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USA Books Ticket to Sydney With Dominating 4-0 Win, Qualifies for Sixth Consecutive Olympics


HERSHEY, Pa. (Saturday, April 29, 2000) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team flexed its offensive muscle from end to end to post a very impressive 4-0 win over Guatemala, thereby earning a ticket to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney in front of a raucous crowd of 12,299 at Hersheypark Stadium tonight. By securing one of two CONCACAF berths, the United States has now qualified for its sixth consecutive Olympiad, dating back to the 1980 Games in Moscow.

The U.S. attacked from the opening whistle, scoring a goal in the 1st minute and adding two more goals in the first 22 minutes. Philadelphia native Chris Albright led the offensive attack, creating three of the four goals and pounding Guatemala goalkeeper Luis Pedro Molina with shot after shot, while 18-year-old star Landon Donovan, getting his first start in three tournament games, notched two goals that put the finishing touches on the all-important match.

"We felt our best chance tonight was to score early and jump on them from the start," said head coach Clive Charles about the offensive 4-3-3 line-up employed by the U.S. "But systems don't win games--players win games, and our players approached the game in a very professional manner. I'm very proud of this team."

With its third shutout of the tournament, the U.S. has yet to yield a goal and posted a plus-seven goal differential at the CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament.

The United States shed the skin of Tuesday's shutout with an explosive goal just 43 seconds into the match. A free kick from midfielder Peter Vagenas from 35 yards out found forward Chris Albright in the box, who headed it back towards the center of the penalty area. Midfielder John O'Brien moved in and half-volleyed an unstoppable rocket that scorched the back of the net.

Seven minutes later, Albright ran onto a soaring long ball by defender Ramiro Corrales, charged in on the dribble and sent a shot that Guatemala goalkeeper Luis Pedro Molina could only knock down. Running a few paces behind the play, Josh Wolff was able to easily finish the rebound in the 8th minute.

Guatemala had their best chance in the 12th minute when Freddy Garcia served a free kick from 25 yards out that forward Carlos Ruiz flicked on toward the far post. U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown used every inch of his giant wingspan to push the ball wide around the post.

A third goal came in the 22nd minute off a perfectly constructed set piece from just outside the penalty area. Hometown hero Ben Olsen played a soft free kick down the right side of the box to Josh Wolff, who crossed a low ball through traffic in front of the goalmouth. Albright was running in stride and baited the keeper and a defender with a dummy, allowing Landon Donovan to tap it home easily from point-blank range.

The U.S. produced a constant attack throughout the match, registering seven shots in the game's first 15 minutes and finishing the first half with an astonishing 19-2 shot advantage.

The Americans continued to pour it on in the second half, finally getting a well-deserved fourth goal the waning seconds of injury time. Second-half substitute Conor Casey shook a defender, carried the ball to the right side of the box, and sent a cross through the area. Olsen slowed his run through the middle to let the ball roll to Donovan, who met the ball in stride and struck it home.

With their goal of qualifying in hand and the champagne corks already popped, the U.S. will be playing for CONCACAF bragging rights when they lace up their boots for Sunday's championship match at 3:30 p.m. (ET) versus Honduras, who the U.S. beat 3-0 in their opening game on April 21. As with tonight's game, fans can visit the U.S. Soccer website (www.us-soccer.com) to receive to-the-minute live updates of the match.

After 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of "golden goal" overtime gone by, the exhausted Mexico and Honduras sides headed to penalty kicks locked at 0-0. Unlike their preliminary qualifying match on April 4 that ended in a 2-2 draw, this one had to have a winner. After Mexico's opening penalty kick hit the left post, Honduras finished all five of their chances to knock off the tournament favorites and delight the lively, blue-and-white flag-waving pro-Honduras section.

2000 U.S. UNDER-23 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Participants:U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Guatemala
Competition:Semifinal * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Friday, April 28, 2000 * kickoff 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Attendance:12,299
Weather:60 degrees - Clear, Pleasant

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
314
Guatemala
000

USA - John O'Brien, (Chris Albright), 1,
USA - Josh Wolff, (Chris Albright), 8,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Josh Wolff), 22,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Conor Casey), 91+.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Adin Brown; 12-Ramiro Corrales (7-Eric Denton, 84), 4-Danny Califf, 3-Chad McCarty (Capt.), 6-Steve Cherundolo; 10-Peter Vagenas, 5-John O'Brien, 14-Ben Olsen, 13-Landon Donovan; 11-Chris Albright (22-Conor Casey, 69), 16-Josh Wolff (9-DaMarcus Beasley, 70).

