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U.S. is on skids after 3-1 loss to Paraguay

July 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

Looks as if the U.S. soccer team's trip to the Copa America in Venezuela may be short.

Four days after being routed by a superior Argentina squad in their opener, the youthful Americans were humbled again Monday in a 3-1 loss to Paraguay at Barinas that put them on the brink of elimination.

"We gave them too many easy chances. When you give good teams and good players easy chances, they're going to beat you," said Kasey Keller, the veteran U.S. goalkeeper. "But this is why we're here to give these young guys experience. Unfortunately, sometimes you need to make mistakes to learn."

Ricardo Clark's goal in the 40th minute had tied the score 10 minutes after Edgar Barreto had put Paraguay ahead.

But then, Jimmy Conrad all but conceded Oscar Cardozo's goal in the 56th minute, which gave Paraguay a 2-1 lead. Salvador Cabanas scored his third goal of the tournament in injury time after the Americans blew chance after chance on offense.

Clark's first international goal in nine appearances was little consolation for the Americans, who lost for the second consecutive time after going 10-0-1 to start the year. It was their first loss to Paraguay in five games and all but eliminated the U.S. from contention.

"The result is difficult for us. We feel the effort of the team was strong," U.S. Coach Bob Bradley said. "Nonetheless, we didn't do very well with some of the chances we created and certainly made a mistake that Paraguay was able to take advantage of."

The 13th-ranked U.S. (0-2) would have to rout No. 31 Colombia (0-2) and get lots of help from other teams to advance.

Argentina 4, Colombia 2 -- Juan Roman Riquelme scored two goals, and Hernan Crespo and Diego Milito had one apiece for Argentina at Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Crespo left limping on his right leg after his penalty-kick goal in the 20th minute tied the score.

Edixon Perea's penalty-kick goal in the 10th minute had given Colombia an early lead.

Jaime Castrillon scored in the 73rd minute, pulling Colombia to 3-2.

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