U.S. Head Coach John Hackworth
On if he ever expected Jamaica to come back:
“No, you don’t think that is going to happen, but I have to give full credit to the Jamaican team. They hung in there, never let down once and it was a tremendous comeback by them.”
On what he think happened in the second half:
“I thought we stopped playing football and stopped passing the ball. We had really good rhythm, but we stopped it and started playing more direct. We basically looked like we were playing for a 2-0 result. You can’t do that. We didn’t handle it right.”
“I’ve said in the build-up to this qualifying that Jamaica was a fantastic team and I knew we were going to have our hands full tonight. They’re a great team and have some unbelievable players. That being said, I thought my team played well and did what it needed to do, but it just didn’t finish it. We literally stopped doing the things we were being successful in.”
On Costa Rica:
“We have one more game against Costa Rica. We’ll look at the game film, try to prepare to the best of our abilities for Costa Rica and see if we can get a result in that match. I think it will be an extremely tough game. We have to put together a 90-minute match.”
U.S. Captain Mykell Bates
On what their feeling was up 2-0 at halftime:
“The feeling is we have a cushion, but we were getting ahead of ourselves. We were already looking at qualifying with nine points and that was our biggest mistake – knowing that we should have realized the game is not over and we still had another 45 minutes.”
On what happened in the second half:
“We lost our game plan. We did not do what we were told to do, what we were supposed to do or what we needed to do. We got away from playing soccer and try to hold onto a 2-0 lead. What we needed to do was play soccer and knock it around like we did in the first half, and execute and put one in the back of the net to finish it off, 3-0.”
On knowing they qualified despite the loss:
“To be honest, our goal isn’t just to qualify; it’s to be number one in this CONCACAF Group B. That’s why it’s such a hard loss at the moment because we were up 2-0 and could have had the victory if we would have finished off the game, putting us number one in the group. But, we didn’t do it.”
On the team’s mentality going into their final match against Costa Rica:
“Our mentality has to be that we forget this game and get ready for Sunday night. We’ll have to recuperate and come out sharp, play sharp and finish sharp for the whole 90 minutes.”
U.S. Defender Sheanon Williams
On qualifying despite the loss:
“We’re happy to qualify, but we’re here to win. It’s all good to be in the World Cup, but we want to win.”
On his goal:
“The ball came in nicely and I took a touch and decided I was going to shoot it because why not take a chance. Luckily, it went in.”
U.S. Defender Daniel Wenzel
On dealing with the range of emotions of qualifying but also losing to Jamaica:
“It’s disappointing. It’s not what I wanted to qualify on. It’s a bad loss. Our goal was to win every game, get 12 points and leave here. We still have one more game, but it’s a bittersweet feeling.”
On the letdown in the second half:
“We set ourselves up perfectly to win the first half by playing the soccer we did, getting the two goals and defending well. But in the second half, we didn’t do any of that. We gave the ball away easily, we didn’t defend together and once they got their first goal we just came apart.”
On facing Costa Rica:
“We’re just going to focus on resting and recovering, getting our legs back and just going out and getting a win. We have to put this behind us, forget about it and just go get a win.”
Head coach John Hackworth
On the match:
“We came out and executed our game plan very well in the early going, but you’ve got to finish a couple of those other opportunities we had. If we would have gotten the third goal, I think we would have made it easy on ourselves and now it’s done. Canada played well and give them credit for never giving up. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with six points from our first two games. We’re in a great spot, so now we have to battle through our tired legs and get ready for Jamaica.”
“They came out in the second half and displayed the type of soccer their capable of playing. Their number nine (Jarek Whiteman) is an excellent player, probably one of the best target forwards here. Number four (Oliver Lacoste-Lebuis) can stroke it around and their two center backs are quality. They are a good side and they showed that in the second half and against Jamaica. Full credit to them, as they made it very difficult to get out of there with three points.”
On having six points:
“We’re right where we want to be. Our plan was to come and earn three points in each of the first two matches. We wouldn’t have liked to give up the goal tonight, but now for us the biggest thing is battling through the fatigue with four games in seven days. We’ll see how it goes, we’re in the position we want to be in.”
