U.S. Downs Poland, 1-0

The U.S. Men's National Team earned
a strong 1-0 victory over Poland today at Kazimierza Gorskiego in Plock,
Poland, marking the team's first victory of 2004 and the first victory
for the U.S. in Europe under head coach Bruce Arena in nine matches. DaMarcus
Beasley scored the lone goal of the match in the 26th minute, finishing
a nice combination passing play from Josh Wolff and Conor Casey, and goalkeeper
Brad Friedel picked up his 24th career shutout, returning to the U.S.
nets for the first time since his 2002 World Cup heroics.

On Beasley's first-half strike, the 21-year-old midfielder finished his
shot from 14 yards through the legs of Polish goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek on
a perfect one-time pass into the area from Wolff. Wolff was able to hit
Beasley in stride as he entered the penalty area, turning a pass that
Casey had squared to him about 30 yards from goal on a ball chested and
controlled from a long pass out of the U.S. defense from Gregg Berhalter.

"I thought it was a good game for us today," said U.S. Manager
Bruce Arena. "Beasley's goal was big, since the Polish team was putting
us under a lot of pressure early in the game. They also put us under a
lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes, and Friedel made two big saves
for us. I was pleased with the way our team played. We were very composed
and did a good job in the last 20 minutes to kill off the game and get
the win. I also want to make a point to thank the Polish fans for treating
us with such respect during the game."

The victory for the U.S. marked the team's first triumph in Europe in
six years, dating back to a 3-0 win against the host Austrians on April
22, 1998 (a span of 12 games). Arena's teams had gone 0-7-1 in Europe
before today's victory over Poland, losing matches to host nations like
Russia, Italy, Germany and Holland.

"I'm happy," said Arena about the win in Europe. "We have
a good team, and over the last two years we have played some very difficult
teams on the road, some very difficult teams to play against. We knew
we would win one of these games along the way, and we were fortunate that
we were able to win today."

For Beasley, the goal was his fifth in 31 international appearances for
the U.S. and came just three minutes after he had left the game briefly
following a collision with defender Marcin Baszczynski that saw him get
hit hard in the back. The goal was the second of Beasley's career on European
soil, having scored his last goal at the Confederations Cup in France
in the USA's 2-1 loss to Turkey on June 19, 2003.

"We had possession for awhile and Wolff played the ball behind a
defender," said Beasley describing his goal after the game. "We
had talked about this before the game, because we have played together
for a long time, so we talked about playing balls behind defenders. I
made a diagonal run and was able to put the ball through Dudek's legs.
Anytime you can get a goal and help the team is a plus in my book."

Despite playing the entire first half and earning the assist, Wolff was
forced out of the match at halftime after spraining his right shoulder
in a tumble over Dudek in the 16th minute after he had worked a one-two
with Casey to sprint in on goal. Wolff was replaced by Bobby Convey, who
picked up his 22nd career cap and who has now appeared in 19 of the last
20 U.S. games dating back through 2003.

In the 65th minute, the U.S. had a chance to double its lead when some
more quick passing out of the midfield eventually freed Clint Mathis for
an unmarked attempt from the middle of the penalty area, but his first
touch got away from him and Dudek was able to smother the ball. The play
materialized when Casey controlled a ball in the midfield and played it
quickly backwards to Reyna to slot forward into the right flank, where
Klein dribbled into the area before passing to Mathis.

The quick release from Casey to begin that build-up was typical of his
performance across 90 minutes, in which he confidently alternated between
quick releases and strong efforts to hold the ball against the imposing
Polish defense. For the 22-year-old Casey, who starred for the U.S. Under-23
National Team four years ago at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the match
was the first of his international career.

"I was excited to get my first cap and winning adds to that excitement,"
said Casey, who has 12 goals with Karlsruher in the German Second Division
in 2003-04. "I thought the team played very well in a tough game
and I was happy with the result. For my first game, I thought I did OK."

