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Kofi Sarkodie

U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team
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Studio 90 U23 MNT Earns Scrimmage Win in Nashville

With Olympic Qualifying drawing closer, the U.S. U-23 MNT was on the field over the weekend to take on the Atlanta Silverbacks in a scrimmage. The U-23s used it as another opportunity to improve as they look toward the opening match with Cuba on March 22 in Nashville. Defenders Zarek Valentin and Kofi Sarkodie speak to ussoccer.com

U.S. Under-23 MNT Defeats Mexico 2-0

  • Diskerud Nets Goal, Assists Agudelo Tally in First Half
  • U.S. Goalkeepers Hamid, Johnson Combine for Clean Sheet
  • U-23s Prepare for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Starting March 22 against Cuba at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 29, 2012) – Juan Agudelo and Mix Diskerud scored back-to-back first-half goals in a span of a little more than one minute as the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated Mexico’s U-23 National Team 2-0 during Wednesday’s international friendly at FC Dallas Stadium.

It was the U.S. U-23 squad’s first international match since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and U-23 head coach Caleb Porter’s team had an assertive effort against Mexico as it prepares for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in late March.

“We knew this match would be a challenge and we have much respect for Mexico as a soccer playing country,” said Porter. “One of the reasons we wanted to play this game prior to qualifying was to get some questions answered and measure ourselves. I’m very proud of the guys and looking forward to qualifying.”

Agudelo started the scoring with a header off of a set piece in the 35th minute as Diskerud delivered the corner kick from the left side. Agudelo headed the ball toward the left side of the goal frame as Mexico goalkeeper Liborio Sanchez and a defender were in the area. The shot squeezed in between both Mexico players and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Diskerud then gave the U.S. a 2-0 cushion in the 36th minute as he slightly redirected Freddy Adu’s strike from distance and the ball found the inside of the right post. It appeared the goal was Adu’s from 26 yards out, but closer inspection showed that it was Diskerud who stuck his right foot backwards and put a slight touch on the ball before it found the net.

Porter’s side went with a 4-3-3 formation, and the U-23s demonstrated some good attacking moments and spells of strong possession. There was a two-minute stretch from the 14th to 16th minutes when Mexico could not get a touch on the ball.

Even when the U.S. was not getting shots on goal, the team was hovering inside the box. In the 49th minute alone, Agudelo and Joe Corona both had strong opportunities for a shot on net but both players took one too many touches as Mexico’s defense cleared on both occasions.

Mexico had a difficult time creating scoring chances in the early going, but in the 22nd minute Ricardo Bocanegra hit a deep volley from more than 20 yards out that was bound for the left side of the goal frame. U.S. goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who earned a shutout earlier this year with the U.S. Men’s National Team against Venezuela, was up to the task as he dove to his right to make the clutch save.

Porter took the opportunity to give some of his second-half subs significant playing time. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who played in the second half of the senior team’s 1-0 victory against Panama earlier this year, played the second 45 minutes on Wednesday night. Johnson was tested in the 62nd minute, reacting well for a save against Mexico’s Ricardo Mier, who headed the ball toward the net off of a Javier Aquino corner kick.

The U.S. defense caught a break in the 72nd minute when USA defender Zarek Valentin came into contact with Mexico’s Marco Fabian in the box. Fabian went down to the ground, and referee Dave Gantar rushed in to show Fabian a yellow card for diving.

Porter switched up his three-man front line in the second half. U.S. starters Agudelo, Adu and Joe Gyau were substituted out in place of Teal Bunbury, Tony Taylor and Dilly Duka.

With the U.S. U-23 team’s win, it completed a Leap Day tripleheader sweep for U.S. Soccer. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Women’s National Team blanked Denmark 5-0 to open the Algarve Cup, followed by the U.S. Men’s National Team that earned its first victory against Italy with a 1-0 decision in Genoa.

The U.S. U-23 MNT now looks forward to 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, with the group stages taking place March 22-26 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The U-23s face Cuba at 9 p.m. ET on March 22, and the match will be broadcast live on Universal Sports Network and Telemundo.

-- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Game Report --

Match: U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Feb. 29, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: FC Dallas Stadium – Frisco, Texas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Attendance: 7,432
Weather: 70 degrees, balmy

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

USA - Juan Agudelo (Mix Diskerud) 35th minute
USA - Mix Diskerud (Freddy Adu)    36

Lineups:

USA: 1-Bill Hamid (18-Sean Johnson, 46); 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara (capt.), 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Alfredo Morales (19-Amobi Okugo, 90), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (17-Tony Taylor, 67), 9-Juan Agudelo (12-Teal Bunbury, 61), 11-Joe Gyau (14-Dilly Duka, 78)
Subs not used: 13-Jorge Villafana, 15-Jack McInerney, 16-Sebastian Lletget, 20-Michael Stephens
Head Coach: Caleb Porter

