U.S. Men's National Team Closes Out Qualifying With 2-0 Home Win Against Panama

• Kyle Martino and Taylor Twellman Both Score First International Goals
• U.S. Wins CONCACAF Hexagonal for First Time in Their History
• Draw for 2006 FIFA World Cup to be Held on Dec. 9 in Leipzig, Germany
• U.S. Announces MNT Will Use the City of Hamburg as Their Home Base During World Cup

FOXBORO, Mass. (October 12, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Team finished their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over Panama (photos) on a blustery evening at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., to finish atop the CONCACAF Hexagonal for the first time in their history.

After a scoreless first half, Kyle Martino and Taylor Twellman both scored their first international goals in a seven-minute span to give the U.S. a 7-2-1 overall record in the final round of qualifying. The victory, coupled with Mexico’s 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago, put the U.S. tied at 22 points with their border rival, but the U.S. won the head-to-head tiebreaker with a 3-2 aggregate score.

The U.S., which secured their spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup back on September 3 with a 2-0 shutout of Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, will learn the venue in which they will play their group matches on December 9, 2005, at the FIFA World Cup Draw in Leipzig, Germany.

U.S. Soccer has also announced that the MNT will use the City of Hamburg as their home base throughout the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup, being staged in 12 venues in Germany from June 9 to July 9, 2006.

“It was a good win and good experience for a lot of players,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena. “I’ve been told that we finished first in the group, which is nice, but wasn’t critical. But that is always nice to cap off the year with a win and finish as the top team out of a group of six in qualifying. That’s a great accomplishment for our group. We had a fantastic year here at home with the five wins and the 15 points, which is the name of the game. Great year.” (More Post-Game Quotes)

The U.S. finally broke through in the 51st minute when Martino scored his first international goal on a stunning one-timer from just beyond the left corner of the six-yard box. The goal started off a throw-in from the left sideline by Justin Mapp to Chris Albright, who chipped the ball into the left side of the penalty area for the streaking Martino. The Columbus Crew midfielder blasted the ball out of the air past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo from the tough angle, skimming it off the left post before it finally rested in the right side netting.

Six minutes later, the U.S. secured the victory when Twellman also tallied his first strike in international play by capitalizing on a Panama defensive miscue. Danny Califf cleared a ball from the U.S. defensive half up the field and defender Felipe Baloy slid in to control the ball, but instead knocked it behind him in the air. Twellman beat the onrushing Penedo to the loose ball, heading it past him just outside the box and then slipping the ball into the open net before the backtracking Luis Moreno could get in front to close down the angle.

With the victory, the U.S. finished undefeated at home during the qualifying campaign, going 8-0-1, with all eight victories coming by shutout. During the entire 18-game World Cup qualifying campaign, the U.S. compiled a 12-2-4 record with 10 shutouts, scoring 35 goals for, while allowing just 11 goals against.

The U.S. remains undefeated against Panama all-time, now holding a 4-0-2 advantage, and increased its impressive record in Foxboro to 14-1-4, with the 19 games almost split evenly between Gillette Stadium (9) and the old Foxboro Stadium (10).

A total of three players earned their first international cap with the MNT, with Brian Carroll and Justin Mapp getting the starting nod, while Ricardo Clark came on in reserve in the second half. Danny Califf started in central defense for his first World Cup qualifying appearance in 13 caps.

In the first half, the U.S. was outshot by Panama 5-2, but had the best opportunity when Penedo saved Clint Dempsey’s close range attempt in the 14th minute.  Santino Quaranta dropped in the first of his numerous dangerous services from the right wing finding Dempsey at the penalty spot, but his first touch got away from him and rolled towards goal. He was able to run it down at the six-yard box, but his shot attempt was blocked by Penedo who was able to stand his ground to make the point-blank save.

While Quaranta was serving in crosses from the right flank, Mapp was also making an impact on the opposite end of the field, taking on players and starting attacking runs on goal.

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was only tested three times overall, all in the first half, and was up to the task on each attempt to snag his sixth shutout. While he didn’t make a save in the second half, he did well to come off his line to clear two through balls away in back-to-back minutes, clearing the first with his hands and the following with his feet.

