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  • Keller is paying big dividends, 'Gladbach wins again.

    U.S. men

    Arena selects roster for qualifier in Costa Rica.

    MIAMI, Fla. (Monday, October 3, 2005) -- United States men's manager Bruce Arena has selected 18 players to prepare for Saturday's road World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. Training began here this morning.

    The match at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica, will kick off at 9 p.m. (ET) and be broadcast on ESPN2 on a delayed basis, beginning at 10 p.m.

    The final round of World Cup qualifying for CONCACAF, the region of North America, Central American and the Caribbean, wraps up October 12 when the U.S. hosts Panama at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. That 8 p.m. match will be broadcast live by ESPN2.

    The U.S., which was the first team to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and Mexico have clinched berths in the Cup. Both nations are 6-1-1 with 19 points. Both teams are plus-11 in goal differential, but the U.S. is in first place because it outscored Mexico 3-2 in the two qualifiers between the countries.

    Costa Rica (4-1-3, 15) is in third place, five points ahead of Guatemala (2-4-2) and can secure a place in the World Cup with a victory against the U.S.

    "Obviously our main goal has been accomplished, which was qualifying for the 2006 World Cup," Arena said in a U.S. Soccer Federation release. "However, the last two games in this round are extremely important, not only from a competitive aspect, but also in evaluating players as we look towards the vital preparations for the 2006 World Cup."

    Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard will make his first appearance for the U.S. in 2005. The 2003 English Premier League "Goalkeeper of the Year" has made one appearance in qualifying, earning his fifth career shutout for his national team in a 2-0 victory over El Salvador in the semifinal round September 4, 2004, in Foxborough, Mass.

    The roster features four starters from the Americans' last meeting against Costa Rica, a 3-0 triumph June 4 in Salt Lake City, led by midfielder DaMarcus Beasley who plays for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. The 22-year old has made more appearances in qualifying for the 2006 Cup than any other U.S. player. Starting all 12 matches in which he appeared, he has four goals and four assists.

    Veteran defender Eddie Pope returns after missing the last three qualifiers with injuries. With 72 caps, he ranks as the most experienced player on the U.S. squad for Saturday's match. Defender Carlos Bocanegra and midfielder Bobby Convey have become regulars for Fulham and Reading, respectively, in the second-division English League Championship.

    Two other veterans called are defender Oguchi Onyewu of Standard de Liege in Belgium and midfielder Pablo Mastroeni of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids. Onyewu will be looking for just his 11th all-time cap, but he recently has been a mainstay of the defense and stood out in the 2-0 victory over Mexico September 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Mastroeni has 42 national-team appearances and wore the captain's armband in the Americans' last qualifier, a 0-0 draw in Guatemala September 7.

    The U.S. roster has striker Taylor Twellman, who leads MLS with 16 for the New England Revolution.

    The San Jose Earthquakes send four players to Miami. Forward Brian Ching, back from injury, has made four qualifying appearances and scored two goals, including the game-tying finish in the 89th minute of the 1-1 semifinal-round draw against Jamaica August 18, 2004. Defenders Wade Barrett and Danny Califf return, while midfielder Ricardo Clark is the only player on the U.S. roster who has not yet received his first cap with the full team.

    The U.S. has an all-time record of 11-9-4 against Costa Rica, but has never won on the road in the series, 0-5-1 in six qualifiers in Costa Rica. In their last 10 meetings, the U.S. holds a 6-3-1 advantage against the Ticos, with all six wins coming in the U.S. and all three losses coming in San Jose.


    U.S. roster (club affiliation in parentheses)

    Goalkeepers (2): Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy, Major League Soccer), Tim Howard (Manchester United, England).

    Defenders (8): Chris Albright (Los Angeles, MLS), Wade Barrett (San Jose Earthquakes, MLs), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, England), Dan Califf (San Jose), Eddie Lewis (Leeds United, England), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege, Belgium), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake, MLS), Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic, England).

    Midfielders (5): DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven, Nr\etherlands), Ricardo Clark (San Jose), Bobby Convey (Reading, England), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew, MLs), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids, MLS).

    Forwards (3): Brian Ching (San Jose, MLS), Santino Quaranta, (D.C. United, MLS), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution, MLS).

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