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Diego Restrepo

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team
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U-20 MNT Fall, 4-0, to Canada

KINGSTON, Ontario (June 6, 2007) – After the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s dominating victory three days ago against their northern neighbors, the tables were turned this evening when Canada cruised to a 4-0 victory in the rematch in Kingston, Ontario.

The 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the second minute, and kept the U.S. defense under constant pressure for the rest of the match. Canada forward Tousaint Ricketts was the star of the show on the night, scoring two first half goals and adding another in the second half to complete his hat trick. Ricketts scored in the second, 29th and 65th minutes, and Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault added a goal in the 19th minute.

Tonight’s match was one of the final games the U.S. will play before heading to Canada for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from June 30-July 22 in six venues. Rongen will announce his World Cup roster next week and the full team will regroup in New Jersey on June 17 to begin their final preparations. The U.S. will have an opportunity to rebound when they take on Chile on June 23 in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

"This was definitely not the outcome we expected tonight, but it's a game we can learn from," said U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. "Canada learned from the match a few days ago, and we will do the same and try to learn what went wrong for us tonight and get better. We came here on this trip to do just that, while also getting a chance to see our venues and give some guys a chance to battle for some final spots on the roster. In the end, I think we've accomplished what we needed and look forward to coming back to Canada in a few weeks to kick off the World Cup."

The U.S. possessed the ball well during the match, but without a large majority of their eventual starters in this summer’s World Cup, they struggled to be creative in the final third and only put two shots on goal the entire match. Starting in a 4-3-3 formation, the U.S. changed back to a 4-4-2 in the second half, but the switch didn’t help improve their chances on target. The U.S., seemingly hindered by the long, bumpy grass after training on turf almost exclusively in the buildup to the World Cup, didn’t have an answer for Rickett’s constant pressure and Canada’s direct style of play.

Ricketts first goal came from a great individual effort, battling for the ball with the U.S. defense and forcing a turnover. He carried the ball down to the touchline to the left of Diego Restrepo’s goal and beat the goalkeeper, who was playing in his first career game with the Under-20 squad.

Beaulieu-Bourgault tallied the second goal after a loose ball was bouncing around the box, and he found himself alone about 12 yards from goal when the ball bounced in front of him and he was able to fire a low driven shot into the net.  Ricketts’ second goal came after Canada created a turnover in the midfield, and played the ball forward to the lone striker. Ricketts’ was initially shut down by Julian Valentin and Ofori Sarkodie, but the three collided and the Canadian came away with the ball and was in alone on Restrepo and slotted the ball home. The final tally came when Rickett’s collected a long ball and avoided a tackle from Valentin. The forward then regained control of the ball and again found himself in on goal and beats Restrepo to the far post.

The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. Argentina is in Group E with the Czech Republic, Korea DPR and Panama. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil.

The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA vs. Canada
Competition: Friendly
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Date: June 6, 2007
Weather: Cool, 50 degrees


Scoring Summary:
               1    2    F
USA        0    0    0
Canada    3    1    4



CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 2nd minute.
CAN – Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault 19.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 29.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 66.



Lineups:
USA: 18 – Diego Restrepo, 19-Tony Beltran, 14-Julian Valentin (5-Dane Brek-Shea, 69), 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 3-Amaechi Igwe, 16-Mitchell van den Beld (17-Preston Zimmerman, 46), 6-Bryan Arguez, 4-Anthony Wallace, 7-Gabriel Ferrari, 10-Sal Zizzo, 12-Andre Akpan (15-Sheanon Williams, 76)
Subs not used: 24-Steve Sandbo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen



GUA: 1-Asmir Begovic (22-David Monslave, 46), 2-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 3-Kent O’Connor, 4-Marcus Haber, 5-Steve Lumley, 6-Christian Nunez, 8-Keegan Ayre (15-Kennedy Owusu-Ansah, 46), 9-Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault (9-Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis, 69), 12-Michael D’Agostino (13-A.J. Gray, 82), 10-Will Johnson, 7-Toisaint Ricketts
Subs not used:
Head Coach: Dale Mitchell



Statistical Summary:
                   USA    CAN
Shots             2          8
Saves             2          1
Fouls            10         12
Corner Kicks  8           4
Offside           2          1


Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tony Beltran (caution) 33rd minute
CAN – Marcus Haber (caution) 53.
CAN – Kennedy Owusu-Ansah (caution) 77.


