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U.S. Men vs. Peru (Gold Cup - Group B): Prematch Notes


MIAMI (Tuesday, February 15, 2000) -

HAITI DRAW WITH PERU GUARANTEES QUARTERFINAL SPOT FOR USA:
Thanks to the draw between Haiti and Peru at the Orange Bowl on Monday night, the United States has already booked a spot in the quarterfinal stage of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The United States battle with Peru on Wednesday night will take on added significance as the two teams fight for the top spot in Group B. A win or a draw by the United States will secure first place in the group. Should the United States finish on top of the group, the opponent will be the second place team from Group A (either Colombia or Honduras), in a game to be played at 3:00 p.m. ET at the Orange Bowl on Saturday. A second place group standing would mean a pairing with the Group A winner at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

PERU SCOUTING REPORT:
Peru finished 1999 on a roll, losing only once in its last seven international games. Peru finished the year with a 5-3-5 overall mark and was led by midfielder Norberto Solano's five goals, while goalkeeper Oscar Ibáñez registered four shutouts and a 1.47 goals-against-average in 12 matches. Other top players are forward Flavio Maestri and midfielder Roberto Palacios. Maestri, who plays for Universidad de Chile, is the top striker on the team with nine international goals, including four game- winners. Palacios is a versatile midfield player who is equally comfortable attacking or defending. He is also currently ranked among Peru's all-time leaders in goals (14, seventh-place) and international appearances (67, sixth-place).

NEW COACH FOR PERU:
Colombian Francisco Maturana, who also coached Ecuador and recently Costa Rica, was named Peru's Head Coach late last year. He took over the squad in the early winter of last year and has coached the team in two matches (vs. Slovakia, Honduras) prior to the Gold Cup. Maturana also coached Colombia during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.A., and is assisted by Pedro Zape of Colombia, Cesar Gonzales, Teddy Cardama (both from Peru) and former Peruvian National Team Player Julio Cesar Uribe.

PERU 1999 RESULTS:

Dec. 1Honduras0-0 TLima, Peru
Nov. 17Slovakia2-1 WLima, Peru
July 10Mexico3-3 T^Asuncion, Paraguay (Copa America)
July 5Paraguay0-1 LAsuncion, Paraguay (Copa America)
July 2Bolivia1-0 WAsuncion, Paraguay (Copa America)
June 29Japan3-2 WAsuncion, Paraguay (Copa America)
June 23Venezuela3-0 WLima, Peru
June 20Venezuela0-3 LValencia, Venezuela
June 17Colombia3-3 TManizales, Colombia
June 6Japan0-0 TTokyo, Japan (Kirin Cup)
May 30Belgium1-1 TTokyo, Japan (Kirin Cup)
February 17Ecuador2-1 WGuayaquil, Ecuador
February 10Ecuador1-2 LLima, Peru
^Mexico wins on penalty kicks 

LIFETIME SERIES:
Peru holds a slim 2-1-1 lead over the U.S. and have outscored the Americans 5-1 in their last two encounters. The U.S. has not beaten Peru since June 4, 1989, a 3-0 win at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS VS. PERU:

DateResultSiteU.S. goal scorers
January 17, 19970-1 LSan Diego, Calif. -
October 16, 19961-4 LLima, PeruDario Brose
May 26, 19930-0 TMission Viejo, Calif. -
June 4, 19893-0 WEast Rutherford, N.J.Brian Bliss, Bruce Murray, Tab Ramos

LAST MEETING:
The U.S. were shutout, 1-0, by Peru in the opening game of the U.S. Nike Cup '97 on January 17, in front of a sellout crowd of 35,232 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Midfielder German Carty headed in the game-winner for Peru in the eighth minute off a well-driven cross by forward Alex Magallanes from the right wing. The U.S. tried to level the score in the second half, and outshot Peru 8-4, but could not finish its chances as Roy Lassiter, Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones and Brian McBride narrowly missed equalizing opportunities.

TWO SURVIVORS FROM '91 GOLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP SQUAD:
Goalkeeper Tony Meola and forward Eric Wynalda are the only two players on the current U.S. roster that were active members of the 1991 Gold Cup Championship Squad. Meola was the starting 'keeper for the Americans and posted three shutouts while earning MVP honors in '91. Wynalda made five starts and scored against Guatemala in a 3-0 victory in Pasadena on July 1.

WYNALDA MAKES GOLD CUP HIS STOMPING GROUND:
Eric Wynalda continued his tremendous success in the bi-annual tournament with his ninth Gold Cup goal, against Haiti, on February 12. Wynalda is the only American to have played every Gold Cup match for the United States, and has scored for the U.S. during each of the five CONCACAF competitions. The U.S. is a perfect 8-0 when Wynalda scores during Gold Cup.

