United States soccer national team profiles
May 15, 2002
By Jamie Trecker
SportsTicker Contributing Editor
JEFF AGOOS (Defender) Born: Geneva, Switzerland Age: 34 Height, Weight: 5-10, 175. Club: San Jose (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 128/4
Involved with the U.S. National team since 1985, Agoos has often been the bridesmaid, helping the U.S. qualify in 1994 and 1998 but failing to make the World Cup finals squad. Has proven to be the backfield leader. STRENGTHS: Vocal leader, gutsy, impossible to remove from field. Natural left-footed player. WEAKNESSES: Can makes poor decisions that lead to costly mistakes.
DAMARCUS BEASLEY (Midfielder) Born: Fort Wayne, Indiana Age: 20 Height, Weight: 5-8, 145 Club: Chicago Fire (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 10/2
The young midfielder has used raw speed and an uncanny knack for goal to become one of the rising stars in the American offense. One of the youngest players ever to turn pro in the U.S., he signed with MLS at 16. STRENGTHS: Very swift, good dribbler and an opportunistic scorer. WEAKNESSES: Slight; can be pushed off the ball with ease.
GREGG BERHALTER (Defender) Born: Tenafly, New Jersey Age: 28 Height, Weight: 6-1, 175 Club: Crystal Palace (England) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 25/0
A strong central defender, Berhalter possesses good ball-control skills and tenacity. Trained overseas in Holland. STRENGTHS: Gutsy, fast and quick to react. Cleans up messes effectively. WEAKNESSES: Snakebit. Has suffered from injury and often gets raw deals from refs; called for a phantom penalty kick at Costa Rica in qualifying.
LANDON DONOVAN (Midfielder/Forward) Born: Ontario, California Age: 20 Height, Weight: 5-8, 148 Club: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 21/4
A rising star, Donovan is a sure striker with the gifts and potential to become a breakout player. Quick on his feet, Donovan is opportunistic and willing to shoot the ball. STRENGTHS: Can be magical, and is one of the few Americans able to impose his will on a game. WEAKNESSES: Erratic, he gets frustrated and tends to disappear, a sign of immaturity.
BRAD FRIEDEL (Goalkeeper) Born: Bay Village, Ohio Age: 31 Height, Weight: 6-4, 202 Club: Blackburn Rovers (England) U.S. National Team Caps, GAA: 75, 1.06
Friedel is a hulking keeper who has managed to claw his way up the ladder to become the American number one, passing the equally talented Kasey Keller. A superb netminder, Friedel's strengths are in his distribution of the ball and his management of the backfield. Enjoyed as good a season as any keeper in English Premier League. STRENGTHS: Solid shot-blocker, good organizer. WEAKNESSES: If he has any, it would be in comparison to Keller; Keller is considered the better reactor to the run of play.
FRANKIE HEJDUK (Defender) Born: La Mesa, California Age: 29 Height, Weight: 5-8, 155 Club: Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 39/5
An erratic winger, Hejduk has languished with the reserves at Leverkusen since leaving the States. Has speed, but is chaotic on the field. Can play either as a defender or midfielder. STRENGTHS: Speedy, best U.S. player during poor outing in 1998 World Cup, upbeat attitude makes him a positive influence in squad WEAKNESSES: Many; small, struggles with crosses, a poor finisher and not always seem to be involved in the game.
COBI JONES (Midfielder) Born: Detroit, Michigan Age: 31 Height, Weight: 5-7, 145 Club: Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 54/14
Jones, the third-most capped player in the world, is the sparkplug off the bench. One of the few players on the American roster who can change the flow of the game with his speed. STRENGTHS: Speed, good ball control, experience. WEAKNESSES: Tends to hold the ball; can be inconsistent.
KASEY KELLER (Goalkeeper) Born: Olympia, Washington Age: 32 Height, Weight: 6-2, 190 Club: Tottenham Hotspur (England) U.S. National Team Caps, GAA: 58, 0.76
Keller performed well during the 1998 World Cup team, and was crucial in getting the Americans into the 2002 Cup. Has suffered this year because he sits behind Neil Sullivan on Tottenham's roster. STRENGTHS: Can make big, spectacular plays and, when he is on, can seem unbeatable. WEAKNESSES: Maligned for his ball distribution, Keller does not look comfortable with the ball at his feet.
EDDIE LEWIS (Midfielder) Born: Cerritos, California Age: 28 Height, Weight: 5-10, 155 Club: Fulham (England) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 38/3
An odd selection for the national team. A stable yet unthreatening left-sided midfielder who consistently has struggled with crosses. Opposing teams frequently leave him unmarked as a result. One of three players on the roster who is not playing regularly for his club team. STRENGTHS: Speedy, defensively responsible. WEAKNESSES: His game and confidence seem to have regressed in England.
CARLOS LLAMOSA (Defender) Born: Palmeira, Colombia Age: 32 Height, Weight: 5-11, 166 Club: New England Revolution (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 26/0
Big and strong, Llamosa was a key member of the team in the early stages of qualification. Seems to have aged badly and his game seems to have been weakened by MLS play. No longer a first-choice in central defense. STRENGTHS: His size. WEAKNESSES: He is slow and is prone to committing ill-advised fouls.
(Defender) Born: Mendoza, Argentina Age: 25 Height, Weight: 5-10, 170 Club: Colorado Rapids (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 9/0
One year since acquiring citizenship, Mastroeni has become a key member of the team. With Chris Armas out (ACL), Mastroeni may be the defensive midfielder called on to clean up messes. Big, strong and gutsy. STRENGTHS: Tough, fast and skilled. Gets better every game. WEAKNESSES: Inexperience, but so far his performances have been relatively mistake-free.