The U.S. has a return match against Poland scheduled for July 11 at Soldier
Field in Chicago, but next up for the team is a showdown with their arch-rival
Mexico on April 28 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (live on Telemundo at
7:30 p.m. CT). The U.S. also has a match scheduled for June 2 at a venue
and against an opponent yet to be determined, which is the team's last
game before they begin their journey to the 2006 World Cup with a qualifying
match on June 13 at Columbus Crew Stadium against Grenada. The match is
the first in a two-game series with the return match set for June 20 in
St. George's, Grenada.

BRUCE ARENA, U.S. MANAGER

On the overall performance from the U.S.:

"I thought it was a good game for us today. Beasley's goal was big,
since the Polish team was putting us under a lot of pressure early in
the game. They also put us under a lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes,
and Friedel made two big saves for us. I was pleased with the way our
team played. We were very composed and did a good job in the last 20 minutes
to kill off the game and get the win. I also want to make a point to thank
the polish fans for treating us with such respect during the game."

On his first win in Europe:

"I'm happy. We have a good team, and over the last two years we have
played some very difficult teams on the road, some very difficult teams
to play against. We knew we would win one of these games along the way,
and we were fortunate that we were able to win today."

CONOR CASEY, U.S. Forward

On his first cap and the win:

"I was excited to get my first cap and winning adds to that excitement.
I thought the team played very well in a tough game and I was happy with
the result. For my first game, I thought I did OK."

DaMARCUS BEASLEY, U.S. Midfielder

On his goal:

"We had possession for awhile and Wolff played the ball behind a
defender. We had talked about this before the game, because we have played
together for a long time, so we talked about playing balls behind defenders.
I made a diagonal run and was able to put the ball through Dudek's legs.
Anytime you can get a goal and help the team is a plus in my book. Winning
our first game in Europe with Bruce means this is going to go down as
a big goal for me."

BRAD FRIEDEL, U.S. Goalkeeper

On the win:

"Anytime you can beat anyone in Europe it is a great exercise. This
is Bruce's first win in Europe and our last win came against Austria,
so it is obviously difficult to win here. I thought Poland had a good
team, and they were very organized. After we got through the first 10
minutes of the game, we were very, very solid throughout. Overall it is
very encouraging for us going into the last few games before qualifying."

On his return to the National Team:

"For the most part I've played with just about everyone here at least
once, and a few of them for many years. To be honest, it didn't feel like
I've been gone for 21 months. I felt very comfortable and I think it is
because I've had so many experiences with the National Team, so it is
very easy for me to come back in."

U.S. Men's National Team Match
Report -

Match-up: USA vs. Poland

Date: March 31, 2004

Competition: International Friendly

Venue: Kazimierza Gorskiego Stadium – Plock, Poland

Kickoff: 1:35 p.m. ET

Attendance: 10,500

Weather: 46 degrees, chilly

Scoring:

USA – DaMarcus Beasley (Josh Wolff) 26th minute.

Lineups:

USA — 1-Brad Friedel; 13-Greg Vanney, 3-Gregg Berhalter, 25-Pablo
Mastroeni (4-Carlos Bocanegra, 52), 6-Steve Cherundolo; 22-Chris Klein
(5-Tony Sanneh, 74), 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Clint
Mathis (8-Kerry Zavagnin, 85); 16-Josh Wolff (15-Bobby Convey, 46), 11-Conor
Casey.

Subs not used: 7-Kyle Martino, 20-Brian McBride, 24-Jonny Walker.

POL — 1-Jerzy Dudek; 2-Tomasz Klos, 3-Tomasz Rzasa, 4-Marcin Baszczynski
(17-Tomasz Hajto, 46), 5-Arkadiusz Radomski (15-Miraslaw Szymkowiak, 46);
6-Jacek Bak (capt.), 7-Euzebiusz Smolarek (16-Damian Gorawski, 62), 8-Jacek
Krzynowek, 9-Grzegorz Rasiak (18-Marek Saganowski, 46); 10-Mariusz Lewandowski
(14-Sebastian Mila, 72), 11-Maciej Zurawski.

Subs not used: 12-Maciej Nalepa.

Misconduct Summary:

None

Officials:

Referee: Tommy Skjerven (NOR)

Assistant Referee #1: Geir Age Holen (NOR)

Assistant Referee #2: Magne Tosse (NOR)

Fourth Official: Mikolajeski Marek (POL)


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