Officials:
Referee: Steve DePiero (CAN)
1st Assistant:Isaac Raymond (CAN)
2nd Assistant: Amato DeLuca (CAN)
Fourth Official: Justin Tasev (CAN)

U.S. U-20 Men Defeat Canada in World Cup Venue

 
• Akpan, Smith, Zimmerman and Zizzo All Score for the U.S.
• U.S. Gets Look at Frank Clair Stadium, Site of Their Third Group Match in the World Cup Against Brazil
• U.S. and Canada Will Face Off Again on Wednesday, June 6 in Kingston

OTTAWA, Canada (June 2, 2007) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team defeated Canada, 4-1, this afternoon at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa, Canada. Andre Akpan, Preston Zimmerman, Johann Smith and Sal Zizzo each tallied a goal for the U.S. side in the first of two games against the World Cup hosts this week.

The first half consisted of back and forth action from the start as both teams were fighting for every ball and attacking relentlessly. The U.S. struck first when Akpan finished a free kick from Anthony Wallace, but Canada struck back just six minutes later. Zimmerman gave the U.S. the lead before the half and the U.S. didn’t look back as Zizzo and Smith put the finishing touches on the impressive victory with goals in the second half.

The match was the first to two games the neighboring countries will play this week as they will play a rematch on Wednesday, June 6 in Kingston at 7 p.m. ET in preparation for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Getting the chance to play at Frank Clair Stadium was a crucial part of the USA’s preparations as it is the same location the U.S. will play their third and final Group E match against Brazil. Earlier in the week, the U.S. also got a tour of The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, site of their first two matches against South Korea and Poland.

“I think tonight's game was a good demonstration of how we've been training,” said U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. "We got a couple of goals from set pieces and a couple in the run of play as well, and I think overall it was a good game for us. Both teams battled hard for the full 90 minutes and we created some good opportunities that we were able to put away. I think it was a good stepping stone for us to continue this camp and get ready for the World Cup, and a great opportunity for us to play on this stadium's surface."

The first goal of the game came in the ninth minute when Anthony Wallace served in a free kick form the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Wallace placed the ball perfectly to the far post right for Akpan, who one-timed the ball past Canadian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Canada kept up the pressure on the other end, and was able to tie the game in the 15th minute. A foul called on Ofori Sarkodie from 40 yards away seemed harmless, but Canada won a corner off the ensuing free kick when Beltran headed it over the endline during a challenge. Keegan Ayre served the corner in and the U.S. defense attempted to clear the ball, but played it right to the foot of Nana Attakora-Gyan, who fired a low one-time shot past Steve Sandbo to make the game 1-1.

The U.S. reclaimed the lead on a corner kick in the 25th minute taken by Wallace. The FC Dallas midfielder once again hit Akpan, but this time the Harvard product played the ball with his head, directing it down to the feet of Johann Smith, who trapped the ball for Preston Zimmerman who was alone six yards from goal. Zimmerman took a touch to turn and then fired a shot that hit the top of the net to put the U.S. back on top heading into the locker rooms.

Once the second half started, the teams settled more into a possession game, trying to find their respective rhythms. Canada had the first opportunity of the half in the 49th minute on a free kick 25 yards away from Sandbo’s goal. Will Johnson got the ball around the five-man wall, but couldn’t beat Sandbo, who was there for the save.

The first chance for the U.S. in the half came in the 58th minute when Wallace won the ball in the midfield and quickly played it to the speedy Smith.  Smith took a touch inside and tried to get past Canada’s last defender, but Steve Lumley defused the play and didn’t let him get a shot off.

Canada’s best chance of the night came on a counter-attack in the 81st minute. Lecoste-Lebuis carried the ball down the right flank and took a shot from close range, but Sandbo dove to direct the ball over the endline. On the ensuing corner, Ayre played the ball nicely into the box, but Amaechi Igwe did well to clear the ball out of danger.