MEX: 1-Liborio Sanchez, 2-Israel Jimenez, 4-Nestor Araujo, 5-Darvin Chávez, 6-Ricardo Bocanegra (17-Javier Aquino, 46), 7-Javier Cortés, 9-Jeronimo Amione (19-Alan Pulido, 64), 10-Marco Fabian, 14-Jorge Enriquez (8-David Cabrera, 78), 16-Miguel Ponce (18-Hector Herrera, 46), 21-Ricardo Mier (capt.)
Subs not used: 11-Nestor Calderon, 12-Antonio Rodriguez, 13-Diego Reyes, 15-Jair Barraza, 20-Hugo Rodriguez
Head coach: Luis Fernando Tena

Stats Summary: USA / MEX                                           
Shots: 16 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 8
Saves: 8 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Freddy Adu (caution)            38th minute
MEX – Marco Fabian (caution)          73

Officials:
Referee: Dave Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Phil Briere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal (USA)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Juan Agudelo

Studio 90 U23 MNT Ready for Scrimmage in So Cal

The U-23 Men's National Team wraps up its first week of training with a scrimmage against the full Men's National Team on Friday, Jan. 13. Studio 90 spoke to head coach Caleb Porter, midfielder Jarred Jeffrey and defender Kofi Sarkodie about the training camp and excitement of a scrimmage against the full team.

U.S. U17 '91s Top Ukraine in Kiev

U.S. Under-17 '91s Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: U.S. Under-17 MNT ‘91s vs. Ukraine
Date: June 9, 2007
Location: Obukhiv Stadium – Kiev, Ukraine
Weather: Sunny


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

USA: Ryan Finley (Christian Ramos) 4th minute
USA: Dersu Abolfathi (Ben Speas) 10.
USA: Finley (Speas) 47.
UKR: Kartushov (Skylar)


Lineups:
USA: 1-Cody Mizell, 2-Dersu Abolfathi (10-Charles Renken), 3-Gale Agbossoumonde, 5-Amobi Okugo, 6-Christian Ramos (4-Andrew Quintana, 53), 7-Chad Barson, 8-Kofi Sarkodie, 9-Aubrey Perry, 14-Ben Speas, 15-Korey Veeder, 16-Ryan Finley (17-John Fitzpatrick, 65)

UKR: 1-Tetenko, 3-Prilyepov, 5-Butko, 6-Girskii, 7-Prychynecko, 8-Chaykovskii, 10-Silantiyev, 11-Pidchenko (18-Balashov, 50), 16-Zhuk (15-Kartushov, 46), 17-Zaika (9-Skylar, 46), 19-Natochii

Statistical Summary:

                         USA   UKR
Shots              6           8
Saves             8            3
Corner Kicks 1           6
Fouls              20          4
Offside           10          0

Misconduct Summary:
USA      Aubrey Perry (caution) 67th minute

Officials:
Referee: Sergii Lysenchuk
Asst.: Evgenii Petrakov
Asst.: Nikolay Krivonos
Fourth: Pavlo Chyzhevskiy

U.S. Under-17 '91s Fall to Serbia in Ukraine

Participants: U.S. Under-17 MNT ‘91s vs. Serbia U-16 MNT
Date: June 8, 2007
Location: Obukhiv Stadium – Kiev, Ukraine
Weather: Sunny


Scoring Summary:
                1   2   F
USA        0   0   0
Serbia    1   0   1
    
SER: Stevanovic (Mrkic) 47th min.


Lineups:
USA: 1-Mizzel, 3-Agbossoumonde, 8-Sarkodie (17-Fitzpatrick, 64), 9-Perry, 15-Veeder, 5-Okugo, 10-Renken (14-Speas, 64), 12-Cadwell (6-Ramos, 66), 2-Abolfathi, 13-Arreola (12-Altamirano, 52), 16-Finley

SER: 1-Cakovic, 2-Liscevic, 3-Sekulic (13-Bozovic, 77), 4-Stjepic, 5-Milanovic, 6-Brkic, 7-Babic (14-Smederevac, 62), 8-Ignjoski, 9-Mrkic (16-Vukosavljevic, 74), 10-Stevonovic, 11-Miladinovic (18-Milojevic, 50)

Statistical Summary:

                        USA   SER
Shots               2          2
Saves              1          2
Corner Kicks  4          2
Fouls               10        5
Offside             4          3

Misconduct Summary:
USA Sarkodie (caution) 26th min.
SER Brkic (caution) 45.

Officials:
Referee: Sergii Dankovski
Asst.: Andrii Papirovich
Asst.: Anatolli Dudchyk
Fourth: Viktor Derdo

Kofi Sarkodie made his U-23 debut at right back, playing 90 minutes in the USA’s 2-0 victory against Mexico on Feb. 29, 2012. A member of the Houston Dynamo, Sarkodie was selected in the first round of the 2011 SuperDraft and became the youngest Dynamo player to make his MLS debut, on March 25 against Seattle Sounders FC at 20 years and 3 days. Sarkodie played three seasons at Akron under head coach Caleb Porter before joining the professional ranks.

  • Selected by the Houston Dynamo as the seventh overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft
  • Started each of the seven games he played for the Dynamo in 2011 and started each of his eight reserve games, scoring a game-winner against the Colorado Rapids and adding an assist against Real Salt Lake
  • Was in the Residency Program from fall of 2006 to spring of 2008 and competed in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup
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