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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ARENA TO NAME APRIL 17 ROSTER THURSDAY ON ussoccer.com, FOLLOWED BY CHAT: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena will name an 18-man roster for the April 17 friendly in Ireland live on the U.S. Soccer website (www.ussoccer.com) on Thursday (April 11) at 11:30 a.m. ET, then participate in an online chat starting at 12 p.m. ET.

The U.S. MNT will be making its third of three trips overseas this year to take on a quality opponent from Europe when they travel to meet Ireland at Landsdowne Road in. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. ET and via tape delay that evening on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. ET.
 

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Ireland names squad to face United States in World Cup warmup

April 10, 2002


DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) --

Ireland got two established players back Wednesday to face the United States in a World Cup warmup next week, strengthening a squad that dominated Denmark 3-0 last month. :eek:

Coach **** McCarthy named Newcastle defender Andy O'Brien and Sunderland winger Kevin Kilbane to his 24-man roster for next Wednesday's friendly in Dublin.

Still missing was captain Roy Keane, the combative Manchester United midfielder who could be out of action for several weeks with a torn hamstring. Also nursing injuries were backup goalkeeper Alan Kelly, midfielder Lee Carsley and winger Mark Kennedy.

``I'm not worried about the absence of the four injured lads,'' McCarthy said. ``It's better that they have plenty of time to recover before we head off for Tokyo on May 17.''

In Keane's absence, winger Damien Duff of Blackburn has become the inspirational playmaker. Against Denmark, he sped past defenders and fed teammates several scoring opportunities.

McCarthy appeared ready to give another chance up front to striker Robbie Keane, who has been struggling for playing time at English Premier League side Leeds. He could be paired with Sunderland veteran Niall Quinn, Ireland's scoring record-holder, or newcomer Clinton Morrison, who plays for English first-division club Crystal Palace.

Both Keane and Morrison scored in the March 27 game against a depleted Danish squad. So did Leeds defender Ian Harte, who remains in the defensive unit alongside O'Brien, Aston Villa veteran Steve Staunton, Leeds' Gary Kelly, Manchester City's Richard Dunne, Coventry's Gary Breen, and Kenny Cunningham of Wimbledon.

While the defense has appeared shaky at times, Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given has been rock-solid. If he doesn't start against the Americans, McCarthy could opt for either Dean Kiely or Nick Colgan, who combined to shut out the Danes.

McCarthy said team morale was running high following strong performances against Denmark and in February's 2-0 home win against Russia. After the United States, the Irish will face Nigeria May 16 in Dublin before departing for Japan.

``It would be nice to keep this little unbeaten record going in the build-up to the finals. Hopefully we can record another success against the Americans,'' McCarthy said.

In the World Cup, Ireland is grouped against three-time winner Germany, Olympic and African Nations Cup champion Cameroon, and Saudi Arabia. It went undefeated in its qualifying group, finishing second to Portugal and ahead of the much-favored Netherlands.

The Ireland squad: Shay Given (Newcastle), Dean Kiely (Charlton), Nick Colgan (Hibernian), Steve Staunton (Aston Villa), Ian Harte (Leeds), Richard Dunne (Manchester City), Gary Breen (Coventry), Aidan O'Brien (Newcastle), Gary Kelly (Leeds), Kenny Cunningham (Wimbledon), Steve Finnan (Fulham), Jason McAteer (Sunderland), Matt Holland (Ipswich), Mark Kinsella (Charlton), Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland), Steven Reid (Millwall), Colin Healy (Coventry), Rory Delap (Southampton), Niall Quinn (Sunderland), Robbie Keane (Leeds), Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace), Damien Duff (Blackburn), David Connolly (Wimbledon), Richard Sadlier (Millwall). :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Arena's 18 for Ireland

He's picked a very strong squad. Basically all of the likely WC starters are on the list:

Friedel, Brad GK
Keller, Kasey GK
Agoos, Jeff D
Berhalter, Gregg D
Pope, Eddie D
Regis, David D
Hejduk, Frankie D/M
Sanneh, Tony D/M
Armas, Chris M
Lewis, Eddie M
Mathis, Clint M
O'Brien, John M
Reyna, Claudio M
Stewart, Earnie M/F
Wolff, Josh F
McBride, Brian F
Moore, Joe-Max F
Donovan, Landon F

My desired starting 11:

Keller GK
Agoos D
Pope D
Sanneh D
Regis D
Armas M
Reyna M
O'Brien M
Stewart M
Mathis F
McBride F

Should be a much better exhibition than the Mexico fiasco.
 

