BRENT LATHAM - Sunday, June 22, 2008
The United States wrapped up their home and home series against Barbados Sunday afternoon, cruising to a 1-0 victory at Kensington Oval Cricket Ground in Bridgetown.
Eddie Lewis scored the only goal of the encounter, assisted in the 22nd minute by Fredy Adu.
Barbados once again bunkered down in its own half in an effort to avoid a repeat of the US' 8-0 runaway last Sunday, and on this occasion had more success as the 'Nats fielded a team of mostly backups and failed on several occasions to put together the final touches in the attacking third.
The youngsters on the field for the US, with a midfield including Adu, Danny Szetela, and Michael Bradley, advanced aggressively towards the Barbados goal but failed to hook up on many passes.
In the 22nd minute, though, veteran Lewis hooked onto an Adu through ball and slotted under the Barbados 'keeper for the 1-0 advantage.
In the 37th minute left back Heath Pearce had a chance for his first national team goal when Adu cleverly played him through, but the Bundesliga defender ripped his shot wide of the post with Sasha Keljstan awaiting unmarked at the top of the box.
Another brilliant opportunity for the US went for naught in the 43rd minute when DaMarcus Beasley got in behind the defense only to be questionably flagged for offside.
The Bajans finally got into the action after half time, when in the 57th Rommelle Burgess hit a screaming shot that beat Brad Guzan but not the crossbar.
The introductions of Chicago Firemen John Thorrington and Chris Rolfe did little to improve the flow of the game, and the drab affair seemed destined to conclude with the 1-0 score.
In the 86th minute the Bajan crowd was nearly rewarded for their incessant drumming when John Parris poked into an open net after Guzan collided with attacker Paul McCammon, but the goal was nullified when McCammon was ruled to have been offside in the build up.
Chad Barrett was brought on in the 87th minute for his first cap with the US Senior Team.
The US will face its next qualifying test in Guatemala in August.