The captain's back
Reyna, Mathis return to U.S. lineup; Stewart out with injuryPosted: Monday June 10, 2002 1:33 AM
DAEGU, South Korea (AP) -- U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and charismatic forward Clint Mathis returned to the American lineup for Monday's World Cup game against co-host South Korea.
Midfielder Earnie Stewart, who played a key role in the Americans' opening 3-2 victory over Portugal last week, was out because of a strained left groin.
Reyna missed the opener is Suwon because of a strained right quadriceps, but said over the weekend he was fit to play. He replaced Pablo Mastroeni, who played defensive midfield against the Portuguese.
Stewart was replaced in the midfield by 20-year-old Landon Donovan, who was a forward against Portugal.
The American defense was unchanged, with Jeff Agoos and Eddie Pope in the center, Frankie Hejduk at left back and Tony Sanneh at right back. Reyna was joined by John O'Brien in the center of the midfield, with Donovan on the right and fellow 20-year-old DaMarcus Beasley on the left.
Mathis, who had knee trouble in practices last week and did not play in the opener, was at forward with Brian McBride.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena did not change goalkeepers, keeping Brad Friedel in the nets over Kasey Keller, the starter during the 1998 World Cup. Arena said before the tournament he might split the first two games between them.
World Cup organizers put 7,000 tickets on sale at Deagu World Cup Stadium at 6 a.m., 9 1/2 hours before kickoff, and fans in a long line snaked from the ticket windows around the ballpark.
The stadium, nestled at the foot of a hill, has the highest capacity in South Korea at 68,014. South Korea's supporters, overwhelmingly clad in red, started chanting and banging drums more than 2 1/2 hours before the start. Signs hanging from the upper deck included "Hiddink! Make our dream come true!," "God Bless Corea" and "We have a dream."
American players took comfort that the field is surrounded by a 400-meter track, meaning only those fans with strong arms could hope to throw objects at them. That contrasted with Saprissa Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, where fans are just feet from the field and pelted U.S. players with coins, bottles and bags of urine during qualifiers in the past two years.
When the Americans came out on the field before warmups, Stewart, Cobi Jones and Josh Wolff were among those with video recorders to preserve the scene, and Stewart danced a little to the drumming.
Fans of the Red Devils flocked south from Seoul all morning on planes, trains, buses and cars, chanting "Go Korea!" and "Dae-han-min-guk" (Republic of Korea).
Because of the tension surrounding the game, organizers heightened security. When the U.S. charter flight from Seoul arrived at Daegu Airport on Sunday, two tanks were on the runway and the Americans were greeted by the usual SWAT teams and police.
While high heat and humidity had been forecast, clouds and a light pregame drizzle kept down the temperature.