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U.S. Under-23s Fall Short in Title Match of CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying with 2-1 Loss to Honduras

HERSHEY, Pa. (Sunday, April 30, 2000) - With a berth to the 2000 Olympics already secured, the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team battled Honduras today in an attempt to take the CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament title, but fell short 2-1 in the Championship Game in front of an equally divided bi-partisan crowd of 12,126 at Hersheypark Stadium. Today's crowd brought the total attendance for the five-day tournament to 50,032, or an average of just over 10,000 fans per doubleheader.

"All in all, I thought we had a very good tournament. We achieved what we came here to do," said head coach Clive Charles, who has led the U.S. U-23s to a 6-4-1 overall record in 2000. "A lot of emotion and energy went into (Friday's) game, and the job was done at that point. We came here today to win, but we simply came up a little short."

In what has become their modus operandi, the United States struck first to open up a 1-0 lead, this time in the 12th minute on a ping-pong play involving consecutive headers. A free kick was served to the far side of the penalty area to John O'Brien who sent a ball to U.S. defender Danny Califf at the left side of the six-yard box. Califf rose up to head the ball across the box to Josh Wolff, who once again knocked it back the other way, with this one finding its way past Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

After holding the previous three teams scoreless, the U.S. yielded its first goal of the tournament when Honduras turned the tables and equalized in the 29th minute. Honduras worked a perfect give-and-go, with captain Maynor Suazo eventually feeding a ball to the speedy Oscar David Suazo. Suazo stepped inside U.S. defender Danny Califf, ran on to the ball in stride and framed a blistering shot in the upper left corner of the goal past sprawling U.S. 'keeper Tim Howard.

Honduras tacked the winning goal in the 56th minute when midfielder Julio Cesar Suazo chased down a ball that looked like it was headed over the endline and sent a ball back into the middle of the goal. In an attempt to clear it out, Califf attempted a diving header back away from goal but missed. Howard initially stepped out to make a play on the ball, but quickly backpedaled in attempt to cover his line. The cross fell to Honduran striker Oscar David Suazo, who scissored it home past a wrong-footed Howard.

The U.S. made a strong push for the equalizer over the last ten minutes of regulation and until the final whistle in injury time, but it would not materialize.

Friday's tremendous 4-0 victory over Guatemala marked the sixth consecutive time that the United States has qualified for the Olympic Games, spanning the past 20 years and dating back to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, which was boycotted by the USA.

With the conclusion of the three-week training camp and tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. then Hershey, Pa., the team will depart tomorrow morning from Harrisburg and return home or to their respective club teams both in America and abroad. Twelve of the 18 players on the final roster head back to Major League Soccer, whose season is in full spring. Next on the horizon for Team USA is a pre-Olympic training camp in San Diego and a pair of friendlies tentatively set for mid-August.

In the third place game, Mexico eradicated Friday's frustrating 120 minutes of scoreless soccer by putting the ball in the back of the net five times. Although small consolation upon having their Olympic hopes dashed in their penalty kick loss to Honduras just two nights ago, Mexico looked impressive and had no trouble pushing forward and attacking throughout. Led by a goal and two assists from Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Mexico lead 2-0 at the half and knocked in three more for the lopsided 5-0 end result. A heated affair in the stands and on the field, the match included 45 fouls, six cautions and one ejection (Guatemala's Denis Chen in first half injury time). But Mexico was the dominant side, outshooting Guatemala 21-4 and earning 10 corner kicks to their one.


Participants:U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Honduras
Competition:Championship Game * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Sunday, April 30, 2000 * kickoff 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Weather:75 degrees - Gusty, Sunny

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States

USA - Josh Wolff, (Danny Califf), 12,
HON - Oscar David Suazo, (Maynor Suazo), 29,
HON - Oscar David Suazo, (Julio Cesar Suazo), 56.

USA - 18-Tim Howard; 12-Ramiro Corrales (7-Eric Denton, 46), 4-Danny Califf, 3-Chad McCarty (capt.), 6-Steve Cherundolo; 9-DaMarcus Beasley, 5-John O'Brien, 10-Peter Vagenas, 8-John Thorrington (14-Ben Olsen, 46); 13-Landon Donovan (11-Chris Albright, 72), 16-Josh Wolff.

HON - 22-Noel Valladares; 3-Hector Gutierrez, 4-Junior Izaguirre, 5-Elmer Montoya, 6-Walter Lopez, 7-Maynor Suazo (capt.), 8-Jamie Rosales, 9-Oscar David Suazo, 14-Luis Ramirez, 15-Julio Cesar Suazo, 18-Francisco Pavon (19-Elvis Danilo Turcios, 89).

Statistical Summary:USAHON
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
Corner Kicks . . . . .
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
Offside . . . . . . . . .

