U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis, who was named "Chevrolet Man of the Match," had another career game against Chile. Earning his 15th cap and notching his second international goal for the U.S., the 25-year-old flank midfielder opened the scoring in the 55th minute when he sent a header just inside the far post off an Eric Wynalda free kick from the left side.
Lewis also assisted on the game-winning goal, streaking down the left side before sending a beautiful cross to the far post to the feet of an onrushing Cobi Jones, who volleyed it back across the goal past the wrong-footed Chilean goalkeeper Marcelo Ramirez with just two minutes left to play in regulation time.
Coincidentally, Lewis got his first international goal against Chile almost a year ago, when he knocked in the game-winner in the 65th minute to help the U.S. to a similar 2-1 victory on Feb. 21, 1999 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The U.S. now holds a 3-4-1 record against the South American force, including the last three decisions, a streak that started with a familiar 2-1 win in Team USA's Copa America opener in Paysandu, Uruguay, on June 8, 1995.
Utilizing a 3-5-2 formation, the U.S. defense also shone brightly tonight, anchored by the return of Eddie Pope at sweeper and the solid play of fullbacks Greg Vanney and C.J. Brown. Veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola, who leads all U.S. 'keepers with 91 caps, was forced to make just one save.
The lone Chile goal came on a 35-yard bomb by Jaime Riveros just two minutes after the U.S. score that tied the game at 1-1 in the 57th minute. Chile, coming off a balanced 4-4-4 record in 1999, was making its 2000 debut.
Tonight's result broke a five-game winless streak when the U.S. plays in the South American continent, with the last win also coming in Copa America 1995, this time a shocking 3-0 win over world powerhouse Argentina.
The Americans will next regroup in Ft. Lauderdale to prepare for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2000, scheduled to be played in Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles between February 12-27. The U.S. is scheduled to meet Haiti (Feb. 12) and Peru (Feb. 16) in the opening round of Group B play at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Mexico, as reigning Gold Cup champions, and the USA, as the host country, qualified automatically for the 12-team biannual tournament. The United States won the inaugural competition on 1991, while Mexico has won the last three titles in 1993, 1996 and 1998.
2000 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Chile National Team|
|Venue:||Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoros (Coquimbo, Chile)|
|Date:||January 29, 2000 - kickoff 8:00 p.m. (ET)|
|Weather:||65 degrees - Cool, Crisp|
USA - Eddie Lewis, (Eric Wynalda), 55,
CHI - Jaime Riveros, (Raul Palacios), 57,
USA - Cobi Jones, (Eddie Lewis), 88.
USA - 1-Tony Meola (Capt.); 4-Greg Vanney, 23-Eddie Pope, 5-C.J. Brown; 7-Eddie Lewis, 14-Chris Armas (6-John Harkes, 46), 21-Richie Williams, 19-Ben Olsen (13-Cobi Jones, 70), 9-Jovan Kirovski (15-Chad Deering, 78); 11-Eric Wynalda (25-Roy Lassiter, 56), 22-Ante Razov.
CHI - Marcelo Ramirez; Raul Palacios, Miguel Ramirez (Alex von Schwelder, 46), Mauricio Aros; Christian Flores, Marcos Villaseca, Clarence Acuna, Estaben Valencia (Joel Reyes, 37), Jaime Riveros; Mario Nunez (Pedro Gonzalez, 66), Sebastian Rozental (Ricardo Queralto, 85).