Bocanegra, Klein score early, sending Americans to 2-1 win over Jamaica.
KINGSTON, Jamaica (Wednesday, February 12, 2003) -- Early in the first half, defender Carlos Bocanegra scored and assisted midfielder Chris Klein's tally a minute later, powering the United States to a 2-1 decision over Jamaica tonight before an estimated 27,000 at National Stadium.
The U.S. has never lost to Jamaica with an overall 8-0-5 record, 2-0-4 at National Stadium.
"It was a good result and a good experience for our young players," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. "This is a long process and winning is not the bottom line, but to get a result in Kingston certainly gives the team confidence. This game looked a lot like a World Cup qualifier."
In his first starting performance in the U.S. midfield, Bobby Convey made an immediate impact early, winning a corner kick in the 11th minute. He sent the left-side corner into the middle of the penalty area with defender Nick Garcia flying in, barely missing getting on his head on the ball before it went to Bocanegra who knocked his header through sprawling Jamaica goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence for a 1-0 lead.
"We've been working on corners in training," Bocanegra said. "Either myself or Danny Califf goes to the near post, and the other goes to the far post, and the others make room. It was my turn to go to the near post and Bobby Convey hit a great ball. I think it froze the keeper and went through his legs."
The goal was Bocanegra's second in 10 full international appearances with Convey recording his second assist in six caps.
"It was a good win for team morale and it was important to leave a good impression on Bruce as we all depart for our club teams," said Bocanegra about the 17 players on the U.S. roster set to join their Major League Soccer teams for preseason training. "The effort tonight showed that we can bounce back and play hard after a tough result."
Soon after, Bocanegra was at it again, earning his first national-team assist from the left flank by finding Klein free at the top of the box with a long, lofted lead pass. Collecting the ball, Klein approached the right corner of the six-yard box before rifling a powerful shot into the left side netting for his second tally in 10 appearances and a 2-0 advantage.
"Carlos has been asking me for the last six weeks that if he plays that ball over to me, will I be there?," Klein said. "It was a wonderful ball behind the defense and I was fortunate to get on the end of it."
Arena said, "Carlos had a good solid performance tonight, not only defensively, but he was able to get forward and contribute offensively. . . Chris Klein had an absolute blinder. We only pulled him out because Stevie Ralston has done well in practice and I felt we needed to get him a game."
Jamaica narrowed its deficit to 2-1 in the 52nd minute when forward Onandi Lowe nailed a 30-yard free kick into the top left corner past diving goalkeeper Tim Howard.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley left the match in the 83rd minute with a deep bruise on his right shin.
United States 2, Jamaica 1
Lineups: Jamaica - Aaron Lawrence, Claude Davis (Damien Francis 76), Ian Goodison, Tyrone Marshall, Craig Ziadie, Robert Scarlett (Shane Crawford 76), Omar Daley (Jermaine Johnson 73), Ricardo Gardner (Fabian Taylor 89), Theodore Whitmore, Deon Burton (Andrew Williams 82), Onandi Lowe. United States - Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Nick Garcia, Dan Califf, Steve Cherundolo, Pablo Mastroeni, DaMarcus Beasley (Pete Vagenas 83), Chris Klein (Steve Ralston 46), Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan (Jeff Cunningham 79), Clint Mathis (captain).
Shots: Jamaica 10, United States 7. Saves: Jamaica 3, United States 5. Corner kicks: Jamaica 2, United States 4. Fouls: Jamaica 16, United States 11. Offside: Jamaica 0, United States 1. Yellow card cautions: Jamaica - Burton 57, Ziadie 61; United States - Mastroeni 51.
Referee: Godfrey Bowen (Cayman Islands). Attendance: 27,000 (estimated) at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy, humid.