SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake MF Chris Klein had a banner day for the U.S. Men's National Team Sunday, notching a goal and two assists to lead the U.S. to a 4-0 victory over Guatemala at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The goal is Klein's fifth career goal with his last coming in the 5-0 win over Norway on February 29.
Klein picked up his first assist when the St. Louis, Mo. native served in a cross from the right sideline to MF Ben Olsen at the top of the penalty area. The D.C. United midfielder took a settling touch with his left foot before firing a right-footed bomb into the upper left corner past the outstretched hands of the Guatemalan goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez in the 38th minute.
The Indiana University product tallied his second assist two minutes into first half stoppage time. After a foul along the right sideline, FW Josh Wolff chipped the ball over a defender to Klein who lofted a high cross into the penalty area for FW Brian Ching. With a defender tightly covering him, Ching brought the ball down and hit a rocket from the penalty spot past 'keeper Jerez into the left side of the goal.
Klein would get his scoring opportunity in the second half in the 71st minute. Olsen served in a free kick from the left side that FW Chris Rolfe got on the end of at the back post but his shot was deflected by a Guatemalan defender. The ball came back to the top of the box where Klein, a eight year MLS veteran, drilled a low screamer through the maze of defenders and into the net.
RSL teammate and U.S. MNT captain DF Eddie Pope anchored the U.S. defense, and helped shut down FW Carlos Ruiz and the rest of the Guatemalan attack for the entire match. Pope played a full 90 minutes along with Klein for the U.S. and added his 77th career cap.
The U.S. MNT's next friendly is against Poland at Fritz-Water-Stadio in Kaiserslautern, Germany on Wednesday, March 1 at 12:00 p.m. MT, live on ESPN2. The schedule for the U.S. MNT 2006 international friendlies leading up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany follows:
|Wednesday||March 1||Poland||12 p.m.||Fritz-Water-Stadio, Kaiserslautern, Germany|
|Wednesday||March 22||Germany||12 p.m.||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany|
All games televised live on ESPN2
U.S. MNT ALL ACCESS VIDEO FEATURING POPE: When grading the performances of the U.S. players over the last three games, veteran defender Eddie Pope has earned an 'A' across the board. The 10-year veteran of the national team has simply been on fire in January '06, demonstrating the speed, intelligence and athleticism that has made him a mainstay of the U.S. backline and a member of two World Cup squads. Adding goals in consecutive matches for the first time in his career, he has proved to be a man on a mission as he seeks a spot on the roster for Germany. Pope sat down with ussoccer.com and opened up on a variety of topics, including his '98 and '02 WC experiences, his generation of players, the next wave of U.S. Soccer stars and offers his thoughts on Bruce Arena, the man who has taught him more than any other coach. The quiet leader on the U.S. team speaks up in this exclusive two-part all_access video.
RSL PRESEASON TRAINING CAMP CONTINUES IN FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA.: Real Salt Lake is heading into its fourth week of preseason training camp, which moved from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. across the Florida peninsula to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday. The team continues preparation for the 2006 season with a preseason exhibition against the Houston 1836's at the Round Rock Independent School District Athletic Complex in Austin, Texas on Saturday, February 25.
|Wednesday, Feb. 1||Training camp begins||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla. until Friday, Feb. 17|
|Tuesday, Feb. 7||U.S. Amateur||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla.||W 4-2||1-0-0|
|Wednesday, Feb. 8||MetroStars||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla.||W 2-1||2-0-0|
|Sunday, Feb. 12||Columbus Crew*||Spartan Stadium - Tampa, Fla.||L 0-1||2-1-0|
|Tuesday, Feb. 14||University of Central Florida||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla.||W 4-0||3-1-0|
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||Kansas City Wizards||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla.||W 2-1||4-1-0|
|Friday, Feb. 17||D.C. United||IMG Academy - Bradenton, Fla.||W 3-1||5-1-0|
|Friday, Feb. 17||Training camp continues||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. until Thursday, March 2|
|Saturday, Feb. 25||Houston 1836||RRISD Athletic Complex - Austin, Texas||5:00 p.m.|
|Monday, March 6||Training camp continues||Salt Lake City, Utah until Sunday, March 12|
|Saturday, March 11||Columbus Crew||Lafayette, La.||5:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, March 16||Final leg of training camp||Univ. of Redlands, Redlands, Calif., until Friday, March 24|
|Friday, March 17||Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves||Home Depot Center - Carson, Calif.||11:00 a.m.|
|Sunday, March 19||Chivas USA||Univ. of Redlands, Redlands, Calif.||TBD|
|Saturday, March 25||University of Portland||Portland, Ore.||8:30 p.m.|