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1997 U.S. Cup

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The 1997 U.S. Cup was a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) organized tournament held in January 1997. USSF had hosted the annual U.S. Cup since 1992, except for the FIFA World Cup years of 1994 and 1998 when no tournament took place. The 1997 U.S. Cup included the host United States, Mexico, Peru and Denmark. Staged as a six game, round robin tournament, the team with the best win-loss record took the title. This was the first and only U.S. Cup for both Peru and Denmark, and the third for Mexico. They had won the previous cup and would go on to win this one and the 1999 edition.

USSF organized the 1997 cup as three doubleheaders. On January 17, 1997, Denmark played Mexico and the U.S. played Peru. Two days later, Peru took on Denmark, while the U.S. played arch-rival Mexico. On the last day of the cup, January 22, Mexico played Peru and the U.S. hosted Denmark.

January 17: First Doubleheader

In the first game of the tournament, the U.S. took on Peru in San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium. Peru struck early, when German Carty scored in the 8th minute off a Paolo Maldonado cross. Peru dominated the first half possession, but the U.S. dominated long stretches of the second half. The U.S. had several good chances, but was unable to score on any of them.

United States: Brad Friedel, Mike Burns, Jeff Agoos, Alexi Lalas, Joe-Max Moore, Preki (Cobi Jones 78'), Claudio Reyna, Frankie Hejduk (Jason Kreis 60'), Brian McBride, Steve Ralston (Jovan Kirovski 55'), Roy Lassiter

Peru: Julio Balerio, Alfonso Dulanto, Juan Reynoso, Percy Olivares, Nolberto Solano, Roger Serrano, Juan Jayo, Paolo Maldonado, Jose Pereda, Alex Magallanes (Waldir Saenz 58'), German Carty (Robert Farfan 68')


In the second game, Mexico defeated Denmark 3-1.Allan Pedersen, "Vi tabte pa begynderfejl", Ekstra Bladet, 19 January 1997

Denmark: Mogens Krogh, Soren Colding, Michael Hemmingsen, Jens Jessen, Per Nielsen, Kim Daugaard (Peter Frank 76'), Bjarne Goldbaek, Brian Steen Nielsen, Stig Tofting (Jesper Thygesen 46'), Miklos Molnar (Soren Andersen 69'), Per Pedersen (Peter Moller 52')

Mexico: ?

January 19: Second Doubleheader

In the first game of the day, Denmark came back from its loss to Mexico to defeat Peru 2-1 in its January 19th game in Pasadena's Rose Bowl. The Peruvian team had a hard time converting their technical superiority into goals, partly due to Danish goalkeeper Mogens Krogh.Allan Pedersen, "Kroghs oprejsning", Ekstra Bladet, 20 January 1997

Denmark: Mogens Krogh, Soren Colding, Peter Frank (Jens Jessen 46'), Michael Hemmingsen, Steen Nedergaard, Per Nielsen, Bjarne Goldbaek (Ulrik Pedersen 60'), Brian Steen Nielsen (Stig Tofting 75'), Jesper Thygesen, Soren Andersen, Peter Moller

Peru: ?


In the second game of the doubleheader, Mexico easily defeated the U.S. In the third minute, Alberto Garcia Aspe assisted on Luis Roberto Alves' goal. In the 71st minute, Aspe bagged a goal for himself. Mexico stripped the ball from the U.S. and, using several quick passes, Aspe received the ball and placed a rocket shot past Brad Friedel from 25 yards out. With the win, Mexico defeated the U.S. for the first time on American soil since 1974.

United States: Brad Friedel, Mike Burns, Jeff Agoos, Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Jovan Kirovski, Martin Vasquez (Preki 50'), Jason Kreis (Frankie Hejduk 53'), Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Brian McBride (Roy Lassiter 66')

Mexico: Adolfo Rios, Pavel Prado, Claudio Suarez, Duilio Davino, Ramon Ramirez, Alberto Coyote, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Marcelino Bernal 74'), Benjamin Galindo, Enrique Alfaro (Nicolas Ramirez 83'), Carlos Hermosillo (Luis Garcia 68'), Luis Roberto Alves (Luis Hernandez 54')

January 22: Third Doubleheader

Per Pedersen put on a goal scoring clinic as Denmark crushed the U.S. 4-1. Pedersen scored all four of Denmark's goals, three in the first half. While the U.S. maintained possession for long periods of time, they were unable to break into the last half of the field. Denmark on the other hand, allowed the U.S. to expend its energy on pointless play, then would strip the U.S. of the ball and easily move into counterattacks. Joe-Max Moore became the only U.S. player to score in this cup when he hit a 25 yard free kick in the 44th minute.

United States: Brad Friedel (Mark Dodd 46'), Jeff Agoos, Dan Calichman, Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns, Steve Ralston (Jason Kreis 57'), Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Cobi Jones, Jovan Kirovski (Preki 63'), Roy Lassiter (Brian McBride 33')

Denmark: Mogens Krogh, Soren Colding, Carsten Hemmingsen, Per Nielsen, Jens Jessen, Steen Nedergaard, Brian Steen Nielsen (Kim Daugaard 79'), Jesper Thygesen, Ulrik Pedersen (Stig Tofting 71'), Soren Andersen (Miklos Molnar 66'), Per Pedersen (Peter Moller 87')


In the second, and decisive game, Mexico cruised to an easy 0-0 tie with Peru. With the point it earned from the tie, Mexico topped the standings and took its second consecutive U.S. Cup title.


Four goals

Per Pedersen

One goal

Soren Andersen

Soren Colding

Brian Steen Nielsen

Enrique Alfaro

Alberto Garcia Aspe

Luis Roberto Alves

Luis Hernandez

Carlos Hermosillo

German Carty

Nolberto Solano

Joe-Max Moore

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