CLINT MATHIS (Forward) Born: Conyers, Georgia Age: 25 Height, Weight: 5-10, 170 Club: MetroStars (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 20/8
Mathis is the key member of the team, both psychologically and in terms of the offense. One of the most dynamic forwards the U.S. has ever produced and his play sparked the national team into the World Cup. STRENGTHS: Can score from anywhere, fearless, free-kick specialist. WEAKNESSES: Fitness is questionable. NOTABLE: Rumored to be on the move to Bayern Munich of Germany's Bundesliga for a reported transfer fee in the range of $3 million to $6 million.
BRIAN MCBRIDE (Forward) Born: Arlington Heights, Illinois Age: 29 Height, Weight: 6-1, 170 Club: Columbus Crew (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 59/18
McBride is the target man in the air, forcing opponents to mark him all the time. A gifted passer and striker, he is essential to U.S. success in Korea. Scored the only goal for U.S. in 1998 World Cup. STRENGTHS: Big, strong, and plays with abandon, willing to give up his body for the team. WEAKNESSES: Injured frequently. Struggled with a blood clot that caused him to miss games.
TONY MEOLA (Goalkeeper) Born: Belleville, New Jersey Age: 33 Height, Weight: 6-1, 205 Club: Kansas City Wizards (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/GAA: 98 games, 1.12
Despite being on the scene for what seems like forever (was the keeper in both the 1990 and 1994 World Cups), Meola is ageless and is unquestionably still among the best American keepers. STRENGTHS: Organizing the defense, toughness. WEAKNESSES: If the U.S. needs to play him, then he is a step down in class from Friedel and Keller.
JOE-MAX MOORE (Forward) Born: Irvine, California Age: 31 Height, Weight: 5-9, 150 Club: Everton (England) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 96/24
Moore is a warrior and useful on free kicks. However, his stock has diminished dramatically as he has not been able to get off Everton's bench. His effectiveness is questionable. STRENGTHS: Tough player, good shooter, great work rate. WEAKNESSES: Lack of play means lack of game rhythm.
JOHN O'BRIEN (Midfielder) Born: Los Angeles, California Age: 24 Height, Weight: 5-9, 150 Club: Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 13/1
A key member of Ajax (Dutch League champion, Cup winner) this season, O'Brien is a critical member of the American team. Composed and polished, O'Brien has everything you look for in a midfielder. STRENGTHS: Great ball control, superb vision. WEAKNESSES: Oft-injured.
EDDIE POPE (Defender) Born: Greensboro, North Carolina Age: 28 Height, Weight: 6-1, 180 Club: D.C. United (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 49/5
The mercurial Pope was one of the breakout stars in 1998, but as soon as he signed a big MLS contract, problems surfaced. Injuries have disrupted his career and there are questions about his drive. Has not been 100 percent for the U.S. for some time. STRENGTHS: Rangy, good in the air on set pieces, when on his game he is a very solid defender. WEAKNESSES: Injury-prone, refuses to play hurt. Questions about his guts persist.
DAVID REGIS (Defender) Born: La Trinite, Martinique Age: 33 Height, Weight: 5-11, 160 Club: FC Metz (France) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 26/0
Though hampered by the language barrier (Regis speaks French), Regis perhaps the U.S.'s best defender. A skilled crosser and a natural left-footed player, he also is strong going forward. STRENGTHS: Athleticism, speed, useful in attack. WEAKNESSES: With Metz playing a 3-5-2 system, Regis can get caught drifting forward and expose an already vulnerable defensive unit. NOTABLE: Expressed desire to join MLS this season.
CLAUDIO REYNA (Midfielder, Captain) Born: Livingston, New Jersey Age: 28 Height, Weight: 5-9, 160 Club: Sunderland (England) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 86/8
Reyna is unquestionably a very gifted midfielder, but while he is the captain of the team, he is better suited to a complementary player than a leadership role. Reyna still is one of the only Americans who can hold the ball and pass it with grace. STRENGTHS: Can pass, can dribble, can shoot, can score. WEAKNESSES: Questionable passion and willingness to play hurt. NOTABLE: May retire or take hiatus from the national team after the World Cup, citing travel as the reason.
TONY SANNEH (Defender) Born: St. Paul, Minnesota Age: 30 Height, Weight: 6-2, 190 Club: FC Nuremberg (Germany) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 30/2
Tall, powerful and good on set pieces, Sanneh still hasn't found his proper role on the team. He looks out of place on the right side and his limitations have been exposed by teams of such dubious credentials as Uruguay. STRENGTHS: Very good on set pieces. WEAKNESSES: Makes positional errors which negate his speed when defending.
EARNIE STEWART (Midfielder) Born: Veghel, Holland Age: 33 Height, Weight: 5'9", 145 Club: NAC Breda (Netherlands) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 78/15
A vital member of the national team, Stewart's goals often lead to U.S. wins. He must get involved in the attack for the U.S. to succeed. STRENGTHS: Speed, very experienced, very gifted and very good at disrupting opponents. WEAKNESSES: Gets frustrated and can take himself out of games.
JOSH WOLFF (Forward) Born: West Palm Beach, Florida Age: 25 Height, Weight: 5-9, 160 Club: Chicago Fire (MLS) U.S. National Team Caps/Goals: 16/4
A speedy young striker, Wolff, alongside close friend Mathis, sparked the U.S. in qualifying. Has had trouble recovering from an ankle injury. STRENGTHS: Goes at the goal with abandon. WEAKNESSES: Lacks technical finesse.