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Hern,

Can't quibble much with your picks other than Regis. He terrifies me. Sanneh, Berholter and Frankie all have drawbacks, too, but over time I have gotten more comfortable with their errors (which seem to take place further from instant danger).

Sanneh is gangly and makes weird decision, but can counter others' aerials.
Berholter got burned badly a few times in earlier games, but generally is solid.
Frankie is a mess, but tough and seems to find speed when needed. If you need offense from the back, I'd reather have him make the runs than Regis. I know when the tide turns at least he will get back.

Comments?

Oldplayer
 

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That is it, fellows!!!!!!

No surprises but more or less what we expected I was off by one player from his list. I had Mulrooney over Berhalter, but that is ok, I am sure either one can warm the bench as good as the other.;)
 
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where is pablo

I am a bit surprised to see that pablo did not get called in , I really think he has been the most consisant performer in the time he has been given. He should really be given more consideration imo. however this is a very strong squad we have called up
 

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This is our World Cup Squad, minus the 5 additions...
A goal keeper ... Thorton, Howard or Meola
2 defenders ... ??
1 Midfielder ... ?
1 Forward ... ?

A good squad, to face a tough team in excellent form at the moment.

I expect to see ...


................. Regis ... O'Brien
Friedle ..... Agoos ...... Armas ...... McBride
................. Pope ......Reyna ........ Mathis
................. Sanneh ... Stewart



This will be our starting World Cup Squad, IMHO.

Everyone is now healthy, lets hope they "ALL" stay that way...
Take note of David Becham fate and as a result the fate of ENGLAND
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TP said:
Everyone is now healthy, lets hope they "ALL" stay that way...
Take note of David Becham fate and as a result the fate of ENGLAND
My heart goes out to England on Becham's injury. Just a day or two earlier Soccertimes.com had run a story about how players are keeping their fingers crossed that they won't get injured in the next 60 days or so. Guess Posh's hubby's luck ran out.
 

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Barring an injury, all 18 of these guys can book their plane tickets for Korea. What you see is what you get, folks. This is our team, for better or for worst. I have no qualms about any of them.

As for the final 5 spots, there are some interesting possiblities:

*3rd GK - Anybody but Meola...PLEASE! I would take Howard.

*With Lewis' inclusion, Vanney and possibly Demarcus Beasley could be left out in the cold. It would be a shame if Beasley didn't go.

*Final Forward slot...it's between Razov and Kirovski. I guess you really can't win with those choices! Barring a sudden MLS scoring spree for Razov, I think Kirovski will go.

*Could Arena possibly be thinking about leaving Cobi off the roster???? If Ben Olsen was 100%, I seriously doubt Cobi would have made the team.


I ask all of you...Does Cobi really deserve a spot????
 
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Since you brought up Olsen , what is his conditions ??? is he on his feet again. I really like Olsen and it is a shame he has had so many injuries. He is a classic winger and plays non stop up and down the field alot like hejduk but better. If he is healthy he could contribute to this team in more ways then one just my 2 cents !
 

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Even if Olsen is walking, or even running, he is no where close being match fit at this moment.

The only scary thought for me is to see Arena pencil in either Kirovski or Richie Williams! :dazed:
 
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williams does not bother me that much , but kirvoski on the other hand , i dont understand how there was so much hype about him earlier in his career , he trained with man u as a kid didnt he ?? now he is hardly cutting it at crystal palace. If bruce brings him along , he will never touch the field so it would be more like a tag along job for him either way , there are more deserning players then him , hell bring along bobby convey he can sit the becnh and learn something at least . Either way neither would touch the field .
 

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What killed Kirovski's season was when Palace changed coaches. He was playing great earlier in the season under Steve Bruce, but he barely gets PT now that Francis is the coach.
 

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11 April 2002 (TEAMtalk) - Both Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel will be in camp for the April 17 friendly with Ireland as both English-based keepers will try to win the No. 1 job for the World Cup.
Arena will also have both Friedel and Keller in camp for just the second time in 2002. Friedel has earned just one cap for the U.S. in 2002, in a 1-0 road loss to Italy on Feb. 13, while Keller has appeared in seven matches, compiling a 5-1-1 record and five shutouts.

Keller played in the last match for the European-based players against Germany and let in four, but he was not to blame for most of the goals as his defense had a lackluster performance. Meanwhile, the Washington native has been seeing playing time for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League after going through a dry-spell for most of the year.

