THE COUNTDOWN STARTS: With less than five months to go until the 2010 FIFA World Cup commences in South Africa, the United States Men's National Team kicks off the year against fellow World Cup qualifiers Honduras on Jan. 23 in Carson, Calif. Kickoff at The Home Depot Center is set for 6 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at www.twitter.com/ussoccer. The January camp and game has traditionally served as a staging ground for MLS players who are looking to make an impression, and this year’s opportunity has a little extra spice with the carrot of the World Cup roster dangling before their eyes.
- The U.S. began camp at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 4 with 30 players.
- Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and forward Marcus Tracy were released from national team duty after medical evaluations determined they had not recovered from injuries they had sustained prior to coming into camp.
- Three players in the squad saw the field the last time the USA met Honduras on the memorable night in San Pedro Sula that sealed the USA’s place in the World Cup. Jonathan Bornstein and Conor Casey were in the starting lineup for the famous 3-2 win on Oct. 10, 2009, while Benny Feilhaber came on as a second half sub replacing two-goal hero Casey.
- Prior to the meeting in San Pedro Sula, the USA faced Honduras in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal on July 23, 2009, at Soldier Field. Six players from the starting lineup are in camp this January. Troy Perkins, Clarence Goodson, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce, Kyle Beckerman and Robbie Rogers were all in the starting XI for the 2-0 win, with Goodson nodding home his first international goal, which also proved the game winner.
- In total, 10 players on the roster competed in the USA’s successful campaign to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Sacha Kljestan's 10 appearances during qualifying are a team high, while Heath Pearce (nine starts) and Conor Casey (two goals) are also team bests.
- Five members of the 2009 MLS Best XI are included in the 28-man roster: Geoff Cameron, Casey, Jeff Cunningham, Marshall and Zach Thornton.
- The roster also boasts award winners in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Thornton, Visa Defender of the year Marshall, Budweiser Golden Boot winner Cunningham and Gatorade Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez.
- Chivas USA supply a team-leading four players to the roster: Bornstein, Justin Braun, Kljestan, and Thornton. MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake, along with the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, send three players.
- A total of 15 players in camp earned at least one cap in 2009.
- Eight players - Beckerman, Jimmy Conrad, Brad Evans, Feilhaber, Goodson, Marshall, Pearce and Perkins – were part of the squad that reached the finals of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Beckerman, Goodson and Rogers all netted their first international goals in that tournament.
- Benny Feilhaber is the leading capwinner on the roster with 30 appearances for the USA, while Heath Pearce is just behind with 28 caps.
- There are 23 players on the roster with 10 caps or less, and seven will be in search of their first appearance with the full team.
- Camp began with five of 30 players plying their trade overseas. The withdrawal of Tracy from the squad and the Perkins transfer to D.C. United have seen that number fall to three during the course of the January camp.
Average Age: 25.8 Average Caps: 8.4
Most Caps: 30 (Benny Feilhaber) Fewest Caps: 0 (Seven Players)
Oldest: 36 (Zach Thornton) Youngest: 21 (Kevin Alston, Omar Gonzalez)
Play professionally in: USA (25), Denmark (1), Norway (1), Sweden (1)
WORLD CUP PREP: Saturday's game is one of three games scheduled for the USA before the naming of the 2010 FIFA World Cup roster. In addition to the game against Honduras, Bob Bradley's team will face El Salvador in Tampa on Feb. 24 before traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to meet the third-ranked Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam. The game against the Netherlands comes on the only FIFA match date prior to the start of preparations for the World Cup.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: The U.S. Men's National Team has never lost a game at The Home Depot Center, compiling a 7-0-1 record since playing its first game in Carson in 2004. In fact, since opening with a 1-1 draw against Denmark on Jan. 18, 2004, the USA has won seven matches in a row, with 24 goals scored and only three surrendered. Five of the games at the HDC have been international friendlies, while two games (both in 2007) have been part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the lone World Cup qualifier at The Home Depot Center, the USA posted a record-tying 8-0 victory against Barbados on June 15, 2008.
DOES JANUARY CAMP LEAD TO THE WORLD CUP? With the January camp serving as the last long audition for players trying to make the squad for South Africa, what does history tell us about the role of this opportunity? In total, 13 of the 28 players in Bruce Arena's 2002 January camp were named in the 23-man roster for Korea/Japan. In 2006, Jimmy Conrad and nine other players from the Carson camp found their way to Germany.
