Thursday, March 31, 2005

3 Valuable Points

The US was literally head and shoulders above a shorter Guatemala team last night at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL, taking their WCQ match, 2-0, on goals from Dallas F Eddie Johnson (his 8th in 8 national team appearances) and New England M Steve Ralston. Johnson nearly had a pretty bicycle kick goal, which was saved by the Guatemalan keeper, and LA Galaxy M Landon Donovan had a goal called back on a horrible offside call. Add a missed Guatemalan handball in the box and this match could have ended 5-0. With the win, the US moves into 2nd place in the six-team Hexagonal with seven matches remaining. Other scores from last night: PAN 1-MEX 1, and TTO 0, CRC 0.

The current standings:
After 3 of 10 matches (W-L-T, Pts, GD)
1. Mexico 2-0-1, 7, +2
2. USA 2-1-0, 6, +2
3. Guatemala 1-1-1, 4, +2
4. Costa Rica 1-1-1, 4, +0
5. Panama 0-1-2, 2 -1
6. Trinidad 0-2-1, 1, -5

Matchday 4 will be held on Saturday, June 4th.
The schedule:
Panama at Trinidad
Mexico at Guatemala
Costa Rica at USA (Salt Lake City)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

This Week in Soccer

It's going to be quite a ride this week as WC Qualifying continues at a fever pitch and the MLS season begins.

The action will start off the field tomorrow, however, as the MetroStars sit down with the NJSEA in what Metro GM Nick Sackiewicz says will hopefully be the "last negotiation" for the Harrison, NJ, stadium project. A report today in the Star-Ledger has Hudson County ready to sell bonds to fund the purchase and cleanup of the stadium site.

On the field, the US teams needs to rebound after getting smacked by Mexico. The Nats take on Guatemala in Birmingham, AL (espn2, 8pm). Also in CONCACAF, Mexico will be in Panama (Telemundo, 8pm), and Trinidad will play at Costa Rica.

Fox Soccer Channel will show three European WC Qualifiers on Wednesday:
England-Azerbaijan live at 1:30pm
Serbia/Montenegro-Spain delayed at 4pm
Israel -France delayed at 6pm

MLS' 10th season kicks off this Saturday, April 2nd, with all 12 teams taking part. Fox Soccer Channel has an hour-long preview show on Friday April 1 at 8pm.

DC United @ Chivas USA - 3pm, ABC
Real Salt Lake @ MetroStars - 7pm, MSG
LA Galaxy @ Columbus Crew - 7:30pm, HDNet, FSC
Colorado Rapids @ KC Wizards - 8pm
Chicago Fire @ FC Dallas, 8:30pm, CSN-Chicago
New England Revolution @ San Jose Earthquakes, 10pm, WLVI-TV

Fox Soccer Channel's MLS Wrap returns at midnight on Saturday.

Here we go, here we go, here we gooooooooooooo.

Monday, March 28, 2005


The US took it on the chin on Sunday in Mexico City, losing to Mexico 2-1, and the match wasn't that close. US Coach Bruce Arena chose to go with a mostly European-based squad that hadn't had a lot of altitude training, and it showed. The US was seriously gassed after the first 30 minutes of play, and gave up 2 goals in a 3 minute span. The first Mexican goal (Borgetti) was a thing of beauty, but the second saw Mexico's Naelson all alone in front of US keeper Kasey Keller with no defenders in sight. Eddie Lewis got the US on the board in the 59th minute, but there was never a sense that the Yanks would come back to tie. With the loss, the Yanks' 16 match unbeaten streak overall and 31-match CONCACAF unbeaten streak came to an end. They better get their act cleaned up for Guatemala on Wednesday in Birmingham, AL. The Chapines routed Trinidad 5-1 on Saturday.

