USA HOPES TO OVERCOME INJURIES IN QUEST TO DEFEND GOLD CUP TITLE
DALLAS (Tuesday, July 20, 1993) -- A battered U.S. National Soccer Team is
just two games away from repeating the CONCACAF Gold Cup title it won in 1991.
The U.S. team will face Costa Rica in the semifinals Wednesday at the Cotton
Bowl (8 p.m. CDT) and Mexico plays Jamaica in the other semifinal match
Thursday (8 p.m. MDT) in Mexico City. The final and third-place matches will be
held July 25 in Mexico City.
"Our objective was to go to Mexico and play in the final and I hope that
goal will be accomplished," U.S. coach Bora Milutinovic said. "I hope we run
into Mexico in the finals."
But six of Milutinovic's players, which helped the team defeat Jamaica,
Panama and Honduras in the first round, are still fighting nagging injuries.
Defenders Cle Kooiman (lateral contusion on right foot) and Fernando Clavijo
(sprained right knee and ankle), midfielders Thomas Dooley (sprained right
ankle), John Harkes (sprained left knee) and Tab Ramos (sore right knee) and
forward Roy Wegerle (minor hamstring pull) all sat out yesterday's practice.
"We're a little beat up," said team trainer Rudy Rudawsky, "but that's
normal for a tournament of this stature. Most of the injuries are just minor
ones, however, and I expect all of them to be cleared to play. But they will be
playing in a little bit of pain."
The U.S. team, 5-4-4 all-time against Costa Rica, defeated the Ticos 3-2 in
the 1991 Gold Cup en route to its first ever confederation championship. U.S.
assistant coach Timo Liekoski said the stakes are higher for tomorrow's match.
"When we played Costa Rica in '91 it was in first-round play," Liekoski said.
"This will be a tougher game in the sense there are no points involved, only a
win matters. Costa Rica brings a strong team, so the mood for this game will be
a little different."
Liekoski said that the U.S. injuries should not be a major factor against
"I think everybody's going to play," he said. "Once the adrenaline starts
flowing, they won't remember the injuries."
The U.S. team is expected to go with the same lineup it used in its 1-0
victory over Honduras Saturday. Following is a look at the tentative U.S.
starting lineup for tomorrow:
Goalkeeper: Tony Meola;
Defenders: Desmond Armstrong, Kooiman, Clavijo, Alexi Lalas;
Midfielders: Dooley, Chris Henderson, Harkes, Ramos, Wegerle;
Forward: Eric Wynalda.
TIEBREAKER: In the semifinal and final rounds, all matches that end in a tie
after regulation will go to two 15-minute sudden death (first goal wins)
periods. If the match is still tied, the game will be decided on penalty kicks.
GOLD CUP STANDINGS
GROUP A (Dallas)
Team Pts W L T GF GA GD
USA 6 3 0 0 4 1 +3
Jamaica 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1
Honduras 2 1 2 0 6 5 +1
Panama 1 0 2 1 3 8 -5
Honduras 5, Panama 1
USA 1, Jamaica O
Jamaica 3, Honduras 1
USA 2, Panama 1
Panama 1, Jamaica 1
USA 1, Honduras O
GROUP B (Mexico City)
Team Pts W L T GF GA GD
Mexico 5 2 0 1 18 1 +17
Costa Rica 4 1 0 2 5 3 +2
Canada 2 0 1 2 3 11 -8
Martinique 1 0 2 1 3 14 -11
Canada 1, Costa Rica 1
Mexico 9, Martinique O
Canada 2, Martinique 2
Mexico 1, Costa Rica 1
Costa Rica 3, Martinique 1
Mexico 8, Canada O
July 21 (Dallas)
USA vs. Costa Rica
July 22 (Mexico City)
Mexico vs. Jamaica
FINAL, THIRD-PLACE MATCH (Mexico City) July 25
Rolf Olsen The University of Tulsa, UNIR-TU
phone: (918) 631-2653 Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
fax: (918) 631-2035 U.S.A.