22 players called in for showdown with Mexico on February 6 in Houston against Mexico
Bocanegra, Dempsey, Howard lead contingent of 12 European-based players included in roster
CHICAGO (Feb. 2, 2008) - U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 22 players that will travel to Houston to prepare for the upcoming showdown with Mexico at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The match will be part of a two-and-half-hour broadcast window on both ESPN2 and Univision beginning at 8 p.m. CT. Fans will also be able to listen to the match on 75 affiliates of the Fútbol de Primera Radio Network, and can follow live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
More than 53,000 tickets have been sold for the second-ever meeting between the teams at Reliant Stadium. On May 8, 2003, nearly 70,000 fans packed the house to witness a fiercely contested 0-0 draw. The U.S. is currently riding an 8-0-1 unbeaten run on home soil against Mexico.
"With the match falling on an international fixture date, this is an excellent opportunity to get the nucleus of our team together as we continue to prepare for World Cup qualifying," said Bradley, who has collected a 13-5-1 record since becoming head coach last year. ""The special nature of a USA-Mexico match provides a great test for our players, and it is something that as players and coaches we all look forward to. The experience can only benefit our group as we attempt to build a team that will help us achieve to goal of competing in South Africa in 2010.""
Seven players on the roster were on the field when the teams last met in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. In front of more than 60,000 fans in Chicago, goals by Landon Donovan and Benny Feilhaber lifted the U.S. to a 2-1 victory and their second consecutive Gold Cup title.
Bradley has called on a dozen players from European-based clubs, including the Fulham duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard joins the U.S. fold after a stellar year in 2007, appearing in a career-high 10 matches and earning eight victories. Everton are currently in fourth place in the English Premier League table. SC Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley enters the camp in fine form in league play, having scored six goals in his team's last five matches to help elevate Heerenveen into second place in the Dutch Eredivisie.
On the domestic front, nine players from the recently completed training camp at The Home Depot Center are traveling to Houston. The two-time MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo contributes four players, including Eddie Robinson, who scored the game-winning goal in the USA's 2-0 win against Sweden in his first-ever appearance with the national team. He is joined by Ricardo Clark, who appeared in both of the USA's victories against Mexico last year, Brad Davis and Stuart Holden. Along with Holden, two other players are being called up from the U-23 Men's National Team that has just closed camp in Bradenton, Fla. New York Red Bulls forward Jozy Altidore will be looking for his third cap, while Toronto FC midfielder and reining MLS Rookie of the Year Maurice Edu has started in the last three matches for the full team.
Landon Donovan is the leading capwinner on the squad, the 25-year-old having earned 97appearances. With his goal against Sweden last month, he claimed the top spot on the USA's all-time scoring list with 35 career goals. Donovan has been a particular nemesis to El Tri, having scored four times in his career against Mexico, highlighted by the goal in 2-0 win in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He scored in both meetings last year, notching the game-tying goal in the Gold Cup final.
The match on Feb. 6 will mark the 54th meeting between the USA and Mexico. The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-1 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 15 goals, while the Mexicans scored only a single goal on American soil in this decade. In the team's last meeting, the U.S. came from behind on goals by Donovan and Benny Feilhaber to capture their second-consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
The U.S. has a lifetime record of 14-29-10 against Mexico in a series that dates to 1934, but the U.S. has a 12-6-8 advantage in home matches since 1957. Since the rivalry between these two teams began in earnest in 1990, the sides have played 26 times, with the U.S. holding a 12-7-7 advantage. In the teams' most significant matchup, the United States defeated Mexico, 2-0, in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, advancing the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time in 72 years.
After the Mexico match, the U.S. will compete in a series of friendlies before beginning the attempt to qualify for their sixth-consecutive World Cup finals when they take on the winner of the first round series between Barbados and Dominica. The U.S. will host their first qualifier on June 15, with the second leg to be played between June 18-21 on the road.
ROSTER BY POSITION -
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Pat Noonan (Aalesund FK)