Six Blacks Among 23-Man US World Cup Team Roster

By Andrew Dixon, III
Updated: May 3, 2006

MIAMI — Six of Soccer’s Buffalo Soldiers were chosen among the 23 players that will represent the United States of America at the 2006 World Cup. The squad was announced on ESPN’s Sportscenter Tuesday evening by Head Coach Bruce Arena.

Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who just completed his second season with PSV Eindhoven in Holland will be a lock in the starting lineup. The speedy left sided winger from Fort Wayne came into international consciousness at this competition in 2002 with a spirited display against highly rated Portugal.

He’ll most likely be joined in the midfield by captain, Claudio Reyna, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni and either John O’Brien or Clint Dempsey.

Real Salt Lake’s Eddie Pope, will be participating in his third and final World Cup. The UNC graduate from High Point, NC had a tremendous 2002 World Cup anchoring the middle of the defense and will most likely be counted on to do the same again.

Also contending for those two center back positions are Ft. Lauderdale’s Cory Gibbs and the massive Oguchi Onyewu who play in Holland and Belgium respectively. The two outside backs will most likely be Steve Cherundolo and Eddie Lewis.

Cory Gibbs (US Soccer)

Cory Gibbs (US Soccer)

Eddie Pope (US Soccer)

Eddie Pope (US Soccer)

Oguchi  Onyewu (US Soccer)

Oguchi Onyewu (US Soccer)

KC Wizard forward Eddie Johnson had a tremendous start to his international career, dropping 8 goals in his first 8 appearances before suffering a foot injury that seemed to slow him a step.

But the Palm Coast, FL native who gave up football to pursue a career in soccer brings speed, strength & lethal finsihing ability that could see him in the starting line up next to Brian McBride. Josh Wolff and Bring Ching will also compete for a starting spot.

Tim Howard was the Goal Keeper of the Year for famed English club, Manchester United in 2004 but has seen limited playing time since. But the Jersey native is the GK of the future according to Coach Arena and will provide excellent back up for unquestioned starter Kasey Keller along with Marcus Hahnemann.

Eddie Johnson (US Soccer)

Eddie Johnson (US Soccer)

Tim Howard (US Soccer)

Tim Howard (US Soccer)

DaMarcus Beasley (US Soccer)

DaMarcus Beasley (US Soccer)

The US will begin a training camp in Cary, NC in the next couple of weeks which will be followed by 3 exhibition matches against Morocco, Venezuela and Latvia. They will open up play at the 2006 World Cup on June 12 against the 2nd ranked team in the world, the Czech Republic, to be followed by matches against three-time champions Italy and African qualifier, Ghana.

All games for the 2006 World Cup will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

The 2006 United States World Cup Team:

GOALKEEPERS

Kasey Keller (Borussia M�nchengladbach, Germany) TIM HOWARD (Manchester United, England) Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, England)

DEFENSE:

Eddie Lewis (Leeds United, England) OGUCHI ONYEWU (Standard Liege, Belgium) Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew, MLS) Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC, England) Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany) CORY GIBBS (ADO Den Hag, Holland) EDDIE POPE (Real Salt Lake, MLS) Jimmy Conrad (KC Wizards, MLS)

MIDFIELDERS:

Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy FC, MLS) Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution, MLS) Claudio Reyna (Manchester City, England) John O’Brien (Chivas USA, MLS) Ben Olsen (DC United, MLS) DaMARCUS BEASLEY (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands) Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids, MLS) Bobby Convey (Reading, England)

FORWARDS:

Brian McBride (Fulham FC, England) EDDIE JOHNSON (KC Wizards, MLS) Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo, MLS) Josh Wolff (KC Wizards, MLS)