GERMANTOWN, Md. (Novermber 19, 2003) -- The U.S. Under-23 Men's National advanced to the final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tonight by virtue of a 4-0 win and 10-0 aggregate goal edge over the visiting St. Kitts & Nevis tonight in front of 1,085 drenched fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex. While the U.S. again dominated its opponent, the resilient Sugar Boyz fought admirably and didn't let the winter cold and driving rain affect their performance.
The U.S. was led by Richmond Kickers forward David Testo, who struck for goals in the 3rd and 62nd minutes and later assisted on a Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew) goal to give the squad a commanding 3-0 lead in the 87th minute. With his five-point performance, the A-League Rookie of the Year equaled his scoring total for the entire year and finishes 2003 as the team's leading scorer with four goals and two assists for 10 points.
Second-half substitute Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) added an insurance goal in the 94th minute, converting a penalty kick that he earned after being brought down in the box after a dribbling run down up the left endline.
As in Saturday's 6-0 win in the first leg of the second round, home-and-home series, the U.S. commanded play from the outset, finishing with a 29-4 shot advantage and an 8-0 edge on corner kicks.
Eight players with ties to D.C., Maryland or Virginia started the game, with David Stokes (D.C. United) and Olney (Md.) native Oguchi Onyewu (RAA Louviere) in central defense, Crofton (Md.) native Kyle Beckerman, Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian and Brian Carroll (all three of D.C. United) in midfield, and Testo (Richmond Kickers) up top. D.C. United goalkeeper Doug Warren was called on to make just two saves for the shutout. Former Univ. of Virginia standout Martino came on for Convey in the 46th minute to make it nine players of the 14 that appeared tonight with local ties.
The U.S. joins Panama (who downed St. Lucia 13-1 on aggregate earlier this month), Canada (who defeated El Salvador 5-4 in penalty kicks after a 1-0 win tonight that made it a 1-1 aggregate score) and the Honduras/Haiti winner (Honduras led 1-0 after the first leg) in Group A of the eight-team, final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying at two venus in Guadalajara, Mexico from Feb. 2-12, 2004. In Group B, the host nation will welcome Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and the winner of Costa Rica-Guyana series (Costa Rica leads 7-0; the second leg will be played on Sunday). The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, where the two winners will earn CONCACAF's two berths to Athens 2004.
The 16-team 2004 Olympic Soccer competition will be played across five venues -- Athens, Volos, Heraklio (on the island of Crete), Thessaloniki and Patras -- from August 11-19.
The team is set to re-group at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as part of a week-long camp from Dec. 12-19 that will run concurrently with the full U.S. Men's National Team camp. The team will then start the new year with an extended training camp alongside the U.S. MNT in Carson in January and be together for most of the month leading up to the competition in Mexico.
U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team Game Report
Participants: United States vs. St. Kitts & Nevis
Competition: CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying – Second Round (Second Leg)
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex – Germantown, Md.
Date: November 19, 2003 – 7:30 p.m. local
Weather: 55 degrees; rainy, gray, cool
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
St. Kitts & Nevis 0 0 0
USA – David Testo (Edson Buddle) 3rd minute.
USA – David Testo (Kyle Beckerman) 62.
USA – Kyle Martino (David Testo) 87.
USA – Eddie Gaven (penalty kick) 94.
USA (4-4-2): 18-Doug Warren; 12-Chris Wingert (8-Jordan Stone, 81), 17-David Stokes, 4-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Ricky Lewis; 5-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alecko Eskandarian, 15-Brian Carroll, 10-Bobby Convey (Capt.; 21-Kyle Martino, 46); 9-David Testo, 14-Edson Buddle (22-Eddie Gaven, 60).
Subs Not Used: 1-D.J. Countess; 6-Nat Borchers, 7-Ricardo Clark, 23-Eddie Johnson.
Head Coach: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick.
SKN (4-4-2): 1-Kayian Benjamin; 2-Jason Joseph, 3-Sheldon Lawrence (Capt.), 5 Thrizen Leader (16-Ajani Millard, 84), 6-Keithroy Eddy; 8-Atiba Harris, 10-Jason Lake, 11-Shashi Isaac (18-Zevon Archibald, 79), 7-Alister Warner; 9-Jevon Francis, 12-Dachan Jarvis (17-Aiden Nurse, 63).
Subs Not Used: 4-Alrich Edwards, 13-Oge Samuel, 14-Stephen Clarke, 15-Jahren Leader.
Head Coach: Elvis "Star" Brown.
Statistical Summary: USA SKN
Shots 29 4
Saves 2 8
Corner Kicks 8 0
Fouls 11 12
Offside 7 3
SKN – 6-Keithroy Eddy (caution) 55th minute.
SKN – 7-Alister Warner (caution) 67.
USA – 11-Alecko Eskandarian (caution) 78.
USA – 21 Kyle Martino (caution) 90.
Referee: William Mattus Vega (CRC)
Assistant Referee #1: Efrain Rodriquez Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee #2: Erick Mora Setura (CRC)
Fourth Official: Walter Enrique Quesada Cordero (CRC)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: David Testo
U.S. U-23 MNT head coach Glenn Myernick:
On what players from this camp might make the Olympic roster:
"It's all about next year. The Olympics is in August and I don't have to pick the team until July, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have a very difficult task in Mexico ahead of us."
On some of the players that impressed him during this most recent camp:
"Even though we've only seen him a little bit, Eddie Gaven is a good soccer player. He has a young, bright future for us."
"Edson Buddle is a talent. He didn't have a good game tonight, and he was one of the players -- and he'll be the first to admit it -- that it was a little bt sloppy, but if you look at Edson's numbers throughout the MLS season and per minute play, his numbers were as good as anybody's in the league. I'm hoping that he can have an injury-free season leading up to all of this next year, because he's certainly, I think, a key player for us."
"Kyle Beckerman had an outstanding season for the Colorado Rapids. He has a great attitude, he has a great engine, he only knows how to play the game one way. He's going to play a 3v.3 pick-up game the same way he's going to play when he slips on the National Team jersey. He's a terrific competitor, and he's a nice guy to have on your team."
(On Kyle Martino and his goal)
"That's just a great individual effort there. Kyle's capable of that, and he's a talented player. I thought otnight he made some good plays. I think consistency is the thing that I know the staff, both with the full team and the Under-23s, that's always something we talk about with Kyle: what happens in between those neat plays that he makes."
Forward David Testo
On what he thinks his chances are of making the team, especially with the impending return of U.S. MNT players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley:
"Basically, I just try to do as well as I can in each camp, fill in wherever I can, and earn my spot (on the field). I know Donovan will come in and play well, and I'm just hoping to be able to fill in a spot and play a couple different positions to try to be a key for this team."
On playing in the A-League and the level of play:
"I feel like a got good experience and a lot of time playing against bigger players and with the game being faster. It's not the highest level in the U.S, which is disappointing, but I feel like I did get a lot of good experience, and hopefully it shows with my play with this team."
On if the Kickers would be opening to transfering him to an MLS club for 2004:
"Yeah, they're very open. They definitely don't want to hold me back. They want me to play at the highest level."
On his effective partnership with Columbus Crew forward Edson Buddle:
"Basically, we brought in the same players, and we try to work in pairs. Edson and I have been playing together for the past couple camps, and each camp it gets better and better. It's great playing with him, playing up top with a big guy like that and feeding off him. He's actually taught me a lot because he's played; he's a veteran in MLS kinda. He keeps me going and tells me what to do, basically. He's a good person to learn from."
Defender Oguchi Onyewu:
On being back in the States from Belgium and getting to play in front of a hometown crowd:
"Yeah, I had about 15 friends and family in the stands, so it was good. But it's always a good experience when I get to play with the U-23s. I'm real comfortable with these guys. We have a great group."
On the resilient performance of St. Kitts & Nevis, despite coming into the game down 6-0 and needing to win by that margin on the road:
"I think down in St. Kitts they kind of gave up at a point. Tonight they didn't give up even though they were down, they kept on going after us trying to get a goal. I think they were pretty resilient; a lot moreso than the other night. They had a lot of pressure on them from their home fans and everything. After beating Dominica, they had a lot of pressure to keep winning."
On the challenge of finishing in the top two in Mexico in February for a ticket to Athens:
"Qualification is going to be very difficult. It's a lot different structure than with the U-17s or U-20s. If I believe, you have to be one of the top two teams in each group. There's no room for error. That's going to be do or die right there."