U.S. limps to Gold Cup title

Win over Panama little consolation for tired squad

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2005

 

  The United States' Jimmy Conrad, left, and Panama's Jorge Luis Dely Valdes battle for ball during the first half of the Gold Cup final at Giants Stadium Sunday, July 24, 2005, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The United States' Jimmy Conrad, left, and Panama's Jorge Luis Dely Valdes battle for ball during the first half of the Gold Cup final at Giants Stadium Sunday, July 24, 2005, in East Rutherford, N.J.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Brad Davis ended a long day and a long tournament, regaining the CONCACAF Gold Cup for a depleted U.S. soccer team that will limp into its next World Cup qualifier.

Santino Quaranta, Landon Donovan and Davis converted their shots and goalkeeper Kasey Keller stopped Panama's first attempt, leading the United States to a 3-1 win on penalty kicks following a bland, scoreless tie Sunday in the final of soccer's North and Central American and Caribbean championship.

''We've got to rally the troops, get the Band-Aids out and try to get 11 guys on the field to play on Aug. 17,'' said U.S. coach Bruce Arena, looking ahead to the World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago at East Hartford, Conn. ''The travel, the heat, the field conditions, the officiating, it took a huge toll on us. We lost four players the other night to the team that got the fair play award.''

Ejected from the semifinal win over Honduras on Thursday night, Arena was suspended for the final and watched from a box in the stands. The Americans, who also won this tournament in 1991 and 2002, had only 17 players available because of injuries.

Defenders Eddie Pope (sprained knee) and Steve Cherunoldo (sprained knee); midfielders Pablo Mastroeni (sprained ankle) and Steve Ralston (mild concussion); and forwards Conor Casey (torn anterior cruciate ligament) and Pat Noonan (sprained ankle) didn't dress. Pope is suspended for the Trinidad game and Arena said the others all are likely to miss the next qualifier along with forward Eddie Johnson (injured toe), who hasn't played since May.

''This has been a beating for us,'' Arena said.



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