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U.S. U-17 schedule & results

U.S. U-17 Men's roster

Three second-half goals spark 4-2 triumph over Canada.

Despite dominance, late Marshall, Quaranta goals are needed for qualifying 2-1 victory over Jamaica.

U.S. under-17 men

Johnson's three goals, Quaranta's effort propel U.S. to world championship, blanking El Salvador 4-0

By Robert Wagman
SoccerTimes

ST. LOUIS (Sunday, April 22, 2001) -- Ed Johnson found net three times while fellow striker Santino Quaranta added a score and an assist to power the United States under-17 men to the world championships with a 4-0 domination of El Salvador in CONCACAF Group A qualifying before 2,206 at Hermann Stadium this afternoon.

World Cup Qualifying
CONCACAF 2001
Team W L T GF GA Pts
United States 3 0 0 10 3 9
Canada 1 1 1 6 5 4
El Salvador 1 1 1 4 5 4
Jamaica 0 3 0 1 8 0
Group play completed

Wedneday's results
United States 2, Jamaica 1
Canada 1, El Salvador 1
Friday's schedule
El Salvador 3, Jamaica 0
United States 4, Canada 2
Sunday's schedule
Canada 3, Jamaica 0
United States 4, El Salvador 0

The U.S. needed a victory or tie to capture this group and advance to the world tournament in Trinidad & Tobago in September. The Americans were the dominant from the outset and after Johnson and Quaranta tallied within a four-minute span midway through the first half, there was no doubt remaining as to which was the better side.

"This is the culmination of a year and a half of work for these guys," U.S. coach John Ellinger said. "Im glad they saved their best soccer for last. This was a very good El Salvador team and we really handled them with ease. We never let them back in the match. I saw this group as something special 18 months ago and now they are living up to what I saw in them."

The U.S. has qualified for every biennial under-17 world championship tournament since it was introduced in 1985. The age limit was 16 in 1985, 1987 and 1989.

The match started out tight and physical with El Salvador content to pack in its defense and counterattack. The U.S. came up empty on several early chances and the Salvadorans squandered a golden opportunity in the 17th minute when a hard shot from Juan Medrano was cleared off the line by defender Gary Griffin.

In the 29th minute, Quaranta controlled the ball in the center of the field and pushed it to midfielder Jordan Stone at the top right corner of the penalty area. Stone looped into the path of Ed Johnson who, eight yards from the center of the goal, efficiently deposited the ball into the right corner for a 1-0 lead.

Four minute later, midfielder Michael Magee led Quaranta as he moved from right to left trough the box. Quaranta controlled, changed the ball to his right foot and found the right corner to make it 2-0.

The U.S. continued its pressure after intermission. Quaranta outfought two defenders on the right flank and passed to Magee who stepped over the ball, allowing Johnson to collect it on the left side, hesitate and beat goalkeeper Hnery Hernandez for a 3-0 advantage after 50 minutes.

Johnson completed his hat trick in the 70th minute, running unmarked into the box to receive defender Jordan Harveys well-placed cross to bury a header for a 4-0 bulge.

"I knew I had to step up today," said Johnson who led the tournament with five goals and now has 20 goals in 18 international outings. "I knew these guys were going to support me and I just did my best to make the most of the opportunities they gave me. Im just so happy now."

El Salvador midfielder Anibal Najarro let his frustration vent in the 79th minute with a viscious and unnecessary flying tackle of U.S. defender Chad Marshall. Najarro was awarded the obvious red card, departing while Marshall was treated on the ground. Helped off the field, X-rays later revealed Marshall had a bone contusion on his left tibia.

"I saw that number 14 go in and I saw a look in his eyes," Ellinger said of Najarro. "I said to my assistants Hes going to whack someone. He did and we may have lost one of our most valuable guys."

Another odd sequence followed two minute later when Quaranta was literally tackled in the box as he prepared to shoot at empty net. Quaranta converted his first try, but referee Richard Piper waved it off, ruling a U.S. player encroached into the penalty area -- replays did not show an American in the box, but at least one Salvadoran. Hernandez saved a second attempt, but the keeper had advanced four yards off his line before the kick, necessitating a third PK. This time, Quaranta targeted the left corner, but Hernandez made a leaping stop, guiding the shot with his right hand off the goalpost.

United States 4, El Salvador 0

Lineups: United States - Adam Schuerman, Chris Lancos, Jordan Harvey, Gray Griffin (captain), Chad Marshall (Paul Johnson 83), Jordan Stone, Craig Capano, Mike Magee (David Johnson 75), Justin Mapp (Chefik Simo 68), Santino Quaranta, Ed Johnson. El Salvador - Henry Hernandez, Juan Aviles, Alexander Escobar, John Garcia, Isaac Zelaya, Emmanuel Castillo, Jose Ochoa (Erick Trujillo 46), Juan Francisco Leiva (Anibal Najarro 75), Mario Posades (Andres Rivera 62), Marvin Bernal, Dennis Alas.

Scoring:
United States - E. Johnson (Stone) 29.
United States - Quaranta (Magee) 33.
United States - E. Johnson (Quaranta) 50.
United States - E. Johnson (Harvey) 71.

Shots: United States 17, El Salvador 7. Saves: United States 6, El Salvador 5. Corner kicks: United States 8, El Salvador 1 Fouls: United States 15, El Salvador 13. Offside: United States 2, El Salvador 0. Yellow card cautions: United States - Capano 46+, Stone 75; El Salvador - Castillo 24, Medrano 34. Red card ejection: El Salvador - Najarro 79.

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico). Assistant referees: Ian Parker (Antigua), Leonel Leal (Costa Rica) Attendance: 2,206 at Hermann Stadium in St. Louis. Weather: 70 degrees, cloudy, gusty.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com.

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