Pope, Magee called to U.S. camp
SECAUCUS, N.J. - U.S. Men's National Team manager Bruce Arena has called MetroStars forward Mike Magee and defender Eddie Pope along with 26 other U.S. based players into camp to train for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 9 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Kickoff at the Queen's Park Oval is set for 2:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
MetroStars captain Eddie Pope, is the top capwinner of the group of players called in, with 66 international appearances. Pope last appeared for the National Team on October 13, 2004 in the team's 6-0 win over Panama at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Pope served as the backbone of the MetroStars defense in 2004, starting and playing in 22 games in his second year with the club.
This will be Mike Magee's first time in camp with the full National Team, after being a part of the U.S. U-20 team that finished fifth in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates. Last season with the MetroStars, Magee scored three goals, and tallied four assists.
The team will train at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and will depart for Trinidad on Feb. 7 after relocating to South Florida. Several European-based players are expected to join the squad in Florida either Feb. 6 or 7 after competing in their league matches that weekend.
After Trinidad, the U.S. faces a double-dose of qualifiers at the end of March. Following a trip to Mexico on March 27, the USA will open its home schedule of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Kickoff against Guatemala is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tickets ranging in price from $18 to $55 are available online at ussoccer.com, all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Alabama (including Publix and Coconuts), and by phone at 1-800-277-1700. Groups of 15 or more can order through the Alabama Sports Foundation at 205-967-4745 ext. 119.
The U.S. will play 10 games in the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup from Feb. 9 - Oct. 13, 2005. The USA, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago are competing for three automatic berths to the World Cup finals in Germany. The fourth-place finisher will face the fifth-place team from the Asian Football Confederation in a home-and-home series to determine the last entrant into the tournament.