U.S. Under-20s Advance to World Youth Championship After Convincing 5-1 Win Over Trinidad & Tobago
TUNAPUNA, Trinidad (Tuesday, March 20, 2001) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team continued their offensive assault at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, storming past Trinidad & Tobago 5-1 to nab their second consecutive win at the Dr. Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence Tuesday night. DaMarcus Beasley paced the U.S. attack with two goals and two assists, and Landon Donovan chipped in with one goal and two assists. With the win - followed by an 8-1 Costa Rica victory over Guatemala - the U.S. will advance to their third consecutive World Youth Championship for the first time in U.S. Soccer history.
The U.S. offense was again the story of the match, striking twice in two minutes to grab control of the game early. Beasley scored in the 13th minute to open the scoring and then assisted on Donovan's goal one minute later to start the rout. The U.S. has now scored five goals in three of their last four matches.
"Once again I was very happy with the way the guys came out and played tonight," U.S. head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz said. "Offensively we did some very good things and played as a team very well tonight. And I can't expect much more than to be heading into the final game with two wins."
Beasley, who has quickly become a fan favorite in Trinidad with his pace and dribbling ability on the wings, found space wide on the wings all evening and made the host team pay for their negligence. In the 13th minute he received a pass from Oguchi Onyewu and cut toward the middle of the field where he unleashed a 17-yard bomb that T&T keeper Kevin Graham could only manage to tip as it found the upper corner of the net.
In two matches the U.S. has not only scored often, they have scored with style. And the goals in this match did not do anything to put an end to the U.S. trend. The second strike began with a sublime piece of skill from Conor Casey, who settled a long ball and laid it into Donovan's stride with one touch. Donovan played a ball across the field to Beasley at the top of the box and made a diagonal run into the box. Beasley played the ball back to his streaking roommate in the box, and Donovan finished with his first touch across his body and into the bottom left corner of the net.
Beasley tallied the third U.S. goal with a world-class effort that again saw the deadly roommate combo of Beasley and Donovan combine for the USA's benefit. Beasley received the ball at the midline and immediately turned to go forward, beating two defenders and carrying the ball into the penalty box, where he laid it off to Donovan on his left. With one touch Donovan cut the ball back from the endline into the center of the goalmouth, where Beasley calmly passed the ball past the wrong-footed keeper.
With any luck for the U.S., the score could have been doubled in the first half. In a two-minute span midway through the first half, Donovan hit the post with a blast (21st minute) and Casey's header (23rd minute) was cleared off the line. Seven minutes later it was Casey who found the post.
It was the lightning-quick Beasley - again - who created the fourth goal. He found Donovan 30 yards from goal and Beasley continued his run past Donovan and received a perfectly-paced ball in his path. Beasley carried the ball to the six-yard box before cutting it back across the goal to an open Bobby Convey who hammered the ball past an out of position Graham. The goal was Convey's third of the tournament.
Beasley almost hit a hat trick in the 57th minute when his shot from a brilliant Donovan pass hit the underside of a diving Graham and trickled wide of the post.
Trinidad & Tobago sent the crowd home happy by tallying in the 65th minute. After a corner kick, Devon Mitchell held the ball at the penalty spot with his back to the goal. Mitchell played a ball straight back to Michael-Lee Celestine whose shot bounced past a diving DJ Countess and into the lower right hand corner.
The goal ended a streak of five consecutive scoreless halves for Countess that started back on March 11. Countess did come up with two big saves in the match, stopping Devon Mitchell in a one-on-one in the 48th minute and diving to deny Scott Sealy in the 29th minute.
For the second straight game, Brad Davis came off the bench in the second half to score with a left-footed bomb. He received a pass from Donovan and found the far right post from 17 yards. In just 33 minutes in the tournament, Davis has two goals.
T&T had a chance to change the face of the game in the ninth minute with the score still 0-0. After a Kenny Arena foul, Devon Mitchell got his head on the ensuing restart but his open header from six yards went well high.
The match was a physical one that saw the teams combine for 30 fouls, as well numerous other collisions and rough challenges that went uncalled. The game's scariest moment occurred in the fifth minute when Landon Donovan was floored going for a loose ball by T & T defender Marvin Lee. Lee and Donovan instantly hit the deck. Both were carried off the field, although Donovan would return shortly thereafter, holding his ribs. Lee was carried off the field, fitted with a neck brace and taken from the stadium in an ambulance.
The USA will finish the tournament on Thursday against Costa Rica, 8-1 winners against Guatemala on Tuesday, at 4 p.m. ET (a game which can be seen taped-delay on Galavision at 7 p.m. ET & PT on March 22). With a win in the final match, the U.S. will win the group. A U.S. tie or a U.S. loss and Costa Rica will win the group. With two wins in their first two matches, Costa Rica has also clinched a spot in the World Youth Championship.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%GAME NOTES: U.S. Soccer Secretary General Dan Flynn flew in from Chicago late Monday to take in the match and will be returning to Chicago early Wednesday morning ... Kyle Martino did not dress for the match after reinjuring a strained ligament in his right foot late in Sunday's 5-0 win against Guatemala ... Martino, who participated in pre-game warm-ups, is expected to play in Thursday's game with Costa Rica ... The win was the USA's fourth consecutive win against T & T in the CONCACAF Youth Tournament ... The previous three wins came by scores of 2-0, 4-0 and 6-1 ... The U.S. now boasts an 11-4-3 record in 2001 ... The team is a perfect 4-0 in internationals in 2001, giving up only two goals ... The U.S. wore their red jerseys for the first time this year ... Kenny Arena received his second yellow card of the tournament in the 88th minute and will be forced to sit out the match against Costa Rica.
2001 U.S. UNDER-20 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago|
|Competition:||CONCACAF Group B Qualifying for Argentina '01|
|Venue:||Dr. Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence (Tunapuna, Trinidad)|
|Date:||March 20, 2001 - Kickoff 5:00 p.m. local (4:00 p.m. ET)|
|Weather:||82 degrees (Sunny, Breezy - Cooler as the game went on)|
USA - DaMarcus Beasley (Oguchi Onyewu), 13.
USA - Landon Donovan (DaMarcus Beasley), 14.
USA - DaMarcus Beasley (Landon Donovan), 40.
USA - Bobby Convey (DaMarcus Beasley), 47.
TRI - Michael-Lee Celestine (Devon Mitchell), 65.
USA - Brad Davis (Landon Donovan), 91+.
USA - 1-D.J. Countess; 2-Philip Salyer (12-Ricky Lewis, 19), 4-Nelson Akwari (capt.), 5-Alexander Yi, 3-Oguchi Onyewu; 11-Bobby Convey (9-Brad Davis, 85), 14-Kenny Arena, 20-Brian Carroll, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 10-Landon Donovan; 16-Conor Casey (17-Edson Buddle, 64).
TRI - 1-Kevin Graham; 3-Kerry Batiste, 7-Jace Peters, 9-Scott Sealy (14-Junior Spencer, 82), 10-Damien Westfield, 11-Michael-Lee Celestine, 13-Devon Mitchell, 16-Selton Williams (15-Nigel Daniel, 46), 17-Marvin Lee (capt.) (6-Junior Joseph, 9), 18-Colin Samuel, 19-Sean Cooper.
|Philip Salyer (caution)||12.|
|Sean Cooper (caution)||88.|
|Kenny Arena (caution)||88.|