Previous
Zenit St Petersburg
AS Monaco
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
1
0
FT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Olympiakos
2
0
FT
Game Details
FC Basel
Liverpool
1
0
FT
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Real Madrid
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Benfica
3
1
FT
Game Details
Anderlecht
Borussia Dortmund
0
3
FT
Game Details
Arsenal
Galatasaray
4
1
FT
Game Details
Leeds United
Reading
0
0
FT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Huddersfield Town
1
3
FT
Game Details
Fulham
Bolton Wanderers
4
0
FT
Game Details
Puebla
UNAM
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
America
Veracruz
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Pachuca
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Chiapas
U. de G.
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Cruz Azul
2:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Atlanta Silverbacks
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bahia
César Vallejo
0
0
LIVE 56'
Leg 1
Game Details
Emelec
Goiás EC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
EC Vitória
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
2
0
FT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Independiente
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sp. Belgrano
1
0
FT
Game Details
All Boys
Sarmiento de Junín
1
0
LIVE 73'
Game Details
Santa Marina
Atlético Tucumán
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Colón de Santa Fe
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Guaraní A. Franco
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Huracán
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
Aldosivi
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
ABC
0
0
LIVE 57'
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Santos FC
2
3
LIVE 57'
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
América RN
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Bucaramanga
Deportivo Pereira
1
1
FT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Inti Gas Deportes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Unión Comercio
Universitario de Deportes
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
Real Garcilaso
1
1
FT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
César Vallejo
Postp
Game Details
Guaraní
3 de Febrero
2
3
FT
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Sportivo Luqueño
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
General Díaz
Olimpia
11:40 PM GMT
Game Details
Mushuc Runa
U. Católica
2
0
FT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
LDU Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
The Strongest
0
0
FT
Game Details
San José
Oriente Petrolero
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Western Sydney Wanderers
FC Seoul
2
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
CD Dragon
Alianza FC
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
Game Details
Valledupar F.C.
Atlético Junior
2
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
Once Caldas
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Next
Feb 15, 2006

Arena keeps hope alive with roster strategy

U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena insisted during a conference call Tuesday that the World Cup roster is far from set. But despite a productive six-week training camp and an 8-2 goal differential in three friendly matches, it is becoming clear that only a few "bubble" candidates have significantly raised their chances of making the team.

Clint Dempsey finally has established himself in an identifiable role. Taylor Twellman has confirmed his finishing ability. Josh Wolff has impressed Arena.

But there simply are not many openings for domestic players on this team. Landon Donovan and Eddie Pope are locks. Frankie Hejduk is likely as Steve Cherundolo's backup. Eddie Johnson and Pablo Mastroeni are sure things if they are healthy.

The best the rest could do was place themselves in position for an emergency call-up, and it is highly unlikely that will change even if someone has a breakout game against Guatemala in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday.

But, if there are few opportunities for breakthroughs onto the World Cup roster, this is not at all a discouraging development for soccer in the United States because it indicates an expansion of the national player pool. The fact is, the best competition is in Europe, and the best players from every country are going there. It is encouraging that the United States could present a competent team of MLS players during the league's offseason.

No country's soccer situation compares with the United States. But if Argentina and Brazil were to present a national team of home-based players, they too would have success against Canada, Japan and Norway. Few of those players, though, would crack the World Cup roster.

The role of MLS, then, is similar to that of many other leagues. The MLS can stand on its own as a necessary and useful competition with major growth potential. But it will not be able to compete for talent with Europe, which controls at least 80 percent of worldwide soccer investment.

There is another measure of MLS improvement. After the league's second season, several MLS players were called into a hastily prepared U.S. camp to prepare for five games. The U.S. team lost four and tied one of those matches. MLS players either were unprepared for the international stage or were in offseason conditioning form, or both. Among the MLSers was Steve Ralston, who clearly had the ability to perform at that level but who would not receive another serious chance for several years.

Of course, while Arena said his roster is far from set, among the challenges of an Arena interview is reading between the lines.

He is an excellent motivator, and he is good at providing challenges for players and evaluating their response. During the conference call, Arena denied that anyone has been "penciled in" on the World Cup roster. Arena then virtually named Kasey Keller as the starting goalkeeper and, later, acknowledged Pope would be playing in his third World Cup.

Arena could have said Donovan and Claudio Reyna and several other Europe-based players also are certain squad members. But such statements could de-motivate not only those named to the team, but also those not named. The bubble players who are, at best, backup candidates, would believe they have less to play for.

The U.S. team performed so well against Norway and Japan partly because the players felt there was something to play for, besides the jersey. Wearing national team colors does drive players to give a strong effort, but having a credible game plan and a possible place on the World Cup roster provides focus for that energy.

And, besides, there is always a chance for someone like Mastroeni, who did not play in a 2002 qualifier yet started in South Korea. Or DaMarcus Beasley, who played a half of a meaningless qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in 2001, then starred for the United States in the World Cup.

So, the role of the Jimmy Conrads and Pat Noonans, and even the Steve Ralstons, is to wait and see. The odds of making the team are better than most for Chris Klein, Ben Olsen and Noonan because of their versatility. But Kerry Zavagnin's chances are equally good, since he is a backup as a holding midfielder, and Mastroeni and John O'Brien have been injury-prone.

Arena has been good at finding left wingers, and this has been an important element in the U.S. game plan. For decades, the U.S. team was seldom adept at getting width in the attack because of the absence of left-sided midfielders. But Arena made that area of the field a priority and it culminated in Eddie Lewis' cross to Donovan for the second goal against Mexico in Jeonju.

Noonan is not a natural left winger, but he definitely put his stamp on the position against Japan.

"Pat Noonan, I think, is a terrific player," Arena said. "I really like him, he has a great personality. He's good for our team on the field and off. He's a real winner and a great competitor, as are all the Revolution players.

"Whatever Stevie [Nicol] is doing with them, they're really competitive guys, the kind of players you need to have on the field in international games. Pat, I think, had his best game ever for the national team against Japan. He played well on both sides of the ball. He was a lot more comfortable on the ball and had a very good game against the right-sided Japanese players."

That is high praise from Arena, and it indicates what he is seeking in many players -- two-way play, desire, personality. Noonan keeps a low profile in public, but with teammates and on the playing field he is uninhibited and confidence-inspiring. But the bottom line is, as in 2002, Arena will bring the freshest, healthiest people he can find to Germany.

Frank Dell'Apa is a soccer columnist for The Boston Globe and ESPNsoccernet.