WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 13, 2004) — The U.S. Men’s National Team advanced to the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region with an authoritative 6-0 trouncing of Panama on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The victory was paced by two goals from Landon Donovan and a second-half hat trick from forward Ed Johnson.
With one-game remaining in the semifinal round of qualifying, the U.S. is now 3-0-2 with 11 points, clinching first place outright in Group 1. The U.S. was the first team to clinch a spot in the final round of qualifying tonight, followed by Guatemala (Group 2) and Mexico (Group 3), as both teams also came away with victories in their respective qualifying group. The victory extended the USA’s record unbeaten streak to 12 games and improved the team’s 2004 record to 8-1-5.
"First of all, the significance of the game certainly got our attention," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena, knowing a victory would advance the U.S. to the final round. "We put out a team that has played together a little bit and that helped, and the speed of (DaMarcus) Beasley and Donovan in the midfield really gave them problems. Give Panama a lot of credit. Their pressure in the first half was terrific. But we knew that they couldn't sustain that over 90 minutes and I felt that if we got the second goal and Panama would open up they were going to be in trouble. Obviously that was the case."
For Johnson, the hat trick was a historic one, coming in an 18-minute span in the second half. The three-goal effort was the eighth in the 89-year history of U.S. Men’s National Team, but the first-ever for a player coming into the game as a substitute, which he did in the 65th minute.
The first U.S. goal was a clinical one for the United States, with Landon Donovan expertly side-footing a cross from Josh Wolff into the lower left corner of the goal with one touch from the outside of his right foot. Wolff’s perfect assist came from the left flank and split the Panama defense in the penalty area finding Donovan on a sharp run to the top of goalkeeper’s box.
Just a few minutes prior to the goal, midfielder Eddie Lewis, who freed Wolff on his assist with a perfect pass from the back, hit an inspired behind-the-back pass that set-up Brian McBride for a shot that just missed putting the U.S. ahead in the 16th minute. Lewis’ one-time flick came on a pass from DaMarcus Beasley after a 40-yard slalom that saw the lanky midfielder zigzag up the right wing and then across the top of the penalty area before sliding a pass into the area.
On his second goal, Donovan received a ball from Kerry Zavagnin through the heart of the Panama defense, collected it in the penalty area, and then beat goalkeeper Donaldo Gonzalez on the dribble. As Donovan made a cut to the left he was forced to slide to attempt his shot, reaching the ball at the same time as Luis Moreno as it deflect into the upper right corner.
For Donovan, the goals were the 18th and 19th of his international career, moving him into fifth place all-time on the U.S. goal-scoring list, two ahead of Earnie Stewart. The goals were also his team-leading fourth and fifth tallies of the year and his third and fourth in World Cup qualifying play.
"I think the armband helps Landon realize who he is," said Arena about the USA's 22-year-old captain this evening. "So often we have a lot of players guilty of not giving themselves enough credit as players and I kind of stress to our younger players that they need to emerge a little bit. In particular Landon. Landon needs challenges. He's a fantastic player. You challenge him and he responds, you see the kind of player he is. Landon is a great player, I don't think anyone can doubt that, and if we can find that consistency in Landon at the club level and the international level, he's going to be a player to be reckoned with."
The third goal of the evening came in the 70th minute as Johnson began his three-goal burst by scoring for the second time in as many caps, leaping high at the back post to easily float a Carlos Bocanegra cross inside the left post with his head.
Johnson scored again in the 84th minute, this time heading home a short cross from Bocanegra from four yards out, to complete a nifty ping-pong passing sequence that saw the ball move quickly from Berhalter to McBride to Bocanegra and then to Johnson through the box. The former U.S. youth national team standout completed his hat trick in the 87th minute with a quick touch from four yards out on a near post pass from Eddie Lewis.
The final goal of the evening came in the 90th minute as three U.S. players converged on a Donovan cross in the box. With Brian McBride, Johnson and Oguchi Onyewu all going for the ball, it was Onyewu who got a shoulder to the ball, knocking it goal bound where Panama defender Jose Anthony Torres deflected the ball into his own net for an own goal. The own goal ruling deprived Onyewu a chance of becoming the 39th player to score a goal in his U.S. MNT debut, as Johnson did just four days earlier in El Salvador. Onyewu is the 57th overall player to earn his first cap during the Arena era, and the fourth in 2004.
"We obviously played quite well," said Arena. "Panama had a good first half. We scored, I thought, a terrific goal. We knew when the game slowed down a little bit that our speed and our ability in the midfield would be a factor. This game was all about our players. They prepared well. What a great performance over twelve days for us. Our players responded well to win two games, and to be qualified in the fifth game of this round is simply fantastic. All the credit goes to the players, no question about it. You can see that in time we have some young players that are going to be able to help us and play."
The final U.S. semifinal round qualifying match is set for Nov. 17 against Jamaica at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. For Jamaica, the game will be a crucial one, as they try to rebound from a 0-0 draw with El Salvador this evening. The tie officially puts Jamaica into second place with six points, but if they fail to beat the U.S. in Columbus, Panama will be able to jump pass them with a victory at home on Nov. 17 against El Salvador, making the final match day in Ohio crucial. The top two teams in the group will advance to the final round of qualifying that begins next year.
An Historic Night at RFK
* Ed Johnson’s hat trick was the eighth in U.S. MNT history, and the first for a player entering a game as a substitute. The hat trick was also the third for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying history, with the previous two being a four-goal game from Aldo “Buff” Donelli vs. Mexico on May 24, 1934, and three-goal game from Peter Millar vs. Bermuda on Nov. 2, 1968.
* Ed Johnson becomes the eighth player in U.S. Men’s National Team history to score goals in his first two matches, and is just the second in the past 67 years.
