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U.S. Under-20 MNT Beat Jamaica 4-0 in Sunrise, Fla.

SUNRISE, Fla. (April 22, 2004) – St. Louis University forward Will John scored two goals and provided one assist as the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Jamaica 4-0 for their second victory against the Reggae Boyz in three days at the Sunrise Hilton in Sunrise, Fla. The victory is the third straight shutout for Thomas Rongen’s squad during their weeklong camp in South Florida, as they defeated both Jamaica and Haiti Select 1-0 earlier in the week. 

The U.S. will hold a practice tomorrow in the morning and then play their final match of the camp when they face Haiti Select for the second time on Saturday, April 24.

“This was a little bit better performance than our first meeting with Jamaica,” said Rongen. “In this match we did a better job of finishing and I thought we were a little tighter in the back that enabled us to get our third shutout of the week. We’re still working on some things, but I’m looking forward to our final game against Haiti and hopefully end the camp on a high note.”

In the beginning of the match Jamaica was controlling the flow of play and pressing the U.S. backline, but similar to their first match, the Reggae Boyz settled for opportunistic shots from 30 yards out or further. After two long bombs that went way high and wide in the first 15 minutes, Dean Thompson got behind the defense in the 19th minute and tried to give Jamaica an early lead. Receiving the ball just inside the 18-yard box, Thompson’s attempt on goal was blocked as U.S. ‘keeper Justin Hughes came off his line and did well to dive low to his left to make the save.

The U.S. took control of the match in the 27th minute, getting their first of three goals in a span of nine minutes. Forward Kamani Hill pushed the ball out wide right to Stuart Holden, who got around a defender on the flank and served in a low cross to the front of the net for a streaking John. With two defenders around him John got a foot to the service, flicking it to the left side netting past the helpless keeper.

The Under-20s doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Jimenez put in a measured cross off a free kick at the right corner to the near post finding Hill, who raced in unmarked and with a slight touch of his foot, redirected the ball just inside the far left post.

A minute later, Jimenez got a goal of his own. After Jamaica lost the ball off the kick-off, the U.S. pushed it up the middle of the field where John collected the ball, turned upfield and beat three lunging defenders before laying it off to his left for Jimenez at to top of the penalty area. With Jamaican ‘keeper Ralston Robinson sprinting off his line, Jimenez coolly chipped the ball over his head, dropping the ball just under the crossbar.

Just before the half, John almost got his second of the game when he hit a well-struck ball from 20-yards out that Robinson just got a piece of to parry over the bar.

In the second half, the flow of the play slowed down considerably as both sides got a bit sloppy and committed a number of fouls.

The U.S. got their final tally of the game in the 71st minute when second half substitute Michael Bradley, Rongen’s only sub of the match, chipped in a ball from his central midfield position finding John, who had made a diagonal run from the right side. With Robinson off his line, John took the ball out of the air with his foot and knocked it past the stone-footed ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

Jamaica had its best chance to get on the board two minutes later when Keneil Moodie dribbled through a gap in the U.S. defense on the right side of the penalty area an hit a shot from 16 yards out. Hughes got a piece of it, but it deflected behind him and was bouncing toward the goal line before Patrick Phelan raced back and cleared it off the line, knocking into fellow defender Tim Ward, who was also sprinting back on the play, in the process.

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Competition: Friendly
Location: Sunrise Hilton; Sunrise, Fla.
Date: April 21, 2004
Weather: Warm; 85 degrees
Scoring Summary:
                                                1st     2nd     Final
United States                            3        1          4
Jamaica                  0        0          0

USA – Will John (Stuart Holden)            27th minute
USA – Kamani Hill (Christian Jimenez)        34th
USA – Christian Jimenez (Will John)        35th
USA – Will John (Michael Bradley)        71st

USA – 24-Justin Hughes; 23-Kevin Long, 2-Patrick Phelan, 15-Brandon Owens, 3-Tim Ward; 6-Erik Ustruck (9-Michael Bradley, 46), 12-Stuart Holden, 21-Christian Jimenez, 17-Mike Orozco; 16-Will John, 20-Kamani Hill.
Subs not used: 1-Andrew Kartunen, 4-Eddie Gaven, 8-Craig Capano, 9-Michael Bradley, 10-Arturo Alvarez, 11-Freddy Adu, 13-Jamie Watson, 18-Stephen Sandbo.

JAM – 30-Ralston Robinson; 19-Jermaine Taylor, 23-Ricardo Taylor (14-Adrian Reid, 41), 31-Keiron Bernard,; 20-Nicholi Rindlayson (9-Laton Shelton, 41), 6-Keneil Moodie (5-Rodolph Austin, 41), 7-Duran Myton (22-Rafe Wolfe, 46), 11-Akeem Priestley, 8-Howard Wong (18-Ricardo Cousins, 62); 10-Richard West, 21-Dean Thompson
Subs not used: 1-Ryan Thompson, 17-Merrick Howard

Statistical Summary:
                          USA          JAM
Shots                  10              13         
Shots on goal     6                6
Saves                  6                2                  
Corner Kick        3                2            
Fouls                  12              17           
Offside                2                2            

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Nicholi Rindlayson (caution)         10th minute
JAM – Rodolph Austin (caution)            52nd
USA – Christian Jimenez (caution)            78th