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U.S. Men's Olympic Team Set for Group B Opener vs. Japan on Thursday, Live on MSNBC


U.S. Men’s Olympic Team
2008 Olympic Games
August 5, 2008


LET THE GAMES BEGIN: The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team is ready to kick off its campaign at the 2008 Olympic Games, taking on Japan in the Group B opener on Thursday, Aug. 7, at 5 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) from Tianjin Olympic Sport Stadium in Tianjin, China. The game, one day before the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing, will be shown live on MSNBC, the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel and Universal HD.

HOME IN TIANJIN: The U.S. has settled into to the mini-Olympic village along with seven other men’s and women’s soccer teams stationed at the satellite venue of Tianjin. Both groups will play their matches at the brand-new Olympic Center Stadium, which holds 60,000 people. The third-largest city in China (behind Beijing and Shanghai), Tianjin hosted several 2007 Women’s World Cup matches, and sits just 70 miles from the Olympic Village in Beijing.

2008 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (4): Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (Monaco), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Brian McBride (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

 Men's Olympic Soccer TV Schedule
Aug. 7 vs. Japan Venue: Tianjin

Kickoff: 5 a.m. ET

  Channel

Broadcast Time                                       

  MSNBC 

4:55 a.m. ET

  Universal HD 

4:55 a.m. ET

  NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

5 a.m. ET

Aug. 10 vs. Netherlands Venue: Tianjin Kickoff: 7:45 a.m. ET
  Channel

Broadcast Time

  USA Network

7:30 a.m. ET

  NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

7:30 a.m. ET

Aug. 13 vs. Nigeria Venue: Beijing (W) Kickoff: 5 a.m. ET
   Channel

Broadcast Time

  USA Network

5 a.m. ET 

  NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

5 a.m. ET 

Full Schedule >>

QUICK HITS:

  • The Beijing Games are the 13th Olympic tournament for the U.S. Men, more than any nation except Italy (15).
  • The U.S. faced Japan during their last run in the Olympic Games, meeting in the quarterfinals and battling through overtime. With a 2-2 tie after extra time, the U.S. prevailed on penalties, 5-4. Peter Vagenas and Josh Wolff scored during regulation for the U.S.
  • The U.S. went on to the medal round in Sydney 2000 and came in fourth place.
  • Midfielder Dax McCarty was a late addition to the U.S. roster, joining the team on July 24 after defender Nathan Sturgis suffered a hamstring injury. Kansas City Wizards defender Michael Harrington was added to the team’s list of alternates.
  • McCarty, who is one of 12 players who helped the team qualify for the Olympics in March, joined midfielder Freddy Adu, and defenders Maurice Edu and Michael Orozco on the Qualifying Tournament Best XI. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan earned an Honorable Mention.
  • Of the four players named as alternates to the U.S. team, only goalkeeper Dominic Cervi will travel with the team throughout their stay in China.
  • Seven players were part of the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Jozy Altidore was among the leaders of that tournament with four goals, Adu had three and Michael Bradley scored the overtime winner in the Round of 16 match against Uruguay.
  • Six players participated in the 2005 edition of the U-20 World Cup, including Adu and Danny Szetela, the only players to have appeared for the U.S. more than once. Other members of the 2005 team included Benny Feilhaber, Patrick Ianni, Sacha Kljestan and Marvell Wynne.
  • The U.S. team ranges in age from 18 (Altidore) to 36 (Brian McBride). The other two overage players – Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst - were both born in 1984, making them less than a year too old to be considered Under-23.
  • Parkhurst was named Major League Soccer’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 at just 23 years old, while Guzan was last year's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year at the same age. Edu was also an award winner last year, as he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

TALK OF JAPAN: Peter Nowak and Jozy Altidore addressed the media in Tianjin at the team’s official press conference, while Michael Bradley and Brian McBride also took the time to share their thoughts on Thursday evening’s games. Read what they had to say by clicking here.

TWO GAME WARM-UP: The U.S. prepared for the Olympics with two games in Hong Kong as part of the four-team ING Cup. The Americans took on fellow Olympians Ivory Coast and Cameroon, coming away with a scoreless draw and a 0-1 loss, respectively. Peter Nowak got a good look at all 18 players on his Olympic roster, with every member of the team seeing the field. The defensive line of Michael Orozco, Michael Parkhurst, Maurice Edu and Marvell Wynne played all 180 minutes, and the lone goal conceded by the U.S. during the tournament came on a penalty kick.

U.S. Men’s Olympic Team ING Cup Results

Date Opponent Result
July 30 Ivory Coast 0-0 T
Aug. 2 Cameroon 0-1 L

A LOOK AT JAPAN: Though he hasn’t included any overage players on his squad, Japanese head coach Yasuharu Sorimachi will be aided by five players who bring experience at the senior National Team level. Atsuto Uchida leads the cap-winners with seven appearances, all coming in 2008, and he will be expected to bolster a defense that allowed just two goals in six games of qualifying. Top-choice ‘keeper Shushaku Nishikawa has already made 80 J-League appearance despite being just 22 years old. On the attacking front, Takayuki Morimoto brings experience from Catania of Italy’s Serie A, and Tadanari Lee has made an impact in the J-League for Kashiwa Reysol, scoring 22 goals in 82 career appearances.

Japan Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS: Kaito Yamamoto (Shimizu S-Pulse), Shusaku Nishikawa (Oita Trinita)
DEFENDERS: Hiroki Miumoto (Kyoto Purple Sanga), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Masato Morishige (Oita Trinita), Michihiro Yasuda (Gamba Osaka), Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers), Maya Yoshida (Magoya Grampus)
MIDFIELDERS: Takuya Honda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Hiroyuki Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale), Yohei Kajiyama (FC Tokyo), Hajime Hosogai (Urawa Reds), Keisuke Honda (VVV Venlo - Holland), Shinji Kagawa (Cerezo Osake)
FORWARDS: Yohei Toyoda (Montedio Yamagata), Tadanari Lee (Kashiwa Reysol), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania - Italy)

NBC TO PROVIDE CHANNEL EXCLUSIVELY FOR OLYMPIC SOCCER COVERAGE: NBC Universal will launch a channel exclusively dedicated to full coverage of Men’s and Women’s Soccer at the 2008 Olympic Games. A total of 32 Men’s and 26 Women’s Soccer Games will be shown in their entirety on the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, in addition to coverage on USA Network, MSNBC and live streaming on NBCOlympics.com. The seven NBC Networks — NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Oxygen, Telemundo and Universal HD — will provide an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, all in high definition. NBCOlympics.com will also provide over 3,000 hours of on-demand access to full event replays and extensive highlights. The NBC Olympic Soccer Channel is available on most major cable, satellite and telephone companies and distributors.

PODCAST WITH PARKHURST: U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst, one of the team's three overage players and one of only four players to play the whole 180 minutes during the team's ING Cup warm up games sat down with ussoccer.com. Click here to listen as Parkhurst chats about the opportunity to play in the Olympics, missing his team's SuperLiga matches and his traveling family in this exclusive chat.

BUSY BLOGGING: The Olympic Team is back in blog action since making the journey to the Far East. You can read all about the trip and keep up on the latest happenings and behind-the-scenes news on the YNT Blog. Click on http://ynt-ussoccer.blogspot.com/ to keep up with the action.

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