Former Oakland Mills standout Dante Washington scored two goals lastweek for the U.S. national soccer team in the North American NationsCup at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif.
Washington's second tally, a perfectly placed head shot in the 14th minute, helped the Americans to a 2-0 victory over Canada in the tournament finale.
Although the 20-year-old striker from Radford University in Virginia is the nation's leading collegiate scorer, he had never played onthe national team before and said he didn't expect to see much action on his first trip with the squad.
"To be truthful, before the trip I wondered if I would play much," Washington said. "I thought I'd get 15, 20 minutes a game, and here I am starting. Everything had been a big shock to me."
Washington, a 1988 graduate of Oakland Mills, emerged as one of the team's top offensive performers in the tournament, having also scored a key goal in the U.S. team's 2-2 tie with Mexico.
"For some reason, it seems wherever Dante goes, the ball follows him," said John Kowalski, the U.S. team's interim coach. "There's a magnetism between the ball and him."
The United States went 1-0-1 in the three-nation tourney, but Mexico (1-0-1) earned the titleon goal differential.
The Americans needed a 4-0 victory to win the cup -- a 3-0 score would have forced a coin flip with the Mexicans-- but couldn't come up with the needed goals.