Zizzo, who had been dangerous all night from his right midfield position, finally was rewarded with a goal of his own. In the 83rd minute the UCLA midfielder carried the ball down the flank and cut towards goal. He attempted to slot the ball back to a teammate, but the pass was blocked and ended up right back at his feet.  Zizzo took a shot from a tough angle that was initially saved, but followed his own rebound and put it in the back of the net for his first career goal with the U-20s.

Smith topped off the scoring on the night in the 87th minute. He received the ball on the left sideline and cut it in towards goal. He beat two defenders on his way into the box, and buried a low shot just past the outstretched arms of Begovic for the final score of 4-1.

The 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be held from June 30-July 22 in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. After their opener against the Korea Republic, the U.S. faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA vs. Canada
Competition: Friendly
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Date: June 3, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                         1     2      F
USA                2     2      4
Canada         1     0      1

USA – Andre Akpan (Anthony Wallace) 9th min.
CAN – Nana Attakora-Gyan  15.
USA – Preston Zimmerman (Johann Smith) 25.
USA – Sal Zizzo   82.
USA – Johann Smith   85

Lineups:
USA: 24 – Steve Sandbo, 3-Amaechi Igwe, 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 14-Julian Valentin, 19-Tony Beltran, 4-Anthony Wallace, 6-Brian Arguez, 9-Johann Smith, 10-Sal Zizzo, 12-Andre Akpan, 17-Preston Zimmerman
Subs not used: 5-Dane Shea, 7-Gabriel Ferrari, 15-Sheanon Williams, 16-Mitchell van den Beld, 18-Diego Restrepo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

GUA: 1-Asmir Begovic, 2-Nana Attakora-Gyan (16-Oliver Lacoste-Lebuis, 73), 4-Marcus Haber, 5-Steve Lumley, 14-Gabe Gala (15-Kennedy Owusu-Ansah, 58), 6-Christian Nunez, 8-Keegan Ayre, 10-Will Johnson, 9-Andrea Lombardo, 11-Alex Elliott (AJ Gray, 25; 12-Michael D’Agostino, 68), 7-Toisaint Ricketts
Subs not used: 3- Kent O’Connor, 22-David Monslave
Head Coach: Dale Mitchell

Statistical Summary:
                        USA  CAN
Shots                 7       6  
Saves                4       1
Fouls                27    10
Corner Kicks    5       6
Offside              4         3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Gabe Gala (caution)   33rd min.
CAN – Andrea Lombardo (caution) 39.
USA – Preston Zimmerman (caution) 59
CAN – Christian Nunez (caution) 75
USA – Julian Valentin (sent off)  90

Officials:
Referee: Silviu Petrescu (CAN)
1st Assistant:Daniel Bellau (CAN)
2nd Assistant: Pierre Cantave (CAN)
Fourth Official: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)

 

Rongen Names 16 Players to Training Camp in Canada

CHICAGO (May 23, 2007) - U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has announced his 16-player roster for the team's upcoming training camp from May 30 to June 6 in Canada as part of their preparation for the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The U.S. will face Canada twice during the camp, which will provide the U.S. with a first-hand look at their two Group E venues in Montreal and Ottawa.

The U.S. will start the camp in Montreal, where they will train for three days and check out The Olympic Stadium, site of the team's first two Group E matches against South Korea (June 30) and Poland (July 3). The team will not train at the stadium, but is planning on getting a tour of the facility. The U.S. will then travel to Ottawa to face the World Cup hosts on June 3 at Frank Clair Stadium, site of their third and final Group E match against Brazil (July 6). The final stretch of the camp will take place in Kingston, Ontario, where the U.S. and Canada will play the rematch on June 6 in Richardson Stadium.

"This camp will not only provide us with two matches against a strong Canada team, but it will allow us to get a feel for the facilities we'll be using during the World Cup," said Rongen, who will use this camp as his final evaluation period before announcing the World Cup roster. "We want to be as prepared as possible to advance out of a tough group, and this is a great opportunity to check out these great venues while becoming more and more acclimated to playing on artificial turf."