It is likely though that Friedel will get the start in Ireland on Wednesday because he has not had a chance to play with the full team since mid-February.

"The process of selecting a roster capable of competing in the World Cup began four years ago and is finally nearing a conclusion," said Arena, "Every match furthers the process for us in becoming a better team, and Ireland is a very strong opponent. We will use this match to help in making some final decisions and to continue to gauge our progress as June 5 approaches."

This is the final away friendly for the U.S. before Arena will combine his MLS and European based players for a training camp in Cary, North Carolina on May 1.

It would seem two European players are not in consideration for the final World Cup roster with defenders Steve Cherundolo and Greg Vanney not called into the team.

Another player returning to the line-up is captain Claudio Reyna. Arena did not include him on the roster for the Germany game, but he has since recovered from his hamstring injury and is good form with Sunderland in the English Premier League. Like Friedel, he has not played for the U.S. since mid-February. He has been capped 85 times for the U.S., who were 6-1-2 in World Cup qualifying with the New Jersey native in the line-up.

Among the MLS players coming to Dublin, Earthquakes midfielder Landon Donovan is the only player to appear in all 10 matches for the U.S. this year, netting three goals and an assist, upping his consecutive games played streak to 15 games.

Defender Jeff Agoos returns to the roster, after missing the match against Mexico to rest, and currently stands on 126 caps, two shy of former U.S. defender Marcelo Balboa for second all-time in U.S. Men's National Team history.

The U.S. are currently enjoying a three-match unbeaten run against the Irish, posting two wins and a draw.

Goalkeepers: Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller

Defenders: Jeff Agoos, Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Pope, David Regis, Tony Sanneh

Midfielders: Chris Armas, Eddie Lewis, John O'Brien, Claudio Reyna, Earnie Stewart

Forwards: Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis, Brian McBride, Josh Wolff, Joe-Max Moore
 

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Cobi ". . . does he deserve to go?"

Penguin,

Assuming your question wasn't rhetorical, I answer "Yes!" Cobi Jones deserves to go. Players at spots 18-23 are likely to see zero playing time, and none when the games still mean anything. So, the last spots are really either rewards for effort, and past contributions to the team OR are reserved for seasoning and incentives for up and coming players. Also, their contributions to team practice, adversity and events in Japan/Korea must be considered. It's a balancing and depending upon the philosophy of the coach, those places on the bench may serve several purposes.

My OPINION is that Cobi has always been a team player, has a positive attitude and helped hold the Nats together for the years between WC's. IF true (and who knows what goes on at practice and in camp?), I'd find a spot for him, as well as a few of the "kids."

Besides, Cobi has a certain flair and style, is recognizable to the press and adds to the generally favorable impression of the US National Soccer Team. My teenage daughter still adores him, though she recognizes he is past his prime.

Are there better soccer players elegible to go? Probably 20 or more, if the facts were known.

BTW, was it you that early on posted info about Kirovski? Your comments about the coaching change are interesting. How many players over the years have had their careers sidetracked or actually ended merely by happenstance? It is always too bad. The truly great ones make a coach. The merely good ones can be undone by a coach.

Oldplayer
 

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Re: Cobi ". . . does he deserve to go?"

Oldplayer said:
Penguin,

Assuming your question wasn't rhetorical, I answer "Yes!" Cobi Jones deserves to go.

I agree, 'Playa...

Earlier in the qualifying process, he was carrying the team. He and Earnie Stewart were the heart and soul of the squad.
He has fallen off of late, due to his lack of playing time, but I am confident that he, more than Kirovski deserves the nod.

Bruce has a good mix here. O'Brien, healthy at last gives him a wealth of options in midfield. IMHO, As it stands, the team cannot loose Armas and O’Brien both, and expect to succeed, one or the other yes, because the strength of the team will be on the left side.

As the midfield goes, so goes this or any other team. O'Brien and Regis will get a work out from Sergio Conseicou when the "real game" starts, so they will have to be prepared.

I am confident that the US will do great things in this World Cup. Bruce has done an excellent job just getting the team to this point, lets hope he can take them even farther... I'm greedy!!!

The IRISH will be a valuable test for this team ... GO GET'EM LADS...
 

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ANALYSIS: The crucial friendly in Dublin

Apr 12, 2002

BY RIDGE MAHONEY, senior editor. Soccer America.

As important as a pre-World Cup friendly can be will be played in Dublin next Wednesday (April 17).