On facing Jamaica next:
“We feel Jamaica is going to be an extremely difficult match for us, especially when it’s in Jamaica.”
Defender and Captain Mykell Bates
On the mood of the team after earning six points:
“We’re very happy. It was a tough win, but we got three points and that’s all that matters. By winning those two games we’re dictating what we’re going to do for the rest of the tournament. And that’s a very good feeling for us.”
On his goal:
“I checked to and next thing you know I saw the ball. I anticipated the ball was going to come through and took my time, took a touch and knew where I wanted to go.”
On the second half letdown:
“We were losing focus as the match went on and I think fatigure played a part in it. We just need to stay more focused to sustain the 90 minutes.”
Forward Billy Schuler
On his goal:
“I was at the line of defense and made a diagonal run. (Sheanon Williams) slipped me through and the goalie came out to defend the near post. I just tried to get there, slide and hit it far post. I got it by the goalie and I got it in.”
On how they played in the first half:
“We’ve been trying to play soccer and not just play balls over the top, trying to not play sloppy. I think it’s worked. Although sometimes we straw from not playing soccer, we lose focus at times, but we always seem to get back to it sometime in the game, which is great. That’s when we play our best.”
Sierra Mist Man of the Match Daniel Wenzel
On controlling the midfield and dominating the first half:
“We’ve just been practicing just playing simple and we just put it all together. I think by us keeping the ball, Canada just seemed to get tired. We just need to do that for the full game.”
On facing Jamaica:
“Jamaica is our biggest game because if we get a result we’ll qualify. All of our focus is on that game, getting a win and moving on from here.”
KINGSTON, Jamaica (April 30, 2007) — Alex Nimo scored two goals while Ellis McLoughlin tallied once as the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opened Group B of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with a 3-0 shutout over Trinidad & Tobago at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The U.S. sits in third place in the five-team group with a game in hand.
Costa Rica and Canada battled to a scoreless draw in the early match of the Match Day 2 doubleheader, keeping them first and second in the group. Canada is in first with a better goal differential (plus-3) than Costa Rica (plus-two).
Nimo and McLoughlin were the story of the night from start to finish, with Nimo providing a magical opening when he finished a fantastic individual effort from close range in just the second minute for his first international goal. McLoughlin tallied just before halftime and Nimo put away his second of the night in the second half, but the pleasant night quickly turned sour when McLoughlin was sent off for a reckless challenge in the 80th minute.
McLoughlin will miss the USA’s next match against Canada, which will be on Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
“It was a pretty strange match overall,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, who is at the helm for his second straight U-17 qualifying campaign. “We scored early, which is good, but then we dropped into a defensive shell which wasn’t good. We regained momentum in the game with some solid possession and got a second goal going into halftime with the game in control. We got the third goal in the second half and, as young kids are prone to do, I think we lost our composure a little bit by having a player thrown off and get three yellow cards. In the end, we did kill the game off, get our three points with a shutout. We think we can get stronger as the tournament goes on and that’s what we’re going to try and do.” [More Post-Game Quotes]
Billed as an extremely talented player even before joining U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program this January, Nimo had the stadium buzzing with a stellar performance where he showcased his fantastic touch, blinding speed and ability to finish. The Liberian-born midfielder didn’t take his time either as he provided the U.S. he lead with what was almost his first touch.
Sitting on the right flank, Nimo ran onto a long ball from Daniel Wenzel, but slowed down just enough to time his first touch, which was a sharp cut inside, to catch the backtracking defender Akeem Adams off balance and leave him in the dust. Inside the area, Nimo tried to slip the ball low across the goalmouth to a crashing Billy Schuler, but his pass was deflected by a defender, only to fall back into his path. Nimo didn’t hesitate as he took one touch toward goal before ripping his six-foot shot past helpless goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and into the top netting.
“I didn’t know what to do since it was my first goal," said Nimo, who raced to the corner flag and danced for his celebration. "I was relieved and really excited.”
The early goal seemed to settle Trinidad as they quickly became the more aggressive team, continually pushing forward and finding room to serve in crosses from the right flank. After putting a couple shots on goal the didn’t worry U.S. goalkeeper Zach MacMatch, forward Daniel Cyrus provided a stern test in the 18th minute when a poorly cleared ball fell to his feet at the top of the box. Cyrus unleashed a low blast that looked destined for the left corner, but MacMatch stretched out just enough to get his right hand to it and deflect it wide.
