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U.S. Posts Dominating 2-0 Win Against El Salvador in Gold Cup Opener


FOXBORO, Mass. (Saturday, July 12, 2003) — Goals on either side of halftime by Eddie Lewis and Brian McBride led the United States to a dominating 2-0 victory against El Salvador in their opening group match of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The win will be broadcast via tape-delay Sunday, July 13th at 7 p.m. ET on Galavision.  With the victory, the U.S. needs only a draw against Martinique to advance to the quarterfinal round.

“Overall, I think it was a good team effort,” said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena, who improved his lifetime Gold Cup record to 7-0-2.  “We probably made the game a little bit more difficult than we needed to.  I give El Salvador a lot of credit.  They are a much-improved team over the one we saw in last year’s tournament.  Again, another good experience for us.  It was good to get Claudio Reyna back on the field and some of our other veteran players. Hopefully we can continue to improve in each game of the tournament.”

The U.S. enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, with El Salvador rarely venturing into the U.S. end of the field.  With El Salvador sweeper Marvin Gonzalez playing several yards deep, the U.S. was able to take advantage of the space and continually send balls in behind the marking backs. The team’s first quality chance came in the 6th minute, with a long looping ball played behind the Salvadorean defense.  As Earnie Stewart raced towards the box to catch up, goalkeeper Juan Gomez hesitated before coming off his line.  Stewart was the first to arrive, but his point-blank shot was well stopped by Gomez.

The USA continued to press the attack, nearly getting the first goal just two minutes later.  Eddie Lewis’ cross from the left flank was poorly cleared by the Salvadorean defense, leaving Pablo Mastroeni open at the top of the box.  Mastroeni banged a first-time volley that smacked flush off the crossbar and bounded away.

Eddie Lewis would finally open the U.S. scoring account in the 28th minute.  Playing a pass into the feet of Brian McBride, who was stationed at the top of the box, Lewis ran past the Salvadorean defense in a delayed give-and-go.  With only the ‘keeper to beat, Lewis struck a right-footed blast that found the far-side netting.  Coming in his 50th appearance for the United States, Lewis now has tallied five career goals for the MNT, with two of those finishes coming in 2003.

Lewis would have one final chance before the halftime whistle.  Receiving the ball 25 yards out and dead center from goal, he cleverly tried to chip the ball over Gomez, who had wandered several yards off his goal line.  The dipping shot narrowly missed falling under the crossbar. The U.S. would finish the half with six shots, with El Salvador unable to manage a single shot on goal.

Returning to the starting lineup was longtime captain Claudio Reyna, who made his first appearance in the starting XI for the United States since the 2002 World Cup.  Reyna turned in 60 solid minutes for the U.S., demonstrating the passing touch and ability to dictate the pace of a game that has become his trademark.  Reyna was replaced by Clint Mathis, who made an impact just seconds after entering the game.  His first touch of the match came on another long, flighted ball over the top of the defense.  Twelve yards from goal, Mathis unleashed a first-time, dipping volley that skimmed to the top of bar.

Chevrolet Man of the Match Brian McBride doubled the U.S. lead in the 76th minute.  Steve Ralston, who came on for Earnie Stewart in the 71st minute, raced down the right flank and turned the corner just inside the penalty area.  He whipped a perfect cross onto the head of the onrushing McBride, who hammered a header home to give the U.S. a 2-0 advantage.  With his 21st career international goal, McBride is now tied for third place on the all-time U.S. scoring list with Bruce Murray.

Earning a shutout, U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller has now recorded five consecutive shutouts in Gold Cup play, dating back to January 21, 2002.  Holding 31 career shutouts, Keller is one shy of the all-time U.S. mark set by Tony Meola.  The U.S. improved its all-time record against El Salvador to 10-1-4, and has amassed an astonishing 15-0-0 record all-time in Gold Cup group play.

The U.S. will conclude group play Monday night evening against Martinique.  The first-ever meeting between the nations takes place July 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Foxboro, with that match scheduled to be broadcast live on Galavision.  All of the USA’s matches can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

- U.S. Men's National Team Game Report -

Match-up: United States Men's National Team vs. El Salvador
Date:  July 12, 2003
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group C
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Mass.
Kickoff:  6:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 33,652
Weather: 82 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary:    1        2     F
United States             1        1    2
El Salvador                 0        0    0

Scoring:
USA    Eddie Lewis (Brian McBride)            28th minute
USA    Brian McBride (Steve Ralston)            76

Lineups:
USA (4-4-2): 18-Kasey Keller; 3-Greg Vanney, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 12-Danny Califf, 2-Frankie Hejduk; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (11-Clint Mathis, 60), 7-Eddie Lewis (15-Bobby Convey, 83), 8-Earnie Stewart (19-Steve Ralston, 71); 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride
Subs not used: 24-Adin Brown, 4-Cory Gibbs, 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 22-Richard Mulrooney

SLV (3-4-3): 22-Juan Gomez (capt.); 5-Victor Velasquez, 3-Marvin Gonzalez (4-Julio Castro, 90), 19-Alfredo Pacheco; 18-Gilberto Murgas, 2-William Torres, 24-Guillermo Moran, 11-William Torres Alegria (7-Ramon Sanchez, 44); 14-Rudis Corrales, 12-Juan Campos (8-Santos Cabrera, 74), 9-Diego Mejia
Subs not used: 1-Henry Hernandez, 17-Carlos Menjivar, 6-Oscar Navarro, 15-Alexander Ochoa


Stats Summary:     USA    SLV
   Shots                    10        10
   Saves                    2         3
   Corner Kicks        2         6
   Fouls                   16        13
   Offsides               1          2

Misconduct Summary:
SLV –    Santos Cabrera                    78th minute
USA -    Danny Califf                         90

Referee: Mr. Felipe Ramos (MEX)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Vladimir Bertiaga (PAN)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Rafael Herrera (MEX)
Fourth Official: Mr. Roberto Moreno (PAN)

Chevrolet Man of the Match: Brian McBride

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