- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2002

DUBLIN (AP) If the United States plays defense like this at the World Cup, the Americans are in for a short trip to Korea.
Ireland got around U.S. defenders to score a pair of goals and defeated the Americans 2-1 yesterday in the last road game for the United States before the World Cup.
Mark Kinsella got past Gregg Berhalter to score in the seventh minute as the game at Lansdowne Road began in pouring rain. Eddie Pope tied it for the United States in the 34th, but Ireland got the winning goal in the 84th when Gary Doherty outjumped defender Tony Sanneh and beat goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
"I am disappointed that we didn't walk away with a point tonight, because we were in a position to manage the game in the last 10 minutes and didn't do a good job," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "So give Ireland credit for the second goal and the win."
While the Americans are 8-3 this year, they've lost all three games in Europe, falling previously to Italy (1-0) and Germany (4-2). The United States, which plans to announce its 23-man World Cup roster Monday, had most of its top players together for the first time this year, and the starting lineup was a good indication of the group that will take the field June 5 when the Americans open World Cup play against Portugal.
Clint Mathis and Brian McBride started at forward, and Chris Armas, John O'Brien, Claudio Reyna and Earnie Stewart opened in the midfield.
With David Regis sidelined by a sprained knee, Jeff Agoos, Berhalter, Pope and Sanneh started on a defense that had been the backbone of the team in World Cup qualifying in 2000 and 2001. Brad Friedel and Keller, competing for the starting job in goal, each played a half.
"I thought their two goals were preventable, and it's something we need to work on," Friedel said. "The good news is that it's something we can work on."
The game, at a small 19th-century stadium that is home to both Irish soccer and rugby, was played on a soggy surface that threw both teams off their rhythm. Many passes bogged down in puddles yards short of their target.
Undeterred by the typical Irish weather, thousands of locals packed into the standing-room-only, unroofed ends of the stadium to cheer on Ireland, which hasn't lost at home since 2000.
Ireland scored the first goal when Steve Finnan came down the right side, overlapped Agoos and sent a cross to Kinsella, who got behind Berhalter and beat Friedel.

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