TIANJIN, China (August 7, 2008) — The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team got off to a fine start in the 2008 Olympic Games by earning a 1-0 victory against Japan before 37,177 fans at the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium. Stuart Holden fired home the game’s only goal in the 47th minute to hand the U.S. three points and the top spot in Group B following the 0-0 draw between Netherlands and Nigeria.
“The first game in this kind of tournament is very tight and you have to compete,” said U.S. head coach Peter Nowak. “I’m very proud of them, because the first game is never easy and you never know how it is going to be . You train for three weeks and you try to find the right recipe about how the team will play. It was important to get the three points.”
The U.S. next faces 2007 European Under-21 Champions Netherlands on Aug. 10 in Tianjin. Kickoff is set for 7:45 a.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on the USA Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The U.S. backline held solid throughout the match, anchored by centerbacks Maurice Edu and Michael Parkhurst while outside defenders Marvell Wynne and Michael Orozco won the flank duels. The combination of Michael Bradley and Sacha Kljestan kept the center of the park tight, with Holden and Robbie Rogers pinching in to deny space to the Japanese attack. Despite delivering a few dangerous crosses, Japan only managed two shots on goal.
At the other end of the park, U.S. captain Brian McBride worked tirelessly throughout the night, earning several fouls and maintaining consistent pressure on the Japanese defense. At 36, McBride is the oldest player in the tournament and the oldest to appear in the Olympic Games since the new format was established in 1992. Rogers troubled the Japanese with several attacking runs with the ball at his feet.
Both sides spent the first 15 minutes settling into the atmosphere in Tianjin, where the temperature reached 92 degrees at kickoff. The match was tightly contested through the midfield, with both teams looking to exploit room on the flanks. The USA’s got their first good look at goal in the 14th minute through a sweet combination play. Sacha Kljestan penetrated the middle of the Japan defense before feeding an entry pass into McBride. The forward laid a back pass off to Michael Bradley, who fired a low line drive that forced the Japanese ‘keeper to make a solid save.
Japan countered with a great chance eight minutes later that began with a cleverly crafted corner kick play. Atsuto Uchida played a short corner to Shinji Kagawa, who quickly played a ball into Keisuke Honda, who was charging from near post. He laid a ball back to Uchida, who delivered a ball across the six-yard box that a diving Brad Guzan just knicked. The changing trajectory fooled Masato Morishige, who was lurking at the far post, and his attempt at goal bounced wide.
The best chance for either team in the opening stanza came in the 41st minute for Japan. After a failed clearance off a corner, Uchida launched a cross into the six-yard box. Hiroyuki Taniguchi - the beneficiary of a missed offsides call - had a clear look at goal, but his glancing header skimmed wide.
The U.S. took the lead for good in the 47th minute on a play began by Marvell Wynne. The right back outpaced his defender down the right flank and whipped a low cross into the box. Japan captain Hiroki Mizumoto attempted a clearance, but his effort fell straight into the path of Holden. The midfielder stepped into a hard drive that snuck under the arms of Shusaku Nishikawa, delivering the U.S. the decisive 1-0 lead.
With the lead in hand, the U.S. was able to maintain possession in several stretches despite pressure from Japan. Nonetheless, the final 30 minutes were not without a couple close calls. A penetrating cross from Shinji Kagawa in the 65th was skimmed out of a danger by a sliding Edu, who also held off Keisuke Honda during a scrum in the box just 10 minutes from the final whistle.
Japan got one more look at goal in the final minute of stoppage time, launching a ball into the area that forced Guzan off his line. The U.S. ‘keeper lost the race to substitute Tadanari Lee, but Lee’s header sailed safely over the bar.
The U.S. used all three of their allotted substitutions. Jozy Altidore replaced McBride in the 74th minute, then Benny Feilhaber came on for Holden in the 83rd minute. Danny Szetela became the USA’s final change in the 87th minute, entering in place of Rogers.
