Three young MLS players caught the eve of the U.S. national coach
When the U.S. begins qualifying for World Cup 2006 next year, look for several players from the 2002 team to return, including midfielder John O'Brien, defender Eddie Pope and goalkeeper Brad Friedel. But expect some new faces in the mix too. When asked about players that he found intriguing late in the MLS season, U.S. coach Bruce Arena mentioned three: New England Revolution rookie forward Pat Noonan, 23, and two San Jose Earthquakes, midfielder Brian Mullan, 25, and first-year forward Jamil Walker, 22.
"He's a walking advertisement for the league," Arena says of Walker. "At the beginning of the year this kid was raw and not ready to play, and it's pretty noticeable that he's made considerable improvement."