WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United forward Santino Quaranta has been added to the United States Men's National Team roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. The four-year United veteran was called up by head coach Bruce Arena, as one of 24 players who will take part in the 12-team tournament. Set to take place July 6 - July 24, the tournament will be showcased in six cities across the United States. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is a regional championship with teams representing nations in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
After a week of training in Portland, Ore., Quaranta and 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 10:30 pm ET, and will be telecast live on Telefutura. The U.S. continues group play against Canada on July 9 in Seattle (4:30 p.m. ET, Telefutura), then head east to finish out the opening round against Costa Rica at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. (7 p.m. ET, Telefutura). Should the U.S. advance as the first or second place finisher in the group, their quarterfinal match 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. Fans can follow all the U.S. matches live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
Though Quaranta recorded substantial international experience as a part of the youth national team program, an appearance in this summer's Gold Cup would mark the twenty-year old's first career cap. Prior to beginning his MLS career, Quaranta played in 24 full international matches with the U.S. U-17 National team over the course of 2000 and 2001. Leading up to the U-17 World Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, he was one of 20 players invited to the full-time residency program in Bradenton, Florida. Tallying 22 starts during his run with the U-17's, he led the team in assists and was second in goals scored for each respective campaign.
Quaranta was drafted by D.C. United in the first round (8th overall) of the 2001 SuperDraft, making him the youngest player ever drafted at the time of his selection. The Baltimore-native made an immediate impact, finding the back of the net five times with one assist during the course of his rookie season. Starting ten of the 16 games in which he saw the field in 2001, the freshman forward was the youngest player to garner player of the week honors when he was recognized for the week of 7/16 for recording a pair of two-goal games. Since his rookie campaign, a string of injuries have limited the availability of the Black-and-Red attacker. So far in the 2005 season, Quaranta has started six of ten games and notched two goals and a pair of assists. In the recent 2-0 victory over the previously-undefeated New England Revolution, Quaranta scored the first goal of the night and then assisted Jaime Moreno for United's second goal of the night.
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.