Following the Netherlands match, the U.S. changes venues for their final Group B match when they face 1996 Gold Medalists Nigeria on Aug. 13 in Beijing. The match will be shown live on the USA Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel beginning at 5 a.m. ET.
U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Japan
Competition: 2008 Olympics
Venue: Tiajin Olympic Center Stadium; Tianjin, China
Date: August 7, 2008; Kickoff – 5:00 p.m. local / 5:00 a.m. ET
Weather: Hazy, Humid, 92 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JPN 0 0 0
USA – Stuart Holden 47th minute.
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 2-Marvell Wynne, 6-Maurice Edu, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 3-Michael Orozco; 7-Stuart Holden (10-Benny Feilhaber, 83), 4-Michael Bradley, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 14-Robbie Rogers (8-Danny Szetela, 87); 11-Freddy Adu, 17-Brian McBride – Capt. (12-Jozy Altidore, 74)
Subs: 1-Chris Seitz, 5-Dax McCarty, 9-Charlie Davies,13-Patrick Ianni
Head Coach: Peter Nowak
JPN: 1-Shusaku Nishikawa; 4-Hiroki Mizumoto – Capt., 5-Yuto Nagatomo, 6-Masato Morishige, 7-Atsuto Uchida; 8-Keisuke Honda, 10-Yohei Kajiyama (17-Tadanari Lee, 64), 12-Hiroyuki Taniguchi, 14-Shinji Kagawa (11-Shinji Okazaki, 84), 16-Takuya Honda; 15-Takayuki Morimoto (9-Yohei Toyoda, 73)
Subs: 2-Hajime Hosogai, 3-Maya Yoshida, 13-Michihiro Yasuda, 18-Kaito Yamamoto
Head Coach: Yasuharu Sorimachi
Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 8 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 15 / 18
Offside: 2 / 4
USA – Freddy Adu (caution) 51st minute.
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 64.
JPN – Keisuke Honda (caution) 73.
JPN – Takuya Honda (caution) 77.
USA – Brad Guzan (caution) 87.
Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN)
Asst. Referee: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Asst. Referee: Bechir Hassani (TUN)
4th Official: Stephane Lannoy (FRA)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Stuart Holden
2008 Olympic Men’s Soccer Tournament Standings
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
ARG 1 0 0 3 2 1 +1
AUS 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
SRB 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
CIV 0 1 0 0 1 2 -1
Australia 1, Serbia 1
Ivory Coast 1, Argentina 2
Argentina vs. Australia, 5:00 a.m. ET
Serbia vs. Ivory Coast, 7:45 a.m. ET
Ivory Coast vs. Australia, 7:45 a.m. ET
Argentina vs. Serbia, 7:45 a.m. ET
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 1 0 0 3 1 0 +1
NED 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
NGA 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
JPN 0 1 0 0 1 2 -1
Japan 0, USA 1
Netherlands 0, Nigeria 0
Nigeria vs. Japan, 5:00 a.m. ET
USA vs. Netherlands, 7:45 a.m. ET
Netherlands vs. Japan, 7:45 a.m. ET
Nigeria vs. USA, 7:45 a.m. ET
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
BRA 1 0 0 3 1 0 +1
CHN 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
NZL 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
BEL 0 0 1 0 0 0 -1
Brazil 1, Belgium 0
China 1, New Zealand 1
New Zeland vs. Brazil, 5:00 a.m. ET
Belgium vs. China, 7:45 a.m. ET
China vs. Brazil, 7:45 a.m. ET
New Zealand vs. Belgium 7:45 a.m. ET
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
ITA 1 0 0 3 1 0 +3
KOR 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
CMR 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
HON 0 1 0 0 0 3 -3
Honduras 0, Italy 3
South Korea 1, Cameroon 1
Cameroon vs. Honduras 5:00 a.m. ET
Italy vs. South Korea, 7:45 a.m. ET
South Korea vs. Honduras, 7:45 a.m. ET
Cameroon vs. Italy, 7:45 a.m. ET
HONG KONG (August 2, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team fell to Cameroon, 1-0, in their second and final game of the ING Cup in Hong Kong before heading to the Olympic Games. Head coach Peter Nowak used 17 players in the game, once again taking full advantage of the ING Cup’s six allowed substitutions. Every player on the Olympic roster has seen the field over the two games.
