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WASHINGTON, April 22 (AFP)
The United States, trying to erase the sting of a last-place finish in the World Cup finals four years ago, named 11 World Cup debutantes here Monday to a 23-man roster for this year's 32-team tournament.

Among those making their US Cup debut in South Korea and Japan are forward Clint Mathis of MetroStars, Carlos Llamosa of the New England Revolution and Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni -- the only member of the final roster who did not play for the US team in qualifying.

US coach Bruce Arena, hired shortly after the US horror showing in France, plans to forget the disaster of 1998.

"We're going to make believe it never happened," Arena said. "It's a clean slate in 2002. We have a number of players who have returned for 2002 but I believe in the past 3 1/2 years they have proved they will be a much better team than we saw in 1998."

Seven players will be on their third US World Cup team, including captain Claudio Reyna from Sunderland of the English Premiership, all-time US World Cup goal leader Earnie Stewart of Dutch team NAC Breda, US caps leader Cobi Jones of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Joe-Max Moore of England's Everton.

All three US goalkeepers will be on their third World Cup squad.

Blackburn's Brad Friedel is on his third consecutive squad.

Tottenham's Kasey Keller was on the 1990 and 1998 rosters.

Tony Meola of the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer
played every US game in 1990 and 1994.

"After an exhaustive process and many successes and challenges over the last four years, we have selected the 23 players who we believe will give us the best chance of success," Arena said.

"We will now turn our attention to getting this group physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. We are looking forward to focusing for the next five weeks on continuing to improve as a team. I am confident that come June 5 this team will be equipped to give a great performance in Korea."

Arena has guided the US team to a 7-3 record with one draw in 11 games this year, seven against other World Cup 2002 squads.

Four European-based US players will make their first World Cup appearance, including defenders Gregg Berhalter of England's Crystal Palace and Tony Sanneh of Germany's Nurnberg plus midfielders Eddie Lewis of England's Fulham and John OBrien of Dutch power Ajax.

The US squad's 23 players include 12 from the US-based Major League Soccer. Three are Cup debutantes from the Chicago Fire -- forward Josh Wolff and midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Chris Armas.

Defending MLS champion San Jose placed 20-year-old Landon Donovan on the squad as well as veteran defender Jeff Agoos, who made his US debut in 1988 but has yet to play a World Cup finals match despite 127 career caps.

Agoos, Columbus forward Brian McBride and defenders Frankie Hejduk of Bayer Leverkusen, Eddie Pope of D.C. United and David Regis of France's F.C. Metz will play on their second consecutive US World Cup team.

McBride scored the lone US goal from the team's last-place finish four years ago in France.

The US lineup gathers May 1 near Raleigh, North Carolina for a 10-day training camp before a three-game final tuneup for the World Cup.

US players will host friendlies against Uruguay on May 12 in Washington, Jamaica on May 16 at East Rutherford, New Jersey, and the Netherlands on May 19 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers, England), Kasey Keller (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards).

Defenders: Jeff Agoos (San Jose Earthquakes), Greg Berhalter (Crystal Palace, England), Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Carlos Llamosa (New England Revolution), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Eddie PopeUnited), David Regis (F.C. Metz, France, Tony Sanneh (Nuremberg, Germany).

Midfielders: Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England), John O'Brien (Ajax, Netherlands), Claudio Reyna (Sunderland, England), Earnie Stewart (NAC Breda, Netherlands).

Forwards: Clint Mathis (New York/New Jersey MetroStars), Brian McBride (Columbus Crew), Joe-Max Moore (Everton, England), Josh Wolff (Chicago Fire).
 

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Let's put it this way. Piotr Nowak has just won the MLS player of the week award. He is a washed-up Pole who appeared a few games for our NT long ago, and is no longer good enough for our league.

The US is made up primarily of MLS players. Need more be said?;)
 

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That's a good point, Barlinek :D

I must say I'm not very familiar with those names, although I've heard opinions that it's a best American team ever...

When you for example read interview with Nowak, you can get the impression that he thinks Chris Armas is better than Vieira and McBride more dangerous than Kluivert ;)

Well... I just hope we grab 3 points vs. States. Too bad we don't face them in the first game in our group :(

But... To change ground a little bit... :) If Portugal relies on Figo and he stays in current from, Americans will trash them as well as we will ;) :D He was as slow as Kaluzny's modem tonight vs. Barca ;)
 

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Prewitt said:
That's a good point, Barlinek :D

But... To change ground a little bit... :) If Portugal relies on Figo and he stays in current from, Americans will trash them as well as we will ;) :D He was as slow as Kaluzny's modem tonight vs. Barca ;)
Wow, that's incredibly slow!!:D
 
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