GUA - 1-Luis Pedro Molina; 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Luis Swisher, 13-Edin Lopez; 6-Uwaldo Perez, 8-Carlos Quinonez (17-Dwight Pezzarossi, 63), 14-Francisco Gonzalez (15-Andres Rivera, 46), 16-Gustavo Cabrera; 9-Carlos Ruiz (capt.; 18-Juli Ariz Leiva, 87), 10-Freddy Garcia, 11-Guillermo Ramirez.

Statistical Summary:USAGUA
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
279
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
313
Corner Kicks . . . . .
75
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
2521
Offside . . . . . . . . .
12

Misconduct Summary:
GUA
Gustavo Cabrera (caution)5,
USA
Peter Vagenas (caution)11,
GUA
Francisco Gonzalez (caution)21,
USA
Danny Califf (caution)23,
USA
John O'Brien (caution)59,
GUA
Guillermo Ramirez (caution)64,
USA
Steve Cherundolo (caution)66,
GUA
Edin Lopez (caution)73.


Participants:Mexico Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Honduras
Competition:Semifinal * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Friday, April 28, 2000 * kickoff 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Attendance:12,299
Weather:70 degrees - Sunny, Clear, Pleasant

Scoring Summary:1st2ndOTsFinalPKs
Mexico
00004
Honduras
00005

MEX - Rodriguez (left post), Marquez (goal), Perez (goal), Collazo (goal), Altamirano (goal).
HON - D. Suazo (good), Pavon (goal), M. Suazo (goal), Izaguirre (goal), Gutierrez (goal).

Lineups:
MEX - 12-Adrian Zermeño; 2-Edgar Solano (13-Hector Altamirano, 64), 3-Joaquin Beltran, 4- Rafael Marquez (capt.), 5-Gerardo Torrado; 6-Ignacio Hierro; 8-Adrian Sanchez (7-Luis Perez, 46), 9-Alejandro Nava, 10-Juan Pablo Rodriguez; 11-Daniel Osorno, 17-Emilio Mora (14-Jorge Collazo, 83).

HON - 22-Noel Valladares; 4-Junior Izaguirre, 5-Elmer Montoya, 19-Danilo Turcios, 2-Ivan Guerrero (capt.); 7-Maynor Suazo, 17-Mario Chirinos (11-Orvin Cabrera, 39), 3-Hector Gutierrez; 16-Hesler Phillips (9-Oscar David Suazo, 59), 18-Francisco Pavon, 14-Luis Ramirez (6-Walter Lopez, 106).

Statistical Summary:MEXHON
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
227
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
211
Corner Kicks . . . . .
143
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
2118
Offside . . . . . . . . .
12

Misconduct Summary:
MEX
Emilio Mora (caution)26,
HON
Mario Chirinos (caution)30,
MEX
Juan Pablo Rodriguez (caution)37,
MEX
Gerardo Torrado (caution)46+,
HON
Orvin Cabrera (caution)56,
MEX
Ignacio Hierro (caution)83,
MEX
Hector Altamirano (caution)100.


United States vs. Guatemala
CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament * Semifinal

Team12Total
United States 3 1 4
Guatemala 0 0 0

USA - O'Brien, (Albright), 1.
USA - Wolff, (Albright), 8.
USA - Donovan, (Wolff), 22.
USA - Donovan, (Casey), 91+.

United States

Starters:
G: 1--Adin Brown
D: 12--Ramiro Corrales (-84')
D: 4--Danny Califf
D: 3--Chad McCarty (Capt.)
D: 6--Steve Cherundolo
M: 5--John O'Brien
M: 10--Peter Vagenas
M: 13--Landon Donovan
F: 14--Ben Olsen
F: 11--Chris Albright (-69')
F: 16--Josh Wolff (-70')

Available Reserves:
G: 18--Tim Howard
D: 7--Eric Denton (+84')
M: 9--DaMarcus Beasley (+70')
M: 8--John Thorrington
M: 15--Brian Winters
F: 17--Conor Casey (+69')

Reserve (Unavailable):
D: 2--Brian Dunseth (Red Card Suspension)