“As I said before the start of the tournament, the reason we were here was to make progress in the way we play, said Nowak. “Looking at this game maybe we’re a still a little bit naïve about international football. Going into games like this we have to expect that they’ll be physical, with a lot of contact so we have to prevail. For us, I think the second half we played much better. Progress has been made and we expect to go to Tianjin tomorrow and polish the things that we need to this week.”
In the second game of the night, the Netherlands drew with the Ivory Coast, meaning the U.S. finished the Olympic tune up tournament in third place with two points. The Netherlands were crowned champions with seven points from a 2-0 win over Cameroon and a 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast.
The U.S. will travel to Tianjin, their Olympic venue, on Sunday, Aug. 3 for four days of preparation before their opening match of the Olympic Games against Japan on Aug. 7. That match will be shown live in the U.S. on MSNBC at 4:30 a.m. ET.
The penalty kick tally in the 24th minute was the only goal allowed by the U.S. in Hong Kong, which means they did not give up a single goal in the run of play. The back line of Marvell Wynne, Maurice Edu, Michael Parkhurst and Michael Orozco held strong in front of both Brad Guzan and Chris Seitz during the two matches.
The penalty was given after a foul called against Michael Bradley in the area. Aurelien Chedjou Fongang converted from the spot, placing the ball perfectly into the side netting and barely past the outstretched hands of Guzan.
Cameroon came out on the attack, and nearly scored in the fifth minute. After earning a corner that was taken by Fongang, Stephane Bikey got a head to it and snapped his header hard into the crossbar.
The U.S. attack settled into its rhythm shortly thereafter, holding much of the possession throughout the first half. They got their first chance in the 11th minute on a buildup that started all the way at the back line. Sacha Kljestan received the ball in midfield and hit a perfectly placed diagonal ball across for Robbie Rogers. Rogers cut inside past his defender, but his shot went just wide of the near post.
With the score 1-0, Cameroon came close to doubling their lead in the 34th minute off of another corner kick. Fongang curled it to the near post and again was able to find Bikey. This time his header seemed destined for the near post, but Rogers was there holding his defensive position to save the ball off the line.
Minutes later at the other end, Jozy Altidore received the ball from Stuart Holden, touched it in the air over his defender and ripped a low shot from the top of the box that went just high over the goal.
In the second half, the U.S. was looking for the equalizer and came out attacking in full force. Just two minutes after the whistle, Wynne was moving forward and powering through three defenders on his way into the box. He played the ball out to Holden, who crossed it over for Altidore. Altidore slotted the ball in front of goal, but Cameroon ‘keeper Patrick Tignyemb read the ball well and was able to intercept just before it reached the feet of a charging Holden.
Ten minutes later, Bradley whipped in a ball from the touchline right to the head of captain Brian McBride, who had time and space. He snapped his header on frame, but Tignyemb leapt to keep the ball from going just under the crossbar.
Things started to get scrappy as the two teams combined for 25 fouls in the second half, 16 of which were against Cameroon. Late in the game, the U.S. earned consecutive free kicks from within 30 yards of goal. Holden struck one into the charging wall, and then Freddy Adu chipped the second into the box looking for Edu, but Tignyemb was there to pick it out of the air.
The U.S. has been drawn into a difficult Group B of the Olympic Games and will open against Japan on August 7 before facing the Netherlands on August 10, with both games taking place at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Tianjin. The team will then travel to Worker’s Stadium in Beijing to conclude group play against 1996 gold medalist and 2005 Under-20 World Cup champion Nigeria on August 13.
