Real Salt Lake striker Clint Mathis called into U.S. camp

SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake forward Clint Mathis is one of 28 players called into camp by U.S. Men's National Team manager Bruce Arena in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Kickoff at the Queen's Park Oval is set for 12:30 p.m. MT, with the match telecast live on ESPN2.

Mathis, who returns to the U.S. Men's National Team fold for the first time since returning to the United States, has recorded 11 goals in 44 appearances for the USA. The Georgia native and his U.S. teammates will train in Carson, Calif., at The Home Depot Center, departing for Trinidad on Feb. 7. Mathis is expected to join Real Salt Lake Head Coach John Ellinger and his RSL teammates in Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 10.

"I'm always excited to be part of the U.S. Men's National Team," said Mathis from Southern California. "I look forward to doing everything Bruce asks me to do for this squad, doing whatever is needed to help us kick off the road to Germany with a win against Trinidad. After that, I can't wait to join John, Jason, Andy and all my RSL boys down in Florida."

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 6 p.m. CT, and the match will be telecast live on ESPN2.

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.

"We certainly have a lot of hard work ahead of us," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. "Trinidad is a very talented opponent with a lot of experience on their roster. We're happy to be able to focus on the task of getting a result in our first qualifier in the final round."

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