United States Men's National Team Manager Bruce Arena has selected a 22-man roster to train in advance of the first leg of the USA's World Cup qualifying series against Grenada on June 13th at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Included on the 22-man roster are Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola, forward Josh Wolff and midfielder Kerry Zavagnin. The June 13th game marks the first of at least 18 matches necessary in order to qualify for the 2006 World Cup to be held in Germany.
"The qualifying process for the 2006 World Cup is going to be extremely challenging, and we are going to take every match very seriously," said Arena, who has led the team to a 3-1-2 record in 2004 that includes three consecutive shutout victories. "We respect Grenada as an opponent, and we plan to use our best available players in order to be successful. The goal of any national team is to qualify for the World Cup, and we are prepared to begin that journey starting June 13 in Columbus."
Tony Meola makes his return to the U.S. National Team for the first time since the 2002 World Cup in Korea. With 99 career caps, Meola needs just one more appearance to become just the eighth player, and first goalkeeper, in U.S. history to appear in 100 international matches. Bruce Arena has already named Kasey Keller as the starting goalkeeper for the June 13th match, so Meola's 100th cap could come as a substitute.
Wolff and Zavagnin have both seen significant time with the U.S. in 2004 with Wolff playing in four of the United States' six matches this year and Zavagnin appearing in three of the six matches. Zavagnin is one of six players on the U.S. roster looking to make their first appearance in a World Cup Qualifier.
After June 13th, the return leg is scheduled for June 20th in St. George's, Grenada (ESPN2, 3:00 p.m. CT). Following the MNT World Cup qualifiers against Grenada, the U.S. will meet Poland in a domestic friendly on July 11th in Chicago. Should the U.S. advance through their preliminary qualifying round, the team's six-game, four-team semifinal round competition will begin on August 18th away to either Jamaica or Haiti.
U.S. Men's national team Roster v. Grenada
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying - Second Round
June 13, 2004 - Columbus, Ohio
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kasey Keller (Tottenham Hotspur), Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Tony Sanneh (FC N|rnberg), Greg Vanney (FC Bastia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Earnie Stewart (D.C. United), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian McBride (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)