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Pennsylvania Standouts Albright and Olsen Unite to Lead U.S. U-23s to 3-0 Victory in Their Opener of Olympic Qualifying Tournament


HERSHEY, Pa. (Friday, April 21, 2000) - In what could only be described as a storybook win, the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team used two goals from Philadelphia native Chris Albright and two assists from Middletown native Ben Olsen to produce an impressive 3-0 opening round win over Honduras and please the parka-packing crowd of 11,229 in the first night of competition in the CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament at Hersheypark Stadium. Add an important assist and a game- clinching goal from second-half sub John Thorrington, and the trio was responsible for all of U.S. team's notches on the scoreboard.

"Well, it was good to get that one under our belts, wasn't it?," remarked head coach Clive Charles, whose team improved to 4-2-0 against Honduras after losing the previous two contests. "I thought the boys played well tonight. Adin (Brown, U.S. goalkeeper) was absolutely outstanding in goal and our substitutions worked out well for us."

It was only fitting that the two products of the state of Pennsylvania played the role of heros in what amounted to a state-wide homecoming. The pair, who are also teammates at D.C. United and both played collegiate soccer at the University of Virginia, connected to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute. The play started when defender Ramiro Corrales changed course in the backfield to elude two attackers and sent a long ball right down the heart of the field. The ball was poorly cleared to the feet of Olsen, who reared back and flung a cross into the box that Albright ran on to with an outstretched leg and knocked it home.

It was clear from the opening seconds of the second half that Honduras intended to push everyone forward in an attempt to earn the equalizer. Honduras started the second half with two offensive substitutions, and it paid immediate dividends, as the Central American side mounted a seemingly endless series of attacks. Other than a breakdown that resulted in a point-blank shot by second-half sub Hesler Phillips that was expertly saved by U.S. netminder Adin Brown, the Americans stifled everything that was thrown at them during a tense span of 15 minutes. Brown, who made five big saves against a dangerous Honduras team, repeatedly came off his line, often to the edge of the box, to kick or punch away threatening balls to help preserve the shutout.

After the 65-minute mark, the U.S. had weathered the storm and regained the majority of the play in the midfield. Two key substitutions--defensive midfielder Brian Winters for attacking midfielder Peter Vagenas and midfielder Thorrington for DaMarcus Beasley--helped the U.S. pull away.

While Winters had a calming effect on the defense, the fresh legs of Thorrington sparked the offense on the right flank. The second goal manifested itself when the German-based player tracked down a Ramiro Corrales ball on the right wing, and sent it floating across the goalmouth. Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares fought through traffic to punch the ball out but to the feet of Albright, whose one-touch strike ricocheted off a defender and inside the right post.

The third and final U.S. goal was a textbook give-and-go, with Thorrington dishing the ball of to Olsen, then timing his run to beat the offside trap and touching a shot home for his first international goal on the U-23 level after a perfect through ball.

The U.S. next faces Canada in the nightcap of the doubleheader this Tuesday (April 25), with kickoff again set for 8 p.m. (ET). If the U.S. comes away victorious, they win the group and advance to play the second place finisher of Group E in one of two semi-finals on April 28 (Friday). 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.

In Group E action from the first game, Guatemala used two goals from speedy forward Carlos Ruiz to survive a comeback from Panama and a short-lived 68th minute equalizer by Antonio Ortega.

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

Participants:U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Honduras
Competition:Group D * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Friday, April 21, 2000 * kickoff 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Attendance:11,229
Weather:65 degrees - Cool, Crisp, Wet

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
123
Honduras
000

USA - Chris Albright, (Ben Olsen), 37,
USA - Chris Albright, (John Thorrington), 77,
USA - John Thorrington, (Ben Olsen), 85.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Adin Brown; 12-Ramiro Corrales, 2-Brian Dunseth (capt.), 3-Chad McCarty, 21-Steve Cherundolo; 13-DaMarcus Beasley (8-John Thorrington, 67), 10-Peter Vagenas (15-Brian Winters, 73), 16-John O'Brien, 14-Ben Olsen; 22-Conor Casey (16-Josh Wolff, 80), 9-Chris Albright.

