FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Oct. 15, 2003) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team downed Haiti 1-0 on Wednesday night in front of a raucous crowd of 9,715 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. The Columbus Crew's Edson Buddle scored in the 68th minute on an assist from Eddie Johnson, the goal coming on a restart after a Haitian handball just outside the penalty area. Johnson's Dallas Burn teammate D.J. Countess earned the shutout in the nets for the U.S., registering three saves.
The game was the USA's final preparation before the team starts CONCACAF Qualifying play for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The U.S. begins qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 15, with a road match at St. Kitts & Nevis, who defeated Dominica by a 4-1 aggregate score last week in their first round series. The U.S. will then return home to complete the second leg of the second round series on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at a site to be determined.
The eight teams who advance out of the second round will head to Mexico from February 2-12, 2004, to compete in two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group earning a spot in the single elimination semifinals. The two finalists of the 2003 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament will receive the confederation’s two automatic berths for Athens 2004.
The U-23s have gathered just three times in 2003, posting a 3-1-3 record on the year.
The USA's starting line-up featured 10 professionals from Major League Soccer, including three from D.C. United. Three of the four second-half substitutes also play in MLS, with the fourth, David Testo, being the A-League Rookie of the Year for the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer Leagues. World Cup star Landon Donovan did not start the match for the U.S., but played the final 30 minutes as a second-half sub. Defender Chris Wingert of St. John's University was the only collegian in the line-up.
-- U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Haiti
Date: October 15, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Lockhart Stadium – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
Haiti 0 0 0
USA – Edson Buddle (Eddie Johnson) 68th minute
USA — 1-D.J. Countess; 12-Chris Wingert, 17-David Stokes, 6-Nat Borchers, 3-Ricky Lewis; 15-Brian Carroll (13-Seth Trembly, 74), 21-Kyle Martino (10-Landon Donovan, 60), 5-Kyle Beckerman, 23-Eddie Johnson (7-Casey Schmidt, 87); 14-Edson Buddle, 11-Alecko Eskandarian (9-David Testo, 46)
Subs not used: 18-Josh Saunders, 4-Nelson Akwari, 8-Jordan Stone
HAI — Not Available
Stats Summary: USA HAI
Shots 8 10
Saves 3 5
Corner Kicks 2 5
Fouls 17 11
Offside 4 4
USA – Edson Buddle (caution) 19th minute
USA – David Stokes (caution) 85th
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Edson Buddle