Misconduct Summary:
Steve Cherundolo (caution)71,
Elmer Montoya (caution)86,
John O'Brien (caution)86,
Oscar David Suazo (caution)86.

Participants:Mexico Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Guatemala
Competition:Third Place Match * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Sunday, April 30, 2000 * kickoff 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Weather:72 degrees - Gusty, Brisk

Scoring Summary:1st2ndOTsFinalPKs

MEX - Joaquin Beltran, (Juan Pablo Rodriguez), 23,
MEX - Adrian Sanchez (Juan Pablo Rodriguez) 43,
MEX - Daniel Osorno (Luis Perez) 55,
MEX - Juan Pablo Rodriguez (Jorge Collazo) 59,
MEX - Cesareo Victorino (Daniel Osorno) 82.

MEX - 1-Christian Martinez, 3-Joaquin Beltran, 4-Rafael Marquez (capt.), 5-Gerardo Torrado (16-Luis Gonzalez, 46), 6-Ignacio Hierro (2-Edgar Solano, 62), 8-Adrian Sanchez, 10-Juan Pablo Rodriguez, 11-Daniel Osorno, 13-Hector Alatamirano (7-Luis Perez, 46), 14-Jorge Collazo, 18-Cesareo Victorino.

GUA - 1-Luis Pedro Molina, 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Luis Swisher, 5-Denis Chen, 6-Uwaldo Perez, 7- Josue Merlos, 8-Carlos QuiƱonez, 9-Carlos Ruiz (capt.) (18-Julio Ariz Leiva, 60), 10-Freddy Garcia (17-Dwight Pezzarossi, 49), 11-Guillermo Ramirez (15-Andres Rivera, 46), 13-Edin Lopez.

Statistical Summary:MEXGUA
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
Corner Kicks . . . . .
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
Offside . . . . . . . . .

Misconduct Summary:
Hector Altamirano (caution)30,
Carlos Quinonez (caution)32,
Gerardo Torrado (caution)37,
Carlos Ruiz (caution)41,
Adrian Sanchez (caution)42,
Denis Chen (caution)46+,
Denis Chen (ejection)46+,
Rafael Marquez (caution)86.

United States vs. Honduras
CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament * Championship Match

United States 1 0 1
Honduras 1 1 2

USA - Wolff, (Califf), 12.
HON - Oscar David Suazo, (M. Suazo), 29.
HON - Oscar David Suazo, (J.C. Suazo), 56.

United States

G: 18--Tim Howard
D: 12--Ramiro Corrales (-46')
D: 4--Danny Califf
D: 3--Chad McCarty (Capt.)
D: 6--Steve Cherundolo
M: 9--DaMarcus Beasley
M: 5--John O'Brien
M: 10--Peter Vagenas
M: 8--John Thorrington (-46')
F: 13--Landon Donovan (-72')
F: 16--Josh Wolff

Available Reserves:
G: 1--Adin Brown
D: 7--Eric Denton (+46')
M: 14--Ben Olsen (+46')
M: 15--Brian Winters
F: 11--Chris Albright (+72')
F: 17--Conor Casey

Reserve (Unavailable):
D: 2--Brian Dunseth (Red Card Suspension)


G: 22--Noel Valladares
D: 8--Jaime Rosales
D: 4--Junior Izaguirre
D: 5--Elmer Montoya
D: 6--Walter Lopez
D: 15--Julio Cesar Suazo
M: 7--Maynor Suazo (Capt.)
M: 3--Hector Gutierrez
F: 9--Oscar David Suazo
F: 18--Francisco Pavon (-89')
F: 14--Luis Ramirez

Available Reserves:

F: 11--Orvin Cabrera
M: 13--Carlos Oliva
D: 19--Danilo Turcios (+89')
G: 1--Belarmino Rivera
F: 16--Hesler Phillips
M: 2--Mario Ivan Guerrero

Reserve (Unavailable):
M: 17--Mario Chirinos (Second Yellow card)

Match Highlights:

1st Minute: Honduras kicks off.
3rd Minute: Beasley and Donovan combine to set up Cherundolo outside of the box. His shot is on-goal, but saved.
4th Minute: McCarty places a ball back to Howard, who clears it with a long kick on the dangerous pressure situation.
6th Minute: Nice passing combination on left side of midfield results in a switch across field to Cherundolo who springs Thorrington up the wing. Thorrington does well to run down ball in corner, but cannot get off a strong cross.
7th Minute: Maynor Suazo plays a ball to Oscar David Suazo, Oscar David Suazo dribbles into box along left side, shoots from 15 yards, saved by Howard.
8th Minute: Wolff takes errant clearance, dribbles 30 yards on diagonnal run, his 18-yard shot is saved and the 'keeper controls the rebound.
9-10th Minute: Sustained possession in the offensive third by Honduras draws cheers from the crowd, but results in no opportunity.
11th Minute: Corrales shot from outside 30 is to left post, pushed wide for corner.
12th Minute: On ensuing corner from left side, ball goes long to O'Brien, who eludes defenders to send a cross back through the penalty area to Califf on the far side of the six-yard box. Califf's first-touch header goes to Wolff in front of the goal at the six-yard line, who finishes with a one-touch header. U.S. leads, 1-0.
13th Minute: Howard steps outside of box to clear with his head on an attack from Honduras.
15th Minute: Donovan corner to wide-open McCarty standing in front of goal. McCarty's header beats the goalkeeper, but is cleared off the line by Julio Cesar Suazo.
17th Minute: Maynor Suazo's pass is received in stride by Oscar David Suazo, whose shot beats Howard, rushing off his line, but is barely over the crossbar.
19th Minute: Vagenas pass springs Donovan in right side of box. He leaves a ball for Beasley, rushing onto goal in the middle of the penalty area. Beasley's first-touch blast is speared by the 'keeper and rebounds to O'Brien, who shoots high.
20th Minute: U.S. foul gives Honduras a free kick from 25 yards, right of center. Pavon puts the free kick into the wall and it is cleared without a shot.
29th Minute: Oscar David Suazo takes a ball in the box from Maynor Suazo. Oscar David Suazo steps around Califf and on the right side of box, hits a solid one-timer from 11 yards to far left side netting, giving Howard little chance. The well-taken goal, the first surrendered by the U.S. in this competition, ties the score at 1-1.
Note: Both teams are playing aggressive attacking soccer, but most of the play the last several minutes are in the midfield. The runs that have penetrated each end of the field have not been organized attacks resulting in goal-scoring opportunities.
43rd Minute: Wolff drops a ball to Thorrington in the box. Thorrington carries to the endline and sends a cross on the ground towards Donovan in front of the goal, but Valladares cuts off the pass.
First Half Stats: (U.S./Honduras) Shots - 5/6, Saves - 2/2, Corners - 4/0, Fouls - 6/9, Offsides - 1/1.


46th Minute: U.S. Halftime Substitutes: Olsen and Denton replace Thorrington and Corrales.
50th Minute: Maynor Suazo shot from center of 18 yard line rebounds off defender to Oscar David Suazo on right side of box. Suazo turns and shoots wide right.
51st Minute: Wolff carries up right wing, gets around defenders and sends a cross from edge of box, leading Donovan by too much, 'keeper catches cross.
52nd Minute: Walter Lopez sends a shot from about 40 yards from goal on the right side, sails over crossbar.
55th Minute: Denton sends a cross from left side, outside of penalty area to far side of penalty area. Valladares jumps and catches the ball.
56th Minute: Julio Cesar Suazo sends a ball across box from left wing. Califf attempts a diving header to clear at near post, but the ball is out of his reach. Howard is caught changing directions to cover the center of the net as Oscar David Suazo heads a ball back to the near post, beating the 'keeper, giving Honduras a 2-1 lead.
Note: Today's attendance is 12,126 - total attendance for tournament is 50,032.
60th Minute: Corner for the U.S. is headed over the left corner of the net by Dan Califf.
64th Minute: Oscar David Suazo drops a pass in the box to Walter Lopez, who shoots right at Howard.
65th Minute: Olsen free kick on right side, headed wide by Wolff.
66th Minute: Beasley beats his defender and draws a corner, taken by Vagenas, which does not creat an opportunity for the U.S.
71st Minute: Cherundolo is cautioned for retaliation on a physical play.
72nd Minute: U.S. substitution: Chris Albright replaces Landon Donovan.
80th Minute: Vagenas shot from outside penalty area is caught up in a group of players a step into the box, among them Albright, who comes away with the ball and slips it to Wolff on the left side of the box. Wolff's touch is on goal and saved then collected by Valladares.
85th Minute: Montoya called for foul and cautioned 25 yards from goal for a play on O'Brien. O'Brien cautioned for approaching Montoya after the play. Oscar David Suazo is caution for failing to give ten yards on the free kick. U.S. does not create an opportunity from the restart as the kick is deflected by the wall.
89th Minute: Honduran substitution: Pavon is replaced by Turcios.
91st Minute: Beasley sends a cross from the left wing to McCarty in the far side of the penalty area. McCarty heads across the goalmouth, just before the 'keeper reaches the cross. Albright touches to control at the six yard box but is unable to get a shot.
92nd Minute: Olsen free kick from 35 is saved in center of goal by Valladares.

Last Updated: End of match.