- Keller’s sixth-straight Gold Cup shutout ties him with Meola on the all-time list with 32
- USA is now 16-0-0 lifetime in Gold Cup group play
- USA will play quarterfinal July 19 at 3 p.m. ET in Foxboro; opponent to be determined Wednesday
FOXBORO, Mass. (July 14, 2003) — A pair of Brian McBride goals on a pair of Steve Ralston assists clinched the top spot in Group C for the U.S. Men’s National Team with a 2-0 win over Martinique in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass on Monday night. The U.S. remains a perfect 16-0-0 all-time in Gold Cup group play and will next take the field in a quarterfinal match at the same site this Saturday, July 19, at 3 p.m. ET vs. the second-place team in Group D.
Three U.S. players reached career milestones during the match as goalkeeper Kasey Keller tied Tony Meola with the most shutouts, 32 – including six-straight in Gold Cup play dating back to Jan. 21, 2002. Also, with his first goal of the night Brian McBride moved into sole possession of third place on the U.S.’s all-time scoring list, passing Bruce Murray. The Columbus Crew forward now has 23 goals and is one away from tying Joe-Max Moore for second place. Also, defender Frankie Hejduk made his 50th appearance with the team.
The U.S., rated the top team in the region by the FIFA World Rankings, controlled play for the majority of the match. They allowed Martinique just two shots – both saved by Keller – and one corner kick, while creating 12 shots and 11 corners of their own.
The goals for the U.S. came close together, in the 39th and 43rd minute as Ralston – a late addition to the U.S. roster – found McBride, the Chevrolet Man of the Match, for the second and third time in this tournament, respectively.
“Obviously Brian McBride was the star of match with his two goals. Steve Ralston also did extremely well with his service,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena, whose team has not allowed a goal in the last 428 minutes. “We were a bit sloppy in the second half, I think due to the physicality of the game, a lack of sharpness and a little bit of fatigue. We’ve been through this before, and the objective is just to get through to the next round. We are just happy to be in a position to be playing on Saturday in the quarterfinals.”
After quietly possessing for the first 18 minutes of the game, the U.S. had two solid scoring chances as Bobby Convey and Eddie Lewis worked on the overlap down the left side to win a pair of corners for the U.S. In the 19th minute, Lewis won a corner and took it himself, sending the ball to Ralston, who headed it over the crossbar from about 12 yards out. Three minutes later, Convey won a corner that was sent in to Carlos Bocanegra, who was making a near post run as he connected with a diving header that was cleared just outside the post by a defender.
The U.S. thought it had taken a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, when Landon Donovan won a ball at the top of the Martinique penalty box. He easily dribbled in and finish a low shot far post, but before the celebration ensued the referee called the play back, ruling that Donovan had fouled the defender when he took the ball away.
The U.S. continued to control the pace and would get another chance in the 36th minute. McBride cleared the Martinique back line on the left side of the U.S. attack, and dropped the ball to Donovan who ripped a shot from the top of the box that was blocked by a defender before it got on frame.
Three minutes later, the U.S. possession finally paid off. Bocanegra switched the ball to the right side at midfield to Hejduk. He played the ball down the line to Ralston. About 35 yards from the end line, Ralston played a combination with Richard Mulrooney that freed Ralston him deep on the right side. He then drilled a low cross that found McBride streaking to the near post. McBride then moved himself into sole possession of third-place on the U.S. scoring list with a far post header that gave Eddy Heurlie no chance to make the save as the U.S. went up 1-0.
The U.S. padded its lead with Ralston and McBride hooking up for the third time in the 2003 Gold Cup. A long cross from the left found Ralston on the far side of the 18-yard box. Ralston waited to draw a defender before toe-poking the ball to McBride, who finished with his right foot near-post from about the same spot he scored his first goal of the match.
McBride, already with eight career Gold Cup goals to his credit, almost notched a first-half hat trick in stoppage time. Lewis found space on the left side and slid a cross on the ground to McBride at the far post. Eddy Heurlie made the sliding save on the point-blank strike.