After weathering the storm, the U.S. began to control the tempo, but struggled to find the final pass as Trinidad was bunkering in on defense and looking for the counter. The U.S. broke though on a quick replay that started just over the midfield stripe on the left sideline. The free kick was touched square to Greg Garza who knocked it down the right flank for Williams and he dribbled towards the endline before slipping the ball back across the box. McLoughlin almost over pursued his run, but was able to reach back to collect the pass and then with his next touch strike it past the ‘keeper into the left side of the goal for his 12th international strike.
With a 2-0 lead, the U.S. provided too many opportunities for Trinidad to get back in the game by committing fouls in the final third to give them free crosses into the box or looks on goal. In the 60th minute, Trinidad had it’s best chance of the night when Jean-Luc Rochford got free on the right edge of the penalty area and despite three challenges was able to keep his feet as he neared the endline before hitting a cross into traffic in front of the six-yard box. MacMatch got a hand on it, but couldn’t bring it in and let his defenders in front of him clean up the rest as they blocked two shots, one inside the area by Leston Paul and another by Sean DeSilva just outside the box.
Nimo then finished things off two minutes later when he got on the end of a good build-up by the U.S. After some possession, Adbusalam Ibrahim pushed the ball up the left sideline for Brek Shea and he deftly curled in a cross that Nimo buried from six yards out.
As the U.S. tried to kill off the game, McLoughlin made a costly error during a battle for a ball in the air with two Trinidad players near midfield. With a elbow raised high, McLoughlin’s challenge was deemed dangerous by the referee and he sent the USA’s leading scorer off with a straight red card.
The U.S. is the only country to qualify for every FIFA U-17 World Cup, earning a berth to all 11 previous tournaments. The 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place in South Korea from August 18 to September 9.
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Competition: CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament (Final Round)
Location: National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Date: April 30, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Alex Nimo 2nd minute
USA – Ellis McLoughlin (Sheanon Williams) 38.
USA – Alex Nimo (Brek Shea) 62.
USA: 18-Zach MacMath; 2-Sheanon Williams (4-Howard Turk, 67), 3-Mykell Bates, 6-Daniel Wenzel, 15-Brek Shea; 19-Alex Nimo, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 17-Greg Garza, 11-Abdusalam Ibrahim (7-Nicholas Millington, 65); 13-Billy Schuler (10-Byran Dominguez, 79), 9-Ellis McLoughlin.
Subs not used: 1-Josh Lambo, 5-Thomas Meyer, 12-Brendan King, 14-Jesse Paredes, 16-Brandon Zimmerman, 20-Alex Dixon.
Head Coach: John Hackworth
TRI: 21-Glenroy Samuel; 3-Ryan O’Neil, 4-Akeem Adams, 5-Akeem Adams, 18-Micah Lewis; 16-Marcus Joseph (9-Chad De Freitas, 61), 15-Chike Sullivan (19-Kevin Molino, 31), 6-Leston Paul, 14-Jean-Luc Rochford; 10-Stephan Knox, 11-Daniel Cyrus (8-Sean Desilva, 58).
Subs not used: 1-Jesse Fullerton, 2-Aubrey David, 7-Brenton Balbosa, 12-Robert Primus, 13-Stephan Chang, 20-Isaiah Fergusson
Head Coach: Anton Corneal
USA / TRI
Shots 10 / 11
Shots on goal 5 / 6
Saves 4 / 2
Fouls 24 / 11
Corner Kicks 3 / 3
Offside 1 / 1
USA – Sheanon Williams (caution) 24th minute
USA – Abdusalam Ibrahim (caution) 28.
TRI – Marcus Joseph (caution) 54.
USA – Mykell Bates (caution) 69.
USA – Ellis McLoughlin (sent off) 80.
TRI – Leston Paul (caution) 81.