Game Reports from:
Stephen Goff (Washington Post)
Grahame Jones (LA Times)
Filip Bondy (NY Daily News)

Current CONCACAF Standings
Top 3 qualify directly to WC 2006, the fourth placed team plays the Asian 5th place team for a berth
After 2 rounds of 10 (W-L-T, Pts, GD)
1. Mexico 2-0-0, 6, +2
2. Guatemala 1-0-1, 4, +4
t3. USA 1-1-0, 3, +0
t3. Costa Rica 1-1-0, 3, +0
5. Panama 0-1-1, 1 -1
6. Trinidad 0-2-0, 0, -5

Schedule for Wed, March 30th
Guatemala at USA (Birmingham, AL), espn2, 8pm
Mexico at Panama
Costa Rica at Trinidad

Friday, March 25, 2005

Ice Madness

Though we're halfway through the basketball version of "March Madness," the NCAA Ice Hockey tournament kicks off this afternoon. 16 teams will be trying to get to the Frozen Four in Columbus OH on the weekend of Apr 7-9.

The pairings:

East Regional - Worcester, MA
Semifinals today, Final tomorrow
Boston College vs. Mercyhurst (PA)
North Dakota vs. Boston University

Northeast Regional - Amherst, MA
Semifinals tomorrow, Final Sunday
Denver vs. Bemidji State (MN)
New Hampshire vs. Harvard

Midwest Regional - Grand Rapids, MI
Semifinals today, Final tomorrow
Colorado College vs. Colgate
Michigan vs. Wisconsin

West Regional - Minneapolis, MN
Semifinals tomorrow, Final Sunday
Minnesota vs. Maine
Cornell vs. Ohio State

Cities Without Kids

What happens when families leave the city to raise their kids in cleaner, safer suburban environments? The city suffers. Timothy Egan of the Times takes a look at this interesting demographic and economic phenomenon.

US-Mexico: Friday Press

With the holiday weekend (for some) approaching, today is the last big day for national news reports on Sunday's match (1pm, ESPN2).

Fox Soccer Channel's Sean Wheelock leads off with his thoughts on why all the pressure is on Mexico.

Andy Gardiner of USA Today has a great piece about the US team's altitude training in Colorado this week. has a very tongue-in-cheek look at the match, poking fun at the mainstream US sports media and fans for ignoring the sport.

Andrew Monfried of the US National Soccer Players site asks former US players about the experience of playing at the Azteca.

Former player and current journalist Greg Lalas (Alexi's brother) thinks in his column on US National Soccer Players that the hype is getting a little out of hand.

The players are certainly hyped up as has a quote sheet from guys on both squads.

Finally, Paul Oberjuerge of the San Bernadino Sun continues his ride down to Mexico City. A must-read.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

US-Mexico: Thursday Press

Today's coverage kicks off with a Glenn Davis piece from the Houston Chronicle. Davis notes that Drew Carey has become the US team's answer to the Lakers' Jack Nicholson.

Dana Harman of the Christian Science Monitor and USA Today writes about the match's effect on the Mexican psyche.

A short AP piece on Fox covers the Mexican tactics for the match.

Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported that M/F Clint Mathis and D Joe Cannon have been dropped from Bruce Arena's training camp.

The terrific site of the US National Soccer Players Association has a run-down of the history between the two CONCACAF powers.

In an interesting travelogue, Paul Oberjuerge of the San Bernadino Sun shares his views of Mexico as he and a colleague drive to Mexico City for the game.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Thought Police in the Red States

Lest you forget that the Scopes trial of "Inherit the Wind," actually happened, The New York Times' Cornelia Dean recently wrote about IMAX theatres and science museums in the South that are refusing to show films with ANY reference to the Big Bang or evolution. Yikes!

Soccer Viewing-a-Rama

Over 75 World Cup Qualifiers will be held over the week, and a healthy portion of them will be shown on US television. Add to the mix the kick-off of MLS' 10th season on April 2nd and you've got soccer-a-rama going on. Thanks to Andy Mead of Yellow Card Journalism for pulling the below list together. I've excluded repeat showings of matches, of which there are many. All times are ET.

