Bruin Soccer Trio Leads U.S. To Victory In Pan Am Games Opener

July 15, 2007

UCLA's Greg Folk, Chance Myers and Michael Stephens started for the U.S. as the team won its opening match at the Pan American Games on Sunday, 2-1 over Venezuela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Team captain Folk started in midfield and played 86 minutes, while Myers played all 90 minutes in defense. Stephens started at forward and played 90 minutes, taking one of the team's seven shots in the game.

The U.S. struck first after a scoreless first half. Stephen McCarthy scored the game's first goal in the 50th minute. Venezuela, who played a man down after Jonny Mirabal was red-carded in the 68th minute, nevertheless tied the game in the 76th minute with a penalty kick. But in the last minute of extra time (93rd minute), Bobby Warshaw scored the game-winner for the U.S.

With the win, the U.S. picks up three points in group play, taking the lead in Group B after day one. Mexico and Bolivia tied 1-1 in their opening match and trail the U.S. with a point apiece. The U.S. will next face Bolivia on July 18.

In other U.S. Youth National Team news, the Under-20 National Team's run in the World Cup ended on Saturday with a 2-1 quarterfinal loss in overtime to Austria. The Bruins' Sal Zizzo and Tony Beltran started for the fifth consecutive game. Brian Perk, the starting goalkeeper in Wednesday's Round of 16 game against Uruguay, was not called onto duty against Austria. The U.S. ended the Tournament with a 3-1-1 record, with wins over Poland, Brazil and Uruguay.