U.S. MNT Advance to Next Round of 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying With 3-2 Win Over Grenada
USA 1, GRN 0
USA 1, GRN 1
USA 2, GRN 1
USA 3, GRN 1
USA 3, GRN 2
- U.S. to Open Semifinal Round on Aug. 18 in Jamaica
- Donovan Scores First World Cup Qualifying Goal, and Adds Assist
- Earnie Stewart Becomes Eighth MNT Player to Hit 100 Caps
- U.S. to Battle Poland in Final Preparation Match on July 11 in Chicago (6 p.m. ET, ESPN)
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada (June 20, 2004) — The U.S. Men's National Team defeated Grenada 3-2 on a rainy Sunday afternoon in St. George's, Grenada to glide into the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying with a 6-2 aggregate series victory over the Caribbean nation. Landon Donovan paced the way for the U.S. in the second leg with a goal and an assist in front of 15,267 fans at Grenada's National Cricket Stadium.
The game got off to a quick pace, despite the rain-soaked field playing havoc with the ball and the player's footing. In the sixth minute, Donovan scored from the center of the penalty area on a perfect pass from Claudio Reyna, who dropped the ball back to the forward from the end line after being played into the area from Josh Wolff. Donovan calmly slotted the ball past two defenders and Grenada goalkeeper Kellon Baptiste to register his first career World Cup qualifying goal.
"The first goal is always important," said Donovan after the match. "You don't want to give them a chance and scoring early makes them open up a lot. On my goal, Claudio (Reyna) got it wide and Brian (McBride) crashed the net, so Claudio is smart enough to see that and dropped it back to me and it was basically an open net."
Just six minutes after Donovan's opening tally, Grenada snapped the USA's shutout streak at 393 minutes across the last six games with a penalty kick goal from Jason Roberts. Roberts slammed his shot home after defender Pablo Mastroeni was whistled for a foul moments earlier on a ball sent into the area from midfield.
The U.S. regained the lead for good in the 19th minute, with Josh Wolff scoring from close range on an assist from Donovan, who had collected Brian McBride's headed shot off the crossbar seconds earlier.
The teams exchanged goals in the second half just 60 seconds apart with Beasley tallying his team-leading fourth goal of the year through the legs of Baptiste on an assist from Earnie Stewart. That goal was followed by a close finish from Grenada's Ricky Charles after Grenada captain Anthony Modeste had fired in a low cross from the right flank.
For Stewart, who came into the match in the 63rd minute, the appearance marked his 100th international appearance for the U.S., making him the eighth player in U.S. Men's National Team history to reach that plateau. A veteran of three previous World Cups, the match extended his World Cup qualifying U.S. appearance record to 29 total games. In contrast, the match saw four other players pick up their first-ever World Cup qualifying appearances: starters Bobby Convey, Cory Gibbs and Pablo Mastroeni, and second-half substitute Kerry Zavagnin.
"This is one of the numbers that I do care about," said Stewart after the game in response to a question about the fact he has never been a big 'numbers' guy. "It's a great honor to be part of an elite group that reaches 100 caps. Not many people have that opportunity and I'm glad I did. … I felt pretty much that after the World Cup it would be over, but I got closer again. And once you get closer it becomes something you would like to accomplish. We don't have much say in it because the coach has the final say, but in the end it is a fantastic honor for me."
Statistically, the U.S. dominated the match with a 22-6 edge on shots and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks. Kasey Keller made just one save in goal for the U.S. as he extended his record win total for the United States to 39 in 70 overall appearances.
"It was a good game," said U.S. manager Bruce Arena after the match. "I thought the field conditions made it difficult for both teams. These games tend to be games of mistakes. You need to be alert for 90 minutes.
"I give the team from Grenada a lot of credit. They fought hard and did a terrific job. At the same time I congratulate our team for winning both games. It was a good experience for our young players. We're pleased. It's the type of game that helps us get ready for the next round."
With the series victory, the U.S. now prepares for the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying, which opens in Jamaica on Aug. 18. The six-game, round-robin group continues with the U.S. at home on Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass., against El Salvador, and on the road on Sept. 8 in Panama. The four-team group concludes with a road game on Oct. 10 (El Salvador) and then consecutive home games on Oct. 13 (Panama) and Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio (Jamaica).
Next up for the U.S. is a match on July 11 against Poland at Chicago's Soldier Field (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), the team's final preparation match before the semifinal round begins.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report –
Match-up: USA vs. Grenada
Date: June 20, 2004
Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Second Round, Second Leg (U.S. won first leg, 3-0)
Venue: National Cricket Stadium – St. George's, Grenada
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees, light rain
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
Grenada 1 1 2
USA – Landon Donovan (Claudio Reyna) 6th minute.
GRN – Jason Roberts (penalty kick) 12.
USA – Josh Wolff (Landon Donovan) 19.
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (Earnie Stewart) 77.
GRN – Ricky Charles (Anthony Modeste) 78.
USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 12-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey (3-Greg Vanney, 88); 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (5-Kerry Zavagnin, 80), 14-Chris Armas, 21-Landon Donovan, 17-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Brian McBride, 16-Josh Wolff (8-Earnie Stewart, 63).
Subs not used: 24-Jonny Walker, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Steve Cherundolo, 11-Jovan Kirovski.
GRN: 1-Kellon Baptiste; 11-Anthony Modeste (capt.), 5-Franklin Baptiste, 14-Brian Benjamin, 15-Kennedy Phillip (21-Kitson Bain, 59), 10-Ricky Charles; 16-Byron Bubb (19-Ricky Morris, 89), 9-Shalrie Joseph (23-Arkenson Neckles, 65), 20-Anthony Bedeau, 12-Patrick Modeste; 30-Jason Roberts.
Subs not used: 31-Desmond Noel, 2-Eric George, 8-Nigel Bishop, 13-Everett Watts.
Stats Summary: USA GRN
Shots 22 6
Saves 1 7
Corner Kicks 10 4
Fouls 13 18
Offside 4 2
USA – Claudio Reyna (caution) 11th minute.
GRN – Brian Benjamin (caution) 18.
GRN – Brian Benjamin (caution) 55.
GRN – Brian Benjamin (ejection) 55.
GRN – Byron Bubb (caution) 68.
GRN – Ricky Charles (caution) 68.
GRN – Patrick Modeste (caution) 89.
USA – Cory Gibbs (caution) 90.
Referee: Neil Brizan (TRI)
1st Assistant: unavailable
2nd Assistant: unavailable
Fourth Official: unavailable
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Landon Donovan