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US Soccer Team Defeats El Salvador in Washington DC Game - 2002-11-18

The United States men's soccer team Sunday played its first match since its historic run in the World Cup. The match was against El Salvador at Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium.

Ben Olsen scored on a header in the 31st minute, while Sasha Victorine added a second-half goal, as the United States shut out El Salvador, 2-0, to close out a record-breaking 2002 season.

The win was the 12th for Team USA this year, a single-year record for the United States.

U.S. coach Bruce Arena says he was impressed with his team's play. "I think for the first time out for a number of our guys, I think they did well. Conditions weren't easy. I thought they played some good soccer. At times they created some good chances and perhaps could have had a few more goals," he said.

Sunday's victory was also the first U.S. match since its run to the quarterfinals at this year's World Cup. Only four players from that World Cup squad were on the roster for the El Salvador game. Arena says he wanted to give a chance to several younger U.S. players to begin preparations for the 2006 World Cup.