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  • American men end long camp with easy decision over Guatemala.

    Analysis

    Klein's goal, pair of assists lead 4-0 rout of Guatemala.

    FRISCO, Texas (Sunday, February 19, 2006) -- Midfielder Chris Klein contributed a goal and two assists, leading the United States men to a dominant 4-0 triumph over Guatemala this afternoon before 14,453 who braved surprising chilly conditions at Pizza Hut Park.

    With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, the U.S. also received goals from midfielder Ben Olsen, and forwards Eddie Johnson and Brian Ching in raising its record to 3-0-1 in 2006.

    The Americans have scored 12 goals in the last three games, following a scoreless draw with Canada by burying Norway 5-0 and edging Japan 3-2.

    "I thought it was a good performance today by our team," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "Obviously, the conditions weren't perfect, but I thought the field was great. It's a terrific facility here to play in. I think the Guatemalan team gave us a really good game. They were tough to break down and they defended well in the early going. We had some goal-scoring opportunities that we failed on early in the game and we struggled a bit."

    After testing 20-year-old Guatemalan goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez, who made his first international appearance, with opportunities by forwards Josh Wolff and Chris Rolfe, and midfielder Kerry Zavagnin in the first half, the U.S. finally broke through when Olsen nailed a blistering shot in the 38th minute.

    Klein served in a cross from the right sideline to Olsen at the top of the penalty area. The midfielder with Major League Soccer's D.C. United took a settling touch with his left foot before unleashing a right-footed blast into the top left corner past the outstretched hands of Jerez.

    Olsen recorded his fifth international goal and his first since November 17, 2002, a 2-0 victory over El Salvador in Washington. D.C.

    The U.S. made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time. After a foul along the right sideline, Wolff chipped the ball over a defender to Klein who lofted a high cross into the penalty area for Ching. With a defender blanketing him, Ching did well to bring the ball down and drill his shot from the penalty spot past Jerez into the left side of the goal.

    "The first goal by Ben Olsen was a terrific individual effort as well as a big goal psychologically in the game," Arena said. "Certainly, the second goal by Ching right at the end of the half basically put the game away."

    On the other end of the field, Brad Guzan collected his first cap in goal, but he was not busy, needing to make two saves on Guatemala's five shots. After he easily snagged an attempt from Guillermo Ramirez in the third minute, forward Julio Goran had the best effort of the day for Guatemala when his 20-yard drive sailed inches over the top right corner of the net in the 24th minute.

    Johnson came off the bench at the break and quickly erased any Guatemalan ideas of a comeback. Striker Chris Rolfe flicked a long ball forward to the top of the penalty area where a Guatemalan back whiffed. Johnson streaked through and avoided defender Luis Swisher before lifting the ball high into the net with the outside of his right foot from the six-yard box for a 3-0 lead.

    The goal was Johnson's ninth in 12 games with the U.S. men and his first since returning from a foot injury that had kept him out of the lineup for most of 2005.

    Klein put the finishing touches on the match with an unassisted tally in the 71st minute. Olsen served a free kick from the left flank to Rolfe at the back post where his shot was deflected by a Guatemalan defender. The ball caromed to the top of the box where Klein sent a low drive through a crowd and into the net.

    Eddie Pope anchored a U.S. defense that shut down potent striker Carlos Ruiz and the rest of the Guatemalan attack. Pope's partner in the middle, Jimmy Conrad came up with a number of well-timed tackles, while Frankie Hejduk and Heath Pearce shut down the flanks.

    Late in the match, Arena added two more names to the long list of players that have received their first cap since he took over as manager in 1998. Defender Bobby Boswell came on in reserve for Hejduk in the 76th minute, while Zach Wells replaced Guzan in the 80th minute.

    Notes: The U.S. plays its next two matches in Germany, The Americans face Poland March 1 at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern, the site of the U.S.'s World Cup Group E game against Italy on June 17. That 2 p.m. (ET) match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and on a delayed basis by Spanish-language Telemundo.

    On March 22, the U.S. takes on Germany at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, a 2:25 p.m. start that again will be televised live by ESPN2 and delayed by Telemundo.


    United States 4, Guatemala 0

    Lineups: United States - Brad Guzan (Zach Wells 80), Heath Pearce, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Pope (captain), Frankie Hejduk (Bobby Boswell 76), Kerry Zavagnin (Brian Carroll 63), Ben Olsen (Santino Quaranta 71), Chris Klein, Josh Wolff (Eddie Johnson 46), Brian Ching, Chris Rolfe (Kyle Martino 80) . Guatemala - Ricardo Jerez, Pablo Melgar, Luis Swisher, Henry Medina, Martin Machon (Juan Carlos Plata 46), Gonzalo Romero (Leonel Noriega 83), Guillermo Ramirez (Marvin Avila), Selvyn Ponciano, Mario Rodriguez (Carlos Figueroa 46), Julio Giron - captain (Patrick Howell 88), Carlos Ruiz (Mario Acevedo 63).

    Scoring:
    United States - Olsen (Klein) 38.
    United States - Ching (Klein) 45+.
    United States - Johnson (Rolfe) 47.
    United States - Klein (unassisted) 71.

    Shots: United States 20, Guatemala 5. Saves: United States 2, Guatemala 5. Corner kicks: United States 6, Guatemala 4. Fouls: United State 21, Guatemala 12. Offside: United States 0, Guatemala 0. Yellow card cautions: United States - Pearce 40, Rolfe 55; Guatemala - Giron, 62, Romero 69.

    Referee: Mauricio Navallo (Canada). Assistant referees: Simon Fearn (Canada), Amado DeLuca (Canada). Fourth official: Michael Kennedy (United States). Attendance: 14,452 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Weather: 30 degrees, overcast.

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