Sat 3/26
10:30am FSC WCQ Sweden at Bulgaria (2:30, live)
1:00pm FSC WCQ Holland at Romania (2:30, live)
4:00pm Telemundo WCQ Scotland at Italy (delayed)
11:30pm Telemundo-East WCQ Panama at Costa Rica (delayed)

Sun 3/27
9:30am ESPN Outside The Lines (USA/MEX) (1/2 hour)
12:00pm Telemundo WCQ United States at Mexico (3:30, live)
1:00pm espn2 WCQ United States at Mexico (2:10 live)

Mon 3/28
7:30pm GolTV American Soccer (1/2 hour, debut)

Tue 3/29
8:00pm FSC WCQ Northern Ireland at England (debut)

Wed 3/30
1:30pm FSC WCQ Azerbaijan at England (2:30, live)
4:00pm FSC WCQ Spain at Serbia (delayed)
6:00pm FSC WCQ France at Israel (delayed)
8:00pm espn2 WCQ Guatemala at United States (2:10, live)
8:00pm Telemundo WCQ Mexico at Panama (2:40, live-8:30pm)

Fri 4/1
8:00pm FSC MLS Preview Show 2005 (1 hour, debut)

Sat 4/2
3:00pm ABC DC United at CD Chivas (live)
4:00pm Telemundo WCQ Costa Rica at Trinidad & Tobago (debut)
7:00pm MSG, Real Salt Lake at MetroStars (live)
7:30pm FSC, HDNet Los Angeles at Columbus (2:30, live)
8:30pm CSNC Chicago at FC Dallas (live)
10:00pm WLVI San Jose at New England (live)

Sun 4/3
12:00am FSC MLS Wrap (1/2 hour, live)
1:00pm Telemundo WCQ Brazil at Uruguay (debut)
3:00pm Telemundo WCQ Colombia at Argentina (debut)

Tue 4/5
8:00pm FSC Fox Soccer USA (1/2 hour, debut)

Thu 4/7
12:00am FSC MLS Preview Show (1 hour, debut)

US-Mexico: Wednesday Press

We start off today with the transcript of Arena the Bruce's conference call at US Soccer. Here's my favorite part:

Reporter: Why do you think the U.S. has had so much trouble in Mexico and what might be different this time to tip the game in our favor?
Arena: How many teams have won in Mexico in the last 30 years? Can you answer that question?
Reporter: Not off hand.
Arena: How about if I said ‘one.'

Mark Zeigler of the SD Union Tribune has a piece about a huge 1991 US win over Mexico that started the Yanks' strong run against the tricolores.

Bob Roberts (no, not Tim Robbins) of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a short piece about the altitude factor.

Storied soccer writer Paul Gardner talks about national pride in this story from the New York Sun (reg. req'd).

The match will also get some well-deserved attention in this week's Sports Illustrated, as well as an episode of ESPN "Outside the Lines," to be shown Sunday morning at 9:30.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

US-Mexico: Tuesday Press

Grahame Jones of the LA Times sets the stage for this Sunday's clash at the Azteca. As per Colorado and US defender Pablo Mastroeni, "I think we're prepared."

Chris Cowles of the Houston Chronicle points out that the US is 6-2-1 vs. Mexico in the Bruce Arena era, with a 0-1 loss in Mexico City in a WC 2002 qualifier. Salt Lake and US Midfielder Clint Mathis says, "We just have to be prepared to deal with whatever comes at us and hopefully come away with a good result."

The San Bernadino Sun looks at the rivalry through the eyes of Mexican fans. "A loss to the U.S. is still unacceptable," said one fan. "Mexican fans will not admit the U.S. is at their level."

Soon to be displaced, Gaza Settlers Steam

This past Sunday's Times had an interesting article on those literally in the way of the Mideast peace process, the 9,000 Israeli settlers in Gaza who'll soon be re-settled after Israel cedes the region to the Palestinian authority.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Week In Soccer

US Teams went 2-1 against foreign competition in the last week, as the US Men's National Team geared up for El Partido Grande in Mexico City this Sunday (1pm, ESPN2) with a 1-0 win over Honduras in Albuquerque, NM on the 19th. The MLS-based roster was led by Eddie Johson (FC Dallas), who tapped in a 40-yd Clint Mathis shot off the crossbar to score his seventh goal in his sixth USMNT match. Joe Cannon (Colorado) and Kevin Hartman (LA Galaxy) combined in goal for the shutout.

Look for the full complement of European-based players to head home for the Mexico clash, including Claudio Reyna (Manchester City, ENG), Landon Donovan (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Kasey Keller (Moenchengladbach, GER), DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven, NED), Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, ENG), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, GER), and Cory Gibbs (Feyenoord, NED).

