With many regular players not in the U.S. camp this week, head coach Sigi Schmid used four starters (and ten players total) who had never before appeared for the U.S. U-20s. Among the regulars missing were Nick Garcia (Indiana University) and Lee Morrison (Stanford) who will play opposite each other in the NCAA Division I National Championship on Sunday.
After several good chances in the first half, the United States broke through and took the lead in the 62nd minute. Albright carried the ball into the Jamaican penalty area on the left side and slid a back pass to a charging Cory Gibbs (Ft. Lauderdale / Brown Univ.) who one-timed a shot from 11 yards into the lower left corner.
The goal opened the match up for the both teams, who began to attack with increasing numbers. The Jamaicans created several chances, mostly through the play of speedy forward Ricardo Fuller. The lanky Jamaican hit a bullet on 67 minutes, but U.S. 'keeper Tim Howard (North Brunswick, N.J. / MetroStars) made a spectacular reflex save to his right.
The U.S. doubled the score in the 70th minute. From deep in the left corner, Luis Gonzalez (Miami, Fla. / Southern Methodist) maneuvered past a defender and curled a cross into the middle of the penalty area. Albright met the cross with a diving header that slammed into the upper corner.
Ten minutes later the game was put out of reach when midfielder Matt Goldsmith (Roswell, Ga. / Furman) was fouled inside the penalty area. U.S. co-captain Francisco Gomez (Watsonville, Calif. / California Jaguars) buried the free kick to the left of the Jamaican 'keeper.
Jamaica saved face with a consolation goal with four minutes to play. Appropriately it was Fuller who received the honors. After making a long run down the right flank, he beat Howard with a spectacular shot.
Led by head coach Sigi Schmid, the U.S. qualified for the 1999 World Youth Championship by finishing first in Group A of the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament. After drawing with Costa Rica, 1-1, the USA made short work of both Canada and Trinidad & Tobago in 5-1 and 6-1 victories, respectively. The American attack was paced by 4-goal scorers Chris Albright (Philadelphia / Univ. of Virginia) and Nick Garcia (Plano, Texas / Indiana Univ.).
Having accumulated a 1998 record of 23-10-9, the U.S. U-20s will begin intense preparations for the World Youth Championship starting in January. The tournament will be played April 3-24 in Nigeria.
1998 U.S. Men's Under-20 National Team Game Report
|Participants:||U.S. Men's U-20 National Team vs. Jamaica|
|Venue:||University of Richmond Soccer Complex - Richmond, Va.|
|Date:||December 12, 1998 - kickoff 5:00 p.m. (ET)|
|Weather:||50 degrees (Chilly)|
USA - Cory Gibbs, (Albright), 62,
USA - Chris Albright, (Gonzalez), 70,
USA - Francisco Gomez, (PK), 81,
JAM - Ricardo Fuller, (unassisted), 86.
USA - 1-Tim Howard, 4-Robert Russell (David Boutilier, 55), 23-Ken Owens (Aaron Thomas, 58), 8-Kevin Sakuda (Ray Ramirez, 49), 12-Isaias Bardales (Jamal Seale, 46), 14- Matt Goldsmith, 16-Cory Gibbs, 20-Shaker Asad (Chris Carrieri, 78), 11-Francisco Gomez, 7- Luis Gonzalez (David Beck, 83), 10-Chris Albright (Greg Strohman, 74).
JAM - 1-Leon Gordon (Paul Prendergast, 73), 2-Andrew McLeod (Einon Blair, 78), 3-Howard Reid, 4-Claude Davis, 6-Shane Crawford, 8-Jermaine Johnson (Kahreem Cooke, 53), 9-Kevin Deer (Aaron McHardy, 76), 12-Ricardo Sinclair, 14-Robert Scarlett (Christopher Nicholas, 57), 17-Ricardo Fuller, 19-Patrick Graham (Athol Franklyn, 82).
|Ken Owens (caution)||12,|
|Howard Reid (caution)||30,|
|Ricardo Fuller (caution)||60.|