U.S. Men’s Olympic Team Match Report
Participants: U.S. Men’s Olympic Team vs. Cameroon
Competition: ING Cup
Location: Hong Kong Stadium – Hong Kong
Date: August 2, 2008
Weather: Hot, Humid
1 2 Final
USA 0 0 0
CAM 1 0 1
CAM - Aurelien Chedjou Fongang (penalty) 24th minute
USA: 18-Brad Guzan (1-Chris Seitz, 46); 2-Marvell Wynne, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 6-Maurice Edu, 3-Michael Orozco; 16-Sacha Kljestan, 4-Michael Bradley (8-Danny Szetela, 78), 7-Stuart Holden (5-Dax McCarty, 88), 14-Robbie Rogers (10-Benny Feilhaber, 78); 12-Jozy Altidore (11-Freddy Adu, 64), 17-Brian McBride (capt.) (9-Charlie Davies, 69)
Subs Not Used: 13-Patrick Ianni
Head Coach: Peter Nowak
CAM: 16-Patrick Tignyemb (capt.); 2-Albert Legrand Baning, 3-Antonio Ghomsi, 4-Stephane Mbia Etoundi, 6-Stephane Mbia Etoundi (20-Henri Ewane Elong, 90+), 8-Aurelien Chedjou Fongang (11-Songo’o Bangweni, 57), 9-Anicet Bebbe Mbangue (7-Marc Mboua, 80), 12-Roland bebey Kingue, 13-Julio Nkoulou Ndoubena (18-Alexis Enam Mendomo, 71), 17-Alain Junior Olle Olle (14-Constant Mand Jeck, 71), 19-Serge Charles Ngal
Subs Not Used: 1-Joslain Leonnel Mayebi, 21-Ledoux Pokong Moussa
Head Coach: Martin Ndtoungou Mpile
USA / CAM
Shots 7 / 8
Shots on Goal 1 / 5
Saves 2 / 1
Fouls 15 / 22
Corner Kicks 4 / 7
Offside 1 / 2
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution) 52nd minute
CAM – Stephane Bikey (caution) 52.
CAM – Alain Junior Olle Olle (caution) 67.
CAM – Serge Charles Ngal (caution) 87.
Referee: Kwok Man Liu
Asst. Referee: Ka Yu Fung
Asst. Referee: Sai Yin Pau
Fourth Official: Chun Kit Chow
CHICAGO (July 17, 2008) – U.S. Men’s Olympic Team head coach Peter Nowak has named the 18 players who will represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The roster features 12 players who have experience at the full national team level, including the three youngest players on the team, Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, and the most senior member of the team in Brian McBride. The official roster is due to FIFA no later than July 23.
2008 U.S. MEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Brian McBride (out of contract), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
The U.S. will begin their final preparation for the Beijing Olympics on Sunday, July 20, with six days of domestic training in San Jose, Calif. The team will then depart for Hong Kong, where they will participate in the ING Cup, facing fellow Olympic participants Ivory Coast on July 30 and Cameroon on Aug. 2.
"After an extensive process of evaluation, we are very excited about the group of players that we have chosen to represent the United States at the Olympic Games,” said Nowak. "It has been a very competitive environment, and we had some tough decisions to make. It's no secret that we have a difficult challenge in front of us with our group, which is one of the most difficult in the tournament. We know that some players are coming in during the off-season, and some are in season so we have to make sure that everyone is on the same page during our preparations. Our senior team plays in a World Cup Qualifier in August, and we wanted to make sure that we have two competitive teams for both the Olympic Games and the World Cup qualifiers.”
A total of 11 players were part of the USA squad that booked the team’s ticket to Beijing in March by finishing in second place in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Adu, Maurice Edu and Michael Orozco were named to the Best XI in that event, while Sacha Kljestan received Honorable Mention.
Eight different leagues from around the world are represented on the U.S. roster, including Major League Soccer, which sends 10 players from six different teams. No more than two players have come from any one team, as the Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC each send a pair to Beijing.