It's much more than the last match prior to Coach Bruce Arena presenting his official World Cup list of 23 players. That announcement is expected to be made the following Monday (April 22).

And it's even more than another vital test against a World Cup-qualified European opponent. The U.S., which has lost to Germany, 4-2, and Italy, 1-0, this year, faces Portugal and Poland in South Korea. To advance, Euro-points must be produced.

Sources have said that with the possible exception of goalkeeper, and barring injuries, the projected U.S. starting 11 for the World Cup opener against Portugal will be on the field at Landsdowne Road.

Brad Friedel is expected to start against Ireland in goal, although Kasey Keller has also been summoned. Both are expected to play in the final warmup matches next month and Coach Bruce Arena has maintained for months he has not decided on his No. 1 World Cup keeper.

The notable European absentees for the Ireland game are Jovan Kirovski and Steve Cherundolo. Of the MLS contingent, Carlos Bocanegra, Cobi Jones, Richard Mulrooney, Ante Razov and Pablo Mastroeni have not been summoned.

"I haven't ruled out anybody," said Arena in an interview with Soccer America this week.

Arena stressed the importance of the Ireland match without stipulating those starters would also line up against Portugal. He has said in the past he won't necessarily start the same 11 players in the three World Cup games.

The players know the importance. Ireland qualified at the expense of the Dutch from a group that also included Portugal, although Ireland needed to beat Iran in a playoff.

In their last warmup match, the Irish pummeled fellow qualifier Denmark, 3-0, in Dublin.

"It's a good European team and it's an away game," says Chicago midfielder Chris Armas. "We'll be tested. If we're not concentrated for 90 minutes we shouldn't expect to get the result.

"That's why Bruce picked games in Italy, in Germany and in Ireland and at home against Holland [May 19]. These are games -- obviously it's not the World Cup -- where there's talent and a good atmosphere. It's great preparation."

For the pre-World Cup camp in North Carolina that commences May 1 Arena may not have all of his players from the first day. Several of those with European teams may be involved in relegation battles. Also, Greg Vanney plays for Bastia in the French Cup final May 11, and John O'Brien's Dutch Cup final with Ajax is May 12.

"There'll be some that aren't available because of clear conflicts: Relegation battles, cup competitions," he said. "That hasn't all been determined at this point, because you don't know where every club is going to stand until days before our camp opens."

All MLS players are expected to be on hand from the start of camp.

Arena also reiterated his stance about taking younger players just so they can traipse about Seoul. He won't.

That means Tim Howard would have to beat out Tony Meola on merit, not by virtue of youth. DaMarcus Beasley won't have any edge over Eddie Lewis except for what he does on the field.

"No, it doesn't make any sense to me," he said. "I read somewhere Brazil did that with Ronaldo in 1994. The key to that was the other 21 players that were there.

"It would be idiotic for us to waste spots on young players just to give them experience. We need every player on our roster to contribute and make us a better team."

:cap::cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Arena Chat

For those who haven't seen it, Bruce Arena's responses to a chat with fans on April 11:

Bruce Arena: Welcome to the U.S. Soccer Live on-line chat. The U.S. team is looking forward to the match against Ireland next weekend. We think it's another great opportunity to give our players a fair look as we finalize our World Cup roster, and also continue to gauge our progress as a team. I am happy to answer your questions.

coldwater: Coach, with all the recent injuries to big-name players, what's your biggest concern between now and June 5?
Bruce Arena: Injuries are always a concern, and there's no way to prepare for them. My biggest concern is having enough time to prepare with our team prior to the opening match against Portugal on June 5

Hops: How are you able to evaluate which players will play best together since it is rare that close to a full squad is ever assembled?
Bruce Arena: That's a good question. It's true that we've rarely had the opportunity to put our best group of players together. However, over the past three years there has been plenty of opportunities to see our players work in different combinations. It's through those opportunities that we've had the chance to try and figure out which combinations work best. I'm not totally concerned about the time we haven't had together. Hopefully the month of May will solve those issues. Really, the only place we haven't had our full group together is in the attacking positions, and we think the next four games will give us an opportunity to do that.

drobert: When viewing and assessing players in MLS, what qualities do you look for in judging whether they can make the transition to the international level?
Bruce Arena: It's not an easy question to answer. The best way to assess the MLS players, or any players, is to put them into as many international matches as possible. Then we can see if they have the physical and technical qualities to compete at this level.

lynesjc: Are the Euro-based players that were not called in for the Ireland match (Kirovski and Cherundolo are two examples) pretty much out of contention for the World Cup roster?
Bruce Arena: No, they are still in the pool for final selection. After the Ireland game, I'll make a final decision on the 23-man roster

CSheard: Presuming that the final 23 players are all capable, when picking the starters, if you had to choose between experience and ability, which would be the decisive factor?
Bruce Arena: It's a combination of both. The final determination is based on which player helps to make our starting eleven better.