NOW WYNALDA OWNS ASSIST RECORD, TOO:
With a pair of assists to start the year (on Lewis' goal against Chile and Kirovski's goal against Haiti), forward Eric Wynalda has taken the all-time assist lead for the United States with 16. Wynalda's total eclipses the 14 assists earned by Tab Ramos, and the 13 collected by Cobi Jones. In addition to his new assist record, Wynalda holds the U.S. National Team's all-time goal scoring record with 34 international goals, and has scored at least on goal in eleven consecutive years.

JONES EXTENDS POINT STREAK WITH GOAL AGAINST HAITI:
Cobi Jones' last-minute goal against Haiti (his second goal in two games) extended his current point-scoring streak to three games, and gives him a chance to become the first U.S. player to net a goal in three consecutive games since Willy Roy hit the triple in consecutive games against Canada (twice) and Mexico in 1972. William Looby owns the U.S. record for consecutive games with a goal, scoring in four straight between January 14, 1954 and August 25, 1955.

GOLD CUP EXPERIENCE ABOUNDS FOR USA:
Eric Wynalda has started every U.S. Gold Cup match since the tournament began play in 1991. With nine goals in the 19 games played by the United States, Wynalda has the distinction of being the only U.S. player to have scored in every one of the five Gold Cup tournaments. Cobi Jones ranks second on the Gold Cup appearance list for the USA, appearing in 13 matches, followed by John Harkes, with 10 Gold Cup caps to his credit. Jones has started the last nine consecutive games in the bi-annual tournament. Tony Meola leads all U.S. goalkeepers with 10 starts in goal. Six of Meola's starts resulted in shutouts by the United States. Nine of the 18 players on the initial Gold Cup roster have previous experience in the tournament.

AMERICANS RIDING 11-GAME WINNING STREAK IN GOLD CUP FIRST ROUND:
The U.S. is the only CONCACAF team to win all of its first round games since the inception of the Gold Cup Championship in 1991. The Americans have won 11 consecutive first round games and have outscored their opponents 25-7. The winning streak includes sic shutouts, seven one-goal victories and three come-from-behind wins.

GOLD CUP OVERVIEW:
The twelve teams competing in the 2000 edition are:

  • Defending champions: Mexico
  • Host team: United States
  • UNCAF champions: Costa Rica
  • UNCAF qualifiers: Guatemala and Honduras
  • CFU champions: Jamaica (1998) and Trinidad & Tobago (1999)
  • Playoff qualifiers: Canada and Haiti
  • Invited teams: Colombia, South Korea and Peru

Groupings are as follows:

Group A - Jamaica, Colombia, Honduras - Miami
Group B - USA, Peru, Haiti - Miami
Group C - Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago - San Diego
Group D - Costa Rica, South Korea, Canada - Los Angeles

USA, IRELAND, MEXICO AND SOUTH AFRICA TO BATTLE FOR 7th U.S. CUP:
Staged annually by the Federation as U.S. Soccer's premier men's event, Nike U.S. Cup 2000, featuring the National Teams of Ireland, Mexico, South Africa and the USA, will kick off on Saturday, June 3, with the U.S. Men's National Team taking on South Africa at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. live on ABC at 4 p.m.ET. The four-team, six-match tournament will also see matches played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Foxboro Stadium in New England and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, before concluding with a classic doubleheader on Sunday, June 11 at Giants Stadium outside New York City, featuring the U.S. battling arch-rival Mexico live on ABC at 1 p.m. ET and Ireland taking on South Africa at 3:30 p.m. ET. In six past tournaments, the U.S. has a 7-7-3 all-time record in 17 games against Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, England, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Portugal.

KELLER INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE DINNER:
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who has been honored twice in the last three year's as U.S. Soccer's Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year, will join the king and queen of Spain at a royal dinner at the White House on Feb. 23. After eight years in England, Keller transferred to Spanish First Division club Rayo Vallecano last summer and has helped the small Madrid club make its mark after being promoted following the 1998-99 season. "This is a great honor," said Kasey Keller. "I thought it was a joke at first, but when I realized it wasn't I was very happy. It's not every day you get the chance to have dinner at the White House."

U.S. MEN TO MEET TUNISIA AT LEGION FIELD IN BIRMINGHAM ON MARCH 12:
The United States Men's National Team will play an international friendly versus African Nations Cup semifinalist Tunisia in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, March 12, 2000, at Legion Field. Kickoff for the game, which will broadcast live on ESPN2, is set for 1:30 p.m. CT. The marquee match-up marks the first-time in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team program that the USA has played an international match against Tunisia, although the U-23s did face Tunisia in the exact same venue in the 1996 Olympics, winning 2-0. The game will be just the fifth ever for the U.S. against an African nation, the previous four coming against Morocco and Nigeria (twice each). Tickets are available through TicketMaster at 800/277-1700.

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