Nowak has enlisted three-time World Cup veteran McBride as one of three overage players, along with goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Michael Parkhurst. McBride brings a wealth of experience to the young squad having earned 95 caps during 10 years with Men’s National Team. McBride ended his National Team career with 30 goals, and is the only U.S. player to score a goal in multiple World Cups. The next-highest cap-winner is Bradley, who has earned 20 caps with the full side and will turn 21 on July 31. Bradley is coming off a banner year for SC Heerenveen, his 20 goals in all competitions the most for a U.S. player in a major European league in a single season.
“There’s definitely a lot of experience in our group, and a lot of guys who have been able to get good experience with the full National Team,” said Bradley. “Those experiences will be able to help us as a team as we move forward. At this point we’re looking forward to getting together this weekend to start the process of getting ourselves ready for the tournament.”
(To listen to a full podcast with Michael Bradley, click here)
Bradley leads a talented group of midfielders into the tournament, alongside Benny Feilhaber, who has earned 16 caps for the full team and has recently recovered from knee surgery following an injury suffered against Turkey on May 21 in Toulon, France. Adu, who scored four times in three games to lead all goalscorers in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in March, has played in four FIFA youth World Cups, and was the first player to ever score a hat trick in both the FIFA Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups. Kljestan, who served as the team’s captain during their two-game tour of China in December 2007, was recently named in the First XI for the 2008 MLS All-Star Game, and will be joined by reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Maurice Edu and Houston Dynamo star Stuart Holden as the domestic league’s representatives in the midfield. Former U.S. Under-20 standout Danny Szetela, who has since earned two caps with the full team, rounds out the strong midfield contingent.
Guzan and Chris Seitz hope to continue the U.S. tradition of stellar goalkeepers. The 24-year-old Guzan – honored as the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year - recently earned a pair of shutouts in the second round of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying as the U.S. defeated Barbados by a 9-0 aggregate margin over two matches. Seitz was one of the stars of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and earned two shutouts in three games during the 2008 Olympic Qualifying campaign.
McBride leads a group of forwards with the potential to form a potent attack in China. Altidore scored four goals at last year’s Under-20 World Cup, including both goals in the 2-1 win against Brazil. He recently signed with Spanish first division side Villarreal, who finished second in Spain’s La Liga last year behind Real Madrid and will participate in the 2008-09 Champions League. Charlie Davies joins the team in midseason form from Sweden, where he is among the leading scorers for a Hammarby IF side off to an 8-0-2 start in the Swedish first division. Columbus striker Robbie Rogers has recorded five goals in 16 matches for the Crew, who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.
“I know a lot of guys have had the chance to play together, but there are the guys who haven’t had that chance – me being one of them,” said McBride. “So, you have to have that melding of styles and understanding. Thankfully Peter is a great coach and has been a great player, so I think he understands the ins and outs of everyone’s mental psyche. Those types of things will be a huge factor for the team in this situation.”
(To listen to a full podcast with Brian McBride, click here)
The defensive unit, made up of four players who were part of the team’s qualifying campaign, will be bolstered by the addition of the reigning MLS Defender of the Year in the 24-year-old Parkhurst. The Revs defender earned a medal as part of the USA’s 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning side last summer. Patrick Ianni, Orozco, Nathan Sturgis and Marvell Wynne were all part of the defensive unit that earned three shutouts in CONCACAF qualifying in March.
Nowak has also named four alternates to the squad, should any injuries occur.
U.S. Men’s Olympic Team Alternates List – 2008 Olympic Games
Goalkeeper: Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract)
Defender: Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew)
Midfielder: Dax McCarty (FC Dallas)
Forward: Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
The U.S. has been drawn into a difficult Group B and will open against Japan on August 7 before facing the Netherlands on August 10, with both games taking place at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Tianjin. The team will then travel to Worker’s Stadium in Beijing to conclude group play against 1996 gold medalist and 2005 Under-20 World Cup champion Nigeria on August 13.
National Team Staff
Head Coach: Peter Nowak Naples, Fla.
Assistant Coach: Lubos Kubik Prague, Czech Republic
Goalkeeper Coach: Tim Mulqueen Bradenton, Fla.