Guatemala

Starters:
G: 1--Luis Pedro Molina
D: 3--Pablo Melgar
D: 4--Luis Swisher
D: 13--Edin Lopez
M: 6--Uwaldo Perez
M: 8--Carlos Quinonez (-63')
M: 14--Francisco Gonzalez (-46')
M: 16--Gustavo Cabrera
F: 9--Carlos Ruiz (Capt.) (-87')
F: 10--Freddy Garcia
F: 11--Guillermo Ramirez

Available Reserves:
G: 20--Jorge Gonzalez
D: 2--Adulfo Contreras
M: 7--Josue Merlos
F: 15--Andres Rivera (+46')
F: 17--Dwight Pezzarossi (+63')
F: 18--Julio Ariz Leiva (+87')

Reserve (Unavailable):
M: 5--Denis Chen

Match Highlights:


1st Minute: Guatemala kicks off.
1st Minute: Cherundolo fouled.
1st Minute: O'Brien takes pass back from Albright's header and slams home a shot from 20 yards. U.S. leads, 1-0. 44 seconds into the match.
2nd Minute: Olsen dribbles into box before being disposessed about 8 yards from goal.
4th Minute: Olsen pass frees Corrales up the left wing. His cross is blocked.
6th Minute: Guatemala's Cabrera is booked for a foul as Cherundolo streaked up the right side. U.S. free kick from 25 yards. Shot wide right.
8th Minute: Albright freed deep in left side of box on pass from McCarty, his shot from 12 yards is saved well by Molina.
8th Minute: Albright shot is saved and rebounds to Wolff, alone to convert from four yards. U.S. leads, 2-0.
Note: Albright's speed is opening the game up for the U.S. The Guatemalans have possessed the ball in the U.S. half of the field briefly, while the U.S. has had several solid opportunities, converting twice.
11th Minute: Vagenas cautioned for foul 30 yards from goal. Ruiz header flicked onto goal off Garcia's free kick. Shot to right post is saved, pushed wide of post by Brown. No opportunity off two corner.
13th Minute: Albright's header from 16 yards easily saved.
14th Minute: Vagenas called for foul in defensive third of field. Guatemala is offsides on the free kick.
Note: U.S. has seven shots in the game's first 15 minutes.
17th Minute: Cherundolo cross in box, controlled easily by Molina.
17th Minute: Corrales from left wing cross to Albright at the six yard box, his full-volley misses wide left.
19th Minute: Cherundolo fouled on right wing, just outside box, setting up Olsen free kick. McCarty, running onto far (left) post is called for a foul.
21st Minute: Landon Donovan makes a run up the midfield and is viciously tackled from behind, drawing a card for Guatemala's Gonzalez.
21st Minute: The ensuing free kick ends up at the feet of Wolff on the right side of the box. He sends a low cross through the box, which Albright dummies, allowing the ball to roll to an unmarked Landon Donovan who slams the ball into the net unmarked from four yards. U.S. leads, 3-0. (Olsen took the free kick to get the ball to Wolff.)
23rd Minute: U.S.'s Califf is cautioned.
25th Minute: Olsen free kick to Donovan at six yard box. His flick onto goal hits the crossbar and is cleared for a corner. No shot off corner.
26th Minute: Albright flicks ball to himself, over his defender and sends a low cross, through the box to Wolff, but the keeper intercepts the pass.
27th Minute: Olsen on the left side of the penalty area receives ball from right flank, beats his defender and chips over goal.
28th Minute: After sustained pressure from the U.S., Donovan chases down ball and sets up O'Brien, who leaves a ball for Albright who is disposessed, but U.S. maintains possession for a throw-in. Guatemala eventually clears.
Note: U.S. holds a 13-1 edge in shots.
34th Minute: Albright takes pass from Corrales in center of field at 18 yard box. He comes away from a scrap for the ball and shoots to far post, but it is saved.
36th Minute: Wolff shot from 18 on right side is saved easily by Molina.
37th Minute: Sustained possession by the U.S., featuring a nice run in the midfield from Donovan frees Corrales on left wing. His cross into the box is headed onto goal by Albright and is saved on the line by Molina.
38th Minute: Guatemala free kick from 25 yards, right of center is to the right post is saved by Brown. The second shot for Guatemala.
Note: U.S. has outscored its opposition 6-0 to this point in qualifying.
45th Minute: Ramirez nice run up the wing, his cross is deflected over the endline for a corner. No shot off corner.
45th Minute: Wolff takes pass from Corrales on right side and plays ball across box into open space.
46th Minute: Olsen flicks onto goal and Molina catches the ball after nice service from Corrales.
47th Minute: Corrales shot from left wing is punched into the air annd away from goal by Molina. Guatemala clears after a couple sloppy attempts.

