Wednesday, May 03, 2006

USA World Cup Soccer Team Named

Goalkeepers (3): Marcus Hahnemann; Reading (England), Tim Howard; Manchester United (England), Kasey Keller; Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra; Fulham (England), Steve Cherundolo; Hannover (Germany), Jimmy Conrad; Kansas City Wizards, Cory Gibbs; ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Frankie Hejduk; Columbus Crew, Eddie Lewis; Leeds United (England), Oguchi Onyewu; Standard Liege (Belgium), Eddie Pope; Real Salt Lake

Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley; PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Bobby Convey; Reading (England), Clint Dempsey; New England Revolution, Landon Donovan; Los Angeles Galaxy, Pablo Mastroeni; Colorado Rapids, John O’Brien; CD Chivas USA, Ben Olsen; D.C. United, Claudio Reyna; Manchester City (England)

Forwards (4): Brian Ching; Houston Dynamo, Eddie Johnson; Kansas City Wizards, Brian McBride; Fulham (England), Josh Wolff; Kansas City Wizards

The U.S. soccer team will begin their pre-World Cup training camp May 10 in Cary, N.C. They will play tune up matches (friendlies) on May 23 vs Morocco in Nashville TN, May 26 vs Venezuela in Cleveland, OH and May 28 vs Latvia in East Hartford, CT. They are scheduled to depart for Germany on June 1.

The team is nearly evenly balanced between those playing professionally abroad and those playing in Major League Soccer. 12 players play in Europe while 11 play in MLS, the same ratio as the 2002 team.

The U.S. is solid in goal with Kasey Keller being the USA’s all-time leader in wins (51), shutouts (44) and World Cup qualifying appearances (31).

The Defense has a pair of players appearing in their third World Cup. Eddie Pope is the veteran with 78 appearances and Frankie Hejduk follows with 72 appearances. Steve Cherundolo goes to his second straight World Cup after being unable to participate in games during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan because of an injury suffered the day before the USA’s first match against Portugal. Eddie Lewis played in 11 of 18 World Cup qualifiers, scoring two goals and delivering two assists. Carlos Bocanegra, Jimmy Conrad, Cory Gibbs and Oguchi Onyewu are all making their World Cup debuts.

Four time World Cup veteran Claudio Reyna leads a midfield that includes Landon Donovan, who at age 24 is already the leading assist man in U.S history with 23, and has led the US in points the past three years. DaMarcus Beasley 24, is playing in his 2nd World Cup. Both Pablo Mastroeni and John O’Brien are also returning vets. O’Brien having recorded the USA’s first goal in Korea just four minutes into their first game, a 3-2 victory against Portugal and one of only three players to play every minute of every match. Ben Olsen battled back from various injuries and has shown coach Bruce Arena that he was worthy of his selection by scoring a goal in the USA's 4-0 victory over Guatemala on February 19th and in the team's 1-1 draw with Jamaica on April 11th. Personally, I’m happy for Ben as he’s been a hard worker on the field for D.C. United and a class act off the field as well, having been named the US Soccer Federation’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2004. Bobby Convey and Clint Dempsey are making their World Cup debuts.

Brian McBride is the only player in U.S. history to score goals in multiple World Cups and he has a pair of big ones in World Cup play, scoring the game-winners in the 3-2 opening match victory against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup and the 2-0 win against Mexico in the Round of 16. He has 29 international goals. Josh Wolff makes his second World Cup appearance. He setup McBride for the game-winner against Mexico four years ago. Eddie Johnson is the only US player to score a goal in his first four matches, all of which were in 2006 World Cup qualifiers. In Brian Ching's World Cup qualifying debut, he scored the equalizer in the 88th minute to give the U.S. a huge road point in a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on August 18, 2004 in Kingston, Jamaica

Arena has also named 13 alternates who will be available should any injuries occur. After the official 23-man roster is submitted on May 15 to FIFA, a player may only be replaced on the roster as a result of an injury.

U.S. Men’s National Team Alternate List
Goalkeepers (2): Tony Meola (New York Red Bulls), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)

Defenders (3): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Todd Dunivant (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Midfielders (5): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)

Forwards (3): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

The USA is in a tough group (Group E) along with the Czech Republic, Ghana, and Italy. The U.S. schedule: Czech Republic on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen, Italy on June 17 in Kaiserslautern and Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg.


Bill-DC said...

Note: Chris Albright replaced Frankie Hejduk on the roster as Hejduk suffered a knee injury.

Nate said...

I was surprised that the roster doesn't feature a true right mid. Although Dempsey and Reyna will likely fill the spot, they are center mids, and Convey, Beasley, and O'Brien are all left mids. However, I never really thought that Klein or Ralston would make the squad. Is this a position where the U.S. lacks depth?