U.S. Soccer Team Taps MLS Youth
CHICAGO (AP) _ Bruce Arena fulfilled his promise to immediately rebuild the U.S. national soccer team with young MLS players when he put nine first-timers on his roster Wednesday for a Nov. 6 exhibition Australia.
All 22 on the roster play in Major League Soccer, only three were over 30 and only five were members of the World Cup team that went to France.
Holdovers from the France ’98 squad that lost all three of its games were forwards Brian McBride of Columbus and Joe-Max Moore of New England, midfielder Cobi Jones of Los Angeles, and defenders Jeff Agoos and Eddie Pope of Arena’s D.C. United.
Arena, who was announced Tuesday as the coach to replace Steve Sampson following the Americans’ debacle at the World Cup, had said about half of his roster for the Australia match would be players who had never played for their country.
On Wednesday, Arena selected MLS Rookie of the Year Ben Olden from his own D.C. United, along with Los Angeles midfielder Clint Mathis, Chicago Fire forward Josh Wolff, and defenders Mike Petke of the MetroStars, Leo Cullen of Miami and C.J. Brown of Chicago.
Also getting their first call were goalkeepers Kevin Hartman of Los Angeles and David Kramer of San Jose and midfielder Richie Williams of D.C.
Several others have three or fewer apperances for the national team, including Chicago goalkeeper Zach Thornton and midfielders Paul Bravo of Colorado, Eddie Lewis of San Jose and Ante Razov of Chicago.
No members of the ``old guard″ which created the core of the United States team in the last three World Cups were included on the roster: Eric Wynalda, Tab Ramos, Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas or John Harkes _ the team’s former captain who was dropped by Sampson a month before France ’98.