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Despite missed chances, U.S., Moore displays top form in mismatch.

World Cup soccer

CONCACAF qualifying

Moore's back with nats, netting two goals, assist in 7-0 pasting of Barbados.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Wednesday, August 16, 2000) -- Striker Joe-Max Moore returned triumphantly to the United States national team tonight, scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 7-0 rout of Barbados before a pro-American crowd of 18,334 in CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying semifinal Group E action at Foxboro Stadium.

Moore had missed the first two Group E matches, rehabilitating from a knee injury suffered while playing for Everton, his club in England.

"Tonight, we obviously had a lot of chances, and honestly we could have scored quite a few more goals," Moore said. "I could have had three in the first five minutes I think. I thought it might be one of those nights, but we stayed on them and got the result we needed. At the beginning I felt it was important to get the first goal and we got that pretty quickly. The first one is always the most important one. Once we got that I felt confident."

World Cup Qualifying
Team W L T GF GA Pts
Costa Rica 2 1 0 5 4 6
USA 1 1 1 9 3 4
Guatemala 1 1 1 4 3 4
Barbados 1 2 0 2 10 3
Group E standings through 3 first-round games

Other games
Costa Rica 2
Guatemala 1

With the victory, the United States (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-6 goal differential) extended its home qualifying unbeaten streak to 14 games and moved into second place in the four-nation qualifying group with four points, ahead of Guatemala (1-1-1, plus-1) on goal differential. Yesterday, Costa Rica (2-1, 6 points, plus-1) defeated Guatemala 2-1.

"Coming into today, where we were, and walking off the field 7-0, I'm not ranting and raving about good or bad performances right now," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "We've got this game behind us. We felt it was important to get the three points. It was also important to put ourselves in better position in terms of goal differential and now all the focus will be on preparing our team for Guatemala (September 3 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.). Certainly, despite some of the poor reviews we've received from the first two games, we can be in pretty good shape if we're able to get three points against Guatemala."

The United States dominated play from the opening whistle, pounding the Barbados net with 34 shots, including 24 in the second half. Three American players, Moore, Cobi Jones, and Stewart, each had more attempts on net than the entire Barbados team.

With the two goals, Moore moves into second place on the United States' all-time goal scoring list with 22 goals, passing Bruce Murray's total of 21.

"He's excited about being back," Arena said. "He's a hard-working, blue-collar type of center forward. He probably had five or six good looks at the goal so that's the job of a forward."

Defender Eddie Pope opened the scoring in the 14th minute with his fourth international goal. Pope collected Earnie Stewart's corner kick off his chest, stepped through traffic and slammed home a low shot past goalkeeper Horace Stoute. The goal was his third in 15 games of qualifying action for the United States.

Striker Brian McBride made the score 2-0 in the 28th minute, converting a low shot inside the left post after defender Tony Sanneh and Moore worked the ball down the right flank.

Moore, making his first appearance at Foxboro Stadium with the national team after starring there with the New England Revolution for four years, scored just before the halftime whistle to make the score 3-0. Midfielder Stewart accepted McBride's pass on the left flank and spotted Moore alone in the penalty area. After his initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper, Moore pounced on the rebound for the score.

"This is my favorite place to play in the U.S. It's a great stadium," said Moore of Foxboro where the U.S. is 5-0-3 in full internationals. Coming back from injury, "I felt all right tonight. I've been here for three days now, but two weeks from now we will all come in five days before (the Guatemala qualifier), so I think we'll be better adjusted."

Barbados (1-2, 3 points, minus-8) was dealt a serious blow when two players were ejected from the match within a five-minute span late in the first half. Defender Gus Hurdle was shown a red card after throwing a punch at Jones in the 38th minute, and forward Eric Lavine collected his second yellow card of the night after a pair of hard tackles on midfielders Claudio Reyna and Chris Armas.

Midfielder John O'Brien, a substitute for Armas, scored his first international goal just seconds into the second half after knifing through the Barbados defense and blistering a low shot just inside the right post for a 4-0 advantage.

Midfielder Tab Ramos and Stewart scored a pair of goals two minutes apart for the American's fifth and sixth goals. Ramos launched a rocket into the left side of the net in the 72nd minute, and Stewart tapped Eddie Lewis' cross home in the 74th.

Moore capped off his well-received homecoming by slotting home a shot for the 7-0 final score in the 82nd minute.

The Americans’ central defensive pairing of Gregg Berhalter and Pope held Barbados in check for most of the match, allowing the Bajans only one shot on goal, which was easily saved by goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

"This is the first time this year I've been able to put McBride and Moore together so obviously it's going to take some time," Arena said. "It's the first time we've been able to play Berhalter and Pope together, which has been a goal of mine for about a year. And it's the first time we've really had John O'Brien into camp, which we've been trying desperately for a year and a half to get John here on a consistent basis. So if we continue to have good fortune with injuries."

The possible bad news of the evening was a knee injury suffered by Armas at the end of the first half. He will be evaluated further.

United States 7, Barbados 0

Lineups: United States - Brad Friedel (captain) Tony Sanneh, Gregg Berhalter, Eddie Pope (Eddie Lewis 60), David Regis, Earnie Stewart, Chris Armas (John O'Brien 45), Claudio Reyna - captain (Tab Ramos 53), Cobi Jones, Brian McBride, Joe-Max Moore. Barbados - Horace Stoute, Gus Hurdle, Shane Mark, Michael Gilkes John Parris, John Harkesworth, Gregory Goodridge (captain), (Romelle Burgess 51), Elvin Griffith (Michael Forde 24), Norman Forde (Selwyn Thorne 68); Eric Lavine, Llewellyn Riley.

United States - Pope (Stewart) 14,
United States - McBride (Moore) 28.
United States - Moore (unassisted) 45.
United States - O'Brien (Jones) 46.
United States - Ramos (Stewart) 72.
United States - Stewart (Lewis) 74.
United States - Moore (Jones) 82.

Shots: United States 34, Barbados 4. Saves: United States 1, Barbados 7. Corner kicks: United States 9, Barbados 0. Fouls: United States 21, Barbados 13 Offside: United States 2, Barbados 1. Yellow card caution: Barbados - Lavine 36. Red card ejections: Barbados - Hurdle 38, Lavine (second yellow card) 41.

Referee: Jose Pineda (Honduras). Assistant referees: Reynaldo Salinas (Honduras), Fernando Gross (Honduras). Attendance: 18,334 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Weather: 76 degrees, clear, breezy.

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