L'ALCUNIA, Spain (Aug. 29, 2002) - The two teams that opened the XIX C.O.T.I.F. Torneig International Tournament in L'Alcunia, Spain, will close it when the U.S. and Brazil meet on Thursday night in the tournament final at 9:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. ET).
When the teams met in the opening game of the tournament, U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark received two yellow cards in the game’s first 34 minutes and was sent off. The U.S. played with only ten men for the remaining 46 minutes.
The U.S. went ahead in the 52nd minute when David Johnson freed himself at the far post to head home a cross from C.J. Klaas. Brazil began to take advantage of their one-man advantage and answered with goals in the 63rd and 66th minutes to post a 2-1 win.
Since that game the U.S. has scored 10 goals in three games, the most among any team. U.S. forward Mike Magee, who has only played in two of the team’s four games, leads the tournament with four goals.
The U.S. will play tonight without starting forward and co-captain Devin Barclay, who received his second and third cautions of the tournament in last night’s semifinal win over Uruguay. Tournament rules stipulate that a player must miss a game after receiving his third caution of the tournament.
Brazil will also be without a starter, as defender Daniel Alves received a one-game suspension for a red card in their semifinal match against Costa Rica.
In the semifinal round Brazil nearly squandered a two-goal halftime lead. Costa Rica evened the score with two goals in the second half,and goalkeeper Diego saved a penalty kick in regulation time before the game went into a penalty kick shootout. Brazil won 5-3 in the shootout.
The U.S. again went down to ten men, but rode an own goal, a Ned Grabavoy penalty kick and a brilliant individual effort from Eddie Johnson to a 3-1 win over previously undefeated and unscored upon Uruguay.
In classification games tonight that will take place before the U.S. meets Brazil in the final, Gabon and Ukraine meet in the 7th-place match, European powers Italy and Spain play for 5th place and Uruguay faces Costa Rica for third place.