Olsen named to U.S. Gold Cup roster
WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen has been named to the United States National Team roster that will compete in the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. The D.C. United midfielder will join Head Coach Bruce Arena as one of 23 players selected for the 12-team tournament to take place July 6-24 in six cities across the United States.
Of the group that will join Arena for training at Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Ore. next week, nine were members of the squad that was fielded for the tournament in 2003. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is a regional championship with teams representing nations in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
During his career with the National Team, Olsen has four goals in 22 career appearances. He made his international debut on November 16, 1998 in a 0-0 draw with Australia. Olsen, 27, scored his first international goal in his very next appearance, a 2-1 decision over Chile on February 21, 1999. Despite a serious ankle injury that kept him out for nearly 22 months, Olsen returned to the National Team lineup, scoring the game winner in a 2-0 win over El Salvador at RFK Stadium on November 17, 2002. Now in his eighth MLS season, the Middletown, Pa. native is among some of the most talented American players from around the MLS and Europe. He will join former D.C. United Head Coach Bruce Arena, who was at the helm of the Black-and-Red during Olsen's rookie season.
After a week of training in Portland, the team will move to Seattle on July 3, where they will face Cuba in their first match on July 7. The game is scheduled to kick off at Qwest Field at 7:30 pm P.T., and will be telecast live on Telefutura. The U.S. continues group play against Canada on July 9 in Seattle (1:30 p.m. PT, Telefutura), then head East to finish out the opening round against Costa Rica at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. (7 p.m. ET, Telefutura). Fans can follow all the U.S. matches live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Should the U.S. advance as the first or second place finisher in the group, their quarterfinal matchup would take place July 16 in Foxboro, with the semifinals slated for July 21 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The 2005 Gold Cup Final will also be played at Giants Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for July 24 at 3 p.m. ET.
The U.S. has appeared in all seven Gold Cup competitions since 1991, capturing two titles and reaching at least the semifinals in six of seven events. The U.S. enters the 2005 tournament with an unblemished 16-0-0 record in group play, having posted shutouts in 19 of 31 all-time Gold Cup games.