Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: USA  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
The game goes on
John Spencer scores from the spot for the Colorado Rapids
John Spencer scores from the spot for Colorado
separator
space

America's domestic league has already begun to feel the effects of deciding to schedule matches throughout the World Cup.

A total of 11 footballers, representing nine of Major League Soccer's 10 first division clubs, have been unavailable since the national team's training camp started on 1 May.

The American-based players will not be released back to their clubs until the USA have completed their World Cup campaign.

The MLS season
Starts: March
Ends: October
28 matches plus three play-off rounds
If they are to progress into the second round and beyond, that period could span over a quarter of the season.

The fact that league executives made the same choice when the USA qualified for France 98 makes the decision no less controversial.

"I feel that we had a long enough break from last season, over six months, so I'm just dying to get going again," said former Scottish international John Spencer, now with Colorado Rapids.

Mike Burns, a veteran of America's previous two World Cup campaigns, agrees that it is unreasonable to break, but believes there is room for compromise.

"From a player's perspective, if you lose guys to the World Cup, then I think that it's normal that you would want a break," the Kansas City Wizard player said.

"To stop MLS for an extended period of time, three to five weeks or more, is just too long of a break.

"But if it was a one or two week break for the first round, then maybe that makes a little bit of sense."

One of the primary factors in deciding to play through the World Cup was the relatively small number of footballers involved.

Missing men
Chicago Fire
DaMarcus Beasley
Josh Wolff
Colorado Rapids
Pablo Mastroeni
Columbus Crew
Brian McBride
DC United
Eddie Pope
Kansas City Wizards
Tony Meola
LA Galaxy
Cobi Jones
New England
Carlos Llomosa
NY/NJ MetroStars
Clint Mathis
San Jose Earthquakes
Jeff Agoos
Landon Donovan

With no foreign MLS players heading to Korea and Japan this summer, the 11 Americans will be the only ones from the league participating.

Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes are the hardest hit from a personnel standpoint, losing two players each.

The other seven clubs are all one man light.

The other main reason cited by executives for not shutting down the league is the loss of exposure and attention paid to it by US media and fans.

In a already over-crowded American sporting market, the fear remains that the seven-year-old league would simply be abandoned after an extended early summer break.

"It's a reality of the American soccer scene," said Kansas City's head coach and former national team boss Bob Gansler.

"The rest of the world has another kind of situation, but in order for us to help the game thrive and expand we can't afford to sit out a summer of exposure."

Colorado Rapids midfielder Chris Henderson, the youngest member of Gansler's squad at Italia 90, disagrees with his former boss.

"All of the attention should be focused on the US team, this is a big opportunity for the future of soccer in America.

"If we can be successful in the World Cup, that will make MLS successful. The World Cup will create fans of MLS and American soccer as a whole."


E-mail this story to a friend
INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
USA
 TEAMS
 USA
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP D
  P GD PTS
SOUTH KOREA 3 +3 7
USA 3 -1 4
PORTUGAL 3 +2 3
POLAND 3 -4 3

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy