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Pan Am Games

Donovan, Bocanegra score as U.S. beats Canada 2-1 for bronze medal.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Friday, August 6, 1999) -- The United States under-23 men got goals from Landon Donovan and Carlos Bocanegra and withstood a late charge from Canada to earn the Pan American Games bronze medal with a 2-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,000 fans at a rain-soaked Winnipeg Soccer Complex today.

It was the Americansí third Pan Am medal. The Americans won gold in 1991 and took a bronze in 1959.

"As time went on we all got better because this is a team that was thrown together," Donovan said. "By the end of the tournament we molded together and we put it out there today."

Bocanegra gave the Americans an early lead, when he netted his first U-23 goal in the seventh minute. The UCLA defender carried the ball forward from his left back position and played the ball wide on the left side to Cory Gibbs. Gibbs trapped the ball and sent a cross into the goal mouth where a sprinting Bocanegra headed it into the lower left corner of the net from six yards.

Donovan, who normally plays for the U.S. under-17s, nearly found net twice for the Americans before intermission, and missed a breakaway in the early second half. But the Bayer Leverkusen striker finally found his mark in the 60th minute, pounding in a loose ball from close range.

Pete Vagenas laid the ball back to a charging Brian Winters, who struck the ball first time from 22 yards out. Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld was unable to control the shot. Donovan jumped on the rebound and poked it in from two yards out.

"Once they started pushing forward, our midfield had a lot of room and they picked up balls and were playing great balls, and unfortunately we couldnít finish more," Donovan said "I was surprised we had so much (room). We had three or four breakaways. Weíre not used to that. We played well. Iím just happy we won the game. Thatís all I care about. Itís all about that bronze medal."

Canada closed the gap in the 85th minute when substitute Chris Pozniak beat a sliding Sasha Victorine and his bending shot from 22 yards curled into the upper right hand corner of the net.

Canada nearly equalized two minutes later, but striker Dwayne Derosario was whistled for being offside before he dribbled around a diving goalkeeper Tim Howard. Howard was called on to make only two saves.

The U.S. men finish the tournament with a 3-2-1 record and are 13-7-9 record in the last two years, since Clive Charles took over the team and began preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games.

"We're in great shape," Charles said. "U.S. Soccer has never been in as good shape as it is right now."

United States 2, Canada 1

Line-ups: United States: n/a; Canada: n/a.

Scoring:
United States - Bocanegra (Gibbs) 7;
United States - Donovan (unassisted) 54;
Canada - Pozniak 85;

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