WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2002) - The U.S. Futsal National Team battled Mexico to an exciting 1-1 draw in an international friendly at American University’s Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.on Thursday evening.
With the score leveled at 1-1, the U.S. had a chance to break the deadlock with 1:34 left in the match, as they were awarded a free-kick from 10 meters out after Mexico committed their team’s sixth foul. Midfielder Ted Eck’s (Springfield, Ill.) shot was deflected by the Mexican goalkeeper Jose Manuel Garcia into the right post and out for a corner.
A minute later a fierce Mexican counter-attack saw midfielder Victor Huerta fire a low shot from six-yards out that was deflected by a U.S. defender and toward the goal space between the legs of U.S. ‘keeper Dan Green (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), who was just able to get his left foot on the ball to make the crucial save and preserve the draw.
“The shot was deflected by one of our defenders and I didn’t really get a good look at it until it was right on me,” said Green, who posted seven key saves to earn ‘Man of the Match” honors. “So I did what I thought I could do and got my (left) leg out and I’m lucky I have size 12 feet. I needed all of it to get it.”
The Americans opened the scoring in the 8th minute of the first half when forward Dewayne Gilpatrick (Milwaukee Wave-MISL) took a one-time pass from Eck and shot a one-timer past the Mexican ‘keeper towards the upper-right corner for his first international goal in his first appearance for the USA.
“It is exciting to play for the U.S. Futsal National Team,” said Gilpatrick, who was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil but is a U.S. citizen. “Just to represent a country is very emotional and it is a great experience for me.”
Mexico’s hard pressure for the equalizer would pay off as they leveled the score with just 39 second left in the first half as forward Francisco Ramirez back-heeled a pass to forward Hector Guzman, who fired an off balance shot over the head of U.S. goalie Green into the right side of the goal for the 1-1 result.
“We played well and there were chances on both sides to put the game away,” said head coach Keith Tozer. “I think this week was a success, with the three-day training camp and the hosting two international matches here in the USA.”
With the draw tonight against Mexico and the 10-0 victory over Canada the night before, the Americans conclude their two-game home stand and improve their overall record against CONCACAF teams to 8-2-1.
“Hosting these games was a big step in the growth of futsal in the United States,” said U.S. Futsal Federation President/CEO Alex Para. “The matches will help prepare the squad for future tournaments both overseas and here in the USA.”
The U.S. squad will travel to Belgium for their next international event at the 2002 Genk Cup from May 8-11.
Futsal is a sport that is a derivative of soccer and played with five-man teams on a basketball style court, with no walls and a low bouncing ball, unlike the traditional sport of U.S. indoor soccer played with six-man squads and walls. Great soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico and Ronaldo grew up playing the game and credit Futsal with developing their skills. U.S. Futsal is under the banner of U.S. Soccer, which is the governing body for the sport in the United States.
U.S. FUTSAL NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Participants: United States Futsal National Team vs. Mexico Futsal National Team
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Bender Arena at American University - Washington, D.C.
Date: March 21, 2002 - Kickoff 8:15 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1st 2nd Final
USA 1 0 1
MEX 1 0 1
USA - Dewayne Gilpatrick (Ted Eck) 8th minute (first half)
MEX - Hector Guzman (Francisco Ramirez) 20.
USA - Starters: 1-Dan Green, 6-Dewayne Gilpatrick, 8-Steve Bernal, 9-Bernie Lilavois, 11-Josh Timbers
Substitutes: 3-Steve Butcher, 4-Ted Eck (Capt.), 5-Greg Howes, 7-Devin Payton, 8-Steve Bernal, 10-John Ball, 12-Ricky Brown, 13-Matt Tanzini, 14-Mark Thomas
DNP: 18-Alec Rosenberg
Head Coach: Keith Tozer
MEX - Starters: 23-Amado Torres Bueno, 4-Edson Lince, 8-Leonardo Morales (Capt.), Francisco Ramirez, 11-Guillermo Castaneda
Substitutes: 2-Mari Alberto Verti, 5-Jose Alberto Montiel, 6-Jesus Rodriguez, 7-Victor Huerta, 9-Hector Guzman, 13-Miguel Angel Oluera, 14-Jesus Contreras, 24-Jose Manuel Garcia
Head Coach: Agustin Manzo
Statistical Summary: USA MEX
Shots 35 21
Saves 7 15
Corners 12 5
Fouls 7 10
MEX -Huerta (caution) 39.
USA -Lilavois (caution) 40.
Man of the Match: USA - Dan Green
Referee: Carlo Servino (USA)
Second Referee: John Konstantinidis (USA)
Third Referee: Andrew Lesinziski (CAN)
Timekeeper: George Zervos (USA)