U.S. under-23 men
Vagenas leads the way in 3-1 win over Armenia.PASADENA, Calif. (Sunday, January 16, 2000) -- Pete Vagenas had the game-winning goal and an assist while Conor Casey and Landon Donovan added tallies for the United States under-23 men who opened 2000 with a 3-1 triumph over Armenia before the remnants of a crowd of 50,181 at the Rose Bowl tonight.
The match was the second game of a doubleheader which opened with the U.S. drawing 1-1 with Iran in a senior menís match. Much of the heavily pro-Iranian crowd departed before the match of U-23 Olympic teams.
With the score tied 1-1, the U.S. went ahead with a quick combination. It started with an inswinging corner kick from defender Ramiro Corrales, who swerved it perfectly to the far post. Defender Chad McCarty leaped to head it the ball backwards and it skipped through the box and past three U.S. players to the feet Vagenas, a midfielder who sent a 25-yard blast into the back of the net for the 2-1 advantage in the 51st minute.
In the closing moments, Vagenas dribbled through two challenges laying the ball of to 17-year-old striker Landon Donovan, who easily finished the scoring a 3-1 in the 90th.
The U.S. went ahead 1-0 in the sixth when the American frontrunners beat an Armenian offside trap and raced on with a four-on-none advantage. Forwards Chris Albright and Conor Casey worked a give-and-go to perfection against helpless Armenian goalkeeper Haroutyan Abrahamyan, with Casey tapping it into an empty net.
Ten minutes later, the Armenians equalized at 1 when midfielder Tigram Petrosyantz gathered the ball outside the penalty box and unleashed a 23-yard rocket that caught U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown off his line and flat-footed.
The U.S. had a solid scoring chance to go ahead 2-1 in the first half, but Corrales' shot following a free kick from 25 yards sailed 10 feet wide of the near post in the 38th minute. Armenia had its own chance to pull into the lead before the half in the 43rd minute with a possession in the box that resulted in a shot by Arthur Petrosyan, whose blast sailed a few feet high.
The Americans next travel to Portugal for a foreign tour of three games from January 21-30 and then spend February 6-11 training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., playing three matches in six days, including a rare match against the full senior national team and two games against Major League Soccer clubs.
Looming on the horizon is CONCACAF's under-23 Olympic qualifying tournament April 21-30 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa.
United States 3, Armenia 1Lineups: United States - Adin Brown, Steve Cherundolo, Chad McCarty, Brian Dunseth (captain.), Ramiro Corrales; John O'Brien, John Thorrington, DaMarcus Beasley, Peter Vagenas; Conor Casey, Chris Albright (Landon Donovan 65). Armenia - Haroutyoun Abrahamyan, Yervant Soukiassyan, Vartan Khacthtryan (captain), Rafayel Nazaryan, Haroutyun Vatanyan, Armen Bediguyan, Arthur Petrosyan, Tigram Petrosyantz, Ara Hagopyan (Armand Karamyan), Aram Hagopyan, Ardavaszt Karamyan.
Shots: United States 11, Armenia 9.
Referee: Gerry Proctor (Canada)