U.S. Defeats Trinidad & Tobago, 2-0, on Goals from Razov & Stewart
With the win, the USA remains in first place with a 4-0-1 record and 13 points in the CONCACAF standings for the final round of World Cup Qualifying. The top three teams in the six-team group advance to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
"We feel pretty good to have 13 out of a possible 15 points after five games," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, who improved to a MNT-best 7-1-3 record in World Cup Qualifying. "We're getting close to being in the 'Big Dance.'"
U.S. forward Ante Razov, starting just his third match of 2001, got his first goal of the year and the first goal of the match less than two minutes from the opening kickoff. U.S. defender Jeff Agoos, who was named Chevrolet Man of the Match, dropped a perfectly placed long ball from the left side to Razov behind the Trinidadian defense. Razov then unleashed a left-footed blast between the outstretched arms of T&T goalkeeper Clayton Ince and the inside of the far post.
U.S. midfielder Earnie Stewart gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead in the 20th minute when he collected a bungled pass from Trinidad & Tobago defender Marvin Andrews and raced in on goal before slotting the ball past Ince. With the goal, which is his team-leading third of the year, the versatile 31-year-old veteran became the all-time leading goal scorer in World Cup qualifying history for the United States with seven total goals, passing U.S. Soccer legend Willy Roy. Six of those seven all-time qualifying goals have come during the 2002 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
"We did a lot of work to pressure them defensively and pick-up some loose balls," said U.S. midfielder and team captain Claudio Reyna, who was suspended for the next match after earning his second yellow card caution of the final qualifying round. "Earnie's goal was just great; he worked hard to pick up that ball and that is the kind of hard work we needed tonight."
The victory marked a number of extremely impressive milestones for the U.S. Men's National Team and its all-time history, including a record home-unbeaten streak in World Cup Qualifiers that improved to a remarkable 19 games (14-0-5). The U.S. is now unbeaten in its last nine straight qualifiers, with only one loss in the last 17 of 18 matches. In addition, the team's current unbeaten streak is now 10 in all competitions.
The shutout was the team's eighth in its last nine qualifiers and marked U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller's fifth consecutive qualifying shutout. Keller made five saves in the match, including a great parry of T&T forward Dwight Yorke's far post shot in the first half.
Bruce Arena's squad will reconvene Monday, June 25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to continue preparations for the upcoming qualifier against Mexico on Sunday, July 1 at the famed Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The match will be televised live on Telemundo at 1 p.m. ET, and tape delay on ESPN at 4.p.m. ET.
The match will mark the first time in U.S. Soccer history that ESPN has acquired the English-language broadcast rights for an away qualifier in Mexico. With two other road games scheduled for broadcast in September and October, fans of the U.S. men will have seen 7 of 8 road qualifiers broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with the eighth going to fans live on pay-per-view.
2001 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago|
|Competition:||CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (Final round)|
|Venue:||Foxboro Stadium (Foxboro, Mass.)|
|Date:||June 20, 2001 - Kickoff 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||86 degrees (Humid)|
USA - Razov (Agoos), 2.
USA - Stewart (unassisted), 20.
USA - 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Steve Cherundolo, 23-Eddie Pope, 12-Jeff Agoos, 6-David Regis; 14-Chris Armas, 22-Tony Sanneh, 8-Earnie Stewart, 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.); 11-Ante Razov (9-Joe-Max Moore, 71; 17-John O'Brien, 88), 19-Jovan Kirovski.
Subs not used: 1-Brad Friedel, 3-Gregg Berhalter, 13-Cobi Jones, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 20-Brian McBride.
TRI - 21-Clayton Ince; 4-Marvin Andrews, 17-Dennis Lawrence, 13-Ansil Elcock; 5-Reynold Carrington (6-Avery John, 46), 8-Angus Eve, 3-Dale Saunders, 11-Brent Rahim (9-Arnold Dwarika, 55), 10-Russell Latapy (Capt.); 14-Stern John (20-Mickey Trotman, 74), 19-Dwight Yorke.
Subs not used: 1-Shaka Hislop, 12-Carlos Edwards, 16-Lyndon Andrews, 18-Gary Glasgow.
TRI - Brent Rahim (caution), 43.
USA - Claudio Reyna (caution), 52.
TRI - Stern John (caution), 66.
Referee: Ali Bujsaim (United Arab Emirates)
Assistant Referee #1: Nasser Abdulla Al Hammadi (United Arab Emirates)
Assistant Referee #2: Hussain Abul Hasan (United Arab Emirates)
Fourth Official: Abdalaziz Al Mulla (United Arab Emirates)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Jeff Agoos.