Name Matches Goals
Charles Ellis (vs. Sweden Aug. 20, 1916) (vs. Norway Sept. 3, 1916) 1 & 1
Rudolf Kuntner (vs. Argentina May 30, 1928) (vs. Poland, June 10, 1928) 1 & 1
Bert Patenaude (vs. Belgium, July 13, 1930) (vs. Paraguay, July 17, 1930) 1 & 3 *** WC Finals ***
Aldo "Buff" Donelli (vs. Mexico May 24, 1934) (vs. Italy May 27, 1934) 4 & 1 *** WCQ & Finals ***
Alexander Rae (vs. Mexico Sept. 12, 1937) (Mexico Sept. 19, 1937) (Mexico Sept. 26, 1937) 1 & 1 & 1
John McEwan (vs. Mexico Sept. 12, 1937) (Mexico Sept. 19, 1937) 1 & 1
Dante Washington (vs. Mexico March 12, 1991) (Canada March 16, 1991) 1 & 1
Eddie Johnson (vs. El Salvador Oct. 9, 2004) (vs. Jamaica Oct. 13, 2004) 1 & 3 *** WCQ ***
* Ed Johnson is just the third player in U.S. MNT history with as many as four goals in his first two games, behind Aldo “Buff” Donelli’s five in 1930 and even with Bert Patenaude’s four in 1930. No other player has more than two.
* Ed Johnson is also the third player in MNT history to score goals in his first two World Cup qualifying appearances, joining Brian Ching (who accomplished the feat just six weeks ago) and Eric Wynalda (who did it in 1996).
* Amazingly, of the eight players with hat tricks in MNT history (no one has more than one), four of them were scored in the players first two games.
* Only one player in MNT history has scored in his first three caps, something which Ed Johnson will have a chance to do the next time he takes the field for the U.S. (Alexander Rae scored in his first three matches for the U.S. from Sept. 12-26, 1937, all against Mexico.)
* The six-goal margin of victory was the fourth largest in U.S. history, falling one shy of tying the record. (Curiously, it was the first six-goal victory in U.S. history, as the team has previously recorded three seven-goal victories and five five-goal victories.)
* The U.S. previously scored as many as six goals in a game seven times (one eight-goal game, two seven-goal games and now five six-goal games).
* Four of the eight players to have a hat trick have scored in their first two games.
U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report
Match-up: USA vs. Panama
Date: October 13, 2004
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier – Semifinal Round
Venue: RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: cool, clear; 65 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 5 6
Panama 0 0 0
USA – Landon Donovan (Josh Wolff) 21st minute.
USA – Landon Donovan (unassisted) 57.
USA – Ed Johnson (Carlos Bocanegra) 70.
USA – Ed Johnson (Carlos Bocanegra) 84.
USA – Ed Johnson (Eddie Lewis) 87.
USA – own goal (Jose Anthony Torres) 90.
USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 23-Eddie Pope (6-Oguchi Onyewu, 86), 3-Gregg Berhalter, 4-Carlos Bocanegra; 5-Kerry Zavagnin (25-Pablo Mastroeni, 73), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 21-Landon Donovan (Capt.), 7-Eddie Lewis; 20-Brian McBride, 16-Josh Wolff (19-Ed Johnson, 65).
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 11-Clint Mathis, 13-Cobi Jones, 15-Bobby Convey.
Head Coach: Bruce Arena.
PAN: 1-Donaldo González, 3-Luis Moreno (17-Alberto Zapata, 61), 5-José Anthony Torres, 2-Carlos Rivera; 4-Luis Henríquez (13-Víctor Miranda, 39), 8-Alberto Blanco, 6-Manuel Torres (14-Engin Mitre, 74), 10-Julio Medina, 7-Ricardo Phillips, 11-Roberto Brown, 9-Julio Dely Valdés (Capt.).
Subs not used: 12-Jaime Penedo, 15-Juan Cubilla, 16-Angel Lombardo, 18-Jorge Dely Valdés.
Head Coach: Jose Hernandez.
Stats Summary: USA PAN
Shots 12 6
Saves 3 2
Corner Kicks 1 5
Fouls 18 23
Offside 3 3
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (caution) 12th minute.
PAN – Julio Medina (caution) 69.
PAN – Alberto Zapata (caution) 83.
PAN – Victor Miranda (caution) 89.
Referee: Ramesh Ramdhan (TRI)
1st Asst.: Merere Louis Gonzales (TRI)
2nd Asst.: Solomon Brewster (TRI)
Fourth Official: Ted Gordon (TRI)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Landon Donovan
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Semifinal Round
Group 1 Standings
Team P W L D GF:GA GD PTS
United States 5 3 0 2 12:2 +10 11
Jamaica 5 1 1 3 6:4 +2 6
Panama 5 1 2 2 5:11 -6 5
El Salvador 5 1 3 1 2:8 -6 4
Group 1 Schedule
Date Match Venue Results/Kickoff
Aug. 18 Jamaica vs. USA National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 1-1
Aug. 18 El Salvador vs. Panama Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador 2-1
Sept. 4 USA vs. El Salvador Foxboro Stadium; Foxboro, Mass. 2-0
Sept. 4 Jamaica vs. Panama National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 1-2
Sept. 8 Panama vs. USA Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama 1-1
Sept. 8 El Salvador vs. Jamaica Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador 0-3
Oct. 9 El Salvador vs. USA Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador 0-2
Oct. 9 Panama vs. Jamaica Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama 1-1
Oct. 13 USA vs. Panama RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 6-0
Oct. 13 Jamaica vs. El Salvador National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 0-0
Nov. 17 USA vs. Jamaica Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 7:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 17 Panama vs. El Salvador Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama 8:00 p.m. ET