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U.S. Futsal Team Captures Bronze Medal with 5-1 Victory over Mexico


HEREDIA, Costa Rica (Saturday, July 29, 2000) - The U.S. Futsal Team had to settle for the bronze medal at the 2000 CONCACAF Championship with a 5-1 win over Mexico, tonight at the Palacio de los Deportes Arena.

This was the second meeting for both teams during this tournament and it was another physical match that saw 21 total fouls (USA-11, MEX-10), five yellow card cautions (USA-3, MEX-2) and four red card ejections (USA-2, MEX-2).

"You had two proud countries playing each other for the bronze medal and neither team wanted to lose," said Head Coach Keith Tozer. "After we were up 3-1, Mexico began to get frustrated and the match turned ugly towards the end, but I'm happy with the way the team played excellent defense and most of all stayed professional in and out of the game."

The battle for the last medal of the tournament began with the USA (4-1) falling behind early in the seventh minute when forward Jesus Torres scored on Mexico's (2-3) first shot of the game.

The Americans responded with a goal by forward Brian Loftin (Milwaukee Wave/Rampage - NPSL/A-League) off a corner kick by defender Sean Bowers (Detroit Rockers - NPSL) in the 11thminute.

The U.S. took the lead just before the half (19th minute), when forward Matt Tirschman (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL) intercepted a bad pass by Mexican goalkeeper Luis Kleyman and dished out a low cross to forward Lee Tschantret (Detroit Rockers - NPSL) who shot towards an empty net.

In the second half, Mexico came out determined to level the score with several dangerous scoring opportunities but USA ?keeper Otto Orf (Cleveland Crunch - NPSL), who extended his perfect lifetime futsal record to 7-0, made several key saves to maintain the lead.

"This is the highest honor for me personally," said Orf. "I take great pride with this streak and I hope that I can continue to put it to the test in the future."

The U.S. scored its third goal of the match in the 25th minute after a fast break started by Tschantret with defender Jeff Davis (St. Louis Steamers - WISL) finishing with a goal for the 3-1 advantage.

Loftin added his second goal of the game off a free kick in the 29th minute to give the Americans a comfortable 4-1 lead. The tough and physical game continued and resulted four ejections in the final five minutes of the match.

Then Loftin completed the hat-trick, in the 40th minute, off another free kick from 10 meters out after Mexico committed its sixth team foul.

"It is always nice to get a hat-trick in an international game," said Loftin, who earns his second medal in CONCACAF Tournament play. "It was great when we won the gold in 1996. The team rebounded well from our semifinal loss, so this bronze medal is very special to us."

The victory gives the USA a 7-2 lifetime record in two CONCACAF Championship Tournaments (1996 Guatemala, 2000 Costa Rica).

"We played our best game of the tournament," said Head Coach Keith Tozer. "The team played with a lot of character and even though the door to the world championship has closed for us, this win opens another one for the future."

In the nightcap, Costa Rica (5-0) took the gold medal in the Championship Game with a 2-0 blanking of Cuba. Both Costa Rica and Cuba advance to the FIFA Futsal World Championship in Guatemala (Nov. 18 - Dec. 3), while the USA will miss the tournament for the first time in its history.

Futsal is a sport derivative of soccer and played with five-man teams on a basketball style court, with no walls and a low bouncing ball. Great soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico and Ronaldo grew up playing the game and credit Futsal with developing their skills. U.S. Futsal under the banner of U.S. Soccer is the Governing Body for the sport.

2000 U.S. FUTSAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Participants:United States Futsal Team vs. Mexico Futsal Team
Competition:2000 CONCACAF Championship - Third Place Match
Venue:Palacio de los Deportes (Heredia, Costa Rica
Date:July 29, 2000 - kickoff 8:30 p.m. local (MT)
Attendance:2,900

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
235
Mexico
101

MEX - Jesus Torres, (Meir Kastro), 7,
USA - Brian Loftin, (Sean Bowers), 11,
USA - Lee Tschantret, (Matt Tirschman), 19,
USA - Jeff Davis, (Tschantret), 25,
USA - Loftin (Unassisted), 29,
USA - Loftin (Unassisted), 40.

Lineups:
USA - GK-Otto Orf, D-Sean Bowers (Capt.), D-Jeff Davis, F-Lee Tschantret, F-Matt Tirschman; Subs - D-Glenn Carbonara, D-Josh Timbers, F-Bernie Lilavois, F-Temoc Suarez, F-Brian Loftin, F-Wes Wade.

MEXB - GK-Abel Treppmann (Capt.); D-Victor Huerta, D-Jose Montiel, F-Francisco Ramirez, F-Raul Sidaui; Subs - GK-Luis Kleyman, D-Jesus Rodriguez, F-Leonardo Morales, F-Abraham Sofer, F-Jesus Torres.

Statistical Summary:USAMEX
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
3632
Shots on Goal . . . . . .
2116
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
1516
Corner Kicks . . . . .
116
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
1110

Misconduct Summary:
USA
Tschantret (caution)14,
USA
Wade (caution)21,
MEX
Head Coach (ejection)24,
MEX
Sofer (caution)29,
USA
Davis (caution)35,
USA
Davis (ejection)35,
USA
Tschantret (ejection)40,
MEX
Team Docter (ejection)40,
MEX
Treppmann (ejection)40.

2000 CONCACAF Championship (Heredia, Costa Rica)
Group A
TeamGPWLTGFGAPts
Costa Rica* 33001969 (+13 GD)
Cuba* 321024106 (+14 GD)
Surinam 312018223 (-4 GD)
Nicaragua 3030 7300 (-23 GD)

2000 CONCACAF Championship (Heredia, Costa Rica)
Group B
TeamGPWLTGFGAPts
United States*33001529 (+13 GD)
Mexico* 32101066 (+4 GD)
Neth. Antilles31205113 (-6 GD)
Puerto Rico 30302130 (-11 GD)

* Advances to Semifinals

Results

July 20 Cuba 13, Surinam 4

Costa Rica 10, Nicaragua 1

July 21 Mexico 4, Netherlands Antilles 1

USA 5, Puerto Rico 0

July 22 Cuba 9, Nicaragua 2

Costa Rica 5, Surinam 3

July 23 Mexico 4, Puerto Rico 2

USA 7, Netherlands Antilles 0

July 24 Surinam 11, Nicaragua 4

Costa Rica 4, Cuba 2

July 25 Netherlands Antilles 4, Puerto Rico 0

USA 3, Mexico 2

SEMIFINALS

July 27 Cuba 4, USA 2

Costa Rica 3, Mexico 2

MEDAL ROUND

July 29 USA 5, Mexico 1 (Third Place Match)

Costa Rica 2, Cuba 0 (Championship^)

^ Both finalists (Costa Rica & Cuba) advance to 2000 FIFA World Championship in Guatemala (November 18 - December 3).

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