Strength & Conditioning: Randy Rocha Washington, DC
Team Coordinator: Alfonso Cerda Carson, Calif.
Equipment Coordinator: Gabe Vogler Shoreview, Minn.
Team Doctor: Bill Heinz Portland, Maine
Trainer: David Andrews Seattle, Wash.
Trainer: Marcus Holliday Bradenton, Fla.
Videographer: Alejandro Becker Los Angeles, Calif.
Press Officer: Kate McMaster Chicago, Ill.
U.S. MNT Advance to Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying With 9-0 Aggregate Score Against Barbados
The U.S. will now prepare for their first match of the Semifinal Round, which will be on the road against Guatemala on Aug. 20. Overall, the U.S. will play a total of six games in the round-robin Semifinal Round, facing all three opponents in the four-team group home and away. The top two teams will advance to the Final Round hexagonal that will be played in 2009.
Along with the U.S. and Guatemala, Cuba advanced to the Semifinal Round group with an 8-3 aggregate score against Antigua & Barbuda, including a 4-0 victory this afternoon. Also advancing was Trinidad & Tobago, who defeated Bermuda 2-0 in the second leg for a 3-2 aggregate score. Guatemala advanced with a 9-1 aggregate score againt St. Lucia.
After heading to Guatemala, the U.S. will travel to Cuba on Sept. 6 and then host either Trinidad & Tobago in Chicago on Sept. 10. The second half of the round-robin play will begin against Cuba at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11, before moving to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15 and finishing in Denver against Guatemala on Nov. 19.
“For the series we feel good about the work we've done,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “This was an opportunity to use different players and it is important to get some young players experience. We had the confidence that we were strong enough defensively that we would hold together to get the win."
Lewis, wearing the captain’s armband as he earned his 19th World Cup qualifying appearance, struck the game-winning goal in the 21st minute. After some nifty dribbling in the midfield, Freddy Adu, who earned his first World Cup qualifying start, spotted Lewis slicing behind the Barbados defense and slipped a nicely weighted through ball between two defenders directly into his path. Charging into the area, Lewis spotted the ‘keeper closing in and calmly slotted his shot through Alvin Rouse’s legs to the far right corner.
With a thumping 8-0 win in the first leg against Barbados, Bradley made seven changes to his starting line-up in Bridgetown, fielding a youthful side. The only remaining players that started last week were goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defender Heath Pearce and midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley.
In total, seven players made their first appearance in a World Cup qualifier, including four in the starting line-up: Jay DeMerit, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor and Danny Szetela. In the second half, Bradley used all three his substitutions on the trio of Chicago Fire players – Chris Rolfe, John Thorrington and Chad Barrett – getting them their first taste of World Cup qualifying.
The teams spent the first quarter hour feeling each other out under the blistering sun in Bridgetown, with the U.S. maintaining most of the possession while forcing the hosts to chase the game. The U.S. also had the majority of the chances on goal, with Kljestan getting a great chance in the 18th minute when he nodded a Heath Pearce cross towards goal, but it was deflected away by Ramuel Miller. Pearce had a scoring opportunity of his own in the 36th minute when he was sent through, but his strike was wide left.
Barbados played much better compared to the first leg and came alive in the final five minutes of the fist half, getting their first real chance in the 41st minute when a flick-on header by Mark McCammon found Jonathan Nurse just inside the box. Nurse cut to his left and let go a low left-footed drive, only to have Drew Moor make a sliding block to avert the danger.
The second half started at a slower pace as the heat continued to take its toll, but Barbados was still pushing into the attack and had their best chance of the match to pull even in the 57th minute. Midfielder and captain Paul Ifill sent a long ball to the top of the penalty area where McCammon deftly chested the ball into the path of a streaking Rommelle Burgess, who ripped a one-timer from nine yards out that clanged off the crossbar.
The U.S. pushed forward in the second half looking to put the game out of reach, but couldn’t find the final pass. In the 74th minute, Moor pushed his way up the right side and beat a defender to get into the penalty area, but his tempting cross along the six-yard box didn’t find anyone.