The second half was much of the same story, with the U.S. controlling the majority of play and creating periodic chances. The U.S., although not able to build on the 2-0 lead, also held Martinique off the board.
Lewis created a chance for the U.S. in the 49th minute as he took advantage of space on the left side. On a slow break out, the lefty found Donovan in the middle of the box for a header that sailed high over the crossbar. Six minutes later, Lewis was at it again, taking space on the left side. This time he dribbled in and shot far post on the ground. The shot was deflected by a defender before Heurlie made a diving stop.
One minute later, the U.S. surrendered the best chance of the match and the first shot to Martinique. Jose Gorden forced Convey off the ball at about 40 yards from goal. Gorden, in alone until Convey caught up to him at the top of the box, took a shot from 18-yards out that Keller sent over the bar with a reaction save.
The action slowed for the next 20 minutes, as the U.S. managed just two shots. The first came in the 66th by Richard Mulrooney after a quick restart by Earnie Stewart, who came on for Claudio Reyna at halftime.In the 76th minute, Ralston sent another dangerous cross from the right which Donovan sent over the bar with his head.
The best U.S. shot of the second half came in the 85th minute on a set piece. Stewart took the restart from far in the left corner, and the ball was punched out by Heurlie to Hejduk about 25 yards from frame. Hejduk then blasted a dipping shot over the traffic inside the box that was saved by a back-pedaling Heurlie.
In the 89th minute, Yann Girier-Dufournier was sent off for Martinique after picking up his second caution of the match with a hard foul on Donovan at the top of the penalty box. Stewart took the ensuing set piece but drilled a low shot off the five-man wall.
Martinique recorded on final shot in the second minute of extra time, as Miguel Duragrin took a low, turnaround shot from the top of the box that Keller saved with a dive to his right.
The U.S. advances to the quarterfinal round which will take place July 19 at 3 p.m. ET in Foxboro. Cuba topped Canada 2-0 today, leaving Group D wide open with multiple scenarios and tiebreakers coming into play.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report -
Match-up: USA vs. Martinique
Date: July 14, 2003
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group C
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Mass.
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
Martinique 0 0 0
USA – McBride (Ralston) 39th minute
USA – McBride (Ralston) 43rd
USA (4-4-2): 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey; 13-Richard Mulrooney, 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (8-Earnie Stewart-46), 19-Steve Ralston, 7-Eddie Lewis (25-Pablo Mastroeni-65); 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (3-Greg Vanney-86)
Subs not used: 24-Adin Brown, 11-Clint Mathis, 60, 12-Danny Califf, 17-DaMarcus Beasley
MQE (4-4-2): 26-Eddy Heurlie; 4-Judes Vaton, 12-Stephane Suedile, 8-David Dicanot 16-Jean Victor Lavril, 15-Willy Padoly (6-Gael Germany 75), 7-Yann Girier-Dufournier 21-Charles-Eduoard Coridon, 11- Miguel Duragrin, 10-Jose Goron (20-Dominic Real 82), 5-Patrick Percin (14-Jean Michel Michaud-68th)
Subs not used: 1-Jean-Francois Go, 2-Laurent Lagrande, 17-Willy Anin, 18-Robert Cinna
Stats Summary: USA MQE
Shots 13 3
Saves 3 5
Corner Kicks 11 1
Fouls 13 15
Offsides 3 4
USA – Frankie Hejduk, Caution 30th minute
MQE – Yann Girier-Dufournier, Caution 45th
MQE – David Dicanot, Caution 62nd
MQE – Yann Girier-Dufournier, Caution 89th
MQE – Yann Girier-Dufournier, Ejection 89th
Referee: Mr. Roberto Moreno (PAN)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Rafael Herrera (MEX)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Roberto Alcantara (DOM)
Fourth Official: Mr. Benito Archundia (MEX)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Brian McBride