United States Plays Romania in Soccer

The U.S. national soccer team, fortified by the return of Eric Wynalda, its top scorer from last season, takes on its second opponent of the year today.

The U.S. team plays Romania at 1 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara’s Harder Stadium. Romania, which defeated Peru, 2-0, on Wednesday, will be without its top players, who are playing with European clubs.

Wynalda, of Westlake Village, is the No. 2 scorer in the German Bundesliga. During the league break, his team, Saarbrucken, has been training in El Salvador. Wynalda was scheduled to play against Denmark last week but suffered a foot injury.

Wynalda will be the United States’ only European-based player available for the game.


Former UCLA goalkeeper Brad Friedel will replace Tony Meola in goal.

Top defender Marcelo Balboa is expected to play, although he has yet to come to terms with the U.S. Soccer Federation regarding his contract. According to his agent, the USSF made an agreement but has yet to produce a written contract that reflects that agreement.

Balboa, USSF player of the year last season, has received offers or inquiries from three clubs in the English Premier League.