Friday, March 28, 2008

ATH: US v. Argentina

It's Official: USA - Argentina
Courtesy of US Soccer Communications, 03/27/2008 2:47 PM

CHICAGO, IL (Mar 27, 2008) USSF -- The US Men’s National Team will face Argentina at Giants Stadium on June 8 to cap off a blockbuster trio of friendlies before kicking off 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The game against the world’s No. 1 ranked team follows a two-game tour in Europe where the US will take on England on May 28 in London and Spain on June 4 in Santander.

The game against Argentina will kickoff at 7:30pm ET and will be televised live on ESPN Classic and Galavision.

"Argentina is clearly one of the best teams in the world and playing against an opponent of that caliber is a great opportunity for our team," said US head coach Bob Bradley. "Combined with the games against England and Spain, we have put together a very good schedule to help us prepare for World Cup qualifying. We expect it will be a fantastic crowd at Giants Stadium, and we are looking forward to an exciting atmosphere."

The US begins the quest to qualify for their sixth-consecutive World Cup finals when they take on Barbados on June 15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The second leg of the home-and-away series will be played either June 21 or 22 in Barbados. Prior to the USA’s first World Cup qualifier, the US will have faced six teams that have been ranked in the top 15 in the world since 2007 – Argentina, Brazil, England, Mexico, Sweden and Spain.

The US has played top-ranked Argentina eight times in their history, holding a lifetime record of 2-6-0 against the South American juggernaut. Of those eight games, only three have been played in the United States, with the other five taking place in neutral sites. The two US victories include a 3-0 upset of the defending champions in the group phase of the 1995 Copa America, and a 1-0 win in 1999 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., when a Joe-Max Moore goal was the difference.

This will be the last friendly game for the US Men at Giants Stadium. The US Men have played at Giants Stadium seven times in their history, holding a 4-1-2 record. One of the most memorable games in US history occurred at the East Rutherford venue on June 11, 2000, when the US defeated Mexico, 3-0, to win the 2000 Nike US Cup. The emphatic victory was the beginning of the team’s current 10-game undefeated streak on home soil against their archrival.

The US played their last two games at Giants Stadium during the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defeating Honduras, 2-1, in the semifinals and then Panama in penalty kicks to earn the title.

The teams last met during the 2007 Copa America, with the Argentines outclassing a young and inexperienced US team in their 4-1 win on June 28 in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Argentina advanced to the final before falling to Brazil, 3-0, to finish in second place.

Argentina currently sits in second place of CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, collecting three victories while suffering one defeat through four games. Following the game against the United States, the Argentines will play qualifiers against Colombia at home on June 14 and away in Brazil three days later.

The game against England on May 28 will take place at the new 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium and will kick off at 8pm local (3pm ET), live on ESPN Classic and Univision. The US will then move to continental Europe to take on fourth-ranked Spain on June 4 at the Estadio El Sardinero in Santander.

The US won their first-ever back-to-back games on European soil when they defeated Poland, 3-0, on March 26 in Krakow, a few months after downing Switzerland, 1-0, in Basel.

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