Three of the players on the roster play in Major League Soccer, four players will be joining the United States from overseas clubs and a pair of UCLA Bruins lead a seven-player collegiate contingent. Rongen also included a pair of players who are currently part of the Under-17 Residency Program, Dane Shea and Sheanon Williams, giving them an opportunity to gain experience with the Under-20s.

The trio of MLS players represents three different teams, with Bryan Argues of DC United, Amaechi Igwe of New England and Anthony Wallace of FC Dallas. The professional ranks of Italy, Germany, England and the Netherlands are also represented on the roster by one player each in Gabriel Ferrari of Sampdoria, Preston Zimmerman of Hamburg SV, Bolton FC’s Johann Smith and Mitchell van den Beld of FC Utrecht, respectively. Van den Beld will be participating in his first national team camp at any level.

Ten players on the roster were members of the squad that won their CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama earlier this year. The team scored 11 goals during qualification, including three from Andre Akpan, while only allowing one.

The U.S. most recently faced Canada in a two-game series last summer, coming away with a 2-1 victory in the first game, which was played in Toronto on July 7, and a 1-1 draw in Kingston two days later.

The 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be held from June 30-July 22 in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. After their opener against the Korea Republic, the U.S. faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. The United States is coming off of their first loss of the year, as they fell 1-0 to reigning World Cup Champion Argentina on May 15.

Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Diego Restrepo (University of South Florida), Steve Sandbo (SMU)
DEFENDERS (5): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Bryan Arguez (DC United), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Mitchell van den Beld (FC Utrecht)
FORWARDS (5): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Johann Smith (Bolton FC), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)

U-20 MNT Defeat Full Haiti National Team

FRISCO, Texas (March 28, 2007) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team got a goal from Gabriel Ferrari in injury time to defeat the full Haiti Men's National Team, 2-1, this evening in the first match of a doubleheader with the U.S. Men's National Team in Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

The U.S. took the lead in the 55th minute when Freddy Adu dribbled through a couple players at the top of the penalty area, and slipped the ball behind the last defender before getting tripped up as he ran into the box.

Adu stepped up and buried the penalty into the left side of the net.

Haiti scored the equalizer in the 75th minute when Ferrari lost the ball and the ball was quickly slipped through to Cadet Eliphene. The Haiti forward was able to hold off the charging Ofori Sarkodie and slip it past U.S. goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

The U.S. got the game-winner in extra time when Tim Ward served in a ball from the left flank to the back post where Dax McCarty headed it back across the goalmouth and Ferrari was able to get a touch with his chest to direct it into the net among two Haiti defenders and goalkeeper Fenelon Gabare.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA vs. Haiti (Full Team)
Competition: International Friendly
Location: Pizza Hut Park; Frisco, Texas
Date: March 28, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                1     2      F
USA        0     2      2
Haiti        0     1      1 

USA – Freddy Adu (penalty kick)                 55th minute
HAI – Cadet Eliphene                                    75.
USA – Gabriel Ferrari (Dax McCarty)          91+

Lineups:
USA: 1-Chris Seitz; 3-Amaechi Igwe (5-Ross LaBauex, 89), 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 4-Anthony Wallace, 2-Tim Ward; 8-Robbie Rogers (16-Blake Wagner, 74), 7-Danny Szetela (15-Jalil Anibaba, 83), 11-Freddy Adu (capt.), 10-Sal Zizzo (21-Dax McCarty, 75); 12-Josmer Altidore (19-Tony Beltran, 71), 9-Gabriel Ferrari
Subs not used: 6-Quavas Kirk, 18-Diego Restrepo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

HAI: 1-Fenelon Gabare; 21-Saurel Olrish, 19-Lesly Fellinga, 15-Ednerson Raymond (3-Gilles Frantz, 58), 6-Guillaume Stephane, 12-James Marcelin (14-Chery Mones), 16-St. Jean Pierre Roland (7-Fucien Brunel, 65), 2-Alcenat Sony, 8-Corriolan Wadson (17-Alain Vubert, 64), 20-Tim Velten (10-Alexandre Boucicaut, 75), 11-Noel Fabrice (9-Cadet Eliphene, 71).
Subs not used: 00-Occenat Peterson, 4-Peter Germain, 13-Bruny Pierre Richard, 18-Guliano Philipp
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdez

Statistical Summary:
                                    USA      HAI
Shots                           10        10  
Shots on goal              3           3
Saves                            1           1
Fouls                           16        10
Corner Kicks                3           2
Offside                           5          4

Misconduct Summary:
HAI – James Marcelin (caution)            45th minute
HAI – Alcenat Sony (caution)                  59.
HAI – Saurel Olrish (caution)                 86.

