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In battle of youth, Canada is no match for the Americans.

U.S. men

Three Americans notch first goal in 4-0 rout of Canada.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, January 18, 2003) -- Three Americans recorded their first international goals, allowing the United States men to open their 2003 campaign by thumping Canada 4-0 tonight before 6,549 at Lockhart Stadium.

Defender Carlos Bocanegra, and midfielders Chris Klein and Steve Ralston found net for the first time in a U.S. uniform.

Both nations were playing without their European-based players and the American program proved to be much richer in young talent. The U.S. is 6-0-4 in the last 10 meeting with Canada over the last 10 years. The Americans are 10-8-8 all-time against Canada, dating back to 1925, recording the most goals against their northern neighbor since back-to-back 6-1 victories in 1925 and 1926.

"We took them out of the game early and that is what you want to do," said midfielder Landon Donovan who turned in a dominating effort and assisted two goals. "We have a lot of good young players on this team and they did well. Ben Olsen is back and playing very well, so that helps us, and Bobby (Convey) did a great job doing what he had to, to be on the field and contribute."

The U.S. jumped out to a 3-0 lead by intermission, starting with Bocanegra's header and later increased by tallies from striker Clint Mathis and Klein, 51 seconds apart, erasing any doubt about the outcome.

Bocanegra headed home a corner kick from defender Convey in the seventh minute for a 1-0 lead.

"What we usually do is have me or Danny Califf run to the near-post space where I got the header," Bocanegra said. "I just got lucky that Bobby Convey whipped me a good ball. I don't even think they marked me. I was wide open."

Mathis' goal in the 31st minute came on a nifty diagonal through ball from Donovan for the 11th strike of his international career. Along with eight career assists, the 26-year-old forward has 30 points in 27 appearances to move into the top 10 on the U.S. all-time scoring list.

"It was a great start to a new year. We're moving on to the next year," Mathis said. "We're going to have a busy year playing some big times, and this is a good way to get the younger guys a new taste who haven't had that much experience. It's a good win."

Klein, appearing in his eighth match for the U.S., soon joined Bocanegra by notching his first goal. Forward Jeff Cunningham earned the assist, attracting three Canadian defenders with a dribbling run toward the edge of the penalty area before slipping the ball into empty space at the top of the box for the unmarked Klein to easily slot past Canada goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld to make it 3-0.

"Jeff Cunningham did a good job taking three guys on," Klein said. "Really, the ball just bounced my way and I was fortunate to get on the end of it. I went one-on-one with the goalie and put it right under him. I was just thankful to get it in. I feel a lot more comfortable each time I'm in with the national team. I really feel healthy, so it's good to finally get a goal."

The final U.S. goal began with a build-up on the left side from second-half substitutes Ralston and Olsen, with the ball eventually finding its way to Donovan in the right side of the box. The 20-year-old forward sent a perfect ball across the goal mouth and behind the Canadian defense to an unmarked Ralston crashing in on the goal. Ralston easily roofed his shot from five yards out for a 4-0 advantage with Olsen right behind him, also awaiting the pass.

"I've been very impressed with (Ralston) over the last two weeks," Arena said. "He's a quality player and I think we need to give him a stronger look than we have in the past."

Convey lined up as left back, beside Califf, Bocanegra and Sasha Victorine, marking the first time that the recently anointed 2002 Chevy "Young Male Athlete of the Year" had started a professional or international game on defense.

The Americans resume training next Sunday in Bradenton, Fla., in preparation for a pair of upcoming friendlies. The U.S. will host two-time World Cup champion Argentina February 8 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., at 12 noon (ET), a game broadcast on ESPN2, before traveling to face Jamaica for a match four days later at the National Stadium in Kingston at 2:30 p.m. (ET)

United States 4, Canada 0

Lineups: United States - Tim Howard (Nick Rimando 46), Bobby Convey (Pete Vagenas 68), Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Califf, Sasha Victorine (Nick Garcia 77), Pablo Mastroeni (Richard Mulrooney 36), DaMarcus Beasley, Chris Klein (Steve Ralston 46), Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis - captain (Taylor Twellman 68), Jeff Cunningham (Ben Olsen, 46). Canada - Lars Hirschfeld, Carl Fletcher, Tony Menezes (captain), Richard Hastings, Chris Pozniak, Atiba Hutchinson, Daniel Imhof, Tam Nsawila, David Xausa (Rob Friend 62), Sita-Taty Matondo (Chris Williams 68), Maycoll Canizalez.

United States - Bocanegra (Convey) 7.
United States - Mathis (Donovan) 31.
United States - Klein (Cunningham) 32.
United States - Ralston (Donovan) 61.

Shots: United States 11, Canada 9. Saves: United States 4, Canada 3. Corner kicks: United States 5, Canada 6. Fouls: United States 15, Canada 20. Offside: United States 2, Canada 7. Yellow card caution: Canada - Hutchinson 50.

Referee: Rodolfo Sibrian (El Salvador) Assistant referees: Vladimir Fernandez (El Salvador), Gilberto Gonzalez (El Salvador). Attendance: 6,549 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weather: 52 degrees, chilly, clear.

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