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1995 U.S. Cup

Topics: Football in Colombia

The 1995 U.S. Cup was a four nation invitational tournament organized by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in June 1995. USSF began the U.S. Cup in 1992 and it was played annually until 2000, except for the World Cup years of 1994 and 1998. The cup used a round-robin format in which the team with the highest number of points took the title. The four teams included the host United States, along with Mexico, Colombia and Nigeria. This was the first year that these three invited teams participated in a U.S. Cup. The U.S. won the title for the second time this year.

June 11: US vs. Nigeria

Both teams had new coaches coming into the game. While the Nigerians had performed well at the 1994 World Cup, it was missing many of its top players from that competition while the U.S. had most of its veteran core intact. Alexi Lalas, one of the vocal leaders of the U.S. team, arrived just hours before the game after a trans-Atlantic flight from Italy. He made the last minute trip in order to play in his club sides vital win to avoid relegation. The Nigerians showed well early, going on the attack from the opening whistle. In the 8th minute, Jay-Jay Okocha ran unmarked across the top of the box with the ball, shooting into the goal. While John Harkes countered with a long range shot of his own, the Nigerians continued to run at a shaky U.S. defense. In the 19th minute, U.S. defender Mike Burns attempted to clear shot a cross, but instead put it into the path of Taiwo Wasui to score from 8 yards. Burns redeemed himself when Marcelo Balboa, earning his 100th cap in this game, headed in a goal off his free kick just before the half. In the second half, the U.S. defense gradually came to grips with the Nigerian offense, while the U.S. began to exploit seams in the Nigerian defense. Several U.S. players wasted good opportunities until Cobi Jones scored off an Earnie Stewart feed in the 87th minute. The Nigerians continued to press for the tying goal and almost had it, but Lalas cleared a shot off the goal line.

United States: Brad Friedel, Brian Bliss (Alexi Lalas 46'), Mike Burns, Thomas Dooley, Mike Sorber, Marcelo Balboa, Paul Caligiuri, Frank Klopas, John Harkes, Roy Wegerle (Cobi Jones 46'), Ernie Stewart (Jovan Kirovski 71')

Nigeria: Peter Rufai, Benedict Iroha, Bawa Abdullahi, Chidi Nwanu, Godwin Okpara, Austin Okocha, John Zaki (Chukwu Ndukwe 55'), Ajibade Babalade (Uchenna Okafor 66'), Edema Fuludu (Taiwo Enegwa 55'), Samson Siasia, Taiwo Wasui

June 17: Colombia vs. Nigeria

Colombia: Miguel Angel Calero, Diego Osorio, Alexander Fernandez, Jorge Bermudez, Jose Fernando Santa, Harold Lozano, Luis Quinonez, Bonner Mosquera, Herman Gaviria, Freddy Rincon, Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Leon, Faustino Asprilla, Gabriel Jaime Gomez

Nigeria: Peter Rufai (HT. Ike Sorounmu), Abdullahi, Chidi Nwanu, Godwin Okpara, Benedict Iroha (Okpara 72), Uche Okafor, George Fuludu, Enegwea, Jonathan Akpoborie (Taiwo Wasui 76), Chukwu Nduke (Zaki 90), Samson Siasia

June 18: US vs. Mexico

Against a full Mexican team featuring Jorge Campos, Luis Hernandez and Carlos Hermosillo, the game turned into the Claudio Reyna International Soccer Coming Out Party, as the then 22-year-old midfielder scored a goal and added two beautiful assists to lead the United States to their first official blowout of Mexico.

United States: Kasey Keller, Mike Burns, Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas, Paul Caligiuri, Thomas Dooley, Mike Sorber, John Harkes, Eric Wynalda (John Kerr 71'), Roy Wegerle (Cobi Jones 20'), Claudio Reyna (Tab Ramos 71')

Mexico: Jorge Campos, Jorge Rodriguez (Missael Espinoza 68'), Guillermo Hernandez (Gerardo Esquivel 46'), Manuel Vidrio, Ramon Ramirez, Ignacio Ambriz, Marcelino Bernal, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Alberto Coyote 86'), Luis Garcia, Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Robert Alves (Joaquin del Olmo 73')

June 21: Mexico vs. Colombia

Mexico: Jorge Campos, Jorge Rodriguez, Claudio Suarez, Manuel Vidrio, Ramon Ramirez (Joaquin del Olmo 70), Ignacio Ambriz, Marcelino Bernal, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Manuel Martinez 83), Benjamin Galindo (Alberto Coyote 71), Luis Garcia, Carlos Hermosillo (Luis Alves Zague 45)

Colombia: Rene Higuita, Alexis Mendoza, Wilmer Cabrera, Diego Osorio, Giovannis Cassiani, Herman Gaviria, Leonel Alvarez, Carlos Valderrama (captain), Harold Lozano, Freddy Rincon, Luis Quinonez, Niver Arboleda, Faustino Asprilla, Freddy Leon

June 24: Mexico vs. Nigeria

Mexico: Jorge Campos, Claudio Suarez, Perales, Ramon Ramirez (Missael Espinoza 46), Jorge Rodriguez, Ignacio Ambriz, Marcelino Bernal, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Alberto Coyote 69), Carlos Hermosillo (Luis Garcia 46), Joaguin del Olmo, Luis Alves Zague

Nigeria: Ike Sorounmu, Benedict Iroha (Godwin Okpara 67), Chidi Nwanu, Uche Okafor, Jonathan Akpoborie, George Fuludu, Chukwu Ndukwe (Imenger 46) (Taiwo Wasui 87), Enegwea, Samson Siasia

June 25: US vs. Colombia

In a 0-0 tie with Colombia, the U.S. took its second U.S. Cup title. In the first game against Nigeria, a Mike Burns error led to the second Nigerian goal. Today, he headed clear an injury time shot from the goal line to preserve the tie.

United States: Brad Friedel, Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns, Paul Caligiuri (Brian Bliss 86'), Thomas Dooley (captain) (Chris Henderson 66'), Mike Sorber, John Harkes, Eric Wynalda, Claudio Reyna (Jovan Kirovski 64'), Frank Klopas (Cobi Jones 51')

Colombia: Rene Higuita, Jose Santa, Alex Fernandez (Alexis Mendoza 46'), Jorge Bermudez, Wilmer Cabrera, Leonel Alvarez, Bonner Mosquera (Herman Gaviria 46'), Carlos Valderrama (captain), Freddy Rincon, Niver Arboleda (Luis Quinonez 73'), John Jairo Gomez (Freddy Leon 58')


Two Goals

John Harkes

One Goal

Gabriel Gomez

Ignacio Ambriz

Alberto Garcia Aspe

Jonathon Akpoborie

Jay-Jay Okocha

Taiwo Wasui

Marcelo Balboa

Thomas Dooley

Cobi Jones

Claudio Reyna

Roy Wegerle

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article 1995 U.S. Cup