MADEIRA, Portugal (Tuesday, February 5, 2002) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team opened its European tour with a 2-1 win over a Madeira Select Team on Tuesday in Machico, Portugal. Bobby Convey came on at halftime and set up both goals, allowing Alecko Eskandarian to tally in the 48th minute and getting the ball to Brian Carroll for the winner in the 83rd minute.
Convey, who trained with the Men’s National Team during the USA’s recent run to the Gold Cup title, replaced Kyle Martino at halftime and instantly made a difference for the U.S. Inside the first minute of the second half, D.C. United’s Convey sent in a cross from the left flank that Eskandarian was able to redirect past the Madeira goalkeeper.
After the Madeira Select Team equalized in the 56th minute, Convey and Carroll combined to give the U.S. the win. Convey beat the defense on the left side before sending a cross into the middle that Carroll clinically slotted home.
Ten of the 15 players who played for the U.S. in the win were members of the U.S. Under-20 team that advanced to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina.
The Kansas City Wizards' Jose Burciaga, Jr. headed a strong defensive unit for the U.S. Burciaga, a first round pick in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, was nearly unbeatable in the air all afternoon. Metrostars' goalkeeper D.J. Countess made four saves in the win.
The game was the USA’s opening match in the Madeira International Tournament. The U.S. plays its first international game since the 2000 Olympics tommorrow when they take on Slovakia in Choupana, Portugal. The U.S. will wrap up the tournament on Feb. 8 against Portugal in Funchal. The team will then travel to the island of Sicily, where they will meet Italy in a friendly in Messina on Feb. 12.
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - Final
United States: 0 - 2 - 2
Madeira Select: 0 - 1 - 1
USA - Alecko Eskandarian (Bobby Convey), 48.
MAD - n/a, 56.
USA - Brian Carroll (Bobby Convey), 83.
USA: 1-DJ Countess; 17-Jose Burciaga, 4-Nelson Akwari (5-Alex Yi, 57), 6-Kelly Gray, 20-Chris Wingert (2-Philip Salyer, 88); 9-Brad Davis, 13-Kyle Martino (11-Bobby Convey, 46), 16-Brian Carroll, 19-Kyle Beckerman; 12-Devin Barclay, 14-Nate Jaqua (8-Alecko Eskandarian, 43).