CHICAGO (Friday, June 28, 2002) — U.S. World Cup Team captain Claudio Reyna has been named to the Mastercard All-Star Team of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first American to receive such a distinction. A member of the U.S. National Team since 1994, the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan was the third for Reyna, who was on the U.S. roster in 1994 and played in all three games at the 1998 World Cup in France.
The 28-year-old Reyna has been known for years in the United States for his vision and deft touch on the field, as well as his leadership off of it. He has earned 92 caps and scored eight goals in his nine-year career with the U.S., which also includes appearances for the U.S. at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.
Reyna has distinguished himself in Europe playing in Germany, Scotland and England, and last December moved to Sunderland of the English Premier League for an American transfer record of $6.8 million.
"This is a great honor and I'm flattered to be included amongst a list of such great players," said Reyna, currently vacationing with his family. "This type of award is all about the team, and obviously all of our guys deserve recognition for the kind of performances we put on the field. We are very proud of how we represented the United States at this World Cup."
The U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time in 72 years, upsetting Portugal and downing regional rival Mexico in the Round of 16 en route. The 2-0 victory over Mexico marked the first elimination round victory for the U.S. in their World Cup history.
In addition to Reyna, midfielder Landon Donovan, goalkeeper Brad Friedel and forward Brian McBride were all named among the final list of 53 players selected for consideration for the World Cup All-Star Team.
The 16 players named to the All-Star Team were selected by the FIFA Technical Study Group, coordinated by Jean-Paul Brigger, the Head of FIFA’s Development Programs. The 10-member group is headed by Dr. Jozef Venglos (SVK). As part of the program, MasterCard will donate $300,000 to UNICEF on behalf of the All-Star Team members.
The following is the list of the 16 players selected for the MasterCard All-Star Team:
GOALKEEPERS: Oliver Kahn (GER), Rustu Recber (TUR);
DEFENDERS: Roberto Carlos (BRA), Sol Campbell (ENG), Hong Myung Bo (KOR), Alpay Ozalan (TUR), Fernando Hierro (ESP);
MIDFIELDERS: Rivaldo (BRA), Ronaldinho (BRA), Claudio Reyna (USA), Michael Ballack (GER), Yoo Sang Chul (KOR);
FORWARDS: Ronaldo (BRA), El Hadji Diouf (SEN), Hasan Sas (TUR), Miroslav Klose (GER).