U.S. selects an older team for World Cup

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

NEW YORK -- The United States will head to the World Cup with one of the oldest teams in the tournament.

Ten of the 23 players selected Monday by coach Bruce Arena will be 30 or older, up from five on the American team that finished last among the 32 nations at the 1998 tournament.

In 1990, when the Americans qualified for the first time in 40 years, the oldest player was 27 and just four topped 25.

There were no surprises on Arena's roster, with Colorado Rapids defender Pablo Mastroeni, who has just eight international appearances, earning the final spot.

Midfielders Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, who both will be 20 when the Americans open against Portugal on June 5, are the youngest players and defender Jeff Agoos (34) is the oldest. The average age is 28.7 years, up from 28.1 four years ago, 26.1 in 1994 and 23.5 in 1990 when the U.S. team was the youngest in the tournament.

Seven players will be at their third World Cup -- including No. 3 goalkeeper Tony Meola, the only holdover from the 1990 team -- goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel; midfielders Cobi Jones, Claudio Reyna and Earnie Stewart; and forward Joe-Max Moore.

Five will be at their second tournament: defenders Agoos, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Pope and David Regis; and forward Brian McBride.

In addition to Beasley, Donovan and Mastroeni, other newcomers include defenders Gregg Berhalter, Carlos Llamosa and Tony Sanneh; midfielders Chris Armas, Eddie Lewis and John O'Brien; and forwards Clint Mathis and Josh Wolff.

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