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U.S. Men vs. Colombia (Gold Cup Quarterfinals): Prematch Notes


MIAMI (Friday, February 19, 2000) -

USA REMAINS UNBEATEN IN GOLD CUP OPENING ROUND: The U.S. is the only CONCACAF team to win every one of its first round games since the inception of the Gold Cup Championship in 1991. The Americans have won 12 consecutive first round games and have outscored their opponents 26-7. The winning streak includes seven shutouts, seven one-goal victories and three come-from-behind wins. The USA was one of only two teams (with Honduras) with a perfect record 2-0-0 record in the 2000 Gold Cup opening round.

COLOMBIA SCOUTING REPORT: Colombia, ranked 24th in the latest FIFA table, finished Group A in second place after defeating Jamaica, 1-0, and losing to honduras, 0-2. The Colombians are led by a new head coach, Luis Garcia, who was put in charge after Javier Alvarez was dismissed following a 9-0 loss to Brazil by the Colombian U-23 team, which he also coached.

LIFETIME SERIES: Colombia holds a 7-2-2 lead over the U.S. and have outscored the Americans 15 - 6 since the two teams first met in international competition on February 5, 1961 in Bogota, Colombia. The U.S. has not beaten Colombia since the historic World Cup victory over the South American team on June 22, 1994, and has been shutout by Colombia six times in eleven meetings.

USA v. COLOMBIA ALL-TIME:

2/5/61USA 0, COL 2Bogota, Colombia---
10/11/84USA 1, COL 0Los Angeles, Calif.Ade Coker
5/14/88USA 0, COL 2Miami, Fla.---
6/24/89USA 0, COL 1Miami, Fla.---
2/4/90^USA 1, COL 1Miami, Fla.Eric Wynalda
4/22/90USA 0, COL 1Miami, Fla.---
7/31/92USA 0, COL 1Los Angeles, Calif.---
5/8/93USA 1, COL 2Miami, Fla.Alexi Lalas
6/22/94**USA 2, COL 1Pasadena, Calif.Ernie Stewart, Own Goal
6/25/95USA 0, COL 0Piscataway, N.J.---
7/22/95*USA 1, COL 4Maldonado, UruguayJoe-Max Moore
**World Cup *Copa America ^Colombia wins on penalty kicks, 8-9

LAST MEETING WITH COLOMBIA: The U.S. were flattened by Colombia, 4-1, in the USA's final Copa America match of 1995. The United States had already beaten Argentina and Chile, and tied Mexico, in the continental championship eventually won by Uruguay. The USA lineup on the day of the last meeting between the two teams included two players currently on the 18-player Gold Cup active roster, Claudio Reyna and Jovan Kirovski, and featured eligible Gold Cup players Ernie Stewart and Cobi Jones.

RED-HOT JONES CONTINUES STREAK: In what is quickly becoming one of the most impressive streaks in U.S. Soccer history, U.S. midfielder Cobi Jones notched a goal in his third consecutive game for the U.S., becoming the first U.S. player to accomplish that feat in 28 years (going all the way back to Willy Roy in 1972). Jones, who had gone 39 games across three years since his last goal, has a chance to become just the second player in U.S. Soccer history to score goals in four consecutive games (joining record holder William Looby who notched goals in four straight games back in 1955). Including his assist in the USA's first match of the year, Jones has points in all four games for the U.S. in 2000.

TWO SURVIVORS FROM '91 GOLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP SQUAD: Goalkeeper Tony Meola and forward Eric Wynalda are the only two players on the current U.S. roster that were active members of the 1991 Gold Cup Championship Squad. Meola was the starting 'keeper for the Americans and posted three shutouts while earning MVP honors in '91. Wynalda made five starts and scored against Guatemala in a 3-0 victory in Pasadena on July 1.

WYNALDA MAKES GOLD CUP HIS STOMPING GROUND: Eric Wynalda continued his tremendous success in the bi- annual tournament with his ninth Gold Cup goal, against Haiti, on February 12. Wynalda is the only American to have played every Gold Cup match for the United States, and has scored for the U.S. during each of the five CONCACAF competitions. The U.S. is a perfect 8-0 when Wynalda scores during the Gold Cup.

NOW WYNALDA OWNS ASSIST RECORD, TOO: With a pair of assists to start the year (on Lewis' goal against Chile and Kirovski's goal against Haiti), forward Eric Wynalda has taken the all-time assist lead for the United States with 16. Wynalda's total eclipses the 14 assists earned by Tab Ramos, and the 13 collected by Cobi Jones. In addition to his new assist record, Wynalda holds the U.S. National Team's all-time goal scoring record with 34 international goals, and has scored at least on goal in eleven consecutive years.

GOLD CUP EXPERIENCE ABOUNDS FOR USA: Eric Wynalda has started every U.S. Gold Cup match since the tournament began play in 1991. With nine goals in the 19 games played by the United States, Wynalda has the distinction of being the only U.S. player to have scored in every one of the five Gold Cup tournaments. Cobi Jones ranks second on the Gold Cup appearance list for the USA, appearing in 13 matches, followed by John Harkes, with 10 Gold Cup caps to his credit. Jones has started the last ten consecutive games in the bi-annual tournament. Tony Meola leads all U.S. goalkeepers with 10 starts in goal. Six of Meola's starts resulted in shutouts by the United States. Nine of the 18 players on the initial Gold Cup roster have previous experience in the tournament.

EDDIE LEWIS CRACKS TOP TEN IN RECORD TIME: Eddie Lewis picked up his second assist of the year against Peru on Wednesday, bringing his career total to seven for the U.S. in just 18 career games. That total places Lewis among the top 10 all-time leaders in assists for the U.S. Only one player among the current U.S. top 10 assist leaders has earned fewer than 70 international caps (Roy Wegerle, with 7 assists in 41 career games).

LLAMOSA TO FACE NATIVE COUNTRY FOR FIRST TIME: U.S. defender Carlos Llamosa, who was born in Palmira, Colombia, will face his native country for the first time since obtaining his U.S. citizenship on October 23, 1998. A first round MLS supplemental draft pick by Bruce Arena at D.C. United in 1997, Llamosa has appeared 7 times for the USA.

USA AGAINST SOUTH AMERICA: The United States will play its 63rd game against South American opposition when they take the field against Colombia in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Saturday. Though the USA holds a 12-33-17 record against teams from the continent, the team has lost only once (5-1-3) in nine tries since the historic Gold Cup win over Brazil in 1998. During that stretch, the Americans have defeated Argentina, Chile, Peru, and of course Brazil. Head coach Bruce Arena holds a lifetime record of 4-1-1 against South American teams.

AGOOS NEARS CENTURY MARK: Veteran defender Jeff Agoos stands on the verge of obtaining his 100th cap for the U.S. National Team, needing only two more appearances to join the exclusive club. Only four players have ever represented the United States Men's Team 100 times or more: Marcelo Balboa (128), Cobi Jones (123), Paul Caligiuri (110), and Eric Wynalda (105). A handful of other active players have a shot at the 100 mark, including Tony Meola (91) and John Harkes (90).

ARENA RECORDS TENTH VICTORY WITH NATIONAL TEAM: The U.S. win over Peru provided head coach Bruce Arena his tenth full international victory since taking the helm after the 1998 World Cup, making him only the fourth U.S. coach to reach double-digits in wins. Of the three previous coaches to win ten or more (Bob Gansler 14-16- 6; Bora Milutinovic 30-34-31; Steve Sampson 26-22-14), Arena did the trick in the fewest games, and has the highest winning percentage (.667).