BenSisko: Who has been the biggest surprise for you from players playing this year, who weren't involved in qualifying?
Bruce Arena: There's been a number of players that have been pleasant surprises. To name a few, Tim Howard, Pablo Mastroeni, and Carlos Bocanegra, as well as Frankie Hejduk, who did not appear in final round qualifying.

ToolsBoy: Is the starting 11 for the World Cup cemented? At this point, is it too late for a player on the bubble of the starting 11 to work himself into the starting 11?
Bruce Arena: The simplest way to answer the question is to say we have not finalized a starting 11. I will use the month of May to make the final determinations. Keep in mind the starting team will likely change over three games

csh2000: Do you take anything away from the matches that Portugal, Korea and Poland have played so far in 2002? How much do you think the Gold Cup win over Korea will factor into both teams' approaches to your rematch in June?
Bruce Arena: In all honesty we haven't learned a whole lot more about our World Cup opponents in their recent matches. We've scouted them extensively and have a pretty good understanding of each team. I don't think the Gold Cup result will have any impact on either teams approach to the match on June 10.

sfbayfan: Playing against Italy and Germany was very different than playing against the Gold Cup teams or even Ecuador and Honduras. What did you learn about playing against bigger and stronger teams that you will try to incorporate in the game against Ireland?
Bruce Arena: Clearly our European opponents bring a physical presence to the game. Therefore, our team needs to be better prepared for the physical challenges througout the 90 minutes. If not, we will be placed on our heels much like the match we saw against Germany.

fattony: Do you expect to use different starting line-ups tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each team in the World Cup, or will you pick a starting 11 and stay with it?
Bruce Arena: I think we'll take one game at a time. There can be a variety of reasons we change a starting lineup. It could be our opponent, injuries, card issues, etc. In short, we'll take each game as they come. I do anticipate changes in the lineup over the first three games.

moenye: It's obvious that MLS has had a huge impact on our MNT's improvement. Could you elaborate a bit on how you've seen our team improve over the past three years?
Bruce Arena: I think the biggest areas of improvement have been from the players that first received caps during my tenor as national team coach. Players like Armas, Mathis, Donovan, Beasley, Sanneh, etc. have gained experience through MLS play as well as international play to help contribute to make our team better. I could name many players, but the point is that MLS has had an important impact on the improvement of our team.

Hot Carl: Coach, which of our first three group matches do you think will be most important in our progression to the round of 16?
Bruce Arena: In all honesty, every one of those games will be important. Naturally the first game will clearly lay out what we need to do in games two and three in order to advance.

angelsoccer: Have you picked a captain yet for the first game against Portugal at the World Cup?
Bruce Arena: If he is healthy and available, Claudio Reyna will be our captain.

puddleduck: Assuming that the Ireland squad represents close to our strongest team, how much importance do you place on the result? Are you more concerned with evaluation of individuals, or seeing how this group plays together?
Bruce Arena: I'm more interested in the evaluation of individuals as well as how the group plays together. In the big scheme of things, this result is not important. The significant results will come June 5-14 in Korea.

sfbayfan: After what we saw against Germany, what is your opinion on how to play against a bigger and stronger opponent ?
Bruce Arena: This probably is not the time and place to thoroughly answer this question, but in a few short words, we simply need to be mentally ready for the physical aspects of the game, and also be prepared to make tactical changes to deal with things like the number of players that ran out of the midfield for Germany.

salmon: After playing Clint Mathis at both midfield and at forward, where is he most likely to be used in Korea?
Bruce Arena: Clint will most likely play as a forward.

sfbayfan: Would you agree that the best forward combination you have seen in recent history is McBride and Mathis together?
Bruce Arena: In all honesty I don't yet know the answer to your question. If I'm not mistaken they have only started one game together in 2002. We have four more games before we can decide on our best combination of forwards.

moenye: How do you think we stack up regarding overall team speed vs. the rest of the WC group?
Bruce Arena: I think we stack up fine. The one team that may have a little more quickness and speed is Korea. I don't believe Portugal and Poland enjoy a favorable advantage over us in this area.