U-20 MNT Set to Face Haiti's Full Team, Live on ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Haiti
Pizza Hut Park; Frisco, Texas
March 28, 2007

PATH TO CANADA:
The match against Haiti’s senior national team will cap off a weeklong camp for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team. The team came together on March 22 in Frisco, Texas, for their first camp since qualifying for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada this past January. The players and staff will head home on Thursday, but the team is planning on coming back into camp a number of times as they continue to prepare for the World Cup. While dates and locations are not yet determined, expect the U-20s to hold a number of weeklong camps and play some international matches against fellow World Cup participants before coming together in Canada in the week leading up to their opening match of the tournament.

RONGEN MAKES IT 18: U-20 Head Coach Thomas Rongen invited in 16 players to start the camp here in Frisco, but added two more for the match against Haiti. Defender Blake Wagner and midfielder Dax McCarty, both from FC Dallas, joined the U-20s for their final practice on Tuesday at the stadium and will be available for the match against Haiti. Wagner and McCarty both trained with the U-20s leading up to the qualifying tournament in January, but did not make the final roster. They both join FC Dallas teammate Anthony Wallace, giving the U-20 team three players from the Texas club. A total of 11 players play in Major League Soccer, one plays professionally in Europe and five play collegiately.

Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Diego Restrepo (University of South Florida), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Quavas Kirk (L.A. Galaxy), Ross LaBauex (University of Virginia), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Blake Wagner (FC Dallas), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Jalil Anibaba (Davis, Calif.), Tony Beltran (UCLA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (4): Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)

U-20s LIVE ON ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS: The U.S. U-20 Men's National Team match against Haiti will kick off at 5:10 p.m. CT (6:10 p.m. ET) and ussoccer.com will broadcast the entire U-20 contest live via MatchACCESS. Fans can log on to ussoccer.com at 5 p.m. CT (6 p.m. ET) to watch live streaming coverage of the match.

TOUGH DRAW FOR WORLD CUP: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium (full schedule). Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf.

FIFA U-20 World Cup Schedule – Group D
Date          Opponent                Location
June 30    Korea Republic     Montreal, Canada
July 3        Poland                     Montreal, Canada
July 6        Brazil                        Ottawa, Canada

RONGEN ON THE DRAW: "Anytime you go to a World Cup and you’re drawn with Brazil, it’s exciting,” said U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen. “For us to go out and measure ourselves against the best in the world is what this Under-20 competition is all about. With Poland and South Korea complementing Brazil, we have a very interesting and tough group, but saying that, all 24 teams at this stage deserve to be there so there are no easy games.” [MORE RONGEN – LISTEN]

THE CAPTAIN ON THE DRAW: “I think we obviously have a hard group but I’m excited about this opportunity,” said U-20 captain Freddy Adu. “We are going to find out how good we are playing against these teams and if we play well enough to get out of the group we will be well prepared for the second round because all three games are going to be tough. Brazil always has one of the best teams in every age group and it’s a great opportunity for us to show we can play against the best in the world on the world stage. People are going to be watching and it is going to be a great atmosphere, I’m sure. I’m looking forward to it.” [MORE PLAYER QUOTES]

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: This will be the second time Rongen has lead the U.S. Under-20s in a World Cup as he was also the head coach during the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates where he led the U.S. to an impressive run through the tournament. The U.S. won their group for the first time ever and reached the quarterfinals only to lose a heartbreaking overtime thriller to Argentina to finish in fifth place, their second-best showing ever.

PANAMA ROAD: The U.S. U-20s qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with an undefeated performance in Panama in January. The U.S. defeated Haiti, 4-1, then drew, 0-0, with Guatemala before demolishing Panama, 5-0, to secure their spot atop the group.

