Wegerle scores to lift USA over Sweden 1-0. Mooreís hustle sets up second-minute goal.
ORLANDO (Saturday, January 24, 1998) -- The United States wasnít impressive in victory, but it was a win nonetheless. Facing a young, inexperienced Sweden side with six Swedes representing their nation for the first time. The U.S. relied on an early goal by Roy Wegerle, the wily veteran with the rejuvenated legs, for a 1-0 decision in an international friendly before 12,773 at the Florida Citrus Bowl this afternoon.
The match was the Americansí first of 1998 as preparation for this summerís World Cup in France began in earnest. Sweden, which finished third in the 1994 World Cup, did not qualify for France í98, thus was preparing for the future with a youth movement.
Wegerle scored the only goal, but it was a product of the effort of fellow frontrunner Joe-Max Moore. Moore blocked Andreas Jacobssonís clearing attempt, then chased down the loose ball, chipping a pass over the slide tackle of defender Johan Mjallby.
Wegerle ran down the ball at the center of the 18-yardline, carried left around approaching goalkeeper Magnus Kihlstedt and slotted the ball into an open net beyond the futile slide of Teddy Lucic with 91 seconds elapsed. It was the third goal in two games for the 33-year-old Wegerle who found net twice against Canada in the Americans World Cup qualifying clincher November 9.
Brad Friedel was steady with no need to be spectacular in goal until the 88th minute. Jacobsson slipped behind the American defense, spun to avoid retreating midfielder John Harkes and launched a 20-yarder that Friedel had to dive quickly to his right to stop.
Notes: Defender Gregg Berhalter was impressive in his first start for the U.S., teaming in the center with former University of North Carolina teammate Eddie Pope.
Today's game was the first in two months for most of the U.S.ís starting lineup. The Americansí last game was November 16 in a 4-2 qualifying triumph over El Salvador in Foxborough, Mass. Only midfielders Ernie Stewart and Claudio Reyna have played a top-level game since.
United States 1, Sweden 0Lineups: USA - Brad Friedel, Mike Burns, Gregg Berhalter, Eddie Pope, Jeff Agoos, Ernie Stewart, John Harkes, Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones (Eric Wynalda 46), Joe-Max Moore (Roy Lassiter 64) Roy Wegerle (Preki Radosavljevic 64). Sweden - Magnus Kihlstedt, Morgan Nilsson, Andreas Jacobsson, Johan Mjallby, Teddy Lucic, Hans Bergh (Marcus Lantz 76), Magnus Erlingmark, Fredrik Ljungberg (Daniel Andersson, 76), Yksel Osmanovski, Erik Wahlstedt (Mats Lilienberg, 76), Mattias Jonsson (Christer Mattiasson, 86).
Scoring: USA - Roy Wegerle (Joe-Max Moore) 2. Total shots: USA 9, Sweden 9. Saves: USA 4, Sweden 3. Corner kicks: USA 6, Sweden 5. Fouls: USA 15, Sweden 20. Offsides: USA 3, Sweden 5. Yellow card cautions: USA - Burns 59; Sweden - Mjallby 25, Andersson 86.
Referee: Richard Grady (USA). Referee's assistants: Laszlo Nagy (USA), Chip Reed (USA). Attendance (Citrus Bowl): 12,773 (weather: 68 degrees, cloudy, mild wind).