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U.S. and Canada play scoreless U-23 tie. Charles debuts as Olympic coach.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Saturday, March 28, 1998) -- The United States menís under-23 team played a scoreless tie today with Canada at the University of Portland's Merlo Field.

The match was the first of the year for the U.S. U-23s, who represent the core of players eligible to compete in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games. It also was the first match for new Olympic (U-23) coach Clive Charles who is the menís and womenís coach at UP, as well as national team coach Steve Sampsonís top assistant.

It also marked the first time the majority of players in the U.S. Olympic pool were professionals. Fifteen of the 28 players on the roster for the Canada match were pros.

The Canadians owned much of the early play, but after the U.S. settled into the game, the Americans produced several good opportunities to score. The first of these came in the 21st minute as midfielder Scott Bower sent a penetrating through ball to a streaking Eric Quill. Quill broke in on the left side of the penalty area but his shot from 16 yards was saved by Canadian goalkeeper Mike Franks.

Franks came up big later in the half also, as U.S. defender Ramiro Corrales' hard, bending free kick from the top of the penalty area was parried wide of the goal.

In the second half, the U.S. defense, in particular central backs Carlos Parra and Steve Cherundolo, defused each Canadian attack. Anchoring the defense was goalkeeper Matt Napoleon, who saved Canada's best opportunity moments after the second half started. Napoleon glided across the goal line to deny Dwayne DeRosario's point-blank shot from six yards.

At the other end, the U.S. produced numerous chances in the final 45 minutes, most of which centered around the attacking duo of Josh Wolff and Brian West. The former U-20 strike pair reunited up front for the U-23s, and both had opportunities to dent the Canadian net. Wolff was saved by Franks from close range in the 55th minute, and, seven minutes later, West shot just over the bar after he collected a long pass from Cherundolo.

As the second half drifted to a close, both team pushed players into the attack looking for the decisive goal. But neither team could produce a tally.

The U.S. finished the match with 10 men after Cherundolo was sent off for collecting his second yellow card in the 87th minute.

United States 0, Canada 0

Lineups: United States - Matt Napoleon, Carlos Parra, Steve Cherundolo, Ramiro Corrales, Matt Chulis, Eric Quill (Benjamin Hooper 46), Antonio Otero, Evan Whitfield, Scott Bower, Josh Wolff, Brian West (Chris Brown 79). Canada - Mike Franks, Jeff Clarke, Jeff Skinner, Brad Parker, Stephen McCauley, Jason Bent, Paul Stalteri, Robbie Aristodemo, Steve Kindel, Jason Jordon, Dwayne DeRosario (Jason Mathot 79).

Scoring: none. Shots: United States 5, Canada 7. Saves: United States 3, Canada 4. Corner kicks: United States 8, Canada 6. Fouls: United States 21, Canada 15. Offside: United States 0, Canada 4. Yellow card caution: United States: Parra 11, Cherundolo 23; Canada Parker 30. Red card ejection: United States - Cherundolo (second yellow card) 87.

Referee: Tim Weyland (United States). Assistant referees: Simon Ingham (United States), Dustin Perkins (United States). Attendance (Merlo Field): 1,590. Weather: 45 degrees.