Featured Matches
Previous
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
1
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Bayern Munich
VfL Wolfsburg
2
1
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Paris Saint-Germain
0
0
FT
Game Details
US Pescara
Chievo Verona
1
0
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
FC Penafiel
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
U.A.N.L
1
1
ESPNDeportes LIVE 41'
Game Details
Bayern Munich
VfL Wolfsburg
2
1
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Paris Saint-Germain
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Forest Green Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
1
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
US Pescara
Chievo Verona
1
0
FT
Game Details
Heidenheimer SB
TSV 1860 Munich
2
2
FT
Game Details
RB Leipzig
FC Erzgebirge Aue
1
0
FT
Game Details
St Pauli
SV Sandhausen
2
1
FT
Game Details
AC Ajaccio
Tours
1
0
FT
Game Details
Angers
Chateauroux
1
1
FT
Game Details
Arles
Sochaux
2
2
FT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Nimes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Clermont Foot
Ajaccio GFCO
3
4
FT
Game Details
Créteil
Niort
1
1
FT
Game Details
Orléans
Brest
1
0
FT
Game Details
Troyes
Stade Laval
0
0
FT
Game Details
Valenciennes
Le Havre AC
0
4
FT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Cambuur Leeuwarden
0
1
FT
Game Details
Almere City
Jong FC Twente
0
1
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
RKC Waalwijk
2
3
FT
Game Details
FC Emmen VV
Jong PSV
5
0
FT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
FC Oss
2
1
FT
Game Details
Jong Ajax
FC Volendam
0
5
FT
Game Details
MVV Maastricht
Sparta Rotterdam
0
2
FT
Game Details
NEC Nijmegen
Fortuna Sittard
5
1
FT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
FC Eindhoven
2
1
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Achilles '29
2
0
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
De Graafschap
1
0
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
FC Penafiel
3
0
FT
Game Details
Terek Grozny
FC Arsenal Tula
3
0
FT
Game Details
Racing Genk
KAA Gent
3
2
FT
Game Details
Mjallby
Helsingborg
1
2
FT
Game Details
Sandnes Ulf
Viking FK
2
2
FT
Game Details
FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
U.A.N.L
1
1
ESPNDeportes LIVE 41'
Game Details
Santos
Toluca
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Aberystwyth
0
5
FT
Game Details
Prestatyn Town
Connah's Quay
3
2
FT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Bangor City
2
0
FT
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
1
0
FT
Game Details
Tigre
Racing Club
4
0
LIVE 84'
Game Details
Atlante
Coras Tepic
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Oaxaca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Dorados de Sinaloa
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
AA Ponte Preta
3
0
FT
Game Details
Oeste
Boa MG
2
1
FT
Game Details
Icasa
CR Vasco da Gama
0
1
LIVE 17'
Game Details
Santiago Wanderers
Audax Italiano
1
1
LIVE 54'
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Rentistas
1
2
FT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Universidad De Costa Rica
Pumas Generalena
3
1
FT
Game Details
Honduras Progreso
Platense
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 7 hours ago
Read
Jun 11, 2006

A team of confidence

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Forgive Bruce Arena for not playing the role of the happy-to-be-here American. Forgive the Brooklyn-born manager for stepping to the lime green World Cup podium, puffing out his chest out and unveiling the single most important trait that he hopes rubs off on his players.

Confidence.

Four years after the American's shocking run to the quarterfinal of the World Cup in South Korea, on the eve of the 2006 opening match against Czech Republic, the longest-tenured World Cup manager looked, sounded and carried himself like a man who believes his team is going to win.

"I'm basically sick of the preparation," Arena said. "We're very well prepared and there's little more to say. Now it's about stepping on the field and getting the job done.

"I can't wait for tomorrow."

Tomorrow is the day Arena and his staff have been pushing towards since the U.S. World Cup team first gathered in a Cary, North Carolina hotel ballroom over a month ago. Tomorrow has been the explanation for all that running, all that sweating and all that studying.

It's a chance to prove that 2002 wasn't a fluke. And that the U.S. is continuing its climb up the international soccer ladder. Sixteen years ago, in its first World Cup match in 40 years, a U.S. squad comprised mostly of college kids was outworked and outplayed in a 5-1 loss.

"You have to have a starting point," Arena said. "That was the starting point with U.S. soccer."

Tomorrow is a chance to prove how far the program has come. Standing in the way of the fifth-ranked Americans is the second-ranked Czechs, a talented but aging team that some believe could contend for the championship. After that is a match-up with Italy, followed by the final match of group play against under-appreciated Ghana.

But Monday's match, some might argue, is the most important. In the previous two World Cups, only one team -- Turkey in 2002 -- has lost its opening match and still advanced.

"The result of the first match is the key for success in the whole tournament," said Czech striker Jan Koller.

Added Arena: "If you come out poorly, you need the minimum four points in those next two matches. That's not psychological, that's mathematical."

But despite the opponent that he'll face come Monday, Captain Confidence isn't exactly shaking in his Nikes. He never does. When the U.S. draw was revealed back in December, Arena leaned over to Sunil Gulati, the President of U.S. Soccer, and told him not to worry. "We can get this done," Arena said then. "We can get out of the first round."

Now it's time for Arena, who has lost only 28 of the 127 international matches he's coached, to play the role of prophet.

"He makes you believe," fullback Eddie Pope said. "He just has this confidence that everyone gravitates towards. It helps pull you together."

Arena has been his typically tight-lipped self the past few weeks, refusing not only to reveal his starting lineup, but to even say when or where he told the team who was starting. Behind closed doors you get the sense that he's waving the no respect flag. Despite winning its qualifying region and having a higher FIFA ranking than Mexico, the United States was passed over for Mexico when it came time for World Cup seedings. Don't think the Americans have forgotten that.

And all week long here in Germany, the consistent focus of the international media has not been on the speed of DaMarcus Beasley or the goal-scoring ability of Brian McBride, but rather the impenetrable security surrounding the team as well as Arena's decision to allow the player's families to stay in the team hotel.

"We're a bit of an underdog," Arena said. "People talk about the United States for everything except our ability in the World Cup in soccer. And that's fine with us. We believe what we're about."

Like any smart, fearless coach of an underdog team, Arena has done everything possible to build the psyche of his players. He's on the record saying this team, which he's referred to as a "sleeping giant" has more depth, more talent than any other in U.S. history. They're completely healthy and training has been, "perfect."

"There are no excuses," he said. "We're ready to play."

Arena has put his team through a 10-day training camp in North Carolina, a trio of stateside friendlies against Morocco, Venezuela and Latvia and then ten more days of training in Germany, highlighted by a closed door scrimmage against Angola. Everything has been geared towards success on Monday.

And now that it's finally here, nobody -- players, coaches and staff members included -- can wait.

"You get to the stadium, you see the surroundings and you realize," said captain Claudio Reyna. "It's time. And it can't come quick enough."

Wayne Drehs is a senior writer at ESPN.com. He can be reached at wayne.drehs@espn3.com.