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US Soccer, Water Polo Teams Rout

July 24, 1999

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) _ Shutouts and routs were the order of the opening day of the Pan American Games for the United States, which also collected six medals in canoe-kayak.

The soccer squads didn’t yield a goal Friday and the men’s water polo team also was spotless. The women allowed two, but they scored 16.

``We have one of the best defenses in the world,″ men’s water polo defender Craig Kredell said after an 18-0 victory over Colombia. ``We showed Colombia and all the competitors in this tournament what they can expect from us.″

Brad Schumacher scored four for the Americans.

The women, making their Pan Am debut, had a sluggish start before doing the same in beating Puerto Rico 16-2.

``Sure, we should come out a little sharper offensively,″ said Courtney Johnson, who had three goals. ``But it’s not a bad result for one of the early games of the tournament.″

As night fell, seven aboriginal athletes banned from the 1967 Pan American Games in this prairie city carried the flame into Winnipeg Stadium for the torch lighting that officially signaled the start of the competition.

Triathlete Karen Smyers, 37, carried the U.S. flag, then kayaker Alwyn Morris and rower Silken Laumann, both Olympic medalists for Canada, carried the torch up the final steps and, together, lit the cauldron.

The flame made its appearance after delegations from 42 nations paraded leisurely into the stadium, ranging from the Brazilian contingent that stretched the length of the football field to the one athlete from tiny St. Kitts and Nevis.

The crowd roared for Cuba, whose athletes wore black tie, but the biggest cheers _ naturally _ went to the Canadian team, which marched in to a standing ovation and blinding bursts of flashbulbs from throughout the stands.

Hours before, native Canadian marchers paraded in protest of what they say are third-world conditions for their people in Manitoba.

Perhaps 200 marchers, including native drummers, were on hand for the start of the walk and then headed to the stadium. They promised to remain outside and not disrupt the official opening of the games being attended by Princess Anne and other dignitaries.

``That’s not the intention of this demonstration at all, we are not protesting the Pan Am Games,″ said organizer Gerald McIvor. ``My people are living in third-world conditions in the country that’s been voted No. 1 again in the world as the best country in the world to live in.″

On the soccer fields, the U.S. men defeated Cuba 1-0. Pete Vagenas got the goal in the 57th minute and Tim Howard stopped six shots for the shutout in a rough game marred by seven yellow cards.

``This Cuba team was very fast, tactically they were very strong,″ coach Clive Charles said. ``I am impressed with them and very happy to come out with a win.″

America’s women, represented by the under-20 team, had the quickest start imaginable, getting a goal in the first minute from Marcia Wallis on the way to a 6-0 romp past Costa Rica. Lauren Molinaro scored twice as the United States had a 36-7 shots advantage.

For the second straight day, Stein Jorgensen of San Diego and John Mooney of Eugene, Ore., won gold medals in kayaking. They were part of the 1,000-meter four-man squad that won on Thursday and captured the kayak 500 doubles Friday.

``We’ve been training pretty hard working toward this year’s events and looking ahead to the 2000 Olympics,″ Jorgensen said. ``It’s pretty exciting to have been in two races and to have won two gold medals.″

Kathryn Colin of Kailua, Hawaii, got silver in both singles and doubles kayak. She finished behind Canada’s Karen Furneaux in the 500 singles and teamed in the 500 doubles with Tamara Jenkins of Seattle, also finishing behind host Canada.

In women’s volleyball, Cuba, the heavy favorite, swept the United States in three sets.

Two showcase events, track and gymnastics, highlight Saturday’s schedule. In track, medals will be awarded in the men’s shot put and 5,000 and women’s long jump and hammer throw. Team titles will be decided in gymnastics, with the U.S. women favored for the gold.

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