CARSON, Calif. (June 15, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Team opened 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying and took a commanding lead in first leg of their Second Round two-game series against Barbados this afternoon with a historic 8-0 victory at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The eight-goal win is the largest margin of victory ever in U.S. Men’s National Team history, and ties the record for the most goals scored by the U.S. in a match. The U.S. scored eight goals in a friendly against the Cayman Islands on Nov. 14, 1993, but also allowed a goal in the 8-1 victory.
Clint Dempsey started the rout when he tallied the quickest goal ever scored by the U.S. in World Cup qualifying, when he finished a fantastic service from Carlos Bocanegra only 53 seconds into the match. Michael Bradley and Brian Ching added goals in the first half before the U.S. wore down a tired Barbados defense in the second half to score five more goals, including three in the final nine minutes of the game. Dempsey and Ching both ended up with two-goal performances with goals in the second half, while an own goal and strikes from Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson provided the U.S. with the record performance.
"It's good to get the whole thing underway,” said U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “We spent a lot of time thinking about just getting off on the right foot, and a goal early like that certainly is getting off on the right foot. From there, it's just an exercise of staying sharp, trying to play the right ball, the right timing, and finish off some of plays so we could have a margin. We were able to do that, so in those ways it was a definite success."
The second leg of the two-game series against Barbados will be played on Sunday, June 22 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
U.S. players and staff will travel to Miami on Monday to practice for the week before heading to Barbados on Friday for their final preparations.
In the Second Round stage of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, an aggregate goal scoring system is used, which means Barbados would need to earn a similar eight-goal margin of victory in regulation play in the next match to force 30 minutes of extra time. If still tied, penalties will decide who advances to the Semifinal Round.
The first record of the day was started by Bocanegra who drove a long ball from the left side of the midfield stripe into the right side of the penalty area, perfectly dropping the ball over the head of a Barbados defender and finding his former club teammate. Dempsey chested the ball down and then drove a low strike into the left corner past goalkeeper Alvin Rouse.
It took the U.S. a little less than 11 minutes to get their next goal, this effort not coming as cleanly as the record breaker. Right back Steve Cherundolo streaked down the sideline and swung a cross into the penalty area towards both Ching and Dempsey who were crashing in on goal. With a defender attempting to cover both U.S. players inside the six yard box, the ball bounced around before popping out for Ching to take a strike on goal, but Rouse made the save. The deflection landed in the middle of the penalty area where Bradley was able to pounce on the rebound and rip a crushing left-footed strike into the right side of the net to record a goal in his first-ever FIFA World Cup qualifier.
After just missing on the earlier sequence, Ching got some help from midfielder Pablo Mastroeni to earn his first goal since the 2007 Gold Cup. A short corner kick by Donovan to DaMarcus Beasley started the sequence, and Beasley then fed it back to Donovan who had run to the top of the penalty area. Donovan quickly slipped the ball to his right for a wide-open Mastroeni, and the two-time World Cup veteran unleashed a blast towards the mash of players in the box where it deflected off Ching and found the back of the net.
Mastroeni would leave the game in the 26th minute with a strained left glut muscle, being replaced by Freddy Adu.
All was quiet on the other end of the field for U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who started in place of usual first-choice goalkeeper Tim Howard. The Everton netminder had suffered a lower back strain in training on Friday and was not included in the 18-player game-day roster. Guzan didn’t have to make a single save in his fourth start for the full team and his first appearance in FIFA World Cup qualifying. Overall the U.S. only allowed Barbados to get off two shots, none in the second half.
Donovan started the second half scoring frenzy when he struck a free kick in the 59th minute, surprising Barbados by alertly taking a 30-yard shot while the defense was attempting to organize. Almost standing directly over the ball, Donovan took just one step before hitting a looping shot that found the lower left corner of the goal. The goal increased Donovan’s goal scoring record to 36 and was his first non-penalty strike in five goals, going back to his hat trick performance against Ecuador on March 25, 2007.
Four minutes later, Bradley slipped Ching through down the middle of the Barbados defense with a deft chip. Ching collected the ball and struck a point-blank attempt, only to be thwarted by Rouse once again, but the deflection fell to Dempsey and he easily tapped the loose ball into the wide-open net.
Eddie Johnson came on in the 81st minute and didn’t hesitate to get in on the record-breaking goal performance as he scored just a minute later on his first touch of the game. Heath Pearce provided the assist on the goal, streaking down the left flank and whipping in the cross for Johnson, who nodded it home from eight yards out.
Up 6-0, Barbados inadvertently provided the U.S. with their seventh goal when defender Daryl Ferguson accidentally knocked in a cross from Eddie Lewis while trying to stave off a poaching Ching.
Ching finished off the rout with the USA’s third goal in nine minutes when he latched onto a low cross from Cherundolo on the right sideline.
There were six other CONCACAF Second Round qualifying matches played on Sunday, with the most surprising scoreline coming out of Trinidad & Tobago where the home team lost, 2-1, to Bermuda. Mexico, Canada, Panama and Jamaica all won their first leg matches, while Haiti and the Netherlands Antilles played to a scoreless draw.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Barbados
Date: June 15, 2008
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: The Home Depot Center – Carson, California
Kickoff: 2 p.m. PT
Weather: Warm, sunny, 75 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 5 8
BRB 0 0 0
USA – Clint Dempsey (Carlos Bocanegra) 1st minute.
USA – Michael Bradley 12.
USA – Brian Ching (Pablo Mastroeni) 20.
USA – Landon Donovan 59.
USA – Clint Dempsey 63.
USA – Eddie Johnson (Heath Pearce) 82.
USA – Own goal (Daryl Ferguson) 86.
USA – Brian Ching (Steve Cherundolo) 89.
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 15-Heath Pearce; 10-Landon Donovan (9-Eddie Johnson, 81), 12-Michael Bradley, 4-Pablo Mastroeni (16-Freddy Adu, 26), 17-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Brian Ching, 8-Clint Dempsey (7-Eddie Lewis, 72)
Subs not used: 1-Matt Reis, 2-Frankie Hejduk, 13-Maurice Edu, 14-Danny Calif
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRB: 1-Alvin Rouse; 2-Dyson James, 3-Daryl Ferguson, 4-Greg Belle, 5-Bryan Neblett; 8-Jonathan Forte (13-Riviere Williams, 69), 10-Norman Forde (Capt.) (12-Malcolm Marshall, 72), 11-Jonathon Nurse (17-John Parris, 76), 15-Rommelle Burgess; 7-Paul Ifill, 9-Mark McCammon.
Subs not used: 16-Barry Skeete, 18-Adrian Chase
Head Coach: Eyre Sealy
Stats Summary: USA / BRB
Shots 22 / 2
Shots on goal 14 / 0
Saves 0 / 7
Corner Kicks 7 / 2
Fouls 15 / 12
Offside 5 / 4
BRB – Norman Forde (caution) 18th minute.
USA – Oguchi Onyewu (caution) 18.
BRB – Bryan Neblett (caution) 59.
BRB – Malcolm Marshall (caution) 79.
Referee: Marco Antonio Rodriguez (MEX)
1st Asst.: Jose Luis Camargo (MEX)
2nd Asst.: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey