SAN JOSE, Calif. (June 2, 2007) — In the team’s final preparation match before the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team steamrolled China 4-1 in front of 20,821 fans at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Four different players tallied goals for the U.S., as DaMarcus Beasley and Benny Feilhaber tallied in the first half, and then assisted on back-to-back headed strikes from Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu.
The victory improved the USA’s overall record in 2007 to 4-0-1 in five games under head coach Bob Bradley.
“Overall we were pleased with the effort,” said Bradley following the match. “I think that we got a lot out of this game. Anytime you play on this field in San Jose, the fact that it is a little smaller sharpens up a lot of things. Generally, I felt that there were a lot of good efforts. It is good for us, going into the Gold Cup, to get a game like this under our belts.” [More Quotes]
The U.S. jumped out to an early lead with Beasley slamming home his first-ever penalty kick for the USA in the 10th minute. It was the speedy midfielder himself who was tripped up in the penalty area, after trying to round Chinese goalkeeper Chen Dong on a breakaway that was set up with a perfectly weighted pass into space by midfielder Michael Bradley. The goal was the 13th of Beasley’s 63-game career.
Just five minutes later, though, some sloppy defending got China right back into the game as centerback Zhang Yaokun pounced on a loose ball in the area and ripped an uncontested shot from 11 yards into the upper left corner of the goal. Zhang’s good fortune was set up with the U.S. defense on its heels and failing to fully clear a cross into the area from the left flank. With the ball skittering out to the right, a wide-open Dong Fangzhuo shot errantly on goal, but a lunging stab from forward Wang Peng settled the ball perfectly for Zhang to rip past Tim Howard.
The winning goal for the U.S. came in the 28th minute on a beautiful combination from former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team teammates Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan. After Clint Dempsey found Kljestan on the right wing, Feilhaber sprinted into the area onto a pass from the first-time cap-winner and reached the bouncing ball just in front of Chen to lift it toward the goal. With the ball destined to find the net, a desperate defensive lunge from Zhang went for naught as the USA took the lead for good. [Photo Gallery]
“Sasha just sent me through,” said Feilhaber. “At first the goalkeeper hesitated and I wanted him to come out. I even slowed down a little bit to see if he would come out. The ball started bouncing a little bit further away, skipped off the grass and on the second touch it sat up a bit. I figured that I would put the ball over the top. I was just hoping that the defender was not going to get there before the ball crossed the line.”
The USA’s dynamic 4-3-2-1 line-up took it to the Chinese from outset, with a high goal tally seeming to be in the cards as the second half began. After peppering China with a 7-2 shot advantage in the final 45 minutes, the dam finally broke for the USA with back-to-back headed goals in the 75th and 79th minute.
Dempsey knocked the USA’s third goal home on a perfectly placed corner kick from Feilhaber, emerging at the backside of the goal to easily head it past the potted Chen. The goal for Dempsey was a breakthrough of sorts, after Chen had made two fine saves to keep him off the board in the preceding 10 minutes.
With the game under control, Onyewu got into the act four minutes later crushing a header past Chen from seven yards out on a free kick from Beasley.
Bradley used all six of his subs, using the match to give four players their first cap: Charlie Davies, Kamani Hill, Lee Nguyen, and Kljestan. On the other end of the spectrum, Kasey Keller inched closer to the 100-cap plateau, taking over for Howard in the nets at the start of the second half to earn his 98th international appearance.
The four-goal explosion raised the USA’s goal total under Bob Bradley to 12 in five games. Perhaps more impressive than the 2.40 goals per game average for the U.S. in 2007 is the fact that eight different players have combined to score those goals. Of those 12 goals, the U.S. has also scored eight times in the second half, including two goals in every game except the team’s 0-0 draw with Guatemala on March 28, 2007.
Carlos Bocanegra went the entire 90 minutes for the U.S., wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in his USA career. Bocanegra is the fourth different player to serve as captain under Bradley.
“What we've tried to do is make sure that there are a group of guys who are ready to take bigger roles in this team … guys who are ready to step-up to set the tone all the time,” added Bradley. “It has been really nice in every camp to see more and more guys joining that group. In this particular camp, Carlos Bocanegra got the nod. Carlos is a player who, for sure, has earned the respect of all his teammates with his commitment to the game. He plays hard. He talks. He organizes. Going forward, he is a key guy in what we are doing. At the same time, it could have been Tim Howard. It could have been Oguchi Onyewu. More and more, I am very pleased with the way DaMarcus has stepped-up. We will think about the part of who gets it permanently as we more forward. But for right now, it is very important just to see a group of guys feeling that this next cycle is in their hands.”
Next up for the USA is their much-anticipated title defense at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks off with a rematch against Guatemala on June 7 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U.S. will then face Trinidad & Tobago on June 9 in the same venue, before concluding group play against El Salvador on June 12 in Foxborough, Mass. The 12-team Gold Cup tournament runs through June 24 where the final is slated for Soldier Field in Chicago.
Immediately following the Gold Cup, the USA will participate in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. The U.S. will open Group C play against Argentina on June 28, before facing Paraguay on July 2 and Colombia on July 5.
2007 USA Schedule
Date Match-up Venue Time / TV
June 7 USA vs. Guatemala ^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 6 p.m. PT / FSC & Telefutura
June 9 USA vs. T&T ^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 2 p.m. PT / FSC & Telefutura
June 12 USA vs. El Salvador ^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 7 p.m. ET / FSC & Telefutura
June 16/17 Quarterfinal ^* Foxborough or Houston TBD
June 21 Semifinal ^* Soldier Field (Chicago) TBD
June 24 Final ^* Soldier Field (Chicago) 3 p.m. ET
June 28 USA vs. Argentina # Estadio Jose Romero (Maracaibo) 8:45 p.m. ET / GolTV
July 2 USA vs. Paraguay # Estadio Agustin Tovar (Barinas) 6:30 p.m. ET / GolTV
July 5 USA vs. Colombia # Estadio Metropolitano FdL (Barquisimeto) 6:30 p.m. ET / GolTV
July 7/8 Quarterfinals #* San Cristóbal, Barinas, Maturín, Barq. TBD
July 10/11 Semifinals #* Caracas, Puerto Ordaz TBD
July 14 Final #* Caracas Olympic Stadium (Caracas) 5:05 p.m. ET
Aug. 22 Sweden Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden) 2:30 p.m. ET /
FSC & Galavision (2:30 ET/PT)
Oct. 14 USA vs. Catalonia Camp Nou (Barcelona, Spain) TBD / FSC & Galavision
Oct. 17 USA vs. Switzerland TBD (TBD) 2:30 p.m. ET / FSC & Galavision
^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
# Copa America
* If necessary
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. China
Date: June 2, 2007
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Spartan Stadium – San Jose, California
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 65 degrees, blue skies
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
China 1 0 1
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (penalty kick) 10th minute.
CHN – Zhang Yaokun (Wang Peng) 15.
USA – Benny Feilhaber (Sacha Kljestan) 28.
USA – Clint Dempsey (Benny Feilhaber) 75.
USA – Oguchi Onyewu (DaMarcus Beasley) 79.
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Kasey Keller, 46); 17-Jonathan Spector (2-Frank Simek, 74), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 16-Sacha Kljestan (11-Kamani Hill, 74), 5-Benny Feilhaber (15-Jesse Marsch, 80), 6-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (14-Lee Nguyen, 80); 9-Ante Razov (19-Charlie Davies, 66)
Subs not used: 12-Jay DeMerit
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
CHN: 42-Chen Dong; 3-Zhang Shuai, 4-Zhang Yaokun, 13-Xu Yunlong, 5-Sun Xiang; 19-Dong Fangzhuo (18-Zheng Bin, 67), 8-Li Tie (29-Li Yan, 76), 21-Zhao Xuri (11-Du Wenhui, 89), 28-Wang Dong; 9-Shao Jiayi (capt.), 26-Wang Peng (7-Qu Bo, 59)
Subs not used: 1-Zong Lei, 12-Cao Yang, 16-Ji Mingyi, 17-Hao Junmin, 20-Zhang Baofeng, 25-Xin Feng, 27-Du Zhenyu, 45-Yang Jun
Head Coach: Zhu Guanghu
Stats Summary: USA CHN
Shots 10 6
Saves 2 4
Corner Kicks 4 4
Fouls 18 11
Offside 8 3
CHN – Chen Dong (caution) 9th minute.
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 81.
Referee: Hugo Guajardo MEX)
1st Asst.: Arturo Velasquez (MEX)
2nd Asst.: Alfonso Horcasitas (MEX)
Fourth Official: Brian Hall (USA)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: DaMarcus Beasley