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Three games in May are scheduled as final World Cup prep.

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Twellman's hustle sets up Dempsey's opportunistic header to beat Poland 1-0.

U.S. victory over Poland is welcome, but not particularly satisfying.

Arena selections for Poland game give hints of World Cup roster.

Klein's goal, pair of assists lead 4-0 rout of Guatemala.

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U.S. men

Dempsey dropped from roster for Germany after suspension by Revolution following fight.

By Gary Davidson

Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey was dropped from the U.S. roster for next Wednesday's game against Germany after he was suspended by the New England Revolution for fighting with teammate Joe Franchino.
-- New England Revolution web site photo --
(Wednesday, March 15, 2006) -- Clint Dempsey's suspension today from the New England Revolution will not cause the midfielder to miss any Major League Soccer games, but could damage his chances of making the United States World Cup team.

U.S. Soccer Federation officials confirmed that Dempsey was dropped from the roster manager Bruce Arena announced today for next Wednesday's visit to play Germany in a friendly at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.

Dempsey was suspended today for two weeks by the Revolution for "conduct detrimental to the team," according to a terse two-sentence statement by the club.

Only two matches remain for the Americans before Arena chooses his 23-man squad for the World Cup, which will be played June 9-July 9 in Germany. After facing the World Cup host Wednesday, the U.S. will take on Jamaica April 11 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., before Arena names his team.

Dempsey, who turned 23 Thursday, has played himself into contention for a World Cup job with a series of strong performances for the U.S. men this year. He has started four of the five games in 2006, contributing a two goals and assists as the Americans started the year with a 4-0-1 record. Dempsey's goal in the 48th minute, assisted by Revs teammate Taylor Twellman, gave the Americans a 1-0 decision over Poland March 1.

The suspension followed Dempsey's fight with New England captain Joe Franchino, a brawl that left both players bloody during the team's final practice before departing for a 10-day trip to Costa Rica. Franchino was not punished.

The excitement happened on a day when the U.S. men were elevated to No. 5, their highest world ranking ever.

Arena' roster for the Germany game includes less than half of players expected to start during the World Cup. Since next Wednesday is not an international fixture date requiring teams to release their players, Arena was not able to call in many of his top players from their European clubs. Seven of the 19 players are based in Europe, the others coming from MLS

"Although we will be playing with a less than full roster, this game will provide an outstanding opportunity for some of our players to show they deserve strong consideration for the World Cup roster," Arena told Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Germany coach Juergen Klinsamnn is under intense pressure to win and will have nearly his full team available. The German Football Association (DFB) has an agreement with all the clubs in the country to release their players to their national teams for the match in Dortmund. Klinsmann has been under withering criticism from German media and fans to improve his side's fortunes after a 4-1 loss to Italy March 1.

The DFB deal also allows the U.S. use of its players based in Germany with Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach), defender Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96) and Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus) all included on the American roster.

The U.S. is 2-5 all-time against Germany, the most recent meeting coming when the Germans defeated the Americans 1-0 in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals. In the one game played in Germany, the host team won 4-2 March 27, 2002, in Rostock.

The U.S.-Germany game next Wednesday will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2:25 p.m. (ET) and on a delayed basis by Spanish-language Telemundo.

U.S. roster for next Wednesday's game against Germany with players' teams in parentheses:

Goalkeepers (2): Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC, England), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany).

Defenders (7): Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards, Major League Soccer), Cory Gibbs (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew, MLS), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjślland, Denmark), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake, MLS).

Midfielders (6): Bobby Convey (Reading FC, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake, MLS), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids, MLS), Ben Olsen (D.C. United, MLS), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City, MLS).

Forwards (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo, MLS), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City, MLS), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution, MLS), Josh Wolff (Kansas City, MLS).

Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes managing editor. E-mail Gary Davidson.

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