MLS well-represented in friendlies
led, of course, by the monumental clash between border rivals USA and Mexico at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
For soccer fans in Washington, D.C., El Salvador and Colombia will be in action. The home fans will be able to cheer on one of their own, while the Colombian team features a number of players who ply their trade in Mexico. In Kingston, the national sides of Jamaica and Venezuela will do battle, while in south Florida, Honduras and Ecuador will face off.
USA v MEXICO (Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, 8:30 p.m. ET)
U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena and his squad -- composed of 17 MLS players -- await their counterparts in Dallas on Wednesday in the superclasico of the CONCACAF region.
Arena had to make two changes to his defense after last weekend's MLS matches. Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn) and Danny Califf (Los Angeles Galaxy) were both forced off due to injuries in their respective games. They were replaced by Pablo Mastroeni and Richie Kotschau, both with the Colorado Rapids.
For his part, Mexico technical director Ricardo LaVolpe will bring a strong team to Dallas when it arrives on Tuesday night, including veteran goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and Club America standouts Pavel Pardo and Duilio Davino. As well, LaVolpe will rely upon youngsters such as Diego Martinez and Luis Perez, who was added to the team after the withdrawal of Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who will not travel to the USA due to personal problems.
The rivalry will kick off at 7:30 local time at the Cotton Bowl and will televised live by Telemundo, Fox Sports World and HDNet (in the USA) and by Televisa and TV Azteca (in México).
EL SALVADOR v COLOMBIA (RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., 7:30 p.m. ET)
D.C. United forward Ronald Cerritos has been called into El Salvador's national team for their encounter with Colombia, and is a top candidate to start in attack and add to his total of 45 caps (with four goals).
Salvadoran technical director Juan Ramon Paredes has been getting his team ready for the past week with the same focus as for their upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bermuda on June 12. The match will take place at RFK Stadium in the U.S. capital before what should be a largely pro-Salvadoran crowd.
Reinaldo Ruedas, in his first match in charge of Colombia's national team after the departure of Francisco Maturana, has brought in seven players from the Colombian first division, and seven who play in Mexico's Primera Division, including Andres Chitiva (Pachuca), Frankie Oviedo (América) and Luis Gabriel Rey (Atlante).
MetroStars striker Sergio Galván Rey was rumored to be in Ruedas's plans for selection, but still will likely be called in to play for his adopted country.
VENEZUELA v JAMAICA (National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica, 8:30 p.m. ET)
After the USA, the greatest collection of MLS national team players from one country is in Jamaica, and technical director Carl Brown has brought in four for their friendly against Venezuela.
Defender Craig Ziadie (MetroStars) and Tyrone Marshall (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Chicago Fire teammates Damani Ralph and Andy Williams have been included in Brown's 20-man squad; new MetroStars signing Fabian Taylor has been a regular in Brown's selection, but the Reggae Boyz boss said he wanted Taylor to remain with his club this week to allow him to further settle in.
Venezuela national team boss Richard Páez brought his team together in Caracas two days before the match, with the majority of his first-line talent, as the vinotinto prepare for their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Chile in June.
Páez has called upon a number of foreign-based players, including Los Angeles Galaxy striker Alejandro Moreno, who has finally gained a place in his country's selection. As well, Venezuela included in its ranks Juan Arango (Puebla/Mexico), Hector Gonzalez (Colon/Argentina) y Máximo Margiotta (Vicenza/Italy).
ECUADOR v HONDURAS (Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 8 p.m. ET)
The technical director of the Honduras national team, former U.S. national team boss Bora Milutinovic, late last week announced the foreign-based players he has added to his team for their match against Ecuador, and among that list is MetroStars playmaker Amado Guevara, who scored his team's goal at the weekend against the New England Revolution.
The news of the additions announced by Milutinovic was Reggina (Italy) striker Julio César de León, who was not originally included on the list added to the camp of domestic-based players that had been training for more than a week. It's the first match for Milutinovic in charge of the Honduras team since the Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong, when they defeated a Hong Kong League XI but lost to Denmark.
Ecuador will be relying mostly on domestic-based players and suffered two departures from their original list, when midfielder Vilson Rosero was injured and replaced by Antonio Valencia, as well as Edison Méndez, substituted by Luis Fernando Satitama of Deportivo Quito. The friendly against Honduras will serve as preparation for their two upcoming World Cup qualifiers, against Colombia on June 1 and Bolivia on June 6, which could see MetroStars midfielder Joselito Vaca in action for Bolivia.
The match will be broadcast live on GOLTV, beginning at 8 p.m.
USA v MEXICO
GK: Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jonny Walker (MetroStars)
DF: Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)*, Richie Kotschau (Colorado Rapids)*.
MD: Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Richard Mulrooney (San Jose Earthquakes), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
FW: Conor Casey (Karlsruhe), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards).
MANAGER: Bruce Arena
* Replaced the injured Dan Califf (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn).
GK: Oswaldo Sánchez (Chivas), Moisés Muñoz (Morelia).
DF: Omar Briceño (Tigres), Ricardo Osorio (Cruz Azul), Salvador Carmona (Chivas), Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Chivas), Mario Pérez (Necaxa), Duilio Davino (América), Hector Altamirano (Santos).
MD: Diego Martínez (Necaxa), Israél López (Toluca), Pavel Pardo (América), Octavio Valdez (Pachuca), Luis Ernesto Perez (Monterrey).
