Young Beasley, Albright among 18 called in for match against Tunisia.
(Thursday, March 2, 2000) -- Seventeen-year-old striker DaMarcus Beasley and 21-year-old forward Chris Albright are among 18 players called in by United States men's coach Bruce Arena for a March 12 match against Tunisia at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
The match, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. (ET) will be televised by espn2.
Arena will also finally have a chance to get a good look at defender David Regis and midfielder John O'Brien.
Beasley, a native Fort Wayne, Ind., will make his first appearance with the full national eam after an impressive showing in the 1999 FIFA under-17 world championship in New Zealand, where the speedster won the Silver Ball as the competition's second most valuable player.
Beasley won two "Man of the Match" awards in New Zealand with his pace and end-to-end runs and also netted a 30-yard blast against Mexico. He further impressed onlookers at the recent Major League Soccer spring training fournament, finishing as the second leading scorer with two goals and three assists for the Chicago Fire.
Albright, a 6-foot-1 resident of Philadelphia, made a successful debut with the team last year, scoring an 80th-minute game-tying goal with his first touch after entering as substitute against Jamaica. Albright finished fourth in spring training scoring with two goals and two assists in three games for D.C. United. .
"I believe that these two young players have a bright future with the national team," Arena said. "I hope it's not too early to introduce them to the action, but I feel it is important to involve them in the team. These are two players who really caught my eye in Fort Lauderdale (at spring training), and it's time to give them a look and see what they can do."
This will be the first meeting with Tunisia, which recently finished fourth in the African Nations Cup. It is also the senior team's first-ever match in Birmingham, Ala., but the venue will bring back memories for Arena, who coached the Olympic team, comprised mostly of under-23 players, to a 2-0 victory over Tunisia on July 22, 1996 at Legion Field as part of the Summer Games. The '96 U.S. Olympic team also fell 3-1 to Argentina at Legion Field in front of 83,183 soccer fans.
"The support that we received in Birmingham during the Olympics was excellent," Arena noted. "We have not had many matches against African nations, so this match will be good preparation as we continue to focus on the 2002 World Cup qualifying."
The U.S. men will report Monday and train daily at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Goalkeepers: Tony Meola (Kearny, N.J., Kanas City Wizards, 91 caps), Tom Presthus (Dallas, D.C. United, 1).
Defenders: C.J. Brown (Haywood, Calif., Chicago Fire, 13 caps, 0 goals), Chad Deering (Plano, Tex., Dallas Burn, 14, 1), Robin Fraser (Denver, Los Angeles Galaxy, 24, 0), Eddie Pope (High Point, N.C., D.C. United, 32, 3), David Regis (Valenciennes, France, FC Metz - France, 7, 0), Greg Vanney (Tempe, Ariz. Los Angeles Galaxy, 6, 0).
Midfielders: Chris Armas (Brentwood, N.Y., Chicago Fire, 13, 2), Cobi Jones (Westlake, Calif., Los Angeles Galaxy, 124, 11), Eddie Lewis (Cerritos, Calif. San Jose Earthquakes, 19, 2), John O'Brien (Playa del Rey, Calif., Ajax-Netherlands, 1, 0), Ben Olsen (Middletown, Penn. D.C. United, 13, 2), Richie Williams (Middletown, N.J., D.C. United, 12, 0)
Forwards: Chris Albright (Philadelphia, D.C. United, 1, 1), Jason Kreis (Omaham Neb., Dallas Burn, 9, 1), Brian McBride (Arlington Heights, Ill., Columbus Crew, 38, 10).