In the 87th minute, Dely Valdes had the chance to cut the lead in half when Brian Ching was called for a handball in the penalty box, but his low attempt was wide left. Ching committed the handball while trying to bring down a Panama corner kick at the far end of the box, the ball hitting his left arm after taking the first touch off his chest. 

Trinidad & Tobago clinched fourth place and a playoff spot against Bahrain, the fifth place team from Asia, with their win against Mexico in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Trinidad & Tobago will take on Bahrain for a spot in 2006 FIFA World Cup in a two-game head-to-head series that will take place on Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16. Guatemala was left out of the World Cup despite a 3-1 win against Costa Rica at home, as they finished in fifth place with 11 points, two points behind the Soca Warriors.


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

Match-up: USA vs. Panama
Date: October 12, 2005
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Mass., USA
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 9192
Weather: Windy, 52 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1    2    F
USA                            0    2     2
PAN                            0    0     0

USA – Kyle Martino (Chris Albright)  51st minute
USA – Taylor Twellman     57.

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 8-Jonathan Spector, 22-Chad Marshall, 12-Danny Califf, 5-Chris Albright; 16-Brian Carroll, 10-Kyle Martino (13-Ricardo Clark, 68), 2-Clint Dempsey; 21-Santino Quaranta, 20-Taylor Twellman (9-Brian Ching, 74), 19-Justin Mapp (14-Steve Ralston, 58)
Subs not used: 24-Matt Reis, 6-Jay Heaps, 7-Daniel Hernandez, 23-Eddie Pope
Head Coach: Bruce Arena.

PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-Felipe Baloy, 3-Luis Moreno, 6-Gabriel Gomez, 2-Joel Solanilla; 4-Ubaldo Guardia, 10-Angel Lombardo (19-Gabriel Torres, 62), 7-Jorge Dely Valdes, 8-James Brown (13-Roman Torres, 62), 11-Luis Gallardo (18-Anthony Basile, 62); 9-Julio Dely Valdes (capt.)
Subs not used: 12-Jose Calderon, 17-Edwin Aguilar
Head Coach: Jose Hernandez

Stats Summary:      USA   PAN
Shots                              8         9
Saves                             3         1
Corner Kicks                 8         1
Fouls                              21      13
Offside                           3          1

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Gilberto Alcala (MEX)
1st Asst.: Arturo Velasquez (MEX)
2nd Asst.: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Manuel Glower (MEX)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Brian Carroll

2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round

Team                                P    W    L    D   GF:GA    GD    PTS
United States *               10    7    2    1      16:6      +10      22
Mexico *                          10    7    2    1      22:9      +13      22
Costa Rica *                   10    5    4    1      15:14     +1       16
Trinidad & Tobago^       10    4    5    1      10:15      -5       13
Guatemala                      10    3    5    2      16:18      -2       11
Panama                          10    0    8    2         4:21    -17        2
* clinched spot in FIFA World Cup Germany 2006
^ clinched playoff spot against fifth-place team from Asia (Bahrain)

Date        Match (home teams listed first)          Location                                                          Result
Sept. 3    Panama vs. Costa Rica                      Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City       1:3
Sept. 3    Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala     Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain           3:2
Sept. 3    USA vs. Mexico                                  Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio       2:0

Sept. 7    Mexico vs. Panama                          Estadio Azteca; Mexico City                              5:0
Sept. 7    Guatemala vs. USA                          Estadio Mateo Flores; Guatemala City              0:0
Sept. 7    Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago     Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose                  2:0

Oct. 8      Costa Rica vs. USA                           San Jose, Costa Rica                                         3:0
Oct. 8      Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago         Panama City, Panama                                    0:1
Oct. 8      Mexico vs. Guatemala                      San Luis Potosi, Mexico                                    5:2

Oct. 12    USA vs. Panama                               Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                     2:0
Oct. 12    Guatemala vs. Costa Rica                 Guatemala City, Guatemala                            3:1
Oct. 12    Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico           Port of Spain, Trinidad                                    2:1

Nov. 12/13   Bahrain vs. Trinidad & Tobago TBD  TBD
Nov. 16        Bahrain vs. Trinidad & Tobago TBD  TBD

*updated through Oct. 12, 2005

--2006 World Cup Qualifying Home--

ussoccer.com is the official website of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.

Read more
MNT Oct 13, 2005