portugal on June 5 in Suwon, which also happens to correspond to the number of career goals scored by Clint Mathis. The striker from Conyers, Ga., entered 2002 with three goals in 11 matches, and has exploded this season to tally six goals in 11 matches.
THEY SAID IT: “When we talk about Landon and DaMarcus we don’t even look at their ages we look at those two as members of our 23-man roster. We’re not concerned about their age; if we were, they would not be on our roster. So we expect them to be able to contribute during this World Cup. We think they are both very good players, and they belong here.”
-- U.S. Head Coach Bruce Arena, on the two 20-year-olds on his World Cup roster, Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley