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EAST HARTFORD, N.J. (August 17, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Team beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 on Wednesday evening in an important World Cup qualifying match at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to inch closer to qualifying for FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. The victory came courtesy of a second-minute goal from forward Brian McBride in front of 25,488 fans in Connecticut.
"I think we deserved the three points,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena. “I thought we played very well and I think we felt guilty that perhaps we made it a little bit difficult on ourselves. We created a number of good goal scoring opportunities and came up short, and that allowed Trinidad to hang around for 89 minutes or so, and I think they could have been punished and sent home a lot earlier. Give them credit: they never quit. They defended well and we failed to convert our chances. However, the three points are huge. Fifteen points after six games is as good as it gets and I think we're getting real close to qualifying for Germany. We're pleased where we are. We'll size up the troops after this game and prepare for the next set of games against Mexico and Guatemala."
Post-Game all_access video | More quotes from Bruce Arena and MNT players
Next up for the United States is a Sept. 3 qualifier against Mexico in front of a sold out crowd at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. With a win over Mexico, the U.S. is guaranteed a spot in their fifth consecutive World Cup. Likewise, a tie vs. Mexico could also clinch a U.S. berth in the 2006 World Cup ONLY if the other two CONCACAF matches on Matchday 7 (Panama vs. Costa Rica AND Trinidad and Tobago vs. Guatemala) result in ties.
Mexico defeated Costa Rica at home tonight 2-0, to maintain the top spot in the final round of qualifying with 16 points. In tonight’s other CONCACAF match, Guatemala came from behind to beat Panama at home 2-1.
Go to the World Cup qualifying competitions page for the latest standings
McBride’s early goal came just 91 seconds into the game on an easy pass from the left side of the penalty area from Bobby Convey, playing in his third straight qualifier for the U.S. The goal was created when midfielder John O’Brien shook off his marker in midfield and played a perfect ball into Convey, breaking behind a slow reacting Trinidad & Tobago defense.
The goal for McBride moved him ahead of Earnie Stewart as the USA’s all-time leading goal scorer in World Cup qualifying play with 10 all-time strikes.
"Basically it was good ball movement,” said McBride. “Bobby (Convey) ran off a shoulder and was played in and I knew I just had to beat the guy to the spot. The angle that he was at, he was going to play the ball across. It was a nice ball in, and I just had to open up my foot."
In the 29th minute, Landon Donovan had a chance to put the U.S. ahead 2-0 after a poor clearance from Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Kelvin Jack landed at the feet of the high-scoring forward at the top of the area. With just the ‘keeper to beat, Donovan moved into the box and tried to lift the ball over the charging Jack, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself with a fine save.
Less than 10 minutes later, Convey had a breakaway and slid a ball just outside the right post after Donovan had split two defenders with a soft, short pass to free the midfielder on his run.
At the end of the first half, Donovan used his speed to turn a bad back pass from Marvin Andrews into a red card for Trinidad & Tobago defender Dennis Lawrence, who had to trace back as the U.S. forward sprinted toward goal with the errant pass. As the pair reached the top of the penalty area, Lawrence tugged on Donovan’s shoulder to throw him off stride and earn the red card ejection from referee Marco Rodriguez.
John O’Brien was forced out of the match at the start of the second half with a left hip contusion, giving way to Chris Armas. O’Brien is not expected to miss any significant time due to the injury.
The U.S. played the bulk of the second half with the man advantage; however, a second yellow card caution on Convey in the 88th minute evened the sides at 10 men each. Just moments before the red card, second half sub Taylor Twellman appeared to ice the game in 86th minute with an empty net tap in after an excellent cross from the right flank by Santino Quaranta, a second half sub making his World Cup qualifying debut for the U.S. However, the assistant referee raised his flag immediately, disallowing the goal with a very close offside call.
For the match, the U.S. out shot their Caribbean rivals 18-1 as Kasey Keller earned his fourth straight shutout in World Cup qualifying without being called upon to make a single save. Keller now has a shutout streak of 417 minutes in qualifying play dating back to the USA’s 2-1 loss in Mexico on March 27.
Keller has also now played in 30 World Cup qualifiers for the U.S., tying him for the team’s all-time lead with Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart.
The match at Rentschler Field was the 100th all-time FIFA World Cup qualifying game for the United States, and improved the USA’s record to 44-29-27.
It was the team’s first game since the USA claimed their third CONCACAF Gold Cup crown in July with a penalty kick victory over Panama in East Rutherford, N.J. The U.S. takes the field again in just a little more than two weeks against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 3. That game is followed immediately with a Sept. 7 match in Guatemala City against Guatemala, the eighth of 10 final round World Cup qualifying matches in CONCACAF.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: August 17, 2005
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: Rentschler Field – East Hartford, Connecticut
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Brian McBride (Bobby Convey) 2nd minute.
USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 4-Chris Albright, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Gregg Berhalter, 7-Eddie Lewis; 19-Steve Ralston (9-Santino Quaranta, 72), 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 5-John O’Brien (14-Chris Armas, 46), 15-Bobby Convey; 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (13-Taylor Twellman, 83)
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 2-Greg Vanney, 11-Jeff Cunningham, 12-Jimmy Conrad
Head Coach: Bruce Arena.
TRI: 21-Kelvin Jack; 3-Avery John, 4-Marvin Andrews, 2-Atiba Charles (8-Scott Sealy, 46+), 6-Dennis Lawrence; 9-Aurtis Whitley, 16-Silvio Spann, 7-Christopher Birchall, 20-Collin Samuel (5-Brent Sancho, 46+); 19-Dwight Yorke (capt.), 14-Stern John (15-Kenwyne Jones, 55)
Subs not used: 1-Shaka Hislop, 18-Densil Theobold, 23-Anthony Wolfe, 24-Cyd Gray
Head Coach: Leo Beenhakker
Stats Summary: USA TRI
Shots 18 1
Saves 0 10
Corner Kicks 5 3
Fouls 19 13
Offside 3 4
USA – Bobby Convey (caution) 31st minute.
TRI – Dennis Lawrence (ejection) 41.
USA – Bobby Convey (caution) 88.
USA – Bobby Convey (ejection) 88.
Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX)
1st Asst.: Jose Camargo (CRC)
2nd Asst.: Leonel Leal (MEX)
Fourth Official: Mauricio Morales (MEX)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Claudio ReynaRead more