SUNRISE, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2006) – Behind an offensive burst in the first half that provided four goals, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated the Haiti All-Stars this evening, 5-1, in Sunrise, Fla.
Midfielder Dax McCarty was a part of four goals, assisting on three and scoring a penalty kick for the USA's final tally. Michael Bradley opened the scoring in the first half, followed by Miguel Gonzalez, Johann Smith and Tim Ward as the U.S. took a 4-0 lead into halftime.
“We came out and executed in the first half, which is always a good thing to see when you’re trying to create some chemistry on the field,” said U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. “Along with the match, this entire week was beneficial to for us to see players and get the players together. We’ve still got some work to do as we continue to prepare for qualifying in January, but this was definitely helpful as we move forward.”
With Freddy Adu as captain for his first time ever with a national team, the U.S. dominated their older opponents from the outset, out shooting Haiti 21-6 in the match. The U.S. allowed just one shot on goal, which occurred in the second half when Haiti forward Rudy was able to drive a 23-yard free kick through the U.S. wall and into the lower right corner.
Santa Clara freshman Stephen McCarthy earned his first appearance with the U-20s as he started in central defense alongside veteran Nathan Sturgis. Coming on as a reserve in the second half, goalkeeper Joe Willis and defender Nick Cardenas appeared for the U-20s for the first time.
The opening goal in the 12th minute was started and finished by Bradley, who was with the Under-20s for the first time since joining SC Heerenveen last year. Collecting the ball in midfield, Bradley sliced his way towards goal and pushed it to his left for Smith, who spun the ball out wide to Gonzalez before crashing into the penalty area. The New England Revolution midfielder took a touch before serving the ball into the box where Smith flicked the ball on to Bradley and he hit a smashing right footed volley past the goalkeeper.
Keeping on the attack, the U.S. struck once again five minutes later. McCarty knocked a long ball up the middle of the field that Gonzalez just got a piece of with his head near the top of the box as it skipped towards goal. Smith attempted to get to the loose ball, but Wilgrens came off his line and fouled the forward as the ball bounced past both players and slowly bounced into the open net. Wilgrens was given a caution for the foul in the box.
Smith put the U.S. up by three goals when he scored his first U-20 goal in the 32nd minute. McCarty started the attack in their offensive half with a good tackle just over the center line before pushing the ball up to Smith. The speedster raced past two defenders to get to the ball and then cut across to his left to loose both Haitians before burying a 15-yard left-footed shot into the lower right corner.
Haiti came inches from pulling one goal back in the 38th minute when Amilus got free near the left post and received a cross from the left flank, but his point-blank attempt from six yards out somehow rocketed over the crossbar.
Tim Ward finished off the high-powered first 45 minutes when he rose to head home a McCarty corner kick just seconds from the halftime whistle. The goal was Ward’s first with the U-20s.
Rongen made three substitutions at halftime, changing the goalkeepers and brining on Amaechi Igwe at right back and Cardenas in central defense. After starting at right back, Kirk moved up to right midfield, while Rodrigo Lopez moved to inside midfield.
While the U.S. continued to control possession in the second half, the game started to get a bit rough as the Haitians unleashed their frustrations with fouls. The continual hacking caused Bradley to boil over as he swung his arm back while being held by a Haiti defender, partially hitting him in the face and forcing the referee to send him off with a straight red card.
Despite playing with just 10 men, the U.S. scored their final goal in the 60th minute, this time via a penalty kick after Smith was taken down in the penalty box. McCarty coolly slotted his attempt from the spot past the ‘keeper.
Haiti finally got on the board in the 79th minute, but never threatened for the rest of the match. A red card reduced Haiti to 10 men with just two minutes left in the match.
The team and staff wore black armbands to honor the memory of U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick, who passed away Monday.[Share Your Memories of Mooch]
U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Match Report
Participants: USA vs. Haiti All-Stars
Location: Sunrise, Fla.
Date: Oct. 11, 2006
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
HAI 1 1 2
USA – Michael Bradley (Johann Smith) 12th minute
USA – Miguel Gonzalez (Dax McCarty) 17.
USA – Johann Smith (Dax McCarty) 32.
USA – Tim Ward (Dax McCarty) 45.
USA – Dax McCarty (penalty kick) 60.
HAI – Rudy 79.
USA: 1-Brian Perk (24-Joe Willis, 46); 6-Quavas Kirk, 15-Stephen McCarthy, 5-Nathan Sturgis (4-Nick Cardenas, 46), 2-Tim Ward; 8-Michael Bradley (sent off, 58), 16-Dax McCarty, 11-Freddy Adu (3-Amaechi Igwe, 46); 10-Rodrigo Lopez (13-Rodrigo Hidalgo, 60), 14-Johann Smith, 12-Miguel Gonzalez (17-Anthony Wallace, 58).
Subs not used: 7-Robbie Rogers, 9-Danny Szetela
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen
HAI: 1-Wilgrens (0-Elonick, 67); 7-Nickel, 5-Ricardo, 6-David, 13-Shak; 4-Dominicain, 9-Marlo, 8-Stanley, 18-Githo (15-Amilus, 21); 10-Rudy, 12-Jeremy.
Shots 21 6
Shots on goal 10 1
Saves 0 5
Fouls 10 18
Corner Kicks 5 0
Offside 1 2
HAI – Wilgrens (caution) 17th minute
HAI – Nickel (caution) 23.
USA – Miguel Gonzalez (caution) 36.
USA – Tim Ward (caution) 38.
USA – Michael Bradley (sent off) 58.
HAI – Stanley (caution) 58.
HAI – Githo (caution) 60.
USA – Nick Cardenas (caution) 77.
HAI – Nickel (sent off) 88.