U.S. effort in 2-1 win over Uruguay satisfies Arena

Beasley, 19, stands out

Armas lost to knee injury

Soccer

May 13, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The U.S. men's national team began its second phase of preparation for next month's World Cup with a predominantly positive effort in a 2-1 win over Uruguay yesterday in an international friendly before 30,413 at RFK Stadium.

After 10 days of training in Cary, N.C., the United States came out for its first live competition since the roster was announced as coach Bruce Arena tries to get the final pieces in place before the team heads to South Korea to face Portugal in its World Cup opener on June 5.

On display yesterday was an energized offensive effort from 19-year-old midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, a near-flawless performance from goalkeeper Brad Friedel and a milestone game for veteran defender Jeff Agoos.

Overall, Arena was pleased with his team's performance against fellow World Cup-qualifying Uruguay in the first of three international friendlies going into World Cup play. But there was one negative: The U.S. team will play Jamaica on Thursday in East Rutherford, N.J., without midfielder Chris Armas because of a torn knee ligament. He collapsed without being hit in the 16th minute but stayed in the game another eight minutes.

The send-off game will be Sunday against Holland in Foxboro, Mass.

"We had some good moments and bad moments, but that is all part of it - a solid 90 minutes," Arena said. "I was pleased that we did a good job of getting our guys ready to play the game. We were able to manage that game the way it had to be managed. Overall, a good step."

Beasley's speed and creativity played a role in both U.S. goals.

Defender Tony Sanneh flicked home a near-post header off an assist from Agoos on a corner kick that was earned by Beasley's hard work in the left corner for a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. Agoos set a U.S. team mark with his 119th start, and his first minute in yesterday's game was his 10,000th logged.

Beasley followed up on his own shot in the 40th minute, neatly placing a ball in the near post from 10 yards out the eventual game-winner. The slight 5-foot-7, 145-pound teen-ager, making his seventh career start, showed he belonged.

"I don't expect to be a starter in the World Cup and I know my role. I just want to continue to use my speed and quickness to get in behind defenses," he said. "Obviously, everyone wants to start in the World Cup, but I know I'm probably going to get into some games and I'll do my best."

Friedel, in a battle with Kasey Keller for the starting job in goal, showed well with 13 saves. It took three consecutive point-blank shots before one got behind him, from Sebastina Abreu in the 60th minute. Keller, who was away playing for his England club team, will start Thursday.

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