Wynalda Scores as U.S. Beats Malta, 1-0

Eric Wynalda of Thousand Oaks scored on a 10-yard shot in the sixth minute and the United States beat Malta, 1-0, at Piscataway, N.J., in a warmup soccer match for the World Cup.

Wynalda, a 20-year-old forward from San Diego State, took a pass from Paul Caligiuri, formerly of UCLA, and beat Malta goalkeeper Reginald Cini to the far post with a right-footed shot.

It was the fourth international goal for Wynalda, who was playing in only his 10th game with the national team. He scored against Colombia in his debut and had two goals in a 4-1 victory over Iceland on April 8.

Wynalda wasn’t even sure if he could play Saturday morning.


He sprained his right ankle and bruised the foot severely Wednesday during a training game.

“I thought I might have fractured the foot, but the X-rays were negative,” Wynalda said. “It’s just a bad bone bruise. But it’s all right. It didn’t hurt until the end. But, hey, I might have to play with injuries for the next month.”

The Americans, 4-6 on their World Cup warmup run, play Poland on Wednesday at Hershey, Pa., and Ajax Amsterdam of the Netherlands on Sunday in Washington.

They leave for Europe on May 26 and have exhibition games at Liechtenstein and Switzerland before starting the World Cup on June 10 against Czechoslovakia at Florence, Italy.