Mastroeni makes his return to the US Men’s National Team for the first time since partially tearing his quad in the Yanks’ camp in Carson CA on January 9th of this year. The Rapids’ captain has rehabilitated quickly over the last several weeks and has returned to match fitness ahead of schedule.
Mastroeni has 43 caps to his credit with the U.S. Men’s National Team and the defensive midfielder appeared in 11 games for the USA in 2005. He has played in nine qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup registering one assist.
Kickoff at Fritz-Walter-Stadion the site of the USA’s highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup match against Italy on June 17 is set for 8 p.m. local time (12 p.m. MT) and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Tickets for the USA-Poland match range in price levels from 15 € to 125 € and are available on-line via FC Kaiserslautern’s official website by phone from Germany at 01 805 3188 00 (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CET / .12 € charge per minute) and at FCK Fan Shops and the Fritz-Walter-Stadion Ticket Office (Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CET Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CET). Fans planning to travel from the United States to the match are advised to log onto USSoccer.Com for more information.
The match falls on the lone international fixture date set aside by FIFA prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup allowing Arena the opportunity to call upon a full complement of European-based players for the only time prior to naming a roster for Germany.
"With only one international fixture date prior to the World Cup this is an important opportunity for our players based in Europe to demonstrate their form and fitness said Arena. "The match is extremely valuable as we continue to evaluate players with an eye towards finalizing our 23-man roster for Germany."
In addition to Mastroeni the rest of the US Men’s National Team roster boasts a wealth of experience led by Fulham forward Brian McBride. With 90 caps to his credit the USA’s second all-time leading scorer (29 goals) is just five shy of the team record. At the other end veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller (Borussia Mönchengladbach) has collected an amazing 44 shutouts in 89 career matches an average of nearly one shutout for every two games played.
PSV Eindhoven midfielder DaMarcus Beasley had a banner year for both club and country in 2005 posting career highs in goals (4) and assists (4) for the national team while becoming the first American ever to play in the semifinals of the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Eddie Lewis (Leeds United) sits third on the all-time U.S. assist list with 16 total while Bobby Convey enjoys regular starting time on a Reading FC side sitting atop the League Championship table.
The U.S. backline looks to have a largely European flavor as well with 2002 World Cup veterans Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus) and Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96) being called upon along with Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham) and Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege).
Landon Donovan heads the domestic-based contingent. The two-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year now sits tied with Cobi Jones for the all-time U.S. assist lead (22) after setting up the final U.S. goal in the 5-0 win against Norway on Jan. 29 in Carson CA. The 2005 MLS MVP Taylor Twellman has scored four goals and tallied two assists in his last two matches for the U.S. recording the USA’s ninth-ever hat trick in the Norway victory. Kansas City Wizards striker Josh Wolff is the only player on the roster to start all four of the USA’s matches in 2006 while teammate Kerry Zavagnin has appeared in every match as either a starter or a reserve.
The U.S. has begun 2006 in solid form going 3-0-1 and netting 12 goals while surrendering only two. After drawing with Canada on Jan. 22 in San Diego the U.S. has produced three straight comprehensive wins against Norway Japan (another FIFA World Cup finalist) and Guatemala including two by shutout.
Against Poland the United States has an all-time record of 5-7-2 in 14 meetings. The teams have met once before on neutral soil a 3-1 victory for Poland in the teams’ final Group D match at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Daejeon Korea Republic.
The USA was drawn into Group E for the 2006 FIFA World Cup along with the Czech Republic Italy and Ghana. The U.S. plays their opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg. The U.S. has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as their base of operations throughout the tournament.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster vs. Poland
March 1 2006 - Kaiserslautern Germany
Goalkeepers (2) – Tim Howard (Manchester United) Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Defenders (7) – Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus) Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC) Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96) Todd Dunivant (Los Angeles Galaxy) Eddie Lewis (Leeds United) Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege) Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders (6) – DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven) Bobby Convey (Reading FC) Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution) Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)
Forwards (5) – Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards) Brian McBride (Fulham FC) Pat Noonan (New England Revolution) Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution) Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)