CARRINGTON, England (Wednesday, August 7, 2002) -- The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team finished their week-long trip to England with an undefeated 4-0 mark after coming back from a 1-0 halftime defecit to defeat the Manchester United U-21s 3-2 in Carrington, England today. With the win, the U.S. U-23s improve their overall record in 2002 to 5-1-2.
Down 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Manchester United midfielder Colin Heath in the 27th minute, the U.S. squad roared back behind the play of University of Virginia forward Alecko Eskandarian. Eskandarian, who scored in two of the team's three previous wins in England, provided the assist on the equalizer from East Illinois forward Jason Thompson in the 48th minute before scoring an unassisted goal to give the U-23's a 2-1 lead in the 60th minute. Eskandarian now leads the team in scoring in 2002 with five goals and two assists.
Man U's Chris Humphries struck back in the 67th minute to knot the score at 2-2, but Indiana University midfielder Ned Grabavoy notched the game-winner in the 71st minute to help the team complete the sweep of English professional reserve teams. As they did in all four matches, the U-23s outshot their opponent this time by a 14-9 margin.
The U.S. Under-23 MNT opened the trip with a dominating 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers reserves on Aug. 1 in which Wake Forest midfielder Brian Carroll provided book ends for the U.S. scoring, notching goals in the 38th and 76th minutes to seal the win. Carroll is second on the team with three goals in 2002. Eskandarian scored in the 50th minute and Columbus Crew forward Edson Buddle put in a goal in 58th minute to round out the scoring.
After the team's big opening win, the U-23s downed Huddersfield 2-1 on Aug. 3 behind goals from UNC forward David Testo and Eskandarian after giving up a goal in 6th minute.
The Under-23s put another 4-1 result on an English U-21 club on Monday, this time using goals from Testo, Buddle, Thompson (all of whom who join Carroll and Eskandarian in scoring at least two goals for the trip) and Logan Pause as part of a lopsided 26-6 shot advantage. Buddle finished the trip with two goals and two assists in three games.
In February, in the team’s first action since the 2000 Olympics, the new group of U-23 players posted an undefeated 1-0-2 record and finished second in the Madeira International Tournament in Portugal before falling 2-0 to an older Italian team just days later in Messina, Italy. At this stage, the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team is essentially an Under-21 team preparing for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The U-23 roster for this trip featured eight players who were part of the U.S. Under-20 MNT that played in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina.
-- U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Game Report --
Participants: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. Manchester United Under-21s
Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2002
Location: Carrington, England
Weather: 72 degrees; overcast
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
United States 0 - 3 - 3
Manchester Utd. 1 - 1 - 2
MAN – Colin Heath, 26.
USA – Jason Thompson (Alecko Eskandarian), 47.
USA – Alecko Eskandarian (Logan Pause), 59.
MAN – Chris Humphries, 60.
USA – Ned Grabavoy, 70.
USA: 1-Doug Warren (18-Jason White, 70); 2-Chris Wingert, 6-Alexander Yi, 4-David Stokes, 12-Scott Thompson (17-Nelson Akwari, 56); 10-Ned Grabavoy (13-Seth Trembly, 76), 5-Kyle Beckerman, 9-Logan Pause, 7-Brian Carroll; 11-Alecko Eskandarian, 23-Jason Thompson (15-David Testo, 66).
Statistical Summary: USA / MAN
Shots: 14 / 9
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 13
Offside: 3 / 1