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World Cup 2000 / North American Squads

United States

May 29, 2002|Capsules and analysis by Grahame L. Jones and Mike Penner

Probable Starters

Clint Mathis


Hometown: Conyers, Ga.

Debut: vs. Australia (Nov. 6,1998)

Briefly: Mathis' profile has skyrocketed in recent weeks. The problem is, he now has to deliver or face the brunt of the heat if the U.S. fails. But if the New York/New Jersey MetroStar catches fire, so might the U.S.

Brian McBride


Hometown: Arlington Heights, Ill.

Debut: vs. Honduras (March 25,1993)

Briefly: Injuries that have resulted in surgery for a blood clot problem and broken cheekbones have taken their toll. He still has the best aerial game among Americans and is fearless about mixing it up.

Bruce Arena


Hometown: Fairfax, Va.

Debut as coach: vs. Australia (Nov. 6, 1998)

Briefly: Has produced a record 31 wins, more than any U.S. national team coach, and evaluated 93 players before picking 23-man roster. Neither guarantees that the U.S. will advance to second round.

John O'Brien


Hometown: Playa del Rey.

Debut: vs. Austria (April 22, 1998)

Briefly: A starter for Dutch league-champion Ajax Amsterdam, he is very comfortable on the ball and equally useful on defense and offense. But the Chris Armas injury means he will play defensive midfield.

Claudio Reyna


Hometown: Springfield, NJ.

Debut: vs. Norway (Jan. 15, 1994)

Briefly: The Sunderland player is the playmaker and viewed as the key to reaching the second round. But strangely, since it runs almost every play through him, the team looks more fluid without him on the field.

Earnie Stewart


Hometown: Point Arena, Calif.

Debut: vs. Portugal (Dec. 19, 1990)

Briefly: One of only two players on the roster with a World Cup goal, the NAC Breda player has spent more than a dozen years in the Dutch league. Uses speed well and has one of the best shots on the team.

David Regis


Hometown: La Trinite, Martinique.

Debut: vs. Kuwait (May 23, 1998)

Briefly: A player who can look good one moment and dreadful the next. A dearth of left-side defenders made him the obvious first pick. The knock on Regis: Once beaten, he does not get back and challenge again.

Tony Sanneh


Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.

Debut: vs. China (Jan. 9, 1997)

Briefly: Has the height, strength and power to intimidate opponents but not enough speed to stay with many of them. Also has a tendency to give the ball away far too often. Needs to raise game further.

DaMarcus Beasley


Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.

Debut: vs. China (Jan. 27, 2001)

Briefly: Youngest and fastest player on the U.S. roster. At 20, the Chicago Fire winger could be around for four World Cups. The problem is his slight size, which means he spends a lot of time on the ground.

Kasey Keller


Hometown: Lacey, Wash.

Debut: vs. Colombia (Feb. 4, 1990)

Briefly: Sat on bench at Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League until late in the season. Spectacular in leading the U.S. to the Gold Cup championship in February. Best shot-stopper of all three U.S. 'keepers.

Jeff Agoos


Hometown: Dallas

Debut: vs. Guatemala (Jan. 10, 1988)

Briefly: Much improved since moving from left back to centerback and being reunited with Eddie Pope. Susceptible to speed and can be caught out of position when trying to cover for others, which is often necessary.

Eddie Pope


Hometown: Greenboro, N.C.

Debut: vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Nov. 11, 1996)

Briefly: A long slump appeared to have ruled the D.C. United defender out of this World Cup, but he gradually returned to the form that had European teams interested in him a couple of years ago.

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