GOLD CUP OVERVIEW:
The twelve teams competing in the 2000 edition are:

  • Defending champions: Mexico
  • Host team: United States
  • UNCAF champions: Costa Rica
  • UNCAF qualifiers: Guatemala and Honduras
  • CFU champions: Jamaica (1998) and Trinidad & Tobago (1999)
  • Playoff qualifiers: Canada and Haiti
  • Invited teams: Colombia, South Korea and Peru

Groupings are as follows:

Group A - Jamaica, Colombia, Honduras - Miami
Group B - USA, Peru, Haiti - Miami
Group C - Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago - San Diego
Group D - Costa Rica, South Korea, Canada - Los Angeles

Feb. 12 - USA vs. Haiti (3:0); Colombia vs. Jamaica (1:0) in Miami.
Feb. 13 - Costa Rica vs. Canada (2:2) Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago (4:0) in San Diego.
Feb. 14 - Jamaica vs. Honduras (0:2) Haiti vs. Peru (1:1) in Miami.
Feb. 15 - Korea vs. Canada (0:0) Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala (4:2) in Los Angeles.
Feb. 16 - Honduras vs. Colombia (2:0) Peru vs. USA (0:1) in Miami.
Feb. 17 - Mexico vs. Guatemala (1:1) Korea vs. Costa Rica (2:2) in Los Angeles.
Feb. 19 - Quarterfinal A: USA (Winner Group B) vs. Colombia (Runner up Group A) (3 p.m. ET)

Quarterfinal B: Honduras (Winner Group A) vs. Peru (Runner up Group B) (5:30 p.m. ET) Both in Miami.
Feb. 20 - Quarterfinal C: Costa Rica (Winner Group D) vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Runner up Group C) (12 p.m. PT).
Quarterfinal D: Mexico (Winner Group C) vs. Canada(Runner up Group D) (2:30 p.m. PT) Both in San Diego.
Feb. 23 - Semifinal 1: Winner Quarterfinal A vs. Winner Quarterfinal B (8 p.m. PT) in San Diego.
Feb. 24 - Semifinal 2: Winner Quarterfinal C vs. Winner Quarterfinal D (8 p.m. PT) in Los Angeles.
Feb. 27 - Final: Winner Semifinal 1 vs. Winner Semifinal 2 (12 p.m. PT) in Los Angeles.

USA, IRELAND, MEXICO, and SOUTH AFRICA TO BATTLE FOR 7th U.S. CUP: Staged annually by the Federation as U.S. Soccer's premier men's event, Nike U.S. Cup 2000, featuring the National Teams of Ireland, Mexico, South Africa and the USA, will kick off on Saturday, June 3, with the U.S. Men's National Team taking on South Africa at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. live on ABC at 4 p.m.ET. The four-team, six-match tournament will also see matches played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Foxboro Stadium in New England and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, before concluding with a classic doubleheader on Sunday, June 11 at Giants Stadium outside New York City, featuring the U.S. battling arch-rival Mexico live on ABC at 1 p.m. ET and Ireland taking on South Africa at 3:30 p.m. ET. In six past tournaments, the U.S. has a 7-7-3 all-time record in 17 games against Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, England, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Portugal.

KELER INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE DINNER: U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who has been honored twice in the last three year's as U.S. Soccer's Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year, will join the king and queen of Spain at a royal dinner at the White House on Feb. 23. After eight years in England, Keller transferred to Spanish First Division club Rayo Vallecano last summer and has helped the small Madrid club make its mark after being promoted following the 1998-99 season. "This is a great honor," said Kasey Keller. "I thought it was a joke at first, but when I realized it wasn't I was very happy. It's not every day you get the chance to have dinner at the White House."

U.S. MEN TO MEET TUNISIA AT LEGION FIELD IN BIRMINGHAM ON MARCH 12: The United States Men's National Team will play an international friendly versus African Nations Cup semifinalist Tunisia in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, March 12, 2000, at Legion Field. Kickoff for the game, which will broadcast live on ESPN2, is set for 2:30 p.m. ET. The marquee match-up marks the first-time in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team program that the USA has played an international match against Tunisia, although the U-23s did face Tunisia in the exact same venue in the 1996 Olympics, winning 2-0. The game will be just the fifth ever for the U.S. against an African nation, the previous four coming against Morocco and Nigeria (twice each). Tickets are available through TicketMaster at 800/277-1700.

CATCH THE GOLD CUP WITH LIVE WEBCASTS: U.S. Soccer will provide minute-by-minute updates of all of the U.S. Men's National Team games during the Gold Cup at www.us-soccer.com. Fans can also listen to every game of the Gold Cup live in English on internetsoccer.com, which has acquired the exclusive live English language coverage of the tournament.

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