FOXBORO, Mass. (Sunday, October 7, 2001) - Facing a must-win situation in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, the U.S. Men’s National Team earned a berth to the 2002 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Jamaica today at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. U.S. forward and Chevrolet Man of the Match Joe-Max Moore scored goals in the 4th and 81st minutes to help the U.S. finish undefeated at Foxboro with a 7-0-3 record in the last international soccer match at the venue.
With the victory, combined with a scoreless draw between Costa Rica and Mexico in San Jose, Costa Rica, and an upset 1-0 win by Trinidad & Tobago over Honduras in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the USA is assured of a spot in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea with a record of 5-3-1 and 16 points after nine games.
The U.S. is currently in second place in the CONCACAF standings behind Costa Rica, who leads the group with 20 points. Mexico and Honduras both sit in third place with 14 points each, but meet each other in the final game of the 10-game final qualifying round, meaning neither team can earn more than 17 points. The top three teams from the six-team final CONCACAF qualifying group qualify for the 2002 Korea/Japan. Costa Rica was the first to qualify on Sept. 5 with a 1-0 win over the U.S.
“It’s an unusual series of events. We’re real happy, but in all honesty … we deserve to be through (to the 2002 World Cup),” said U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena, who has qualified for his first World Cup championship with an 8-4-3 record across 15 games in the semi-final and final rounds of qualifying. “I’m proud of our team. Now we have seven months to produce a better team than we produced in 2000 and 2001. I’m optimistic that we can put a better team on the field in the World Cup next year.”
Buoyed by a swell of patriotism from the crowd of 40,483 and an electric atmosphere prior to the match, the U.S. was quick to strike, and did so in the 4th minute. In his first qualifier after a three-game absence due to suspension and a groin injury, U.S. captain Claudio Reyna sent a free kick to the far post, where Moore dove and flicked a header backwards past Jamaican goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence.
Jamaica equalized 10 minutes later on a strike from midfielder James Lawrence, who collected a pass on the left side of the penalty box and beat U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel across the goal from 12 yards out in the 14th minute.
Needing a win to stay alive in the qualification process, the U.S. got the goal it needed in the 81st minute on a penalty kick from Moore. After active U.S. forward Landon Donovan was tripped in the box by Jamaica defender Tyrone Marshall, the 30-year-old striker stepped up and drilled a low shot just inside the right post past a diving Lawrence for his 24th career international goal (second best in U.S. history).
“I love Boston and I love Foxboro and their fans,” said Moore, who played for the New England Revolution for the first four Major League Soccer seasons from 1996-1999. “I seem to have a rapport with them and know some of them quite well. I’m happy that I could perform in front of them.”
The U.S. remained unbeaten at Foxboro Stadium, where the Men’s National Team will finish with a lifetime record of 7-0-3, with CMGI Field opening next year in its place. The U.S. also remained undefeated against Jamaica, improving its all-time record against the Caribbean nation to 6-0-5.
The final qualifier for the U.S. is against Trinidad and Tobago on the road on Nov. 11, in a match which will be broadcast live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET. The broadcast of today's match was preempted on ABC. Plans to show a delayed broadcast of U.S. vs. Jamaica on the ABC/ESPN family of channels will be announced when they are finalized.
2001 U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report
Participants: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Competition: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier – Final Round
Venue: Foxboro Stadium – Foxboro, Mass., USA
Date: October 7, 2001 -- 2 p.m. (ET) kick-off
Weather: 53 degrees, crisp
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
USA 1 - 1 - 2
Jamaica 1 - 0 - 1
USA – Joe-Max Moore (Claudio Reyna), 4.
JAM – James Lawrence (unassisted), 14.
USA – Joe-Max Moore (PK), 81.
USA - 1-Brad Friedel; 22-Tony Sanneh, 3-Eddie Pope, 12-Jeff Agoos, 6-David Regis 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.), 14-Chris Armas 5-John O’Brien, 8-Earnie Stewart; 9-Joe-Max Moore (13-Cobi Jones, 86), 20-Landon Donovan.
Subs not used: 2-Steve Cherundolo, 4-Robin Fraser, 7-Jovan Kirovski, 18-Kasey Keller, 19-Manny Lagos, 21-Richie Williams.
JAM - 13-Aaron Lawrence; 16-Fabian Davis, 17-Marco McDonald (14-Tyrone Marshall, 63), 4-Linval Dixon (Capt.), 24-Robert Scarlett; 6-Fitzroy Simpson, 11-Theodore Whitmore, 8-James Lawrence (12-Jermaine Johnson, 76), 15-Ricardo Gardner, 31-Onandi Lowe (22-Paul Hall, 75), 10-Ricardo Fuller.
Subs not used: 7-Winston Griffiths, 9-Andy Williams, 21-Wolde Harris, 30-Donovan Ricketts.
Statistical Summary: USA JAM
Shots 18 - 6
Saves 3 - 5
Corner Kicks 3 - 3
Fouls 11 - 19
Offside 3 - 1
USA – Chris Armas (caution), 21.
JAM – Fabian Davis (caution), 40.
JAM – Robert Scarlett (caution), 57.
Referee: Rodolfo Sibrian (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee: Vladimir Fernandez (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee: Raul Cardona (El Salvador)
4th Official: Jose Rivera (El Salvador)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Joe-Max Moore