FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (January 18, 2003) - The U.S. Men's National Team thumped Canada 4-0 at Lockhart Stadium this evening to open their 2003 campaign in impressive fashion. Landon Donovan had two assists in earning Chevrolet Man of the Match honors.
"We took them out of the game early, and that is what you want to do," said Donovan after the match. "We have a lot of good young players on this team and they did well. Ben Olsen is back and playing very well, so that helps us, and Bobby (Convey) did a great job doing what he had to to be on the field and contribute."
The U.S. jumped out to a 3-0 first-half lead behind the first international goal of defender Carlos Bocanegra's career (coming on a corner kick from Convey in the 7th minute) and goals just 51 seconds apart from Clint Mathis and Chris Klein in the 31st and 32nd minutes, respectively.
Mathis' goal came on a nifty diagonal through ball from Donovan for the 11th strike of his international career. Along with his eight career assists, the 26-year-old striker has amassed an impressive 30 points in just 27 appearances and moved into the top 10 all-time U.S. MNT scoring list.
For Klein, appearing in his eighth match for the U.S., the goal was his first in international play. Jeff Cunningham earned the assist on Klein's tally after attracting three Canadian defenders to himself on a dribbling run toward the edge of the box, and then somehow slipping the ball into empty space at the top of the penalty area for the unmarked Klein to easily slot past Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld.
The final U.S. goal began with a build-up on the left side from second-half substitutes Steve Ralston and Ben Olsen, with the ball eventually finding its way to Donovan in the right side of the box. The 20-year-old forward sent a perfect ball across the goalmouth and behind the Canadian defense to an unmarked Ralston crashing in on the goal. Ralston easily roofed his shot from five yards out, with Olsen right behind him also awaiting the pass.
Convey lined up as left back for the U.S. alongside Dan Califf, Carlos Bocanegra and Sasha Victorine, marking the first time that the recently anointed 2002 Chevy Young Male Athlete of the Year had ever started a professional or international game on defense.
The victory for the U.S. improved their lifetime record against Canada to 10-8-8 dating all the way back to 1925. In more recent match-ups, though, the U.S. 6-0-4 in their last 10 games against their northern neighbors, recording eight shutouts in their last nine meetings. The four-goal outburst marked the first time the U.S. had scored as many as four goals against Canada since back-to-back 6-1 victories in 1925 and 1926.
The U.S. Men’s National Team resumes training camp on January 26 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton in preparation for a pair of upcoming friendlies. The U.S. will host two-time World Cup champion Argentina on Feb. 8 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., at 12 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 before travelling south to face Jamaica just four days later at the National Stadium in Kingston at 2:30 p.m. ET. Both games can be followed live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, brought to you by Philips Electronics.
The USA is continuing its preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer. Eight teams from the around the world, led by 2002 World Cup champions Brazil, will compete for the FIFA Confederations Cup championship from June 18-29 in France. The USA will then look to defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-27 in the United States.
USA-CANADA GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Canada
Date: January 18, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Lockhart Stadium - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 52 degrees; chilly, clear
1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
Canada 0 0 0
USA - Carlos Bocanegra (Bobby Convey) 7th minute.
USA - Clint Mathis (Landon Donovan) 31.
USA - Chris Klein (Jeff Cunningham) 32.
USA - Steve Ralston (Landon Donovan) 61.
USA - 18-Tim Howard (24-Nick Rimando, 46); 15-Bobby Convey (15-Pete Vagenas, 68), 4-Carlos
Bocanegra, 2-Dan Califf, 12-Sasha Victorine (3-Nick Garcia, 77); 25-Pablo Mastroeni (8-Richard
Mulrooney, 36), 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 17-Chris Klein (13-Steve Ralston, 46), 21-Landon Donovan;
9-Clint Mathis (Capt.) (11-Taylor Twellman, 68), 20-Jeff Cunningham (14-Ben Olsen, 46)
Subs not used: None.
CAN - 1-Lars Hirschfeld; 3-Carl Fletcher, 4-Tony Menezes; 5-Richard Hastings, 6-Chris Pozniak,
7-Atiba Hutchinson, 8-Daniel Imhof, 2-Tam Nsawila, 9-Sita-Taty Matondo (15-Chris Williams, 68);
10-David Xausa (16-Rob Friend, 62), 11-Maycoll Canizalez.
Subs not used: 22-Pat Onstad, 12-Kevin Harmse, 13-Marco Reda, 14-Winston Marshall
USA / CAN
Shots 11 / 9
Saves 4 / 3
Corner Kicks 5 / 6
Fouls 15 / 20
Offside 2 / 7
CAN - Atiba Hutchinson (caution) 50th minute.
Referee: Rodolfo Sibrian (SLV)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Vladimir Fernandez (SLV)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Gilberto Gonzalez (SLV)
Fourth Official: Mr. Ali Saheli (USA)