Referee: Ruiz Bondilla (SLV)
1st Assistant: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
2nd Assistant: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Fourth Official:Jose Guerrerro (NIC)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Alex Nimo
Hackworth selected the majority of his 20-man roster from the 40 available players in U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program based in Bradenton, Fla. Defender Tommy Meyer, who was formerly in Residency for two semesters, is the only player selected not currently with the U-17s on a full-time basis in Bradenton. All of the players were born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, with five making the roster from the younger 1991 age group.
The U.S. has a bye during the opening day of the tournament on April 28 and will open up against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET. The U.S. will then face Canada on May 2 at 6 p.m. ET, Jamaica on May 4 at 8 p.m. ET and finish against Costa Rica on May 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The U.S. will play all four matches at the National Stadium in Kingston. Every U.S. match of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The top three teams will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9. Those three teams will join Haiti and Honduras, which qualified from Group A earlier this month, to make up the five CONCACAF berths. Mexico, which won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup, finished third in Group A with three straight draws and did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup.
The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. The U.S. won the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament twice (1983 and 1992) when just one winner was crowned from 1983-1996. Since the event became a final round qualification consisting of two groups in 1999, the U.S. has won their group four times, taking home the Group A title during the past four competitions in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
"Heading down to Jamaica to try and qualify for the World Cup will be a difficult task for us to accomplish, and one we are definitely looking forward to,” said Hackworth. “With a bye on the first day of the tournament, we will have to play four games in seven days, but we’re confident that the 20 players we’ve selected will give us the best chance to get through to South Korea. We will no doubt need to play our best to succeed, but the players know our goal is to come out on top in the group and guarantee ourselves a spot in the World Cup.”
Looking to ignite the U.S. attack will be forward Ellis McLoughlin, who has been the U-17’s most consistent goal scorer during the past two years. Since joining the U-17s in Residency, the Seattle, Wash., native leads the U.S. with 11 goals in 29 international appearances. Hackworth has a number of options to join McLoughlin up top, with Bryan Dominguez, Abdusalam Ibrahim, who was drafted by FC Dallas this January, and two players who joined Residency just this past January, Alex Nimo and Billy Schuler. Alex Dixon, who has also played in midfield, is another option up front.
Jared Jeffrey and Daniel Wenzel will patrol the center of the field for the U.S., the midfielders two of the most experienced players in international play. Jeffrey leads all players with 30 appearances and his composure and field awareness will complement the hard-nosed tackling of Wenzel. On the wings, the U.S. has a complement of players including Greg Garza, who had a goal and an assist from his left midfield position in the U-17s’ last international match against El Salvador on March 25 in Tampa, Fla. Also available will be Brendan King and Jesse Paredes, who connected in the tying goal against Brazil during the Nike Friendlies, along with Nick Millington and Dane Shea.
In defense, Sheanon Williams’ athletic ability provides the U.S. with coverage at the right back spot, but also allows him to push forward into the attack. Mykell Bates, Howard Turk and Meyer are options centrally for the U.S. in the back, and while all three are dutiful as defenders, they’re also dangerous on set pieces. Brandon Zimmerman can be counted on to fill an outside back position with gritty play and an ability to get forward.
The least worrisome position for Hackworth is at goalkeeper, where he has the option of two capable players in Josh Lambo and Zac MacMath. The two ‘keepers will push each other as they battle for playing time.
Since joining U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program in September of 2005, the Under-17s have won twice as many international games then they’ve lost with a 14-7-11 record. In 2006, the U.S. competed in six international tournaments in Argentina, England, Japan, Northern Ireland, and the United States, three times finishing in second place.