East Cap St. Fan: Have you paid much attention to MLS this year? Who do you think will win the title?
Bruce Arena: First of all, I've been away on a number of weekends in which MLS has played; however I've seen enough games at this point to say that I think most likely the top teams will be Los Angeles, Chicago and the MetroStars.

etrusco: Bruce, after a long absence from the National Team, Frankie Hejduk has been listed on the squad a lot lately. Can you comment on what aspects he brings to the team?
Bruce Arena: First of all, Frankie is an experienced players. He's one of our few players who has tasted success in World Cup competition. Secondly, he's a very solid defender at the right back position. Thirdly, he's versatile enough to play in the midfield as well. I think these are important qualities that he can bring to our team.

etrusco: Who do you think will win the World Cup?
Bruce Arena: I think the defending champion France have to be favored; however, I think Argentina is possibly the next best team.

BenSisko: Bruce, can you comment on the Tim Howard/Tony Meola competition for the third goalkeeper spot, seeing that they are such good friends and once played together on the MetroStars?
Bruce Arena: Clearly Tim and Tony have a great relationship with each other. The decision for third goalkeeper will be based on who can make our team better. It is likely that the third goalkeeper will never step on the field during the World Cup. Therefore, we need to assess what other qualities this player will bring to the table. Therefore, team chemistry and the other qualities that a player brings will be an important factor. Lastly, we need to consider "what if," and which goalkeeper could be called upon to step on the field in what would be a very difficult situation.

sfbayfan: On the left side of midfield: Can you compare what each player (O'Brien, Lewis, Beasley) brings to the team?
Bruce Arena: O'Brien clearly gives us a player who has the ability to hold the ball under pressure, is an excellent passer, and can get forward with or without the ball at opportune times. Lewis is our best left sided player staying wide, definitely our best crosser, and probably the best one v. one player at this time. Beasley is our least experienced player, however he is very alert, very good at the defensive end of the field, and still finding himself in the attacking end of the field. He's an active, intelligent player.

jetboy14: In terms of selecting a roster for the World Cup, does it just come down to whom is playing best when May comes around, or who plays best during WC training?
Bruce Arena: The roster will be determined in the very near future. The month of May will be used to finalize our team in terms of our organization, our starting eleven, etc.

East Cap St. Fan: What's been the biggest surprise to you as National Team coach compared to your experiences at UVA and DCU?
Bruce Arena: I discovered during qualifying the political aspects of playing these matches, and how important it is to prepare your team for difficult matches like playing Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. Lastly, that you can't control many variables, like referee decisions, as well as how the players respond to those difficult conditions.

etrusco: What has been your proudest moment as coach of the National Team?
Bruce Arena: There have been many proud moments. Two that stand out would be qualifying for the World Cup by defeating Jamaica back in October of 2001, and winning the Gold Cup in January. We won a Confederation championship with a team that was slightly undermanned, and qualifying for World Cup with a team that had its back against the wall. I was proud of the team because they responded well to pressure situations. Those were proud moments for our program.

Bruce Arena: In closing, the coaching staff and the players and all of U.S. Soccer are greatly appreciative of the support we've received from the U.S. Soccer fan base. Your support over the last three years has made them the most successful in history for the U.S. Men's National Team.

Lastly, we realize that many of you won't be able to travel to Korea this summer, but we know you will be supporting us back home and we are very grateful for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quinn Out for Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) -- Lanky striker Niall Quinn has withdrawn from Ireland's squad for Wednesday's World Cup warmup against the United States because of a neck muscle injury.

The 6-foot-5 (1.95 meter) Sunderland striker suffered the injury in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Liverpool at the Stadium of Light and will stay at home to receive treatment.

Ireland coach **** McCarthy said he has no immediate plans to call up a replacement as he already has a squad of 22 for the game at Lansdowne Road.

He said that Quinn's injury is not regarded as serious and he should be available for Ireland's final World Cup warm-up game, also in Dublin, against Nigeria on May 16.

In his absence, McCarthy likely will start Leeds United's Robbie Keane and Blackburn's Damien Duff.
 

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Do or die for U.S. hopefuls

The United States face Ireland Wednesday in a friendly that will provide a final chance for a handful of hopefuls to force their way in to the World Cup squad. "I think, to a point it's pretty clear who is going to be on the roster but it's not all written in stone," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena Monday. "There are still a couple of people who are on the fence, but I think we're 80- to 90 percent there." Arena will name his final 23-man squad, plus a list of stand-by players, next Monday.

:eek:
 
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