On the club side, DC United got goals from Jaime Moreno and Josh Gros to beat Jamaica's Harbour View FC 2-1 on Wednesday, and take their Concacaf Champions Cup Quarterfinal Series 4-2 on aggregate. DC now takes on Mexican champion UNAM Pumas in a home-and-home starting April 6th at RFK.

The Kansas City Wizards got a goal on the road from Jose Burciaga with only 12 minutes to go in their CCC quarterfinal 2nd leg match at Saprissa of Costa Rica, but gave up goals two minutes into injury time, then five minutes into overtime to drop their series, 2-1 on aggregate. Saprissa takes on Monterrey (MEX) in the semifinals.

The MetroStars signed five young players, including Jamaican Ramon Bailey, Chris Corcoran (St. John's), Jason Hernandez (Seton Hall), Abbe Ibrahim (Togo), and Carols Mendes, who spent 2003 and 2004 with the Rochester Rhinos of the USL 1st Divison (one level below MLS).

Metros GM Nick Sackiewicz announced that the March 30th meeting with NJ and NJSEA officials should "be the final, and hopefully positive," meeting regarding the Harrison, NJ, stadium project.

DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven, NED), the only American remaining in the European Champions League, takes on Olympique Lyonnais in the quarterfinals on April 5 and 13th. The winner takes on the winner of the Inter-AC Milan derby in the semifinals.
Other matchups: Liverpool-Juventus and Chelsea-Bayern Munich.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Steamboy: From the Director of Akira

A sure amine classic opens this Friday from director Katsuhiro Ôtomo, who gave us Akira in 1988 and wrote the screenplay for Rintaro's Metropolis in 2001.

Far, far away from Tetsuo and Kaneda comes Steamboy's Rei, who lives in the UK in the mid-19th century. Shortly before the first ever World Expo, Rei receives an invention called the "Steam Ball." Hijinks and destruction ensues. Check out the trailer.

DC, KC Look to advance

DC United and the Kansas City Wizards both hope to get positive results on the road in order to advance to the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals over the next two nights.

DC takes a 2-1 aggregate lead into tonight's match (7:30pm on Fox Soccer Channel) in Kingston, Jamaica vs. Harbour View FC. United got goals from Alecko Eskandarian and Josh Gros in the victory at home on Mar 9th. A win or tie puts DC into a semifinal home-and-home series vs. Honduras' Olimpia or Mexico's Pumas, who drew 1-1 in the first leg.

KC has a much tougher assignment with a 0-0 aggregate score heading into tomorrow's 2nd leg at perennial Costa Rican Champion Saprissa in San Jose, CR. Wizards keeper Bo Oshoniyi kept Saprissa off the board in the home leg at Arrowhead stadium on the 9th. A victory puts the 2004 US Open Cup Champs into the semis vs. Guatemala's Municipal or Mexico's Monterrey. The Mexicans lead 2-1 after the first leg.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MLS: Metros must be in Harrison or Jets Stadium, or leave NY

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said yesterday that he's had it with NJ state politics, and is considering either moving to the proposed Jets stadium on Manhattan's West Side, or leaving the NY area all together.

According to the Bergen Record's Ives Galarcep, "Talks stalled once state officials began demanding that AEG, the MetroStars' parent company, guarantee half of the portion of the stadium proposal that is to be paid off by state-issued bonds (roughly $18 million according to a source with knowledge of the deal) in the event that MLS folded.

The current Harrison plan will cost $84 million, would have AEG paying $20 million, the town of Harrison paying $20 million, the NJSEA paying $15 million and state-issued bonds covering the difference as well as potential overages (between $34 and $36 million). The Metros and the NJSEA have come close to agreements on two separate occasions, only to have the state back out and seek new concessions."

Reported in today's Newark Star Ledger, Garber said, ""We do believe that we are providing value to the city of Harrison and Hudson County, significantly improving an area that right now is a bunch of abandoned gas tanks. The incremental tax value, the incremental real estate development and overall quality of life value -- and I live 20 minutes from there -- is something that as a tax payer in New Jersey I rather have somebody do something there that's going to improve that environment and I'm willing to help pay for that.

"So I do believe that our stadium is no different than a Wal-Mart, a Sears or an office building, and municipalities contribute in partnership with private developers because that overall development enhances the value to citizens and the tax coffers of the municipality."

