Behind the Badge: Will Arena pick Benny?
United fans everywhere want to know if former United boss Bruce Arena will ask any members of the Black-and-Red to don Red, White and Blue at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. U.S. Soccer will announce the 23-man roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup live on ESPN's SportsCenter and ussoccer.com at 6 p.m. ET tonight. Just more than one week later on May 10, Arena will begin welcoming his squad to their final training camp before the World Cup, when the group gathers in Cary, N.C.
The U.S., ranked fourth in the world in the latest round of FIFA rankings, will then embark on the three-game Send-Off Series before a June 1 departure for Germany. The U.S. plays their opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy in Kaiserslautern on June 17 and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg. The U.S. has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as their base of operations throughout the tournament. The U.S. will submit its 23-man roster to FIFA on May 15.
United fans found another unique way to again prove they are the league's best supporters. In response to last week's $250 fine of Alecko Eskandarian for "inappropriate conduct," both the Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles supporters groups made a matching contribution to the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation. The charity was established in memory of Nicole Megaloudis, who was tragically killed in a car accident on Feb. 9, 2004. A close friend of Eskandarian, Megaloudis was also the step-daughter of Thomas Rongen, a former United coach and TV color analyst, and his wife Gail. The foundation provides scholarships for local athletes.
Show your colors
The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, recently announced the launch of a new sports-themed paint line called Team Colors. Through the program, customers can purchase paint in the exact colors used by D.C. United. Created in partnership with ICI Paints and the Glidden brand, the Team Colors program is available exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide. In all, The Home Depot will offer more than 400 paint colors representing more than 125 different teams through agreements with Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), 44 colleges and universities, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. (NASCAR) and 14 drivers/teams, Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Soccer, the Federation of Mexican Fútbol and the U.S. Olympic Team.