SECAUCUS, N.J. - U.S. Men's National Team Manager Bruce Arena announced today that New York Red Bulls goalkeeper and three-time World Cup veteran Tony Meola will earn his 100th cap with the U.S. Men's National Team on April 11, 2006 in a friendly versus Jamaica. The match will be played at sold-out SAS Soccer Park in Cary, NC and broadcast live on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
"It is always an honor every time you get called into National Team camp especially at this stage right before the World Cup," said Meola. "I have cherished each and every opportunity I have had to play for my country and I will certainly cherish this one as well. I am excited that Bruce (Arena, U.S. Men's National Team Manager) has the faith in me to call me in and take a look as the team finalizes its preparation for this summer."
Meola's storied national team career began in 1988 during a friendly with Ecuador, while he was still attending the University of Virginia. He rapidly emerged as one of the top goalkeepers in the country and was a starter on both the 1990 and 1994 World Cup squads and a reserve on the 2002 team. Meola is currently the USA's all-time leader in appearances for goalkeepers (99) and ranks second to Kasey Keller in both wins (37) and shutouts (32). His last international appearance came on May 16, 2002 during the '02 Nike 'Road to Korea.'
"Tony Meola has had an outstanding career for the national team with three World Cups to his credit, as well as 11 years in MLS," said U.S. Men's National Team manager Bruce Arena. "It's an honor for me and U.S. Soccer to recognize Tony's achievements in our sport by watching him earn his 100th cap for his country. We look forward to a special evening and recognizing Tony for an illustrious career."
A five-time Major League Soccer all-star, he was recently named to MLS' All-Time Best XI on November 11, 2005. He currently holds multiple MLS goalkeeping records including: most saves (1052), shutouts (57), and games started (231). The Kearny, NJ native enjoyed a spectacular 2000 season with the Kansas City Wizards, as he led Kansas City to its first MLS championship and was named both the League's regular season Most Valuable Player and postseason Most Valuable Player. He set a new MLS record for shutouts in the regular season with 16 in 31 games and added a record five more shutouts in the postseason.
Meola was signed by New York on June 30, 2005 and started 15 games last year (17 including playoffs). He was the starting netminder for the Red Bulls in their 2006 season opener last weekend against D.C. United on April 2.
"Tony Meola is a living legend of this game and I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor," said Red Bull New York President and General Manager Alexi Lalas.
Meola and the Red Bulls open up their home slate at Giants Stadium this Saturday, April 8 against the New England Revolution at 7:15 p.m.