COMPARING CAMPS: No player in Bob Bradley's current squad has been on all three rosters for the 2002, 2006 and 2010 January camps. However, there are a number of players who have received two of the three call-ups for camps falling in World Cup years. Jeff Cunningham, Nick Rimando, and Zach Thornton were all part of the team in the winter of '02, while four players from the 2006 group are in camp four years later. Heath Pearce represented the only foreign-based player four years ago in Mission Viejo, joining up with the USA from 'Denmark's FC Nordsjælland, his club at the time. Chad Marshall and Kevin Hartman were in the team as well, while Hartman's future Kansas City club-mate Jimmy Conrad was also amongst the 28 players in 2006.
FAMILIAR FOES: Honduras proved a frequent foil for Bob Bradley's side in 2009 in what was one of the busiest years of all time for the U.S. Men's National Team. The sides met four times in the last six months of the year, contesting two World Cup qualifiers, one group game in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup and a semifinal in the same competition. The USA prevailed in all four games but faced stiff competition in each match. Twice Bob Bradley's men came from behind to secure three points in World Cup qualifying, and the wins in the Gold Cup featured heavily partisan crowds in favor of Honduras.
|2009 U.S. Games Against Honduras|
|Date||Competition||Result||U.S. Goal Scorers||Venue|
|June 6||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying||2-1 W||Donovan, Bocanegra||Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.|
|July 8||CONCACAF Gold Cup||2-0 W||Quaranta, Ching||RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.|
|July 23||CONCACAF Gold Cup||2-0 W||Goodson, Cooper||Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.|
|Oct. 10||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying||3-2 W||Casey (2), Donovan||Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras|
MLS CONNECTIONS: The Home Depot Center will be familiar to a few of the Honduran players, led by team captain Amado Guevara. The leading all-time capwinner for Honduras earned MLS MVP honors in 2005, having been brought to the MetroStars by then-coach Bob Bradley two years earlier. He played at Chivas USA and Toronto FC before moving back to his home country. Carlos Pavon, who made his home with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, leads all Catrachos with 53 international goals. Roger Espinoza currently sports the colors of the Kansas City Wizards.
CHAMPIONS AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the FIFA World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point at the summit of the Hexagonal. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Home Depot Center will be familiar to a few of the Honduran players, led by team captain Amado Guevara. The leading all-time capwinner for Honduras earned MLS MVP honors in 2005, having been brought to the MetroStars by then-coach Bob Bradley two years earlier. He played at Chivas USA and Toronto FC before moving back to his home country. Carlos Pavon, who made his home with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, leads all Catrachos with 53 international goals. Roger Espinoza currently sports the colors of the Kansas City Wizards. The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the FIFA World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point at the summit of the Hexagonal. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
|Trinidad and Tobago||10||1||6||3||10||22||-12||6|
|*Qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup|
HISTORY AGAINST HONDURAS: Conor Casey and Clarence Goodson are the only two players on the U.S. roster to have scored against Honduras. Goodson's header was the winning goal in the USA's 2-0 victory in the 2009 Gold Cup Semifinal on July 23, 2009, while Casey's two goals helped Bob Bradley's team to the famous 3-2 win in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10 that sent the USA to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In addition to both goals coming last year, both marked the pair's first goals for the USA. In a further coincidence, both goals were scored with the players' heads (though Casey's second goal of the night was memorably slotted home with his right foot).
ussoccer.com FACTOID: Conor Casey’s two goals in the USA's World Cup-clinching win on Oct. 10, 2009 in Honduras marked the first time a U.S. player has scored two goals in a road qualifier in Central America.
EL REY DE HONDURAS: Jonathan Bornstein's injury time goal against Costa Rica proved one of the decisive moments in qualifying, and not just because it assured the USA of a first place finish in the Final Round of World Cup qualifying. Bornstein's header off a corner kick from Robbie Rogers lifted Honduras into third place in the standings and an automatic berth in South Africa. Since the goal, Bornstein has been lauded in the Central American nation. His name was chanted in the streets of San Pedro Sula during the celebrations in October, and even months later he still receives daily messages of support and thanks from Honduran fans.
HAT TRICK FLASHBACK: In the corresponding fixture a year ago, midfielder Sacha Kljestan netted three goals in the USA's 3-2 victory against Sweden on Jan. 19, 2009. Kljestan's trio marked the 11th three-goal performance in U.S. history, and put him in unique company as only the second U.S. player ever to open his national team scoring account with a hat trick. The only other player to pull off the feat was Aldo “Buff” Donelli, who tallied four goals in a 4-2 victory against Mexico on May 24, 1934, in the lone qualifying match for the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
INTO THE NEXT 50: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 56 games under his belt, seeing 88 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 complete, a review of the body of work during the past nearly-three years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Bradley’s 31 victories in 50 games outdistanced his predecessor Bruce Arena, who had collected 25 victories at that point in his tenure. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15).
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008).
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
- Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
- Played matches on four continents.
- Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 104
Goals Against: 65
Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 24-4-5, 65 GF, 30 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA
UEFA: 6-6-0, 16 GF, 14 GA
AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
CAF: 2-0-0, 4 GF, 0 GA
Record when …
Leading at half: 21-3-2
Losing at half: 2-5-2
Tied at half: 11-8-2
By year …
THE FIRST MONTH: The U.S. has played 32 times in the month of January, posting a 16-7-9 record. The USA has not lost a January game since 1997, when they fell 2-1 to China in Kunming. Since the turn of the 21st century, the USA has posted 10 wins and four ties in the month of January, compiling an impressive record in what has become a traditional time for MNT fixtures in the new year.
TWENTY-ONE FIND THE NET: Jeff Cunningham's goal against Denmark on Nov. 18 rounded out a record-setting year for the USA. Cunningham became the 21st different U.S. player to tally in 2009, surpassing the previous record of 18 set by the U.S. team in 1993 and matched in 2000. In addition, eight players opened their international scoring account in 2009, the second-most in history for the U.S., with nine players scoring their first career goals in 1993. Here's a look at all the players who have found the net in 2009:
Unique U.S. Goalscorers in 2009
*For players who have scored multiple goals, this list only includes the first time they scored in 2009.
Sacha Kljestan (vs. Sweden, Jan. 24)
Michael Bradley (vs. Mexico, Feb. 11)
Jozy Altidore and Frankie Hejduk (vs. El Salvador, March 28)
Landon Donovan (vs. Costa Rica, June 3)
Carlos Bocanegra (vs. Honduras, June 6)
Charlie Davies and Clint Dempsey (vs. Egypt, June 21)
Freddy Adu, Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers (vs. Grenada, July 4)
Santino Quaranta and Brian Ching (vs. Honduras, July 8)
Davy Arnaud (vs. Haiti, July 11, 2009)
Kyle Beckerman and Kenny Cooper (vs. Panama, July 18)
Clarence Goodson (vs. Honduras, July 23)
Ricardo Clark (vs. Trinidad & Tobago, Sept. 9)
Conor Casey (vs. Honduras, Oct. 10)
Jonathan Bornstein (vs. Costa Rica, Oct. 14)
Jeff Cunningham (vs. Denmark, Nov. 18)
GROUPED TOGETHER: The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria. The USA has faced England, ranked ninth in the FIFA World Rankings, on nine prior occasions and holds a 2-7-0 record against the 1966 World Cup champions. Most recently the two sides met in a friendly on May 28, 2008 at Wembley Stadium, where Fabio Capello's side earned a 2-0 victory. Slovenia (ranked 33rd) and Algeria (28th) have never faced the United States and the games in South Africa will mark the first meetings between the countries in any competition.
|U.S. MNT 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C Schedule|
|June 12||England||8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.||Rustenburg|
|June 18||Slovenia||4 p.m. / 10 a.m.||Ellis Park Stadium; Johannesburg|
|June 23||Algeria||4 p.m. / 10 a.m.||Tshwane/Pretoria|
ELITE GROUP: Here is a look at the 32 teams from around the world who have booked their tickets to South Africa and the confederations they're coming from:
Host Country: South Africa
AFC – Asia (43 teams, 4.5 berths): Australia, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic
CAF – Africa (53 teams, 5 berths): Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria
CONCACAF – North America, Central America, Caribbean (35 teams, 3.5 berths): Honduras, Mexico, USA
CONMEBOL – South America (10 teams, 4.5 berths): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
OFC (10 teams, .5 berths) – New Zealand
UEFA – Europe (53 teams, 13 berths): Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
Of these teams, only the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea Republic have participated in all six World Cups since 1990.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer.
BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING: What’s the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans? Watching a game at an Official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans! Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S. teams in an atmosphere that is loud and rowdy. Enjoy a Saturday night out on the town with other U.S. fans and watch the U.S. take on Honduras this weekend! A full list of Official U.S. Soccer Bars is available at ussoccer.com.
U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the “Official U.S. Soccer Page” on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.
THE GAME IS IN US: Support for United States' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 has picked up some serious steam since the launch of http://gousabid.com. Twelve other nations are bidding to host at least one of the tournaments and if we're going to win the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cup™, it'll be because of the overwhelming grassroots support of soccer fans who believe in our bid's official theme, The Game Is In US. Please take a moment to sign the petition to officially show your support for the US bid to bring the World Cup™ back to America.
