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U.S. under-17 men

New Zealand is next after Onyewu’s two goals spark 4-0 rout of El Salvador.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Saturday, May 22, 1999) -- There was little doubt the United States would qualify for the under-17 men’s world championship to be competed in New Zealand in November. The Americans, however, put the finishing touches on their feat in style.

Getting two goals from Oguchi Onyewu and a goal and two assists by DaMarcus Beasley, the U.S. blanked El Salvador 4-0 before 20,782 in the opener of a doubleheader with the host Columbus Crew at the Major League Soccer team’s brand new stadium.

With a 6-1 victory in the first leg of the two-match series accomplished in San Salvador May 9, the U.S. posted a cumulative 10-1 victory for the third and final CONCACAF berth in the world tournament which will be played November 10-27. The U.S. is the only nation to qualify for all seven under-17 world championships since the event was initiated in 1985.

"It is great to return to Columbus and get a win in a very convincing manner in this awesome stadium," U-17 coach John Ellinger said. "This team always plays to win and today was no exception . . . First we had the pressure of qualifying for the world championship but now we will have the pressure of performing well in New Zealand and I am confident this team will do well."

Onyewu, a defender, put the U.S. ahead 1-0 moments before intermission. In the 44th minute, he headed home a left-side corner kick by Beasley.

"As the game went on we picked up the intensity and created numerous scoring chances," Onyewu said. "I was in the right place at the right time. Beasley hit a perfect cross and I all I had to do was re-direct the ball past the keeper."

Beasley increased the lead to 2-0 with some crafty footwork in the 54th minute. After blowing by three defenders Beasley slotted the ball six yards into the net past El Salvador goalkeeper Christian Blanco.

Five minutes later, Onyewu and Beasley teamed up when Beasley sent a cross to Onyewu, who outjumped Blanco to put the ball in the net. The goal came with a price. In the collision the Salvadoran keeper, Onyewu chipped a tooth and suffered a blackened right eye forcing him to leave the match.

Striker Landon Donovan finished the scoring in the 87th minute with his 30th goal in 33 U-17 appearances. He received a throw-in from midfielder Kyle Beckerman and pushed a shot past Blanco.

Upon scoring the goal, Donovan raised his shirt during his celebration revealing a message on his undershirt addressed to his grandfather who died last month. It read: "For you Grandpa, a wish."

"My grandfather passed away last month and never had a chance to watch me play," Donovan said. "That goal was for him because I know he was watching."

The U.S. gained a one-player advantage when El Salvador midfielder Luis Martinez was sent off with a red card in the 61st minute. Ten minutes later, the U.S. was reduced to 10 men when midfielder Seth Trembly was ejected. He will be suspended for the first match of the world championships.

United States 4, El Salvador 0

Lineups: United States - Delvin Countess, Nelson Akwari, Seth Trembly, Alexander Yi, Oguchi Onyewu (Adolfo Gregorio 61), Bryan Jackson (Kelen Kalso 76), Kenneth Cutler, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Jordan Cila (Bobby Convey 65), Landon Donovan; El Salvador - Christian Blanco, Raul Gudiel, Mario Gonzalez, Eliseo Quintanilla, Luis Martinez, Alexander Escobar, Miguel Carrallo (Juan Leiva 58), Jose Rivera, Hilmar Monterossa, Eduardo Aguilar (Roberto Ochoa 46), Cristian Cerrarva.

United States - Onyewu (Beasley) 44;
United States - Beasley (unassisted) 54;
United States - Onyewu (Beasley) 59;
United States - Donovan (Beckerman) 87.

Shots: United States 24, El Salvador 11. Saves: United States 9, El Salvador 4. Corner kicks: United States 17, El Salvador 6. Fouls: United States 21, El Salvador 11. Offside: not reported. Yellow card cautions: United States - Donovan 27; El Salvador - Gonzalez 5, Monterossa 31. Red card ejections: United States - Trembly 71; El Salvador - Martinez 61.

Referee: Peter Pendergast (Jamaica). Referee’s assistants: Owen Powell (Jamaica), Rinaldo Francis (Jamaica). Attendance: 20,782 at Columbus (Ohio) Crew Stadium. Weather: 65 degrees, rainy.

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