U.S. set for major soccer tournament

June 18, 2003 at 2:19 PM
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PARIS, June 18 (UPI) -- The United States takes on Turkey Thursday the FIFA Confederations Cup Tournament in Paris.

In the tournament opener Wednesday, Japan beat New Zealand, 3-0.

The Americans earned their place in the event by winning the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They finished third in 1999, the last time they appeared in the competition.

Coach Bruce Arena has chosen an almost exclusively MLS-based team. Those playing for European teams, such as Gregg Vanney, Joe Cannon, and Gregg Berhalter, will see more action.

Arena also is without oft-injured Eddie Pope, who is sidelined by a knee fracture.

The big names, Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, John O'Brien, Tony Sanneh, and Claudio Reyna, are either injured or resting.

Top players also will be absent from virtually every country's roster. Two FIFA players of the year, Brazil's Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane of France, headline a list of big names who have not been called for the competition.

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