Clark earns first national team call-up
SECAUCUS, N.J. - Last week MetroStars midfielder Ricardo Clark was fortunate enough to be called up to the U.S. Men's National Team. This marks the first time the 21-year-old Atlanta native has received an invitation to play with the national squad. Clark trained with the team through the weekend but did not make Bruce Arena's 18-man roster for the game last night.
Clark marks the fourth MetroStars player called to the U.S. full National Team this season. Earlier in the season MetroStars Captain Eddie Pope had made numerous appearances with the squad, while goalkeeper Jonny Walker and forward John Wolyniec have made scattered appearances with the National Team.
The U.S. Men's National Team ended the CONCACAF qualifying round last night when they tied Jamaica with a score of 1-1 at Columbus Crew Stadium. This adds to the U.S. unbeaten streak making it 13 games and improving their record against Jamaica to 8-0-7. Ed Johnson scored U.S.'s first and only goal in the 15th minute. Johnson's goal makes him the first player in Men's National Team history to score a goal in his first three qualifying appearances. Jamaica retaliated in the 27th minute when Andy Williams scored on a penalty kick. Since Jamaica was unable to gain a win they have been knocked out of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. As a result Panama will be advancing with the U.S. from Group 1.
In 2003, Clark was drafted out of Furman College by the MetroStars as the second overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. His rookie campaign saw him play and start in 28 games, scoring three goals and one assist, gaining him a MLS Rookie of the Year nomination. In 2004, Clark's excellence continued, starting in 19 of his 26 appearances and scoring one goal and one assist from his defensive midfield position.