January 16 – This Day in Soccer

Armas_ChrisU.S. MNT Draw Iran

After losing to Iran in the soccer political grudge match at the 1998 World Cup in France, the United States men’s national team got a chance at revenge at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on this day in soccer history in 2000.

The Red, White and Blue were able to pull out a 1-1 draw with an unlikely hero, Chris Armas, knocking in his first international goal. The midfielder ended his international career with 49 caps and 2 goals.

“I’m not a goal scorer, but I was to get that one on target and take advantage of the chance,” Armas said after the match. “Frankie (Hejduk) and Cobi (Jones) were able to work the ball in and get it across, and I called Eddie Lewis off the ball to leave it for me, which he did, and it went in. I would have loved to get that second goal, but it wouldn’t fall for me.”

In addition to Hejduk, Jones, and Eddie Lewis mentioned by Armas, the line-up included Brad Friedel, Carlos Llamosa, Jeff Agoos, Marcelo Balboa, Tonny Sanneh, Claudio Reyna, and Brian McBride. Ben Olsen and Jovan Kirovski were substitues.

In the second game of a double header, Landon Donovan scored for the U.S. Under-23 national team in a 3-1 win over Armenia. Connor Casey and Peter Vagenas also scored in the match.

Major League Soccer held their 2004 draft on this day in soccer history with Freddy Adu being selected as the top pick by D.C. United. The 14-year-old immediately became the highest paid MLS player.

Soccer Birthdays

1956 – Martin Jol, Dutch football manager
1971 – Michel Kreek, Dutch soccer player (Ajax)
1971 – Ulrich van Gobbel, Suriname/Dutch soccer player (Feyenoord)
1972 – Ruben Bagger, Danish footballer
1972 – Yuri Drozdov, Russian footballer
1972 – Ezra Hendrickson, Vincentian footballer
1972 – Alen Peternac, Croatian footballer
1982 – Tuncay Şanlı, Turkish footballer
1983 – Emanuel Pogatetz, Austrian footballer
1985 – Jonathan Richter, Danish footballer
1986 – Brandon McDonald U.S. soccer player
1988 – Nicklas Bendtner, Danish footballer

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