Ifill, who plays at Crystal Palace in England, was the best player on the field for Barbados. In the 85th minute, he started the final chance for his country switching the point of attack from left to right with a long pass to Rondell Vaughan. The substitute sent a ball high into the penalty area where McCammon and Guzan collided allowing the ball to fall to John Parris who finished it into the net, but McCammon was called offside to nullify the goal.
In the final moments of the game, Barrett and Bradley both had opportunities but both of their chances were off target.
U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report
Match-up: USA vs. Barbados
Date: June 22, 2008
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: Kensington Oval - Bridgetown, Barbados
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny and warm, 85 degrees
1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
BRB 0 0 0
USA – Eddie Lewis (Freddy Adu) 21st minute.
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 6-Drew Moor, 15-Jay DeMerit, 2-Danny Califf, 11-Heath Pearce; 10-Sacha Kljestan, 12-Michael Bradley, 8-Danny Szetela (14-Chris Rolfe, 66), 7-Eddie Lewis (capt.); 16-Freddy Adu (13-Chad Barrett, 86), 17-DaMarcus Beasley (12-John Thorrington, 79)
Subs not used: 1-Chris Seitz, 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 9-Brek Shea
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRB: 1-Alvin Rouse, 5-Bryan Neblett, 6-Jonathan Straker, 7-Paul Ifill (capt.), 9-Marc McCammon, 11-Jonathan Nurse (12-Malcolm Marshall, 81), 13-Riviere Williams (8-Rondell Vaughan, 68), 14-Ramuel Miller, 15-Emerson Boyce, 16-Barry Skeete, 17-John Parris
Subs not used: 18-Adrian Chase, 2-Dyson James, 3-Daryl Ferguson, 4-Gregg Belle, 10-Arantes Lawrence
Head Coach: Eyre Sealy
Shots 9 3
Shots on goal 1 0
Saves 0 0
Corner Kicks 2 3
Fouls 11 7
Offside 5 4
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
1st Asst.: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
2nd Asst.: Hairo Fuentes (PAN)
Fourth Official: Luis Rodriguez (PAN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Eddie Lewis
Following the U.S. MNT’s 8-0 victory against Barbados on June 15, Bradley opted to release 10 players, and the current squad has been in southern Florida preparing for this Sunday’s game. The team travels to Barbados on Friday following training. Tim Howard continues to rehabilitate a lower back sprain suffered prior to the Barbados match, while Eddie Johnson has been ruled out due to illness.
“We understand that we need to have a maturity about us to go and finish the job,” said Bradley. “We also have the chance to give some different players an opportunity in World Cup qualifying, which we believe will keep us fresh and sharp."
The roster still retains a core of experienced players, with two-time World Cup veteran Eddie Lewis leading the way with 79 caps. Lewis had an assist in last Sunday’s victory, and is the only player on the roster to have played in Barbados – he was part of the team in 2000 that traveled to the island needing a win to advance to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.
Not far behind Lewis is midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who has appeared in 76 games for the U.S. The Glasgow Rangers winger is slowly working himself back into game shape following a lengthy layoff from injury, and has appeared in the last four games for his country. U.S. team captain Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu have also been retained. Onyewu, who scored in back-to-back games against Mexico and Poland earlier this year, leads the U.S. in 2008 in minutes played (482).
In all, there are eight players on the roster who saw time in last weekend’s game. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan went 90 minutes en route to keeping a clean sheet in his first World Cup qualifying experience, while defender Heath Pearce had an assist and midfielder Michael Bradley chipped in with his second career goal for the United States. The 20-year-old is coming off one of the most prolific seasons ever for a U.S. player in Europe, recording 20 goals in all competitions and helping earn Heerenveen a place in the UEFA Cup.