HON - 22-Noel Valladares; 8-Jamie Rosales, 4-Junior Izaguirre, 5-Elmer Montoya (11-Orvin Cabrera, 46), 19-Danilo Turcios; 2-Ivan Guerrero, 7-Maynor Suazo, 17-Mario Chirinos (13-Carlos Oliva, 69), 3- Hector Gutierrez (16-Hesler Phillips, 46); 18-Francisco Pavon, 14-Luis Ramirez.

Statistical Summary:USAHON
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
177
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
57
Corner Kicks . . . . .
84
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
209
Offside . . . . . . . . .
22

Misconduct Summary:
HON
Mario Chirinos (caution)34,
HON
Jaime Rosales (caution)39,
USA
Ramiro Corrales (caution)67,
USA
Brian Dunseth (caution)68,
USA
Chad McCarty (caution)74.

Participants:Panama Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Guatemala
Competition:Group E * CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Hersheypark Stadium (Hershey, Pa.)
Date:Friday, April 21, 2000 * kickoff 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Attendance:11,229
Weather:65 degrees - Cool, Crisp, Wet

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
Panama
011
Guatemala
112

GUA - Carlos Ruiz, (Guillermo Ramirez), 27,
PAN - Antonio Ortega, (Manuel Torres), 68,
GUA - Carlos Ruiz (unassisted), 81.

Lineups:
PAN - 1-Oscar MacFarlane; 3-Luis Moreno, 4-Ubaldo Guarda, 5-Ricardo Paschal (Capt.), 7-Mario Mendez; 8-Alberto Blanco, 9-Roberto Brown, 10-Alberto Zapata (17-Anel Canales, 83), 11-Victor Piggott Herrera; 12-Manuel Torres, 16-Mauricio Aparicio (14-Antonio Ortega, 37).

GUA - 1-Luis Pedro Molina; 3-Pablo Melgar, 4-Luis Swisher, 5-Denis Chen, 6-Uwaldo Perez; 8-Carlos Quinonez, 9-Carlos Ruiz (Capt.; 2-Adulfo Contreras, 90), 10-Freddy Garcia (7-Josue Merlos, 84), 11- Guillermo Ramirez (17-Dwight Pezzarossi, 76); 13-Edin Lopez, 16-Gustavo Cabrera.

Statistical Summary:PANGUA
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
66
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
21
Corner Kicks . . . . .
23
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
1216
Offside . . . . . . . . .
21

PAN
Alberto Blanco (caution)44,
PAN
Manuel Torres (caution) 46+,
GUA
Gustavo Cabrera (caution) 54,
PAN
Alberto Zapata (caution) 57,
GUA
Uwaldo Perez (caution) 59,
GUA
Luis Swisher (caution) 80,
GUA
Carlos Ruiz (caution) 84.


United States vs. Honduras
CONCACAF 2000 Olympics Qualifying Tournament * Group D

Attendance:11,229

Team 1 2 Total
United States 1 2 3
Honduras 0 0 0

USA - Albright, (Olsen), 37.
USA - Albright, (Thorrington), 77.
USA - Thorrington, (Olsen), 85.

United States

Starters:
G: 1--Adin Brown
D: 12--Ramiro Corrales
D: 2--Brian Dunseth (Capt.)
D: 3--Chad McCarthy
D: 6- Steve Cherundolo
M: 9--DaMarcus Beasley (-67')
M: 5--John O'Brien
M: 10--Peter Vagenas (-73')
M: 14--Ben Olsen
F: 17--Conor Casey (-80')
F: 11--Chris Albright

Available Reserves:
G: 18--Tim Howard
D: 4--Danny Califf
D: 7--Eric Denton
M: 8--John Thorrington (+67')
M: 15--Brian Winters (+73')
M/F: 13--Landon Donovan
F: 16--Josh Wolff (+80')

Honduras

Starters:
G: 22--Noel Valladares
D: 8--Jaime Rosales
D: 4--Junior Izaguirre
D: 5--Elmer Montoya (-46')
D: 19--Danilo Turcios
M: 2--Mario Ivan Guerrero (Capt.)
M: 7--Maynor Suazo
M: 17--Mario Chirinos (-69')
M: 3--Hector Gutierrez (-46')
F: 18--Francisco Pavon
F: 14--Luis Ramierez

Available Reserves:
G: 1--Belarmino Rivera
D: 6--Walter Lopez
F: 11--Orvin Cabrera (+46')
M: 13--Carlos Oliva (+69')
D: 15--Julio Cesar Suazo
F: 16--Hesler Phillips (+46')

Reserve (Unavailable):
F: 9--Oscar David Suazo

Match Highlights:


1st Minute: Honduras kicks off, U.S. gains possession on the left side of the field.
2nd Minute: Brown collects long through ball at edge of box. U.S. maintaining possession in opening minutes of match.
3rd Minute: Corrales heads long ball to Brown.
3rd Minute: Conor Casey dribbles through midfield, slots pass to Albright but too long.
4th Minute: Nothing comes from U.S. free kick.
5th Minute: Dunseth cross from right wing controlled by keeper, lightly pressured by Casey.
6th Minute: Strong Honduran passing forces Corrales to clear the ball for a throw in.
6th Minute: Honduras corner taken by Pavon, kick goes out of bounds for goal kick.
8th Minute: Cherundolo fouls Chirinos on left side at midfield.
9th Minute: Maynor Suazo takes ball from Vagenas and takes the game's first shot, from 35 yards, which does not challenge Brown.
11th Minute: Brown steps out of box to clear with his foot.
12th Minute: Turcios slides ball into box and Brown beats the Honduran forward to the ball at the edge of the box.
13th Minute: Casey carries to midfield, leads Olsen, who running full-speed, hits a low shot from 18 that the keeper collects.
16th Minute: Play is even and physical in the midfield. Neither team has been able to break-out with an opportunistic run.
17th Minute: Ramirez beats Dunseth, freeing him into the box. Brown is well-positioned and Ramirez's shot from 14 yards out on the right side, to the far post, goes wide left. Best scoring chance so far in the match.
18th Minute: On a right wing attack by Honduras, Dunseth does well to stop it by sliding clearance back to Brown, in front of the goal.
20th Minute: 30-yard free kick on right side by Ben Olsen is headed back into the mix by Chad McCarty at the far post, but is safely cleared after a U.S. foul ends offensive foray.
23rd Minute: Albright creates corner by aggressively pursuing ball in the Honduran back. Well-placed Olsen corner cleared poorly by goalkeeper, but cleared safely by a defender.
24th Minute: 28-yard free kick caught easily by Brown in front of the goal.
26th Minute: Beasley throw-in flicked on by Albright on left side near post, clear by Honduras intercepted by O'Brien, who earns a corner kick when his cross attempt is deflected over the goal by a defender.
26th Minute: A Honduran player is briefly examined for injury, but is quickly back into the back.
27th Minute: Olsen corner headed down dangerously by O'Brien. Goalkeeper out of position, but U.S. can't get a shot on goal before defense clears.
28th Minute: Olsen controls on right side off throw-in, sends dangerous cross along endline, but no true shot off the opportunity.
29th Minute: Olsen, Beasley, Cherundolo combination play. Dangerous Cherundolo cross from right wing is just ahead of Casey and Albright, running onto goal.
32nd Minute: Despite U.S. dominance, shots even at 2-2 after 32 minutes.
34th Minute: Left wing attack between Casey and Dunseth, Dunseth sends a ball across the field to Cherundolo streaking up the right side of midfield. Cherundolo's 22-yard shot to near post is just wide.
34th Minute: Chirinos yellow card on left side of Honduran midfield.
35th Minute: Attack up right wing, Gutierrez sends cross into goalkeeper's area flicked onto goal by Ramirez. Brown jumps to catch the high ball.
37th Minute: Corrales from the back, in his own penalty area. After eluding two defenders, plays long ball up middle of field 40-yards to Olsen. Olsen beats a defender, freeing him up the right wing. His well-paced pass into the penalty area is hit inside the right post by D.C. United teammate and fellow-UVA product Chris Albright from 10 yards for a goal. U.S. Leads, 1-0.
39th Minute: Rosales receives yellow card for foul on Albright on left side.
41st Minute: Excellent combination play by U.S. sees ten consecutive passes free Peter Vagenas for a shot from 20 yards that is deflected wide right for a corner. Nothing from the corner.
43rd Minute: Casey outstrengths two defenders dribbling through penalty area, his dangerous shot to the far post is deflected just wide for a corner.
44th Minute: A dangerous opportunity up the right side for Honduras is for naught when a forward is caught offsides.
45th Minute: The official has indicated there will be two minutes of stoppage time.
47th Minute: Albright steals from Pavon in the midfield and streaks aheads of defense from midfield to the edge of penalty area and drills a hard shot on target, but Valladares saves on reflex. The rebound goes to Casey, but he is unable to work clear from defender and is called for a foul.
Note: (halftime stats) U.S./HON Shots: 6/3, Saves: 2/2, Corners: 5/1, Fouls: 10/6, Offsides: 0/1.

HALFTIME


46th Minute: Honduran substitutes: Phillips for Gutierrez, Cabrera for Montoya.
48th Minute: Pavon breaks free deep on right side of penalty area and plays dangerous cross across goalmouth, which Brown punches clear. Honduras maintains possession and frees substitute Phillips for a direct shot on goal from 8 yards, which Brown again is able to save and clear.
50th Minute: Honduras looks like a new team to start the second half and is taking its play at the U.S. defense.
56th Minute: Dangerous soft looping ball to edge of penalty area forces Adin Brown to quickly commit and come off his line. He beats three players to punch low ball safely away at edge of penalty area.
58th Minute: Olsen switches ball from right wing to left for an onrushing Beasley who hits a well-placed box into the penalty area for Conor Casey. Casey's challenge on the goalkeeper results in a collision, but he is whistled offsides. A Honduran player is briefly attended to after the collision, but remains in the game.
61st Minute: Honduras maintains possession in their offensive end of the field. After steady possession, Honduras draws a free kick from 25 yards on the right side. After two free kicks, the ball is cleared to a Honduran defender, whose shot from long range is snared by Brown to end the period of pressure.
62nd Minute: Beasley flick-on from Brown frees Albright on left wing. He beats his defender on dribble, unloads shot from 18 yards, but it is easily handled by goalkeeper Valladares.
65th Minute: Olsen floats a cross from right wing to top of penalty area. The keeper bobbles his catch in front of Albright, but recovers before facing a serious challenge.
67th Minute: Corrales receives a yellow card for a foul about 30 yards from goal on the left side. Free kick to far post is punched clear by Brown.
67th Minute: Dunseth yellow card on right side of defense. Nothing from free kick.
67th Minute: U.S. Substitution: Thorrington replaces Beasley. Thorrington takes position in the right midfield and Olsen switches to Beasley's spot on the left side.
69th Minute: Honduran Substitution: Oliva replaces Chirinos.
71st Minute: Brown again is quick to come off his line to control a ball on the ground which is dangerously played into his box.
73rd Minute: U.S. Substitution: Winters in for Vagenas.
74th Minute: Yellow card: McCarty (U.S.).
75th Minute: Olsen collects loose ball alone in midfield and unleashes a hard low shot from 25 yards that the keeper is forced to dive and push wide at left post. U.S. corner is easily cleared.
77th Minute: Corrales at center circle leads a streaking Thorrington on the right wing. Thorrington carries deep on right side and sends a cross into the box. The keeper punches the ball to top of penalty area, where Albright hits a hard shot to goal. It is unintentionally deflected, but not enough to set it off course. Albright's second goal of the night gives the U.S. a 2-0 lead.
81st Minute: Corrales overlapping up left wing, he passes to Albright who touches once and leaves the ball back for Corrales left of the center of the field two strides into the box. Corrales hit a shot to near post on his first touch, but Valladares saves the strong effort.
85th Minute: The U.S. gets the ball to Olsen, who leads a counterattack against the fatigued defense, Thorrington adjusts his run to stay onsides and Olsen feeds him at the top of the box. His shot from 16 yards beats the goalkeeper, putting the U.S. ahead by a three-goal margin, 3-0. Olsen has two assists and Thorrington picks up his first goal at the U-23 level.
89th Minute: Albright has a run down right wing, but pulls back and starts a sequence in which the U.S. works the clock and passes the ball in their offensive half of the field, achieving 15 straight touches before losing possession.
90th Minute: The official has indicated there will be 2 minutes of stoppage time.
91st Minute: Shot by Corrales from 20 yards is just over the crossbar.

Last Updated: End of Match.

Final Stats: (USA/HON) - Shots: 17/7, Saves: 5/7, Corners: 8/4, Fouls: 20/9, Offside: 2/2.


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