Balboa’s concussion reduces roster to 15 for match in Russia.(Monday, April 24, 2000) – Colorado Rapids defender Marcelo Balboa suffered a concussion in Saturday’s 3-2 victory at the Columbus Crew and has been scratched from the United States men’s game Wednesday against Russia in Moscow.
The Americans left for Russia today with a roster reduced to 15 players.
The 11 a.m. (ET) match will be available on pay-per-view television on the Dish Network satellite system and many cable systems.
Balboa suffered a Grade II concussion in the 15th minute of the Rapids match Saturday against the Columbus Crew. It was the result of a collision with Brian McBride who will make the trip to Russia.
Balboa had been a late replacement for D.C. United defender Eddie Pope who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week. Fowards Brian West of Columbus and Jason Kreis of the Dallas Burn were added to the roster to replace European-based attackers Joe-Max Moore (knee) and Ernie Stewart (hamstring) who are injured.
Wednesday’s match marks the first time the U.S. has traveled to Moscow for a full international. The match against Russia will mark the first meeting between the teams since January 29, 1994, when the two battled to a 1-1 draw in Seattle. The U. S. is 0-1-2 all-time against Russia, but has also played two matches against the Commonwealth of Independent States (going 1-1 in 1992), and the Soviet Union (going 0-3-1 dating back to 1979).
The American men will play their first match since March 12, when the team came from behind in extra time to tie Tunisia on Ben Olsen's goal in Birmingham, Alabama. The squad is 3-0-3 record in 2000, and will use the Russia match as a tune-up for the U.S. Nike Cup in June, where it will face South Africa, Ireland and Mexico in Washington D.C., Boston and New York City, respectively.
Midfielders: Chris Armas (Chicago Fire, 14), Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany, 24), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy, 125), Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England, 20), Claudio Reyna (Glagow Rangers, Ireland, 70), Tony Sanneh (Hertha Berlin, Germany, 6.
Forwards: Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn, 10), Brian McBride (Columbus Crew, 39), Brian West (Columbus Crew, 0)