Should Harrison fail and the Jets stadium fail to materialize, Garber said he is willing to leave the NY Metro area. Today's Record: "If we can't find a solution to stadium situation that team will not be able to exist in this market," said Garber. "We lose two to three times more money with that team than any other team because their expenses are higher. Their attendance is higher than most teams, but their expenses are higher."

Galarcep: "The sides are scheduled to meet on March 30, where they will discuss the findings of an independent consultant hired by the NJSEA to quantify the viability of MLS and of the stadium deal."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Ep 3 Trailer Online

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer for Star Wars: Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. Hooo-eee!

Wonderful News Abounds

I can't remember a week when so many wonderful things happened.

1) Elissa and Peter Everett welcomed Graham Duncan Everett to the world on Friday, March 11th. The crackah already has his own yahoo account and has already won his own fantasy baby pool! Welcome Graham!

2) Eric Broder is hanging up a shingle as he opens Broder & Orland, LLC, on April 1st in Westport, CT. He'll continue to practice in Family & Matrimonial Law. Way to go, Eric!

3) Andy Brown will be at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for his three-year Oncology fellowship, starting in mid-2006. Very impressive!

4) Girish Khera is getting married in the next few weeks in India. He and Ashish are opening their own company, Scientific Animations, next month. Best of luck, guys!

5) Susie Fox will be leaving uncertain times (and an awful commute) at Merck to join Medical Knowledge Group, a medical communication company in midtown. Congrats!

Keep that good news coming! It's infectious!

Friday, March 11, 2005

The British Are Coming!

For the first time since 1994, the US Men's Soccer team will face England, on May 28th at Chicago's Solider Field. The match will be a warmup for soon-to-follow World Cup Qualifiers at vs. Costa Rica & Panama.

The Updated USMNT 2005 Schedule:
Wed Feb 9 W 2-1 at Trinidad*
Wed Mar 9 W 3-0 vs. Colombia at Fullerton, CA
Sat Mar 19 vs. Honduras at Alberquerque, NM
Sun Mar 27 at Mexico*
Wed Mar 30 vs. Guatemala* at Birmingham, AL
Sat May 28 vs. England at Chicago
Sat Jun 4 vs. Costa Rica* at Salt Lake City
Wed Jun 8 at Panama*
Thu Jul 7 vs. Cuba** at Seattle
Sat Jul 9 vs. Canada** at Seattle
Tue Jul 12 vs. Costa Rica** at Foxboro, MA
Sat Jul 16 Gold Cup Quarterfinals** at Foxboro, MA
Wed Jul 20 Gold Cup Seminfinals** at Giants Stadium
Sun Jul 24 Gold Cup Final** at Giants Stadium
Wed Aug 17 vs. Trinidad* at Hartford, CT
Sat Sep 3 vs. Mexico* at Columbus, OH
Wed Sep 7 at Guatemala*
Sat Oct 8 at Costa Rica*
Wed Oct 12 vs Panama* at TBD U.S. site

*World Cup Qualifier
** CONCACAF Gold Cup

Thursday, March 10, 2005

US Teams Go 3-0-1 on Wednesday

US National and club teams had an impressive day yesterday, posting a 3-0-1 record in three competitions in the US and abroad.

The US Men's National Team got goals from newbies Pat Noonan (New England) and Chad Marshall (Columbus) and veteran Clint Mathis (Real Salt Lake) to beat Colombia 3-0 before 7,000 fans at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, CA. First-time starter John Busch (Columbus) got the shutout in goal. The international friendly was one of two tune-up matches for the Easter Sunday WCQ in Mexico City. The US next plays Honduras in Albequerque, NM on Saturday the 19th. The US hasn't lost in 15 matches (10-0-5) since a 1-0 defeat in Holland last February. Over the streak, the US has outscored its opponents 31-7.

MLS Cup Champion DC United used a second half goal my Josh Gros to take a 2-1 lead over Jamaica's Harbour View FC in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champion's Cup first round matchup in Germantown, MD, before 3,000 fans. A horrible defensive error by goalie Nick Rimando allowed Harbour View to score. The two play the return leg of the aggregate goals match in Kingston on the 16th.

