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West’s 2 goals, 2 assists spark U.S. U-23s over Manchester United reserves.

MANCHESTER, England (Saturday, August 8, 1998) -- Brian West had two goals and two assists to lead the United States under-23 to a 4-1 romp over the Manchester United reserve team this afternoon.

The victory was the second in three games for the U.S. on its tour of England, following a 1-0 win over the Bolton Wanderers' reserves last Saturday and a 3-2 loss to Liverpool’s reserves on Wednesday.

"This was a very good performance for us, against a very strong Man. United reserve team," U.S. coach Clive Charles said."I'm half-worried that a result like this will make people think maybe they didn't have their strongest team out there, but we know that's not the case.We were playing against a team worth quite a few million pounds individually, a team with a number of players who train and play daily with the first team. This match was a step up for us in terms of competition."

West, a forward for the Columbus Crew, scored first in the 11th minute to tie the match at 1 with a run through the middle of United's defense. Chris Brown (Portland, Ore., University of Portland) sent West the ball and the 20-year-old from Laurel, Md. won the ball from defender Chris Caspar, dribbled to his left around goalkeeper Paul Ruchubka, and finished strongly with a tough-angle, left-foot blast into the top of the net with two defenders closing in.

In the 36th minute, West worked found net on a carbon copy of his first goal. Brown had a foot in the second goal, as well, pushing the ball to midfielder Peter Vagenas (Pasadena, Calif., UCLA) at the top of the penalty area. Vagenas controlled well, beat one defender and then slid a pass through the legs of another defender to West in the penalty area. As he did on his first tally, West pushed the ball around the keeper and then hit a shot into the empty net.

The second half belonged to the U.S., which outshot the United reserves 5-2 in the final 45 minutes (10-7 for the game).West had the assist on the third goal as he broke free on the right wing and hitting a blistering cross to the near post, which was redirected into the right side of the net from four yards by Vagenas.

In the games final moments, second-half substitute Scott Bower (Tampa, Fla., Clemson University) took a short square pass from West and carried the ball 40 yards down the right wing before slamming a 20-yard shot into the far left corner of the goal.The 88th minute goal was created by West tracking back on defense and intercepting an errant pass from the United reserves.

United's lone goal was created by 18-year-old Californian John Thorrington, who fought hard for a ball in the midfield and changed the direction of attack with a well-placed pass into the right wing for overlapping right back Michael Clegg. Clegg carried the ball into the penalty area and hit net in the eighth minute from a difficult angle past U.S. keeper Andy Kirk (Earlysville, Va., San Jose Clash).

The U.S. under-23 team is comprised of players eligible to represent the U.S. at the 2000 Olympic Games. With a 5-1-3 record in 1998, the Americans will complete their tour against non-league Hyde United on Wednesday

United States (under-23s) 4, Manchester United (reserves) 1

Lineups: Manchester- Paul Ruchubka, Michael Clegg, Lee Roach (Dominic Studley 35), Chris Caspar, Ronnie Wallwork, Ryan Ford, John Thorrington, Wayne Evans, John Greening (George Clegg 77), Jamie Woods, Luke Chadwick (Ian Fitzpatrick 73). United States - Andrew Kirk, Evan Whitfield, Chad McCarty, Brian Dunseth, Ramiro Corrales, Brian Winters, Sasha Victorine (Steve Shak 70), Peter Vagenas, Joey DiGiamarino, Brian West, Chris Brown (Scott Bower 70).

Scoring: Manchester - Clegg (Thorrington) 8; United States - West (Brown) 11; United States - Brian West (Peter Vagenas) 36; United States - Vagenas (West) 74; United States - Bower (Brian West) - 88. Shots: Manchester 7, United States 10. Saves: Manchester 2, United States 5. Corner kicks: Manchester 3, United States 2. Fouls: Manchester 5, United States 14. Offside: Manchester 2, United States 2.

Attendance: 300 at Cliff Training Ground in Manchester, England. Weather: 73 degrees, sunny early, then overcast.