PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 01: Bob Bradley coach of US national soccer team speaks during a news conference prior to team practice on June 1, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. USA will face England in their 2010 World Cup opener on June 12. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
OK, it is a busy week and I don't know enough about the team Brazil is bringing to do a real preview, so instead I will just provide you will some facts and data from US Soccer to get you ready for the match:
Here is the starting XI for the USMNT: Howard; Spector, Gonzalez, Bocanegra (c), Bornstein; Bedoya, Bradley, Edu, Feilhaber; Donovan, Buddle
Hometown in: California (8), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Arizona (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Texas (1), Virginia (1)
NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY TO BE HELD PRIOR TO USA-BRAZIL MATCH ON AUG. 10:
The National Soccer Hall of Fame and U.S. Soccer will host the 2010 Induction Ceremony at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 10, prior to the USA-Brazil match. The private ceremony will take place at 4 p.m., and will be followed by a reception for the new inductees, Hall of Famers, and invited guests. The 2010 Induction Class includes Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic in the Player category, Bruce Arena as a Builder, and Kyle Rote, Jr., as a Veteran. Current members of the Hall of Fame along with Colin Jose Media Award recipient Paul Gardner and Medal of Honor recipients have been invited to join the ceremony and will be acknowledged on the field prior to kickoff.
U.S. MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Étienne), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca)
more facts after the jump:
- The U.S. will be playing its first match at the New Meadowlands Stadium. With seating for soccer set at 75,000, the new venue is one of 18 included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
- Fifteen players on the U.S. roster were part of 23-man group at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Twelve of the 15 players saw action in South Africa. Ten got at least one start and five players played every minute: Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard.
- Donovan became the USA's all-time leader in World Cup appearances (12), and is the only U.S. player to score in three consecutive World Cup matches.
- His goal and the subsequent 1-0 victory against Algeria earned the team the award for ‘Best Moment' at the 2010 ESPYs.
- Tim Howard earned a shutout in that match, the USA's first in the World Cup since the team's historic 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea Republic. The shutout was also just the second for the United States in 22 FIFA World Cup matches dating back to 1950.
- Howard earned Budweiser Man of the Match honors for his six-save performance in a 1-1 draw against England to open Group C play.
- Bradley's game-tying goal in the 83rd minute against Slovenia was his first in a FIFA World Cup and the eighth of his international career, and helped earn the point the U.S. needed to avoid elimination that day.
- With his start on June 12 against England, Robbie Findley became the first U.S. player to start a World Cup game for the U.S. after not participating in the qualifying cycle since Pablo Mastroeni started against Portugal to open the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Herculez Gomez joined that club when he started against Algeria.
- Eight players on the U.S. roster appeared in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final against Brazil, including six starters. Donovan's spectacular goal put the U.S. up 2-0 in the first half, only to see the Brazilians come roaring back to capture a 3-2 win. The U.S. players on the field that day (starters in bold): Howard, Jonathan Spector, Bocanegra, Donovan, Benny Feilhaber, Bornstein, Altidore, Sacha Kljestan. Read the ussoccer.com review of the dramatic final.
- Buddle became the most recent debutante on a U.S. scoresheet, netting a pair in the USA's 3-1 win against Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort. He is the first player to score his first two goals in the same game since Kljestan posted a hat trick on Jan. 20, 2008, in a friendly against Sweden.
- Twelve players on the roster have scored at least one international goal, and nine have scored in 2010: Altidore, Bocanegra, Bradley, Buddle (2), Donovan (3), Maurice Edu, Herculez Gomez (2), Clarence Goodson, Kljestan.
- With the goal on May 29 against Turkey, the final Send-Off match in the U.S. before the team left for South Africa, Altidore increased his career total to nine goals. Remarkably, five of those goals have been assisted by Donovan.
- Donovan leads the all-time U.S. list in goals scored (45), and assists (45).
- With their goals on May 25 against Czech Republic, Edu and Gomez became the first pair of U.S. players to get their first goal in the same game since Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers tallied in the 4-0 win against Grenada to open the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Four of the six defenders on the roster have at least one goal for the national team: Bocanegra, Bornstein, Cherundolo, and Goodson. Three of those tallied in 2009, and all of them memorable. Bocanegra's game-winning header against Honduras in Chicago; Goodson performing the same feat six weeks later against the same team in the same stadium in the Gold Cup; and Bornstein capping off qualifying with a last-second header against Costa Rica.
- With his goal against the Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam, Bocanegra upped his career tally to 12, just one shy of the mark set by Marcelo Balboa for U.S. defenders.
- Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has recorded five shutouts in 14 appearances for the U.S., including three clean sheets in five World Cup qualifiers. Overall he has posted a 7-4-1 record.
- Kljestan and Alejandro Bedoya were part of the 30-man provisional roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and participated in training camp in Princeton, N.J., prior to the team's departure for South Africa.
- Omar Gonzalez is the only player on the U.S. roster in search of his first international cap.
- Altidore and Gonzalez were late additions to the roster, the duo replacing Jermaine Jones and Chad Marshall.
- The U.S. is 4-2-3 lifetime in the state of New Jersey, and 3-1-2 since 1990.
NEW NIKE BALL TO DEBUT:
The new Nike Total 90 Tracer ball, designed for unrivalled consistency, accuracy, touch and visual acuity, will make its U.S. Men's National Team debut against Brazil on Tuesday night at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Developed in tandem with the world's premier soccer players and teams, the ball was meticulously engineered down to every detail including the bladder's tension, hand-sewn seams and surface texture. The result is a ball that delivers superior playing benefits for players at every level. The Total 90 Tracer will also debut in August in the world's leading leagues including the English Premier League, Italy's Serie A, and Spain's La Liga. During an extensive two-year testing process, Nike worked closely with the leagues, with the national teams of Portugal and the United States, and in confederation matches throughout South America and Asia. The Nike design team spent 18 months testing the T90 Tracer Ball at the Nike Equipment Innovation Test Lab in Portland, Oregon. The result is the Total 90 Tracer, which delivers enhanced consistency, accuracy, touch and visual science. The Total 90 Tracer micro-textured casing regulates airflow equally across its entire surface, making it less prone to wobble and giving it a more direct, arrow-like flight. Rigorously tested at the University of British Columbia wind tunnels, the ball has less drag in flight than competitor balls and produces more precise and truer shots. Testing at the Nike Equipment Innovation Test Lab also found that the Total 90 Tracer is the most aerodynamically efficient ball in the marketplace, meaning players expend less energy kicking the ball.
THE BOB BRADLEY FACTFILE:
In the four year cycle culminating the in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States:
- Won its group at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1930 (that's 80 years ago), and for the first time ever in a four-team group.
- Earned the first point and win for the U.S. in the third group game at the World Cup in eight tries by defeating Algeria.
- Went unbeaten in group play during a World Cup for the first time ever, earning a 1-0-2 record.
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup, ending a 35 match unbeaten run for the Spaniards.
- Only one of two teams to beat Spain since November of 2006.
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Scored the most goals (42) of any team in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying.
- Posted the team's best scoring and defending marks in a year with more than 10 games, scoring a record 2.14 goals per 90 minutes while allowing just .57 goals per 90 minutes in 2008.
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
- Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
OK, that should be enough to keep you happy until match time.
OFF MY SOAPBOX