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Vagenas Leads U.S. U-23 National Team To 3-1 Win Over Armenia
By: UCLA Athletics

Jan. 16, 2000

Pasadena, Calif. - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team opened the 2000 campaign with a solid 3-1 win over the full Armenia National Team at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA midfielder Pete Vagenas scored the game-winning goal and assisted on another.

The U.S. Under-23's dominated play from the outset, striking quickly in the sixth minute when the American frontrunners beat Armenia's offsides trap and raced on with a four-on-none advantage. Forwards Chris Albright and Conor Casey worked a give-and-go to perfection against helpless Armenian goalkeeper Haroutyan Abrahamyan, with Casey tapping it into an empty net.

Just ten minutes later, the Armenians equalized when midfielder Tigram Petrosyantz gathered the ball outside the penalty box and unleashed a 23-yard rocket that caught U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown off his line and flat-footed.

Similar to the first half, the U.S. got on the board just minutes into the second stanza. The quick-bang play started with an inswinging corner kick from Ramiro Corrales, who swerved it perfectly to the far post. Defender Chad McCarty leaped to head it the ball backwards, where it skipped through the box and past three U.S. players to the feet of midfielder Vagenas, who sent a 25-yard blast into the back of the net in the 51st minute.

Team USA and Armenia traded off-target shots throughout the rest of the match and the U.S. had two goals called back for offsides before the Americans put a third goal on the scoreboard. As he was all day, Vagenas was the force behind the third goal, dribbling through two challenges as he charged on the offensive before laying the ball of to Landon Donovan, who finished easily in the 90th.

The game was the second part of a unique doubleheader that saw a crowd of 50,181 watch the U.S. Men's National Team tie the Iranian National Team 1-1. Four former Bruins started in that game - goalkeeper Brad Friedel, defender Frankie Hejduk and midfielders Cobi Jones and Eddie Lewis. Jones assisted on the USA's lone goal.

The Americans next travel to Portugal for a foreign tour of three games from Jan. 21-30 and then spend Feb. 6-11 training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in which they will play three matches in six days, including a rare match against the full U.S. Men's National Team and two games against MLS clubs who will be in the area for MLS 2000 Spring Training.

Looming on the horizon is CONCACAF's Under-23 Men's Final Olympic Qualifying tournament, which will be played April 21-30 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Penn. The qualifying competition is currently entering its second stage of qualifying, with 12 teams making up three groups. The United States receives a bye into the final round of qualification as the host federation. The U.S. needs to finish as one of the top two teams in what will be a six-team final qualifying tournament in order to advance to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.


Participants: U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team vs. Armenia National 
Competition: International Friendly 
Venue: The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) 
Date: January 16, 2000 - kickoff 4:30 p.m. (PT) 
Attendance: 50,181 
Weather: 65 degrees - Cool, Crisp

Scoring Summary: 1st 2nd Final United States 1 2 3 Armenia 1 0 1

USA - Conor Casey, (Chris Albright), 7, ARM - Tigram Petrosyantz, (unassisted), 17, USA - Pete Vagenas, (Chad McCarty), 51, USA - Landon Donovan, (Pete Vagenas), 90.

Lineups: USA - 1-Adin Brown, 21-Steve Cherundolo, 3-Chad McCarty, 2-Brian Dunseth (Capt.), 12-Ramiro Corrales, 16-John O'Brien, 8-John Thorrington, 13-DaMarcus Beasley, 10-Peter Vagenas, 22-Conor Casey, 9-Chris Albright (20-Landon Donovan, 65.

ARM - 16-Haroutyoun Abrahamyan, 2-Yervant Soukiassyan, 3-Vartan Khacthtryan (Capt.), 4-Rafayel Nazaryan, 5-Haroutyun Vatanyan, 6-Armen Bediguyan, 7-Arthur Petrosyan, 8-Tigram Petrosyantz, 10- Ara Hagopyan (15-Armand Karamyan), 13-Aram Hagopyan, 14-Ardavaszt Karamyan.

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