The U.S. Under-23's dominated play from the outset, striking quickly in the sixth minute when the American frontrunners beat Armenia's offsides trap and raced on with a four-on-none advantage. Forwards Chris Albright and Conor Casey worked a give-and-go to perfection against helpless Armenian goalkeeper Haroutyan Abrahamyan, with Casey tapping it into an empty net.
Just ten minutes later, the Armenians equalized when midfielder Tigram Petrosyantz gathered the ball outside the penalty box and unleashed a 23-yard rocket that caught U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown off his line and flat-footed.
The U.S. had just one other solid scoring chance in the first half, but defender Ramiro Corrales' shot following a free kick from 25 yards sailed 10 feet wide of the near post in the 38th minute. Armenia had their own chance to pull ahead before the half in the 43rd minute when Armenia's possession in the box resulted in a shot by Arthur Petrosyan, whose blast sailed a few feet high of the crossbar.
Similar to the first half, the U.S. got on the board just minutes into the second stanza. The quick-bang play started with an inswinging corner kick from Corrales, who swerved it perfectly to the far post. Defender Chad McCarty leaped to head it the ball backwards, where it skipped through the box and past three U.S. players to the feet of midfielder Peter Vagenas, who sent a 25-yard blast into the back of the net in the 51st minute.
Team USA and Armenia traded off-target shots throughout the rest of the match and the U.S. had two goals called back for offsides before the Americans put a third goal on the scoreboard. As he was all day, Vagenas was the force behind the third goal, dribbling through two challenges as he charged on the offensive before laying the ball of to 17-year-old superstar Landon Donovan, who finished easily in the 90th.
The Americans next travel to Portugal for a foreign tour of three games from Jan. 21-30 and then spend Feb. 6-11 training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in which they will play three matches in six days, including a rare match against the full U.S. Men's National Team and two games against MLS clubs who will be in the area for MLS 2000 Spring Training.
Looming on the horizon is CONCACAF's Under-23 Men's Final Olympic Qualifying tournament, which will be played April 21-30 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Penn. The qualifying competition is currently entering its second stage of qualifying, with 12 teams making up three groups. The United States, as part of Group C, receives a bye into the final round of qualification as the host federation. The U.S. needs to finish as one of the top two teams in what will be a six-team final qualifying tournament in order to advance to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
2000 U.S. UNDER-23 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Armenia National Team|
|Venue:||The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)|
|Date:||January 16, 2000 - kickoff 4:30 p.m. (PT)|
|Weather:||65 degrees - Cool, Crisp|
USA - Conor Casey, (Chris Albright), 7,
ARM - Tigram Petrosyantz, (unassisted), 17,
USA - Peter Vagenas, (Chad McCarty), 51,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Peter Vagenas), 90.
USA - 1-Adin Brown, 21-Steve Cherundolo, 3-Chad McCarty, 2-Brian Dunseth (Capt.), 12-Ramiro Corrales; 16-John O'Brien, 8-John Thorrington, 13-DaMarcus Beasley, 10-Peter Vagenas; 22-Conor Casey, 9-Chris Albright (20-Landon Donovan, 65).
ARM - 16-Haroutyoun Abrahamyan, 2-Yervant Soukiassyan, 3-Vartan Khacthtryan (Capt.), 4-Rafayel Nazaryan, 5-Haroutyun Vatanyan, 6-Armen Bediguyan, 7-Arthur Petrosyan, 8-Tigram Petrosyantz, 10- Ara Hagopyan (15-Armand Karamyan), 13-Aram Hagopyan, 14-Ardavaszt Karamyan.
|Arthur Petrosyan (caution)||20,|
|Ramiro Corrales (caution)||55,|
|Vartan Khacthtryan (caution)||73,|
|Steve Cherundolo (caution)||83.|
Venue: The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
USA - CASEY, Conor, (ALBRIGHT, Chris), 7.
#4 - D, CHULIS Matt
#5 - M, WHITFIELD Evan
#6 - D, PARRA Carlos
#7 - D, CALIFF Dan
#9 - F, BROWN Chris
#11 - M, WINTERS Brian
#15 - F, WEST Brian
#18 - GK, HOWARD Tim
#19 - M, OTERO Antonio
#20 - F, DONOVAN Landon
#23 - M, VICTORINE Sasha
#24 - GK, KIRK Andy
#1 - GK, HOVANNESYAN Arthur
#9 - KHOJOYAN Felix
#11 - MKRTCHYAN Tigran
#15 - KARAMYAN Armand
#17 - SHAHPANDARYAN Vrey
1st minute - U.S. kicks off.
1st minute - U.S.: CASEY offsides.
4th minute - Foul by Armenia on right side near midfield.
5th minute - U.S. Corner by CORRALES cleared to sideline for throw. Another corner drawn.
6th minute - U.S. Corner by THORRINGTON, cleared with no shot.
7th minute - U.S. breakaway as they beat the offside trap, led by ALBRIGHT on right side. His pass across goalmouth is finished by CASEY for a goal. U.S. leads, 1-0.
11th minute - Direct kick awarded to Armenia on left side, about 25 yards from goal. The shot on second touch is well high over the crossbar.
15th minute - The U.S. has been largely controlling play in the midfield with each side occaisionally making runs into the opposing defense.
17th minute - Armenia: A shot from PETROSYANTZ Tigram (#8) from about 23 yards, just left of center, finds the far side of the goal, Tying the score at 1-1. Unassisted goal for PETROSYANTZ.
19th minute - ALBRIGHT freed on the left side in the box, shot wide left.
20th minute - Yellow card shown to Armenia's PETROSYAN Arthur.
24th minute - CHERUNDOLO carries from midfield to the 18 yard box and passes to CASEY on the left wing. CASEY is unable to control around two defenders on left side of box and ball is cleared without a shot.
26th minute - U.S. executes a give-and-go on the right side and the ball is crossed into CASEY in the box in front of goal, about 16 yards out. Trying to set-up left foot, an Armenian defender clears the ball from CASEY. Armenia carries into the U.S. side of the field on counterattack, but nothing comes from it.
31st minute - Armenia corner on left side by HAGOPYAN Aram, caught in the air by BROWN without a challenge.
33rd minute - Foul suffered by HAGOPYAN Ara just inside midfield on left side. Ensuing direct kick results in soft header from 17, easily saved by BROWN.
37th minute - Game is even, mostly being played in midfield.
39th minute - Foul drawn by THORRINGTON gives U.S. a free kick from about 30 yards. Shot taken by CORRALES, wide right.
Note: Fouls committed: U.S. 7, Armenia 6.
43rd minute - Armenia pressure in front of goal leads to three dangerous attempts, the first is a cross in front of goal, the ball is then sent back toward goal and blocked. The rebound goes to PETROSYAN, whose shot is high over crossbar.
45th minute - Armenia draws corner on counterattack. (Corners: U.S. 2, Armenia 2). Taken by HAGOPYAN Aram. Headed out by U.S. defender. Ball sent out to right wing and crossed, safely away from goal. BROWN leaves line to challenge cross and is unable to get a hand on the ball, but it safely sails to the far wing, where no Armenian player is in position to field the ball.
Note: Even in most stat categories: Shots, 3-3; Shots on goal, 1-1; Fouls, 7-7; Offsides, 2 for the U.S. and 0 for Armenia.
End of match.
Referee: PROCTOR Gerry (Canada)
Assistant Referee: REID Martin (Canada)
Assistant Referee: FEARN Simon (Canada)
Fourth Official: STOTT, Kevin (USA)