IN FOCUS: HONDURAS
HONDURAS FACT FILE
Federación Nacional Autónoma de Fútbol de Honduras
Founded: 1951 (Joined FIFA the same year)
Head Coach: Reinaldo Rueda (Colombia)
World Cup: Two (1982, 2010)
Best World Cup Finish: First Round, 1982
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: Runner-up, 1991
Caps Leader: Amado Guevara (130)
Top Scorer: Carlos Pavon (56)
Key Players: Amado Guevara, Ramon Nunez, Carlos Pavon
BACK AT THE WORLD CUP: Honduras qualified for its second-ever World Cup by virtue of its third place finish in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Los Catrachos booked their first trip to the tournament since 1982 by winning on the Matchday 10 with a gutsy 1-0 victory against El Salvador in San Salvador, setting aside the disappointment of a home loss to the USA on Matchday 9 to grab three points at the home of a fierce rival. The result, coupled with the USA's draw with Costa Rica, lifted Honduras ahead of their Central American neighbors Costa Rica and condemned Los Ticos to a playoff with Uruguay that was eventually won by the South Americans.
“H” AS IN HONDURAS: Honduras has been drawn into Group H of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain, Switzerland and Chile. Reinaldo Rueda's team opens the World Cup in Nelspruit on June 16 when they meet Chile. Five days later Honduras meets Spain, the No. 1-ranked team in the world, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Honduras rounds out group play against Switzerland at Free State Stadium on June 25 in Bloemfontein. Should the team advance, they will cross over in a second round match with a member of Group G, which includes Brazil, Portugal, Korea DPR and Cote d'Ivoire.
|Honduras 2010 FIFA World Cup Group H Schedule|
|June 21||Spain||Ellis Park Stadium; Johannesburg|
On the field for USA
Nov. 18, 2009 – NRGi Park, Aarhus, Denmark – International Friendly
USA 1 Jeff Cunningham 26
Denmark 3 Johan Absalonsen 47, Søren Rieks 52, Martin Bernburg 55
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 22-Frankie Hejduk, 2-Jonathan Spector (15-Jimmy Conrad, 70), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (25-Clarence Goodson, 70), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (19-Robbie Rogers, 61), 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley (33-Edgar Castillo, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber; 17-Jozy Altidore (28-Dax McCarty, 80), 32-Jeff Cunningham (36-Eddie Johnson, 61)
Subs not used: 35-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
DEN: 1-Thomas Sørensen; 6-Lars Jacobsen, 3-Simon Kjær, 4-Per Krøldrup, 5-Michael Lumb; 7-Daniel Jensen (18-Johan Absalonsen, 46), 2-Christian Poulsen (13-William Kvist Jørgensen, 46), 8-Jacob Poulsen; 10- Martin Jørgensen (capt.) (19-Jesper Bech, 80), 9-Morten Rasmussen (17-Martin Bernburg, 35, 20-Thomas Enevoldsen, 90), 11- Jesper Grønkjær (15-Søren Rieks, 46)
Subs not used: 12-Anders Møller Christensen, 14- Leon Jessen,16-Kim Christensen
Head Coach: Morten Olsen
On the field for Honduras
Nov. 18, 2009 – Sun Life Stadium, Miami – International Friendly
Honduras 1 David Suazo 46
HON: Noel Valladares, Mauricio Sabillón, Víctor Bernárdez, Erick Norales, Emilio Izaguirre, Hendry Thomas, Wilson Palacios, Danilo Turcios, Walter Martínez, Carlos Pavón, David Suazo.
PER: Leao Butrón, Marcio Valverde, Christian Ramos, Orlando Contretas, Jhon Galliquio, Damián Ismodes, Josepmir Ballón, Rainer Torres, Roberto Palacios, Johan Fano, Hernán Rengifo.
On the field vs. Honduras
Oct. 10, 2009 – Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras – 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round, Matchday 9
Honduras 2 Julio Cesar de Leon 47, 78
USA 3 Conor Casey 55, 66, Landon Donovan 71
HON: 18-Noel Valladares; 16-Mauricio Sabillon, 2-Osman Chavez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 12-Emilio Izaguirre; 17-Edgard Alvarez (11-David Suazo, 64), 6-Hendry Thomas (7-Ramon Nunez, 75), 8-Wilson Palacios, 10-Julio Cesar de Leon (15-Walter Martinez, 80); 13-Carlo Costly, 9-Carlos Pavon
Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 5-Erick Norales, 14-Boniek Garcia, 4-Melvin Valladares,
Head Coach: Reinaldo Rueda
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (6-Steve Cherundolo, 90+3), 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 9-Charlie Davies (17-Jozy Altidore, 79), 8-Conor Casey (16-Benny Feilhaber, 84)
Subs not used: 11-Kenny Cooper, 14-José Torres, 15-Jimmy Conrad, 18-Brad Guzan
Head Coach: Bob Bradley