CHICAGO (June 22, 2007) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 22-man roster that will compete in the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela. The team, which includes nine players that are on the current Gold Cup roster, will depart on June 25 for Maracaibo, Venezuela, their base of operations for the beginning part of the tournament.
The U.S. will open the tournament against Argentina on Thursday, June 28, at Estadio Jose “Pachencho” Romero in Maracaibo, which is in the northeast corner of the country on the western side of Lake Maracaibo and will also be the venue for the final. The U.S. will then face Colombia on July 2 at Estadio Agustin Tovar “La Carolina” in Barinas, before finishing group play against Paraguay on July 5 at Estadio Metropolitano de Futbol de Lara in Barquisimeto. All of the USA’s matches will be broadcast live on GolTV and Telefutura. Fans can also follow all the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, and the games will be aired delayed on Fox Sports Espanol.
"Copa America is going to be a great opportunity for our younger players to gain invaluable experience at the highest international level," said Bradley. "Playing two major tournaments back-to-back is both a privilege and a difficult challenge in terms of putting together rosters, and this is something we've known all along. This group has many of the faces that could play a role in 2008 and 2009 when our focus turns to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa."
While the roster is loaded with youth, there is some important experience to anchor the U.S. squad. Kasey Keller, who earned his 100th cap in the 2-1 win against Canada in the semifinals of the 2007 Gold Cup, is the only player on the roster to have played in a Copa America, making the all-tournament team in 1995 when the U.S. advanced to the semifinals. A veteran of four World Cups, he is joined by three other players from the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster. Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad played in two matches in Germany, including the 1-1 draw against eventual World Champions Italy. Eddie Johnson and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen also saw action in Germany.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are 16 players on the roster who have 10 caps or less. Fourteen players are under the age of 25, with Eddie Gaven serving as the team’s youngest at 20 years old. There are three members of the group who are entering their first-ever camp with the MNT and will be in search of their first cap: Colorado Rapids forward Herculez Gomez, FC Dallas midfielder Drew Moor and Toronto FC defender Marvell Wynne.
The roster lays claim to several players with success at the youth national team level. Altogether, 13 players on the roster have been a part of a youth FIFA World Championship roster, whether it be at the U-23, U-20 or U-17 level. A total of nine players were members of the USA’s roster for either the 2003 or 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Justin Mapp, a veteran of two World Youth Championships, started and played in all five matches with the U.S. U-20’s at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, scoring the game-winning goal against the Ivory Coast to help the squad advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Mapp also has five caps with the full team.
Ricardo Clark, who plays for current MLS champion Houston Dynamo, was also a member of the 2003 U-20 World Cup team and has appeared for the U-23 National Team. Johnson and Moor also helped the U.S. to a fifth-place finish, with Johnson earning the Golden Boot as the tournament's leading scorer.
Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan, Lee Nguyen, Wynne and Gaven were all members of the U-20 side that advanced to the knockout phase of the 2005 World Youth Championship in Holland after defeating Argentina in their opening game.
MLS players dominate the roster, with 15 of the 22 players plying their trade in the United States. Overall, 10 of the 13 teams in MLS will be represented in Venezuela. Chivas USA contributes a trio of players, including 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year Jonathan Bornstein, who has started four of five matches in the run to the Gold Cup final, Kljestan, who captained the U-23 MNT on their last trip to Japan, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan also head south from Los Angeles. Along with Gomez, the Colorado Rapids provide Kyle Beckerman who was in with the MNT earlier this year. New England Revolution’s Taylor Twellman will continue with the U.S. after scoring against El Salvador in the first round of the Gold Cup, while Bobby Boswell, the 2006 MLS Defender of the Year, returns to the U.S. fold.
Along with Keller and Feilhaber, the U.S. will have four other European-based players in Venezuela. Watford FC’s Jay DeMerit will stay with the team after contributing during the Gold Cup, and he’ll be joined by Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF) and Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland).
The last time the U.S. competed in the tournament in 1995, the United States upset defending champion Argentina, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they defeated Mexico and eventually finished in fourth place. Overall, the U.S. has played Argentina seven times in their history, holding a lifetime record of 2-5-0 against the South American juggernaut. The only other victory came in 1999 when a Joe-Max Moore goal was the difference in Washington, D.C.
U.S. MNT 2007 Schedule
Date Match Venue Result/Kickoff/TV
Jan. 20 USA vs. Denmark Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 3-1 W
Feb. 7 USA vs. Mexico Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.) 2-0 W
March 25 USA vs. Ecuador Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.) 3-1 W
March 28 USA vs. Guatemala Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 0-0 T
June 2 USA vs. China Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.) 4-1 W
June 7 USA vs. Guatemala ^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 1-0 W
June 9 USA vs. T&T^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 2-0 W
June 12 USA vs. El Salvador ^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 4-0 W
June 16 USA vs. Panama ^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 2-1 W
June 21 USA vs. Canada ^ Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.) 2-1 W
June 24 USA vs. Mexico ^ Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.) 3 p.m. ET / FSC & Univision
June 28 USA vs. Argentina @ Estadio Jose “Pachencho” Romero (Maracaibo) 8:45: p.m. ET / GolTV & TeleFutura
July 2 USA vs. Paraguay @ Estadio Agustin Tovar “La Carolina” (Barinas) 6:30 p.m. ET / GolTV & TeleFutura
July 5 USA vs. Colombia @ Estadio Metropolitano (Barquisimeto) 6:30 p.m. ET / GolTV & TeleFutura
Aug. 22 USA vs. Sweden Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden) 2:30 p.m. ET / FSC (2:30 ET & PT / Galavision)
^ 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
@ 2007 Copa America
U.S. Men's National Team
2007 Copa America Roster By Position
Goalkeepers (2) – Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Defenders (8) – Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
Midfielders (8) – Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Lee Nguyen (PSV Eindhoven), Ben Olsen (D.C.United)
Forwards (4) – Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Herculez Gomez (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)