USA-Mexico Qualifier to air live from Columbus on ESPN Classic

USA-MEXICO LIVE ON ESPN CLASSIC: The USA's huge World Cup qualifying showdown with Mexico on Saturday (Sept. 3) from sold-out Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, will air live on ESPN Classic at 7:25 p.m. ET. For the first time in the series' 50-game history, the teams will play a match on U.S. soil in which the winner will be guaranteed a spot in the FIFA World Cup. In addition to the live airing on ESPN Classic on Saturday, the match will also air live on Telemundo at 7:30 p.m. ET and will re-air on ESPN2 later that evening at 2:30 a.m. ET (11:30 p.m. PT). Fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips.

HOME SWEET HOME: Since Oct. 11 of 2000, Columbus Crew Stadium has set about to prove that it is truly home for the U.S. Men's National Team. So far, so good. In six matches played here, the U.S. has posted an unbeaten 3-0-3 record, with eight goals scored and only one surrendered. With five shutouts to their credit, the stadium has also hosted four FIFA World Cup qualifiers, in which the U.S. has gone 2-0-2. To this point, the team's greatest memory from Columbus is the 2-0 win against Mexico in the "Guerra Fria" on Feb. 28, 2001.

U.S.-Mexico Results in Columbus Crew Stadium

Date            Opponent     Result
Oct. 11, 2000   Costa Rica   0-0 T *
Feb. 28, 2001   Mexico       2-0 W *
June 7, 2001    Ecuador      0-0 T
July 6, 2003    Paraguay     2-0 W
June 13, 2004   Grenada      3-0 W *
Nov. 17, 2004   Jamaica      1-1 T *

*FIFA World Cup qualifier

NIKE COMMERCIAL ... "LONGER THAN IT DESERVES": "OK, let's take just two seconds to talk about soccer which is about two seconds longer than it deserves." And so the rant begins, as most soccer tirades do, that conversely sets up Nike's unique new commercial portraying the vibrant and youthful soul of soccer throughout America. Inspired by the ravings of a celebrated U.S. sports journalist, the 60-second spot explores numerous locations around the country where the game is played in array of different ways. The spot has been airing nationally since August 23 across all major sports networks. Sports fans will connect with players in the new commercial on varying levels as the game takes on a different look in each setting. A sand lot, a dirt patch between freeways, a basketball court, a tennis court, a baseball field and a cul-de-sac are each transformed into a soccer pitch while waiters compete in an alleyway, firemen practice in front of their station, kids battle among cornstalks and cabbies juggle under a bridge. The commercial features a number of players from U.S. Soccer's Men's National Team programs, including DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu.

EJ ON ESPNEWS: U.S. forward Eddie Johnson discussed his return to the national team fold on ESPN News 'Hot List' on Tuesday afternoon. Making his debut in camp since being sidelined with a toe injury in May, Johnson had been on a goal-scoring tear for the U.S., notching eight goals in eight career appearances. The 21-year-old striker already has seven career goals in only six World Cup qualifying appearances, incredibly moving him into a tie with Brian McBride for second all-time in U.S. World Cup qualifying history. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller and Brian McBride are scheduled to appear on the 'Hot List' on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

KELLER ABOUT TO HIT THE BIG 5-0: Amongst the multitude of records, achievements and accolades collected by 15-year veteran Kasey Keller, he is approaching a milestone only one of the top international goalkeepers in history could have ever hoped to accomplish. With his next victory, Keller will have amassed 50 wins for the U.S. senior team. Even more remarkable, his 87 career caps include 43 shutouts. ussoccer.com talked with U.S. Goalkeeper Coach Phil Wheddon about the USA's all-time leader in World Cup qualifying wins (18), shutouts (18), and appearances (30). In addition to a USA Today feature on Wednesday, Keller will appear on the ESPNews 'Hot List' Wednesday afternoon.

DID YOU KNOW? Kasey Keller is currently riding a 417-minute shutout streak in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying action. With four straight shutouts in qualifying, the streak dates back to the USA's 2-1 loss in Mexico on March 27.

For a complete look at 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, visit the competitions page at www.ussoccer.com.


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