WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen has been invited to be a part of the United States National Team training camp roster by U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. The U.S. will begin training at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on February 28 in preparation of their March 27 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico. During the month leading up to the Mexico game the U.S. will be faced with continuous activity and will play two friendly matches. The Americans face Colombia on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif., and then travel to Colorado Springs for high altitude training, before facing Honduras on March 19 in Albuquerque, NM.
Olsen, along with United teammates Nick Rimando and Alecko Eskandarian, was previously called into U.S. training camp in preparation for the February 9 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago, but did not make the final 18-player roster.
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.
Following their match with Mexico the U.S. Team returns to Birmingham, Ala., where they will play their second qualifier in three days when they host Guatemala on March 30.
The United States, along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, are in the midst of the 10-game round-robin format that began Feb. 9 and ends Oct. 12, 2005. The top three teams automatically advance to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying. Following the first round of games on February 9, the U.S. is tied with Mexico for first place, as both teams beat their respective opponents 2-1.