END OF FIRST HALF


46th Minute: Guatemala sub: Rivera replaces Gonzalez.
Note: Tonight's attendance is 12,299, the highest turnout of the tournament.
49th Minute: Vagenas collects loose ball from 24 and sends a shot towards goal that is deflected for a corner. Califf called for foul on corner.
51st Minute: Crafty dribbling by O'Brien along endline on right side draws the fourth U.S. corner of the match. No opportunity off the corner.
54th Minute: Cherundolo fouled on defensive side of midfield drawing a card for Guatemala's Freddy Garcia.
55th Minute: Cherundolo overlapping up right wing draws a free kick from deep corner. A cross is cleared by defense.
56th Minute: On counterattack, U.S. called for foul at midfield. On free kick, Ramirez heads ball from left side of box to middle of box where Ruiz is called for a high kick on an attempted scissor kick that sailed high over the crossbar.
59th Minute: O'Brien is cautioned for a late tackle on Uwaldo Perez.
62nd Minute: Donovan shot from 15 yards is right at keeper, who catches it.
62nd Minute: Donovan steals clearance and sets up for another shot, but ball is poked to Albright who sends a shot to left post, but saved for corner.
63rd Minute: Dwight Pezzarossi enters match for Quinonez.
65th Minute: Ramirez carded for dissent after a goal is waived off because he was offsides.
66th Minute: Cherundolo is cautioned for a hard foul 30 yards from goal on Ramirez.
69th Minute: U.S. Substitution: Conor Casey replaces Albright.
70th Minute: U.S. Substitution: Beasley replaces Wolff.
71st Minute: Garcia free kick from 25 yards is shot on goal and saved by Brown, giving a corner. Swisher header off corner is wide left.
72nd Minute: Beasley displays his speed in beating Lopez to a long ball on left wing. Lopez is cautioned after taking down Beasley.
74th Minute: Cherundolo takes down a Guatemalan striker on the counterattack. Perez shot from top of arc is high.
Note: Guatemala has shown improved attacking in the second half, getting off five shots after just two attempts in the first half.
77th Minute: Vagenas springs Olsen on right wing, perfectly placed cross to Casey, who forces Molina to make a brilliant save to avoid a goal. U.S. maintains pressure after a corner.
78th Minute: U.S. draws another corner, taken by Olsen to Beasley at the top of the 18. The official gets in his way and Guatemala is able to clear. Beasley speeds back to break up counterattack.
79th Minute: Hard foul on McCarty by Pezzarossi gives U.S. a free kick just beyond midfield.
80th Minute: U.S. continues to periodically put pressure on the Guatemalan defense with several strong passing sequence, without many true shots.
82nd Minute: Pezzarossi gets free on right wing and carries into the box, Brown comes off his line and stuffs the ball at his feet just beyond the six-yard box.
83rd Minute: Olsen sets up Donovan, who dances with the ball and drops it to Vagenas who rips a shot from 23, it is blocked and Casey collects it just beyond the box, who sends a high shot over the crossbar.
84th Minute: Eric Denton replaces Ramiro Corrales.
86th Minute: Casey wins corner at the back post from Olsen and heads a shot, saved near the right post.
87th Minute: Ariz Leiva replaces Ruiz.
89th Minute: The U.S. has shifted its focus to maintaining possession and keeping the opposition scoreless.
91st Minute: Conor Casey shakes his defender on the right wing and carries into box, near the six-yard box and sends a cross into the box. Olsen slows his run and allows the ball to pass him for Donovan to finish, his second goal of the match. U.S. leads, 4-0.

Last Updated: End of Match.

Note: The United States advances to the 2000 Olympic Soccer Tournament in Australia this September and will face Honduras in Sunday's Championship game. Honduras eliminated Mexico with a 5-4 victory in a penalty kick shootout this evening after playing a scoreless match for 90 minutes, plus 30 minutes of "Golden Goal" overtime.

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