The U.S. men's national team was hoping for a little more favorable draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup than the one it got yesterday.
The Americans will play defending world champion Brazil, 2002 World Cup semifinalist Turkey and African power Cameroon in group play of the Confederations Cup, an eight-team tournament that will take place this summer at three venues in France.
The other group consists of France, Colombia, Japan and New Zealand. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the semifinals.
"It will be a great challenge for the team," U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said. "We are excited about facing two opponents that are relatively unknown to us in Cameroon and Turkey, and of course, playing against a familiar opponent in Brazil. . . .
"It will serve as great preparation for World Cup qualifying in 2004."
The biennial tournament brings together the six regional champions, the defending world champion and a guest team (Turkey this year).
The United States finished third at both the 1992 and 1999 Confederations Cup.
The Confederations Cup is one of two major tournaments for the U.S. team this year; in July, the Americans will host the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will include the top teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, as well as two guest teams, probably from South America.
RFK Stadium is the leading candidate to host the Gold Cup championship game and at least one semifinal.
Women to Face S. Korea
The U.S. women's team will face South Korea on June 14, just the fourth meeting between the teams.
The game will be held at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on the campus of the University of Utah. It will be the first time the U.S. team has played in Utah.
Despite starting against Argentina last weekend, D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen did not accompany the U.S. team to Jamaica for last night's friendly in Kingston. Reports surfaced early this week that he had re-injured his ankle, an ailment that had caused him to miss almost 18 months.
But Olsen apparently is fine and will rejoin United at training camp in Florida late this week.
"Any reports of Ben re-injuring his ankle are completely exaggerated," Olsen's agent, Dan Segal, said. "He had minor soreness in the ankle, and that was to be expected after two-a-day practices for two weeks with the national team. He had always planned to take a few days off before joining United in Florida."