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U.S. Under-23 MNT Down St. Kitts & Nevis 4-0 in Maryland to Advance to Final Round of Olympic Qualifying
11/19/03 9:36 PM

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Novermber 19, 2003) -- The U.S. Under-23 Men's National advanced to the final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tonight by virtue of a 4-0 win and 10-0 aggregate goal edge over the visiting St. Kitts & Nevis tonight in front of 1,085 drenched fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex. While the U.S. again dominated its opponent, the resilient Sugar Boyz fought admirably and didn't let the winter cold and driving rain affect their performance.      

The U.S. was led by Richmond Kickers forward David Testo, who struck for goals in the 3rd and 62nd minutes and later assisted on a Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew) goal to give the squad a commanding 3-0 lead in the 87th minute. With his five-point performance, the A-League Rookie of the Year equaled his scoring total for the entire year and finishes 2003 as the team's leading scorer with four goals and two assists for 10 points.

Second-half substitute Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) added an insurance goal in the 94th minute, converting a penalty kick that he earned after being brought down in the box after a  dribbling run down up the left endline.

As in Saturday's 6-0 win in the first leg of the second round, home-and-home series, the U.S. commanded play from the outset, finishing with a 29-4 shot advantage and an 8-0 edge on corner kicks.        

Eight players with ties to D.C., Maryland or Virginia started the game, with David Stokes (D.C. United) and Olney (Md.) native Oguchi Onyewu (RAA Louviere) in central defense, Crofton (Md.) native Kyle Beckerman, Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian and Brian Carroll (all three of D.C. United) in midfield, and Testo (Richmond Kickers) up top. D.C. United goalkeeper Doug Warren was called on to make just two saves for the shutout. Former Univ. of Virginia standout Martino came on for Convey in the 46th minute to make it nine players of the 14 that appeared tonight with local ties.

The U.S. joins Panama (who downed St. Lucia 13-1 on aggregate earlier this month), Canada (who defeated El Salvador 5-4 in penalty kicks after a 1-0 win tonight that made it a 1-1 aggregate score) and the Honduras/Haiti winner (Honduras led 1-0 after the first leg) in Group A of the eight-team, final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying at two venus in Guadalajara, Mexico from Feb. 2-12, 2004. In Group B, the host nation will welcome Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and the winner of Costa Rica-Guyana series (Costa Rica leads 7-0; the second leg will be played on Sunday). The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, where the two winners will earn CONCACAF's two berths to Athens 2004.

The 16-team 2004 Olympic Soccer competition will be played across five venues -- Athens, Volos, Heraklio (on the island of Crete), Thessaloniki and Patras -- from August 11-19.

The team is set to re-group at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as part of a week-long camp from Dec. 12-19 that will run concurrently with the full U.S. Men's National Team camp. The team will then start the new year with an extended training camp alongside the U.S. MNT in Carson in January and be together for most of the month leading up to the competition in Mexico.     




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