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Pope, Fraser rejoin national team for Chile match preparations.

Eddie Pope CHICAGO (Thursday, January 20, 2000) -- Defenders Eddie Pope and Robin Fraser will rejoin the United States men when coach Bruce Arena opens training camp tomorrow for a January 29 road match against Chile in Coquimbo.

The 8 p.m. (ET) match will not be broadcast on free television. Subscribers to the Dish Network will have pay-per-view access for $19.95. Cable systems Time-Warner in New York City, Cablevision Systems in the New York\New Jersey metropolitan area, Boston and Connecticut, and Cox in Northern Virginia and Las Vegas will also offer pay-per-view opportunities.

Pope, who played only three games for the national team in 1999 because of injuries, missed Sunday's 1-1 draw with Iran to get married. Fraser returns after recovering from a fractured left clavicle suffered in November's MLS Cup '99.

"It's good to be able to add two experienced players who can help organize our defense," Arena said. "Eddie is a player who will play an important part in the national team this upcoming year, and Robin is coming off a tremendous league season in 1999."

In all, 25 players were invited to camp, featuring an American-based core. The group will train for four days at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, before departing for Chile. The Americans, who are 2-4-1 against Chile, will play in South America for the first time since October 16, 1996, when they dropped a 4-1 decision to Peru at the National Stadium in Lima.

"This is another step toward our goal of preparing ourselves for the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying," Arena said. "This year is critical to the success and development of the national team program."

Ten of 12 Major League Soccer teams are represented on the preliminary roster, with three-time MLS champion D.C. United contributing seven players to the squad defenders Pope, Jeff Agoos, Carlos Llamosa and Carey Talley, midfielders Ben Olsen and Richie Williams, and goalkeeper Tom Presthus.

Talley, still seeking his first international appearance, and Colorado Rapids defender Marcelo Balboa with 128 caps, represent the wide range of experience and youth on the team. In addition to Balboa and Agoos with 97 caps, the Florida camp will feature World Cup veterans in midfielder Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy, 120 caps), striker Eric Wynalda (102 caps, Miami Fusion), midfielder John Harkes (89 caps, New England Revolution), and keeper Tony Meola (90 caps, Kansas City Wizards).

Following the match against Chile, the U.S. will assemble in Fort Lauderdale on February 4 to begin final preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Americans will meet Haiti (February 12) and Peru (February 16) at the Orange Bowl in Miami in opening round play of the tournament which will contest its title on February 27.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards, 90 international appearances), Tom Presthus (D.C. United, 1), Zach Thornton (Chicago Fire, 6).

Defenders: Jeff Agoos (D.C. United, 97), Marcelo Balboa (Colorado Rapids, 128), C.J. Brown (Chicago Fire, 9), Robin Fraser (Los Angeles Galaxy, 21), Carlos Llamosa (D.C. United, 6), Eddie Pope (D.C. United, 29), Carey Talley (D.C. United, 0), Greg Vanney (Los Angeles Galaxy, 4).

Midfielders: Chris Armas (Chicago Fire, 9), Chad Deering (Dallas Burn, 13), Henry Gutierrez (Miami, 1), John Harkes (New England Revolution, 89), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy, 120), Eddie Lewis (San Jose Earthquakes, 15), Ben Olsen (D.C. United, 9), Richie Williams (D.C. United, 8).

Forwards: Jovan Kirovski (Borussia Dortmund, Germany, 37), Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn, 9), Roy Lasiter (Miami Fusion, 29), Brian McBride (Columbus Crew, 36), Ante Razov (Chicago Fire, 4), Eric Wynalda (Miami Fusion, 102).

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