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Americans to face tough foes, travel much, in World Cup.

Dominated by Scotland, U.S. gains draw with strong defense.

Arena accomplishes goals, defeating Panama and evaluating young Americans.

Americans finish first in qualifying group by blanking Panama 2-0.

Arena saw little to please him in U.S. loss to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica earns World Cup berth, blanking Americans 3-0.

Americans take long way to San Jose to play Costa Rica.

Players need to impress Arena in Costa Rica qualifier.

Arena selects roster for qualifier in Costa Rica.

New U.S. lineup produces lackluster 0-0 draw with Guatemala.

With dominant effort, U.S. dumps Mexico and qualifies for World Cup.

Wasted chances don't stop U.S. from defeating T&T, nearing World Cup berth.

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U.S. men

USSF, player's union reach deal through 2010.

CHICAGO (Monday, December 19, 2005) -- The United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. men's player's union headed off the possibility of a labor dispute disrupting World Cup preparations when the two sides agreed to a five-year deal today.

The result of collective bargaining between the USSF and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players' Association was an agreement that will run through 2010, including next summer's World Cup in Germany and the 2010 Cup in South Africa.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the U.S. National Soccer Players' Association on a collective bargaining agreement through the 2010 FIFA World Cup," USSF president Robert Contiguglia said in an e-mailed statement. "We have been confident throughout this process that an amicable agreement would be reached that would positively address the desires of both parties, and that is what we have accomplished together. Our focus now, as it has always been, is to move forward and continue our preparation for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany."

A contract quarrel between the sides endangered the U.S. effort in this year's World Cup qualifying. After the USSF threatened to use replacement players in the final round of qualifying if an accord wasn't reached, the parties agreed January 21 to a no-strike pledge through 2005.

Under the new pact, U.S. players will earn $37,500 for making the World Cup roster, $3,750 for each Cup appearance and $3,000 per friendly, Associated Press reported. During World Cup qualifying, bonuses of $1,350 to $6,000 will be paid to each player for victories and draws, depending on the opponent. Bonuses for friendlies range from $750 to $5,250.

The World Cup squad will cumulatively earn $150,000 per standings point earned in the first round, which includes three games, and $2.775 million for advancing to the knockout stage, the Round of 16.

The federation will pay the players a total of $2.25 million for making the quarterfinals, $2.625 million for advancing to the semifinals, $3 million for going to the final and $3.75 million for winning the tournament. Winning the third-place game would be worth $500,000.

In 2002, the bonus for making the quarterfinals was $1.5 million, the semifinals $1.75 million amd the final $2 million, while winning the championship would have garnered $2.5 million, AP said. In that World Cup, the 23 players on the roster, plus injured midfielder Chris Armas and defender Greg Vanney earned $200,543 apiece.

Under the new agreement, retroactive to 2003, the players received $1.35 million for qualifying for the World Cup for the fifth straight time. This marked an increase from $900,000 in 2002.

"The players are pleased that they will continue to prepare for the 2006 World Cup with an agreement in place that benefits both sides," USNSTP executive director Mark Levinstein said in a statment. "We hope this agreement will be the first step in bringing together the millions of individuals and many organizations that support soccer in the United States to work to advance our sport."

The U.S. was drawn into the difficult Group E with Italy, Ghana and the Czech Republic for Germany 2006, which starts on June 9.

The U.S. men recently concluded a successful 2005 by winning the final round of World Cup qualifying for CONCACAF for the first time. The CONCACAF region includes North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The Americans also captured their third CONCACAF Gold Cup title during the summer. The U.S.'s 13-3-4 record represented the most victories ever for a calendar year and its .750 winning percentage was also its best ever.

Coach Bruce Arena will hold a training camp for 30 players, starting January 4, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. It will include almost exclusively players from Major League Soccer, since players based in Europe are in the midst of their league season.

The U.S. will host Canada January 22 at Torero Stadium in San Diego and Norway January 29 at Home Depot Center. The team will also take on Japan February 10 at SBC Park in San Francisco.

The Americans will also face Germany March 22 at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.

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