Six players on the roster – Freddy Adu, Chad Barrett, Dominic Cervi, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan and Chris Seitz - were part of the Under-23 team that helped the U.S book a ticket to Beijing by reaching the finals of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament in March. Bradley and Danny Szetela are also age eligible for the U-23 tournament in the Olympics. Szetela is coming off a successful loan spell at Serie B outfit Brescia, and has one cap to his name, having appeared in last year’s 1-0 victory against Switzerland on Oct. 17, 2007 in Basel, in which he helped set up the goal.
The U.S. is pursuing qualification for its sixth-consecutive FIFA World Cup, and is coming off the most successful qualifying campaign in team history. During the last cycle, the U.S. compiled a 12-2-4 record over 18 matches with 10 shutouts, scoring 35 goals, while allowing just 11. The U.S. finished undefeated at home during the qualifying campaign, going 8-0-1, with all eight victories coming by shutout. In the seventh match of the final round hexagonal, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley gave the U.S. a 2-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 3, 2005, marking the first time since 1934 that the U.S. was the first team from the CONCACAF region to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
** Note: Brek Shea was added to the roster late Friday.
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Barbados
FIFA World Cup Qualifier
June 22, 2008
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Birthdate||Caps / Goals||Hometown||Club|
|Adu, Freddy||M||5'8"||140||06/02/89||8/0||Potomac, Md.||SL Benfica (Portugal|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||M||5'8"||145||05/24/82||76/15||Ft. Wayne, Ind.||Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)|
|Barrett, Chad||F||5'11"||180||04/30/85||0/0||Beaverton, Ore.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Bocanegra, Carlos||D||6'0"||170||05/25/79||58/9||Alta Loma, Calif.||Out of Contract|
|Bradley, Michael||M||6'2"||175||07/31/87||20/2||Cedar Grove, N.J.||SC Heerenveen (Holland)|
|Califf, Danny||D||6'1"||175||03/17/80||19/1||Orange, Calif.||FC Midtjylland (Denmark)|
|Cervi, Dominic||GK||6'6"||205||07/09/86||0/0||Norman, Okla.||Out of Contract|
|DeMerit, Jay||D||6'0"||185||12/04/79||8/0||Green Bay, Wis.||Watford FC (England)|
|Guzan, Brad||GK||6'4"||210||09/09/84||8/0||Homer Glen, Ill.||Chivas USA (MLS)|
|Kljestan, Sacha||M||6'1"||150||09/09/85||6/0||Huntington Beach, Calif.||Chivas USA (MLS)|
|Lewis, Eddie||M||5'10"||155||05/17/74||79/9||Cerritos, Calif.||Derby County (England)|
|Moor, Drew||D||6'0"||170||01/15/84||4/0||Dallas, Texas||FC Dallas (MLS)|
|Onyewu, Oguchi||D||6'4"||210||05/13/82||34/4||Olney, Md.||Standard de Liege (Belgium)|
|Pearce, Heath||D||5'10"||175||08/13/84||15/0||Modesto, Calif.||Hansa Rostock (Germany)|
|Rolfe, Chris||F||5'8"||145||01/17/83||7/0||Kettering, Ohio||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Seitz, Chris||GK||6'4"||210||03/02/87||0/0||San Luis Obispo, Calif.||Real Salt Lake (MLS)|
|Shea, Brek||F||6'3"||180||02/20/90||0/0||College Station, Texas||FC Dallas (MLS)|
|Szetela, Danny||M||5'11"||172||06/07/87||1/0||Clifton, N.J.||Brescia (Italy)|
|Thorrington, John||M||5'8"||150||10/17/79||1/0||Palos Verdes, Calif.||Chicago Fire (MLS)|
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract: 0/0), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA: 1/1 SO), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake: 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract: 12/1), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland: 1/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC: 0/0), Drew Moor (FC Dallas: 0/0) Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 8/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 1/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 15/4), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen: 1/1), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 0/0), Eddie Lewis (Derby County: 18/2), Danny Szetela (Brescia: 0/0), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire: 0/0)
FORWARDS (3): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica: 1/0), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire: 0/0), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire: 0/0)