U.S. Soccer: U.S. beats Swiss team, 2-1, in scrimmage
Utilizing a lineup comprised mainly of players who did not start against China Jan. 27, the United States national team breezed past defending Swiss League champion FC St. Gallen in a closed-door scrimmage at Florida Atlantic University Jan. 30.
Josh Wolff and Landon Donovan scored for the United States in a physical 2-1 victory.
ôThis was a good practice game for us,ö said U.S. coach Bruce Arena after the game. ôIt gave us a chance to give 90 minutes to some of our players who didnÆt see any time against China, and to continue to move forward with some of the things we do tactically, as well as improve the overall fitness of our team.ö
One of the few players who did play in both games was Clint Mathis, who played 70 minutes against China and was on the field for the entire scrimmage against St. Gallen.
ôIt was good to get out here and get another game in as far as my comfort level playing in a slightly different position than I do in MLS,ö said Mathis, who set up WolffÆs first-half goal. ôItÆs always a positive when you can play another team as opposed to an intra-squad scrimmage. I was able to get a few more touches on the ball today and that can only help me get better under pressure situations IÆll see in the big games.ö
Midfielder Cobi Jones saw his first game action of 2001 and looked sharp in a 90-minute appearance. Jones, who was unavailable for the China game for personal reasons, looks to continue the offensive production that made him one of the most explosive players on the team in 2000. Jones should figure prominently in ArenaÆs game plan when the United States squares off in a Gold Cup rematch against Colombia on Feb. 3 at the Orange Bowl in Miami (ESPN2 & Telemundo).
ôIÆm looking forward to the game,ö said Jones. ôColombia is a strong opponent and we always match up well with them. I expect this match to be another hard-fought battle. Playing in Miami, I expect they will have good support in the stands, and hopefully weÆll get a lot of fans out there supporting us as well.ö
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