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Two young players scored their first international goals on May 28, 2005 at Soldier Field in front of 47, 637 fans when England defeated the U.S. 2-1. Kieran Richardson, making his National Team debut scored both goals for England, while Clint Dempsey notched his first tally for the United States.
Clint Dempsey is closing in on a record breaking goal.
Since then, Dempsey has added 55 more goals for the United States and with his next goal, will tie Landon Donovan for the all-time lead (the U.S. next plays on Saturday June 3 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah against Venezuela). Richardson made seven other appearances for the Three Lions, but the two goals in Chicago were the only ones of his international career.
“I thought it was a good game,” U.S. Manager Bruce Arena said. “I was pleased with the team’s efforts. The English team did an outstanding job in the first half. They were opportunistic and had intelligent plays. It’s a good experience for our young guys. Our guys showed great character. They hung in there, showed pride and were in it until the end.”
Four minutes into the game, England took charge. Richardson lined up to take a free kick. He sent the ball directly over the wall of Americans, over goalkeeper Kasey Keller’s head and into the back of the net for his first international goal and a 1-0 England lead.
“He scored a fantastic free kick,” England Head Coach Sven-Göran Eriksson said. “I saw him play three or four times this season. Our scouts look at him every week. He’s a big talent.”
The Americans’ best chance of the half came in the 20th minute. Landon Donovan sent a free kick directly toward goal. It bounced off the bar and back into play.
Just before the half, England snuck another one into the net. Richardson struck a ball past a diving Keller for a 2-0 advantage.
“Richardson had a quiet game except he scored two goals,” Arena said. “He had a great free kick and a good finish on the second goal. I could use a quiet player like that.”
Richardson, a late addition to the England squad, was pleased with his goals. “I've been training well with the lads,” he said. “They made me feel welcome. Obviously scoring is a great feeling. The main thing was to get the result. The (first) goal settled us down a little bit. I still can't believe I'm here. It's brilliant to win.”
In the second half the Americans came out a little more organized, controlling most of the play, creating chances and, in the 79th minute, finally knocking one into the net. Donovan sent a free kick into the box. Defender Carlos Bocanegra got a foot on it. It bounced off England goalkeeper David James and back into play. Dempsey snuck up on him and headed the ball into the net.
“In this game it hurt us to get behind early,” Donovan said. “England’s players may not have a lot of experience at the international level, but these players have plenty of experience playing in the Premiership. This was a game we probably should have won.”
Part of this story were adapted from a story by Kathryn Knapp that appeared on ChicagoLand Soccer News on May 28, 2005.
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