US Open Cup Champion Kansas City Wizards settled for a scoreless draw in their first-round, first-leg match with Costa Rica's Saprissa at Arrowhead Stadium. The second leg will be held in San Jose, CR, on the 17th.

The US Women's National Team opened the 2005 Algarve (Portugal) Cup with a 1-0 victory over France. Christie Welsh scored the only goal in the 20th minute. The US faces Finland on Friday.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More US Dates Set, The Beas hits Net

Learning from past miscues, US Soccer has placed final-round World Cup Qualifying matches in cities unlikely to attract strong opposition support.

Today, Concacaf announced that the US will face Trinidad on Wed. Aug. 17th at Hartford's Rentschler Field. On Saturday, September 3rd, the US will host Mexico at Columbus' Crew Stadium.

Other home matches this round will be held in Birmingham, AL on 3/30 vs. Guatemala, and Salt Lake City on 6/4 vs. Costa Rica.

The days of playing Latin American teams in LA and Miami thankfully appear to be over.

Yanks Abroad
Earlier today, US and PSV Eindoven striker DaMarcus Beasley scored only two minutes after coming off the substitutes bench in a 2-0 (3-0 aggregate) win over host side AS Monaco in the European Champions League round of 16. PSV moves on to the quarterfinal vs. an opponent TBD. Landon Donovan played the first 53 minutes in Bayer Leverkusen's 3-1 (6-1) loss to Liverpool in Germany. noted that Donovan had "a disappoining night." Yesterday, Tim Howard played 90 minutes in Manchester United's 1-0 loss to AC Milan at the San Siro. Man U. was eliminated 2-0 on aggregate.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

MLS All-Star Game to feature London's Fulham

Joining the bandwagon of bringing European teams to the US to make some cash is Major League Soccer, who today announced that the league's 10th All-Star game, to be held on July 30th at Columbus Crew Stadium, will forgo the East-West matchup in favor of a unified MLS All-Star squad taking on Fulham FC from the English Premier League.

Fulham, currently sitting in 15th place on the EPL table, has two former MLS All-Stars and current US National Team players on its roster: Forward Brian McBride, who played in Columbus from 1996-2003, and Defender Carlos Bocanegra formerly of the Chicago Fire.

The match will be televised nationally on ABC.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Soccer Marches Forth

March is a big month for soccer for the US and MLS.

The US Men's National team plays four matches this month: two warmups in the next two weeks before Matches 2 and 3 of World Cup Qualifying. An MLS-only US Squad takes on Colombia on Wednesday in Fullerton, CA, then heads to Alberquerque, NM for a match against Honduras on the 19th. Why New Mexico? To prepare the Nats for the the altitude of the big World Cup Quallie on Easter Sunday (the 26th) against Mexico at the Azteca in Mexico City, where the US has never won. The following Wednesday the Nats take on Guatemala in the first home game of the Quallie finals in Birmingham, AL. The US currently is tied for the top spot along with the tricolores.

Last season's MLS Cup finalists kick off the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the region's version of the Euro Champions League, this week. MLS Cup champ DC United hosts Jamaican champion Harbour View FC in the first match of a home-and-home quarterfinal seriesm, Wednesday at 7:30 on Fox Soccer Channel. MLS runner-up and US Open Cup winner Kansas City Wizards host Costa Rican champion Saprissa at 9:30pm, also on FSC. Return matches follow on the 16th. Other participating clubs include Mexico's UNAM Pumas and Monterrey, Honduran champ Olimpia, and Guatemala's Municipal. MLS teams have won two CCC titles: DC United in 1998 and LA Galaxy in 2000.

Last week, the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup draw placed the US into Group B with Cuba, Costa Rica and Canada for July's biennial continental championship. The tourney will be held at seven sites across the US, and to get to the final, the Nats will play at Seattle, Foxboro, and Giants Stadium. The US will be gunning for its third Gold Cup, following up titles in 1991 and 2002. Other participating countries include Group A's Honduras, Panama, Trinidad and Colombia, and Group C's South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico and Jamaica.

On Sunday, the US U-20 squad was drawn into a very, very difficult group for this June's World Youth Championship in Holland. The "Gnats" will face defending champion Argentina, Germany and Egypt. In 2003 tournament in the UAE, the US lost to Argentina in the quarterfinals.