U.S. Under 17 Men’s National Team
April 30th – May 6th, 2007
|1||Lambo, Josh||GK||6’0”||205||11/19/90||Middleton, Wis.||Chicago Magic|
|2||Williams, Sheanon||D||5’11”||165||03/17/90||Boston, Mass.||FC Greater Boston Bolts|
|3||Bates, Mykell||D||5’9”||170||04/15/90||Roseville, Calif.||River City Clash|
|4||Turk, Howard||D||6’1”||165||07/01/90||Fairfax, Va.||SYA Force|
|5||Meyer, Tommy||D||6’2”||170||03/20/90||St. Louis, Mo.||Scott Gallagher|
|6||Wenzel, Daniel||M||5’11”||165||04/13/90||Federal Way, Wash.||FC United|
|7||Millington, Nick||M||5’7”||140||08/09/91||Raleigh, N.C.||CASL|
|8||Jeffrey, Jared||M||5’10||160||06/14/90||Dallas, Texas||Dallas Texans|
|9||McLoughlin, Ellis||F||5’10||170||07/08/90||Seattle, Wash.||Crossfire Premier|
|10||Dominguez, Bryan||M/F||5’4”||145||03/07/91||Atlanta, Ga.||Concorde Fire|
|11||Ibrahim, Abdusalam||M/F||6’0”||155||08/15/91||Richfield, Minn.||FC Dallas (MLS)|
|12||King, Brendan||M||5’11”||150||02/25/90||Naperville, Ill.||Chicago Magic|
|13||Schuler, Billy||F||5’11”||155||04/27/90||Allentown, N.J.||Matchfit Academy FC|
|14||Paredes, Jesse||M||5’6”||150||04/01/90||Los Angeles, Calif.||ISC Strikers|
|15||Shea, Dane||D/M||6’3”||180||02/28/90||College Station, Texas||Texans FC|
|16||Zimmerman, Brandon||D/M||5’9”||180||10/06/90||Pasco, Wash.||Crossfire Premier|
|17||Garza, Greg||M||5’7”||140||08/16/91||Grapevine, Texas||Dallas Texans|
|18||MacMath, Zac||GK||6’1”||170||08/07/91||St. Petersburg, Fla.||Clearwater Chargers|
|19||Nimo, Alex||F||5’6”||150||03/21/90||Portland, Ore.||FC Portland Academy|
|20||Dixon, Alex||M/F||5’8”||140||02/07/90||Humble, Texas||Texans FC|
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (4): Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)
TAMPA, Fla. (March 25, 2007) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team earned a 2-0 win vs. El Salvador in the opening match of a doubleheader at Raymond James Stadium. Goal-scorers Greg Garza and Tommy Meyer tallied in the first half with goals in the 17th and 24th minutes, respectively.
At the other end of the field, Zach McMath got the start in goal, while Josh Lambo held El Salvador scoreless in the second half to combine for the shutout. It marks the eighth clean sheet in 2007 for the U-17s.
Head coach John Hackworth’s squad continues to prepare for Group B of the CONCACAF U-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament. The five-team, round-robin tournament will take place from April 28 to May 6 in Kingston, Jamaica, with all the matches being played at National Stadium. Along with the host, the U.S. will face Canada, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago (full schedule). The top three teams will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9.
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report
Participants: USA vs. El Salvador
Location: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Date: March 25, 2007
Weather: Warm, 70 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
SMU 0 0 0
USA - Greg Garza (Alex Nimo) 16th minute
USA - Tommy Meyer (Greg Garza) 24.
USA: 18-Zac MacMath (1-Josh Lambo, 46); 2-Sheanon Williams, 3-Mykell Bates (capt.), 7-Tommy Meyer, 20-Chris Klute; 5-Nick Millington, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 6-Daniel Wenzel, 17-Greg Garza (14-Eder Arreola, 80); 19-Alex Nimo (10-Bryan Dominguez, 71), 13-Billy Schuler (9-Ellis McLoughlin, 65)
Subs not used: 4-Howard Turk, 11-Alex Dixon, 12-Aubrey Perry, 15-Dane Shea, 16-Brandon Zimmerman
Head Coach: John Hackworth
SLV: 1-Diego Cuellar; 3-Andres Menendez (capt.), 4-Xavi Garcia, 6-Cristian Valencia, 7-Henry Escobar (5-Alex Mendoza, 77), 8-Diego Chavarria, 9-Andres Flores (12-Armando Quintanilla, 87), 10-William Maldonado (16-William Aguirre, 46), 11-Ricardo Orellana (17-Gilberto Baires, 46), 14-Herbert Sosa, 15-Fabricio Alfaro.
Shots 20 3
Shots on goal 5 2
Saves 2 7
Fouls 18 25
Corner Kicks 5 3
Offside 2 3
SLV - Diego Chavarria (caution) 33rd minute
USA - Greg Garza (caution) 57.
SLV - Fabricio Alfaro (caution) 63.
SLV - William Aguirre (caution) 79.