U-20 Qualifying Results
Date        Opponent      Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 17   Haiti                4-1 W      Akpan (3), Wallace
Jan. 19   Guatemala    0-0 T        --
Jan. 21   Panama         5-0 W      Adu (2), Rogers, Smith, Villanueva

U-20s MAKE HIGHEST LEVEL: Out of the 20 players on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for their match against Guatemala, 13 were members of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team. Kasey Keller, the most veteran player on the team with 96 caps, was part of the 1989 U-20 MNT that advanced to the semifinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia. The team lost to Brazil in the semis, but ended up in fourth place for the best showing in a U-20 FIFA World Cup. Steve Cherundolo and Taylor Twellman were part of the 1999 U-20 World Cup team that advanced to the second round, but fell to Spain, 3-2, and finished in 11th place. DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan led the U-20s two years later in 2001 in Argentina, getting the team out of group play before falling, 2-0, to Egypt to finish in 13th place. Clint Dempsey, Justin Mapp and Eddie Johnson were part of Rongen’s ’03 team in UAE that had a fantastic run to the quarterfinals and eventually finished in fifth place. Jonathan Spector and Benny Feilhaber were two of the top players for the last U-20 World Cup, helping the team win the group before losing to Italy, 3-1, in the Round of 16. Heath Pearce and Frank Simek have both been in with the U-20s, but were not members of a World Cup roster, while Michael Bradley is a part of the U-20s right now and will be a starter for their team in Canada.

QUICK HITS:

• Since 2006, this group of U.S. U-20s holds a 6-4-3 record in international play. So far in 2007, the U.S. is undefeated at 2-0-1 as all three games came during qualifying in Panama
• Of the 18 players on the U.S. roster, Jalil Anibaba, Ross LaBauex, Gabriel Ferrari and Diego Restrepo are in for the first time with the Under-20s and none of them have an international appearance for the U-20s
• Ferrari is the only player on the roster that is playing professionally in Europe. The forward is with Sampdoria in Italy’s Serie A.
• Along with the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama all qualified from CONCACAF for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. With Canada as host, CONCACAF has five teams in the tournament
• The U.S. defeated Southern Methodist University earlier this week, 3-2, getting two goals from Ferrari and the game-winner from Adu in the 90th minute

- 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup -

U-20 MNT Defeat SMU, 3-2

CHICAGO (March 25, 2007) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team defeated Southern Methodist University, 3-2, this afternoon on the SMU campus in Dallas, Texas.

Forward Gabriel Ferrari scored two goals before captain Freddy Adu buried the game-winner in the 90th minute.

Ferrari scored his first goal in the eighth minute and the one-goal lead held up until the second half. The Mustangs pulled even in the 55th minute, but Ferrari put the U.S. back on top in the 74th minute, finishing off a pass from Tim Ward.

SMU scored their second equalizer six minutes later, but Adu provided the heroics with a goal in the final minute of the game.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA vs. Southern Methodist University
Competition: Friendly
Location: SMU
Date: March 25, 2007
Weather: Cool, 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                         1     2      F
USA                 1     2      3
SMU                0     2      2 

USA – Gabriel Ferrari (Freddy Adu)             8th minute
SMU – n/a                                                         55.
USA – Gabriel Ferrari (Tim Ward)               74.
SMU – n/a                                                         80.
USA – Freddy Adu (Ross LaBauex)             90.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Chris Seitz (18-Diego Restrepo, 46); 2-Tim Ward, 3-Amaechi Igwe, 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 19-Tony Beltran; 4-Anthony Wallace (Jalil Anibaba, 58) 7-Danny Szetela, 11-Freddy Adu (capt.); 10-Sal Zizzo (Ross LaBauex, 46), 8-Robbie Rogers, 9-Gabriel Ferarri
Subs not used:
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

SMU: n/a

Statistical Summary:
                                    USA  SMU
Shots                           15       8  
Shots on goal            10       4
Saves                            2        5
Fouls                           19      12
Corner Kicks                8        3
Offside                           3        3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Amaechi Igwe (caution)            61st minute
SMU – n/a (caution)                                78.

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