FW: Omar Bravo (Chivas), Jared Borgetti (Santos), Emilio Mora (Veracruz), Jose de Jesús Mendoza (América).
TD: Ricardo Antonio Lavolpe
EL SALVADOR v COLOMBIA
GK: Juan José Gómez (CD Águila), Santos Noel Rivera Ayala (Municipal Limeño)
DF: Marvin González (CD F.A.S.), Víctor Velásquez (CD F.A.S.), Erick Dowson Prado (Isidro Metapán), Otoniel Carranza (Aguila)
MD: Ramón Sánchez (San Salvador), Dennis Alas (San Salvador), Gilberto Murgas (CD F.A.S.), Ernesto Góchez (CD F.A.S.), Edler Lara (Chalatenango)
FW: Rudis Corrales (CD Águila), Juan Campos (CD Águila), José Martínez (Luis Ángel Firpo), Diego Mejía (Motagua), Ronald Cerritos (D.C. United)
TD: Juan Ramon Paredes
GK: Miguel Calero (Pachuca/MEX), Juan Carlos Henao (Once Caldas).
DF: Gonzalo Martínez (Nápoli/ITA), Luis Amaranto Perea (Boca Juniors/ARG), Arley Dinas (Tolima).
MD: Alexander Viveros (Boavista/POR), Frankie Oviedo (América/MEX), John Javier Restrepo (Cruz Azul/MEX), Víctor Pacheco (Atlante/MEX), Rubén Darío Velásquez, Arnulfo Valentierra, Elkin Soto (Once Caldas), Juan Carlos Ramírez (Atlético Nacional), Oscar Díaz (Deportivo Cali).
FW: Andrés Chitiva (Pachuca/MEX), Luis Gabriel Rey (Atlante/MEX) y Eulalio Arriaga (Puebla/MEX).
TD: Reinaldo Ruedas
JAMAICA v VENEZUELA
GK: Donovan Ricketts (Village United), Aaron Lawrence (Reno FC), Shawn Sawyers (Portmore United)
DF: Tyrone Marshall (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA), Craig Ziadie (MetroStars/USA), Claude Davis (Preston North End/ENG), Ian Goodison (Seba United), Fabian Davis (Arnett Gardens), Damion Stewart (Harbour View FC)
MD: Andrew Williams (Chicago Fire/USA), Richard Langley (Cardiff City/ENG), Cornel Chin-Sue (Arnett Gardens), Jermaine Hue (Harbour View), Omar Daley (Reading FC/ENG), Gerald Neil (Arnett Gardens), Jonathan Williams (Arnett Gardens), Garfield Reid (Rivoli United)
FW: Damani Ralph (Chicago Fire/USA), Marlon King (Nottingham Forest/ENG), Ricardo Fuller (Preston North End/ENG)
TD: Carl Brown
GK: Javier Toyo (Caracas FC), Manuel Sanhouse (Dep.Táchira).
DF: José Manuel Rey, Luis Vallenilla, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Andrés Rouga, Jorge Rojas, Jobanny Rivero, Rennier Rodríguez (all Caracas FC), Leonel Vielma (Dep. Táchira), Javier Villafráz (Estudiantes).
MD: Juan Arango (Puebla/MEX), Ricardo David Páez (Barcelona/ECU), Héctor González (Colón/ARG), Pedro De Pablos (Dep. Táchira) y Miguel Mea Vitali (Caracas FC).
FW: Massimo Margiotta (Vicenza/ITA), Daniel Noriega (Independiente Medellín/COL), Alejandro Moreno (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA), Alexander Rondón (Dep. Táchira).
TD: Ricardo Paez
HONDURAS v ECUADOR
GK: Héctor Medina (Real Espana), Noel Valladares (Motagua)
DF: Wilson Palacios (Olimpia), Wilmer Velásquez (Olimpia), Maynor Figueroa (Olimpia), Elmer Marín (Olimpia), Nery Medina (Motagua), Júnior Izaguirre (Motagua), Roy Posas (Motagua), Edgard Álvarez (Peñarol/URU)
MD: Emil Martínez (Marathon), Víctor Mena (Motagua), Víctor Bernárdez (Motagua), Elkin González (Real Espana)
Amado Guevara (MetroStars), Iván Guerrero (Motagua)
FW: Carlos Pavón (Monarcas Morelia/MEX), Milton Núñez (Necaxa/MEX), Marcelo Ferreira (Olimpia), Denilson Costa (Olimpia), Julio César de León (Reggina/ITA)
TD: Bora Milutinovic
GK: Geovanny Ibarra (El Nacional), Jacinto Espinoza (LDU)
DF: Jorge Guagua (El Nacional), David Quiroz (El Nacional), Geovanny Espinoza (LDU), Néicer Reasco (LDU), Paúl Ambrossi (LDU), Jairo Campos (Aucas), Érick De Jesús (Aucas)
MD: Marlon Ayoví (D.Quito), Cléver Chalá (Deportivo Quito), Alfonso Obregón (LDU), Luis Fernando Saritama (D.Quito), Antonio Valencia (El Nacional)
FW: Ángel Fernández (El Nacional), Ebelio Ordóñez (El Nacional), Agustín Delgado (Aucas), Franklin Salas (LDU)
TD: Hernan Dario Gomez