EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Thursday, May 16, 2002) - U.S. forward Josh Wolff recorded two goals and one assist, and Landon Donovan added one goal and one assist to lead the U.S. to a 5-0 pasting of Jamaica tonight at Giants Stadium in the second game of the “Nike Road to Korea.” The U.S. tied for its best-ever start in team history, posting a 9-3-1 record through 13 games, as part of that the U.S. is an undefeated 9-0-1 at home this year.
With the win, U.S. head coach Bruce Arena becomes the winningest coach in U.S. MNT history with 31 wins, surpassing Bora Milutinovic. Arena’s all-time record as the head coach of the U.S. MNT is 31-15-13.
“Overall I am very pleased with tonight’s performance,” said Arena. “The game was played at a pretty good pace. I think we wore them out a bit and it showed in the second half. We look forward to ending this three-game swing against what is arguably one of the finest teams in the world.”
The U.S. wraps up the three-game “Nike Road to Korea” with the team’s World Cup send-off match against Holland on Sunday (May 19) at CMGI Field in Foxboro, Mass., in a match that will be broadcast live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET.
In a relatively uneventful first half, Josh Wolff capitalized on one of the USA’s few chances, nodding home a Joe-Max Moore cross. Landon Donovan sprung Moore down the right wing, and Moore’s pinpoint cross found a diving Wolff at the backpost.
Donovan and Wolff combined to set up Clint Mathis in the 47th minute, and Mathis scored with his first touch of the game. The goal was Mathis’ team-leading sixth of the year. Donovan and Wolff combined again for the USA’s third goal, with Wolff blasting a rocket into the net from 18 yards out at the hour mark.
“I think the team is playing with confidence," said Wolff. "The young guys – Landon (Donovan), DaMarcus (Beasley), myself and Clint (Mathis) – we played in the Gold Cup and we had a real good mentality in that tournament. I think that has kinda filtered over in these games. I think we come out with a good idea and a good mentality. We’re strong and we look to get after guys. More than anything, Bruce has always said ‘be aggressive’ and I think in the first two games (of the “Nike Road to Korea”) we’ve certainly done that.”
Donovan tallied his own goal in the 84th minute, taking an Eddie Lewis pass and using his left foot to shoot past a shocked Aaron Lawrence. Lewis also set up the game’s final goal, delicately placing the ball into Beasley’s path. Beasley had no problem scoring a goal in his second consecutive game.
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller left the game with a left knee contusion in the 53rd minute, but not before making a key save on Ricardo Fuller in the first half with the game still scoreless. Keller was injured in a 51st minute collision with Jamaica forward Deon Burton at the top the penalty area, and was replaced by local hero Tony Meola. The duo combined to post the USA’s eight shutout in 10 home matches this year.
The last time the U.S. faced Jamaica, Joe-Max Moore tallied twice to give the U.S. a win that would place the team in the 2002 World Cup. The U.S. is now 7-0-5 all-time against Jamaica.
The U.S. departs for Korea and the 2002 FIFA World Cup on May 23. Arena’s squad opens the World Cup on June 5 in Suwon against Portugal. The U.S. then faces the hosts South Korea on June 10 in Daegu, and then wraps up group play on June 14 against Poland in Daejon.
GAME NOTES: The U.S. has posted wins by five or more goals only six times previously ... Josh Wolff is the fourth U.S. player to pick up at least two goals in one game in 2002 (with Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis and Brian McBride), matching the team's previous high in 1993 (Mark Chung, Thomas Dooley, Dominic Kinnear and Joe-Max Moore) and 1968 (Gerry Baker, Dietrich Albrecht, Peter Millar and Willy Roy) … With one goal and one assist, Landon Donovan became the third U.S. player to record 10 points this year (along with McBride, Mathis). Not since 1993 have three U.S. players reached double figures in points ... Greg Vanney, an alternate when Arena named his 23-man World Cup roster earlier last month, started for the U.S., but left the game with a right knee sprain … Meola earned his 99th cap when he replaced Keller in the second half ... Uruguay beat China 2-0 and Nigeria beat Ireland 2-1 in other World Cup warm-ups on Thursday.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Competition: International Friendly – “Nike Road to Korea”
Venue: Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Date: May 16, 2002 – 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff
Weather: 68 degrees; mild, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
United States 1 - 4 - 5
Jamaica 0 - 0 - 0
USA - Wolff (Moore), 32.
USA - Mathis (Wolff), 47.
USA - Wolff (Donovan), 60.
USA - Donovan (Lewis), 84.
USA - Beasley (Lewis), 92+.
USA - 18-Kasey Keller (19-Tony Meola, 53); 24-Greg Vanney (22-Tony Sanneh, 49), 3-Gregg Berhalter (16-Carlos Llamosa, 46), 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 2-Frankie Hejduk; 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.;12-Jeff Agoos, 46), 21-Landon Donovan, 5-John O’Brien (7-Eddie Lewis, 46), 8-Earnie Stewart (11-Clint Mathis, 46) (17-DaMarcus Beasley, 63); 9-Joe-Max Moore, 15-Josh Wolff.
Subs Not Used: 1-Brad Friedel, 6-David Regis, 13-Cobi Jones, 20-Brian McBride, 23-Eddie Pope.
JAM - 13-Aaron Lawrence; 4-Linval Dixon ( capt.), 14-Tyrone Marshall (16-Fabian Davis, 86), 24-Robert Scarlet, 17-Marco McDonald; 11-Theodore Whitmore (12-Jermaine Johnson, 46), 8-Keith Kelly (18-Deon Burton, 46), 6-Fitzroy Simpson (9-Andrew Williams, 61); 10-Ricardo Fuller (20-Omar Daley, 62), 31-Onandi Lowe (21-Kevin Lisbie, 61), 7-Winston Griffiths (15-Milton Griffiths, 56).
Subs Not Used: 1-Shawn Sawyers, 25-Claude Davis.
Statistical Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 18 / 9
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 20
Offside: 4 / 5
USA - Landon Donovan (caution), 39.
JAM - Omar Daley (caution), 66.
Referee: Jose Farias Martinez (CAN)
Assistant Referee #1: Eric Roy (CAN)
Assistant Referee #2: Zoran Kristos (CAN)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Valenzuela (USA)
Chevrolet Man of Match: Josh Wolff