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U.S. Scores Early, Dispatches Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston to Remain Undefeated Against Reggae Boyz

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Wednesday, February 12, 2003) - The U.S. Men’s National Team downed Jamaica 2-1 behind two early goals from Carlos Bocanegra and Chris Klein in front of 27,000 fans at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The victory improved the USA’s lifetime record against Jamaica to 8-0-5 in 13 all-time meetings, including a 2-0-4 mark in six games in Kingston. Bocanegra finished the match with a goal and an assist.

“It was a good result and a good experience for our young players,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena.  “This is a long process and winning is not the bottom line, but to get a result in Kingston certainly gives the team confidence. This game looked a lot like a World Cup qualifier.”

In his first starting performance in the center of the U.S. midfield, Bobby Convey made an immediate early impact, winning a corner for the U.S. in the 11th minute and then sending a ball into the area that Bocanegra headed home from six yards out. For Bocanegra, the goal was his second in 10 appearances for the U.S., and his second in three games in 2003. The assist was Convey’s second on the year, coming in his sixth appearance for the MNT.

Just a few seconds after the opening goal, the Chicago Fire defender was at it again, this time earning his first MNT assist as he found Klein free at the top of the penalty area. Collecting the ball, Klein was able to rifle his powerful trademark shot inside the left post. Like Bocanegra, the goal was Klein’s second of the year (and the second of his career) and came in his 10th overall appearance.

“Carlos had a good solid performance tonight,” added Arena, “not only defensively, but he was able to get forward and contribute offensively.”

A young U.S. defense saw L.A. Galaxy defender Dan Califf and Kansas City Wizards standout Nick Garcia teamed centrally for the first time together for the senior team. Bocanegra, who had played in the middle alongside Califf in the USA’s two previous games this year, lined up on the outside left, while World Cup defender Steve Cherundolo played right back in his first appearance of the year.

The only goal surrendered by the U.S. came early in the second half when forward Onandi Lowe found the back of the net for Jamaica on a 30-yard rocket free kick that sailed into the upper left-hand corner of the goal, past a diving Tim Howard in the 54th minute.  The entire second half was much more physical than the first, with three yellow cards and 16 fouls being committed (11 by Jamaica).

U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley left the match in the 83rd minute with a deep bruise on his right shin.

“It was a good win for team morale, and it was important to leave a good impression on Bruce as we all depart for our club teams,” said Bocanegra about the 17 players on the U.S. roster set to join their Major League Soccer teams for preseason training. “The effort tonight showed that we can bounce back and play hard after a tough result.”

The U.S was playing their second match in five days, coming off a 1-0 loss to Argentina at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Saturday. Overall, the U.S. is now 2-1-0 on the year, having defeated Canada 4-0 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 18. Next up for the U.S. is a March 29 match-up with Japan at Seattle Seahawks Stadium in Seattle.

The USA is continuing its preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer, including a showdown with Turkey, Brazil and Cameroon at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France. The USA will then look to defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-27 in the United States. 

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

Participants:  United States Men's National Team vs. Jamaica
Date:  February 12, 2003
Competition:  International Friendly
Venue:  National Stadium – Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff:  7:00 p.m. ET
Attendance:  27,000 (est.)
Weather:  84, partly cloudy, humid

Scoring Summary:  1 - 2 - F
United States              2 - 0 - 2
Jamaica                       0 - 1 - 1

USA – Carlos Bocanegra (Bobby Convey), 11.
USA – Chris Klein (Carlos Bocanegra), 12.
JAM – Onandi Lowe (unassisted), 52.

USA — 18-Tim Howard; 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 3-Nick Garcia, 2-Dan Califf, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (8-Richard Mulrooney, 74), 17-Chris Klein (13-Steve Ralston, 46), 15-Bobby Convey; 10-Landon Donovan (20-Jeff Cunningham, 69); 9-Clint Mathis (capt.).
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 11-Taylor Twellman, 16-Pete Vagenas, 21-Brian Dunseth.

JAM — 13-Aaron Lawrence; 25-Claude Davis (17-Damien Francis, 76), 5-Ian Goodison, 14-Tyrone Marshall, 16-Craig Ziadie; 24-Robert Scarlett (6-Shane Crawford, 76), 20-Omar Daley (12-Jermaine Johnson, 73), 15-Ricardo Gardner (19-Fabian Taylor, 89), 11-Theodore Whitmore; 18-Deon Burton (9-Andrew Williams, 82), 31-Onandi Lowe.
Subs not used: 30-Donovan Ricketts, 4-Linval Dixon.

Stats Summary:   USA / JAM
Shot   7  /  10
Saves   5 /  3
Corner Kicks   4  /  2
Fouls   11  /  16
Offside   1  /  0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Pablo Mastroeni (caution), 51.
JAM – Deon Burton (caution), 57.
JAM – Craig Ziadie (caution), 61.

Referee: Godfrey Bowen (CAY)

Chevrolet Man of the Match:  Carlos Bocanegra