U-23s shut out Milwaukee; leave for England

The U.S. Under-23 National Team beat the defending A-League champion Milwaukee Rampage 3-0 in an exhibition match at the Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee July 26, one day before the team's departure to England on its first-ever international tour. UCLA midfielder Peter Vagenas helped create all three second-half goals and converted a late penalty kick as the U.S. controlled play during the afternoon heat in Milwaukee. The Under-23's hard work in the midfield paid off in the 54th minute when Vagenas sprung forward Chris Brown through the heart of the Milwaukee defense. Brown took the pass in stride, carried the ball forward into the penalty area and forced a well-driven shot through the legs of goalkeeper Dan Green. Vagenas set up the second U.S. goal as well, this time sending a short crisp pass into the penalty area for forward Scott Bower after intercepting a poor clearance from Milwaukee's Casey Sweeney. Bower's push through the penalty area forced defender Pat White into a poor touch, sending the ball into his own net for an own goal at 67 minutes. The 20-year-old Vagenas completed his work in the 84th minute, sending hard-working midfielder Evan Whitfield down the right flank, where Sweeney took him down as he tried to cut back toward goal. Referee Alberto Etcheverria immediately pointed at the spot, where Vagenas stepped up and calmly converted the penalty kick in the 85th minute. "I thought we played well," said head coach Clive Charles. "We controlled possession in the first half and in the second half we were more direct and went at them. Overall I'm happy with the performance, but we still have a long way to go. It's nice to leave here with a win." The U.S. team, comprised of players eligible to represent the U.S. at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, had just 13 field players available for the match. Five additional players (Joey DiGiamarino, Carlos Parra, Sasha Victorine, Brian West and Josh Wolff) are scheduled to join the team in England for their first-ever international tour. The Americans depart July 27 for England, where they will spend 16 days training at the grounds of English powerhouse Manchester United. During the tour, the U.S. squad will face the reserve teams of Bolton Wanderers (Aug. 1), Liverpool (Aug. 5) and Manchester United (Aug. 8), as well as the first team from lower division Hyde United (Aug 12). July 26 in Milwaukee Milwaukee (A-League) 0 USA 3. Goals: Brown 54, own goal (P.White) 67, Vagenas (pen.) 85. Milwaukee -- Isacco (Green, 46), Sweeney, Timbers, Watzka (Marshall, 46), Morris (Gentile, 46), Gansler, P.White, E.White (Roy, 46), Mekelburg (Igel, 46), Tostes, Willan (Rensing, 46). USA -- Kirk, Chulis, Corrales, Dunseth, McCarty, Whitfield, Shak (Winters, 65), Otero, Bower (Hooper, 75), Vagenas, Brown. Yellow cards: Milwaukee -- Willan 6; USA -- Dunseth 19, Hooper 89. Referee: Alberto Etcheverria. Att.: 2,112.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications