Training resumes in Fort Lauderdale for Sundayís qualifier in Costa Rica.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Tuesday, July 18, 2000) -- After a day off from training, the United States men resumed preparations today for Sundayís CONCACAF qualifying match against Costa Rica Sunday in San Jose, Costa Rica. The 1 p.m. (ET) match will be shown live on ESPN2.
Gregg Berhalter will arrive in camp this afternoon to bolster the teamís banged up defensive corps. Robin Fraser, Eddie Pope and David Regis are each recovering from injuries, none of which are considered serious enough to keep them from playing on Sunday. Fraser suffered a broken bone in his right hand after teammate Greg Vanney inadvertently kicked him while clearing a ball in the Guatemala match, while Pope aggravated the left knee on which he recently had surgery. Both players participated in training at Lockhart Stadium today.
Regis received a cut above his left eye after colliding with another player during a six-vs-six match in training today.
With the addition of Berhalter, head coach Bruce Arena will now need to make a decision about which of his 19 players to deactivate for Sundayís match to meet the roster limit. That decision can come as late as Sunday morning, so it is likely that all 19 players will make the trip to Costa Rica.
The team held two separate meetings with Arena and his coaching staff today, watching tape of the Guatemala match before and after training. The team will train at 10 a.m. on each of the next three days at the Miami Fusionís training facility in Fort Lauderdale before departing for Costa Rica Saturday at 9 a.m.
A planned scrimmage against Englandís Nottingham Forest has been cancelled.
United States Soccer Federation manager of national teams communications, Rich Schneider, had the following question-and-answer session with striker Ante Razov:
Question: How tough were the conditions in Mazatenango?
Razov: It was pretty difficult. We had a good week of training here in Florida, but that was a game, and you use a lot of adrenaline and youíre pretty fired up in a game. We kind of died there at the end. I donít think we were as prepared mentally as we needed to be, and a lot of the guys were pretty much spent with 15-20 minutes left in the game.
Question: Give us a recap of the goal you scored.
Razov: We had a good build-up going and were knocking the ball around pretty good. Claudio (Reyna) found some space and I tried to duck in there and make a run. When I got it, I was able to cut it back to my left and wrong-footed the defender, and I hit it solid. It changed direction a little and went in. It was good timing for us.
Question: Was the game as physical as you expected?
Razov: Actually, no. I thought it would be a little more physical, but it was still a tough game. Overall, I donít think they were that physical of a team. We could have been a little tougher, thatís for sure.
Question: Are you disappointed with only one point?
Razov: Yeah, just because they got their goal in the last minute of the game. We didnít deal too well with their pressure in the second half, but itís only the first game of qualifying and itís good to walk away with at least one point.
Question: Did any aspect of your first World Cup qualifier on the road take you by surprise?
Razov: No, I think we had a pretty good idea about what we were getting ourselves into before we left Florida. It was exciting and it felt good to get one under our belt.