US SoccerUS Soccer

Jared Jeffrey

U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team

Post Game Quote Sheet: USA vs. El Salvador

U.S. head coach THOMAS RONGEN

On tonight’s game:
“Even though we only needed a tie tonight, we wanted to be aggressive. We did a very good job in the first half of playing together and scoring the two goals. We built some momentum and the red cards put us in a position to defend at the end of the game. We played three tough games put ourselves in a position to get to Egypt, which we did. We were able to determine our own fate in this game and I couldn’t be happier with this team as they showed a lot of character through some adversity tonight.”

On wanting to win the championship:
“Our first goal was to get to Egypt and we’ve accomplished that. Now we’re going to focus on finishing this tournament well.”

On whether the suspensions will hurt his team:
“I haven’t really thought about that quite frankly. We have a team that’s 20 deep and we feel that our reserves, like Tony Taylor today, are perfectly capable.”

On whether his team only created two good chances during the game:
“I’m not sure to be honest, but if that’s true than we’re shooting at 100 percent and that’s not bad. In the end, I think the game was fairly evenly played and we played a good opponent. We didn’t give up many chances to El Salvador so, however many chances we had we came out with the win.”

U.S. goalkeeper BRIAN PERK
On the game:
“It was a total team performance. I can’t say enough about my defense, I have to give them all the credit. We got through it together and I’m just really proud of all the guys. We’re ecstatic about going to Egypt.”

On the game:
“It was a pretty hectic game but I thought it was an amazing performance by everyone. Everybody put in the work, played with heart and represented our country well. This is just the beginning for us but it’s a good start.”

U.S. defender KYLE DAVIES
On defending with nine men:
“We worked really hard. We were down to nine men but everybody fought hard and we did well. It’s a good day and the bottom line is that we’re going to Egypt.”

On how the team played:
“I thought we played well as a team, and I have to give a lot of credit to Kyle Davies who just did so well in the back tonight, as did Gale [Agbossoumonde]. We came out, worked hard and got two goals. Everyone put their heart into it and now we’re going to Egypt.”

U.S. midfielder JARED JEFFREY
On how the team came together:
“The game was really tough but it really was just all of us working together. We’re going to Egypt now and we got there by playing as a team.”

U.S. U-18 MNT Falls to Turkey 3-1

LIMOGES, France (Oct. 31, 2007) -- Turkey got on the board early, and held on to beat the U.S. Under018 Men's National Team, 3-1, in the Limoges Tournament in France.

A seventh-minute breakaway put Turkey ahead, and with the U.S. pushing forward throughout the game, Shane Cooke finally evened the score in the 78th minute. Chris Agorsor played a through ball to the onrushing Cooke, who slotted the ball home.

Just three minutes later, despite being down a player. Turkey converted a quickly-taken free kick from just outside the box to regain the lead. In stoppage time, another Turkish free kick from outside the box made the final score 3-1.

U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA U18 MNT vs. Turkey
Competition: Limoges Tournament
Location: St. Lazare Stadium, Limoges, France
Date: October, 31th, 2007
Weather: Cold/Sunny, Late afternoon

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

TUR         #9                       7th  minute
USA         Shane Cooke   78.
TUR         #7                       81.
TUR        #18                     93.

USA: 18-Zac MacMath, 7-Jared Jeffrey, 6-Daniel Wenzel, 15-Dane Shea(20-Omar Elmasri, 46), 8-Shane Cooke (16-Brandon Zimmerman, 78), 14-Nick Millington , 10-Bryan Dominguez, 19-Alex Nimo(11-Mario Ledezma, 46), 12-Chris Agorsor, 9-Chris Hegngi (3-Mykell Bates, 64), 17-Greg Garza

Subs Not Used: 1-Josh Lambo, 4-Sheanon Wiiams, 21-Billy Schuler

Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

Turkey: N/A

Subs not used:

Head Coach:

Statistical Summary:
             USA / TUR
Shots 5 / 12
Saves 5 / 3
Fouls 19 / 19
Corner Kicks 7 / 3
Offside 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

TUR     #7 (caution)                      11th minute
TUR     #4 (ejection)                     16.
USA      Alex Nimo (caution)        24.
TUR     #8 (caution)                      35.
TUR     #9 (caution)                       40.
USA     Omar Elmasri (caution)  49.
USA     Daniel Wenzel (caution)  57.
TUR    #10 (caution)                      87.
TUR    #12 (caution)                      87.

U-17 MNT Draws 0-0 With Peru

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

Participants: USA U17 MNT vs. Peru U17MNT
Competition: Friendly
Location: Duluth, Ga.
Date: June 11, 2007
Weather: 81 degrees

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

USA: 18-Zac MacMath; 2- Sheanon Williams (15-Brek Shea, 52); 3-Mykell Bates; 5-Tommy Meyer; 6-Dan Wenzel; 16-Brandon Zimmerman (Howard Turk, 56); 19-Alex Nimo (20-Alex Dixon, 70); 8-Jared Jeffrey; 13-Billy Schuler; 9-Ellis McLoughlin (10-Bryan Dominguez, 58); 11-Abdus Ibrahim;
Subs not used:1-Josh Lambo; 7-Axel Levry; 12-Kirk Urso; 14-Jesse Paredes; 17-Greg Garza; 21-Chris Klute; 22-Brendan King; 23-Nick Millington; 25-Ryan Gracia;
Head Coach: John Hackworth

PER: 1-Eder Hermoza; 2-Jersi Socola; 5-Nestor Duarte; 15-Jairo Hernandez; 22-Juan Arce; 6-Bryan Salazar; 8-Carlos Bazalar; 10-Daniel Sanchez (3-Anthony Molina, 68); 11-Luis Trujillo (20-Gary Correa, 46); 9-Jruen Avila (7-Reimond Manco, 46); 19-Christian La Torre (18-Cesar Ruiz, 84);
Subs not used:4-Joseph Munoz; 12-Pedro Gallese; 13-Miguel Calderon; 16-Yovic De La Cruz; 17-Juan Zevallos; 21- Ernesto Salazar
Head Coach: Juan Jose Ore

Statistical Summary:
                          USA    PER
Shots                12        2
Shots on goal   5         0
Saves                 0        4
Fouls                13       20
Corner Kicks    3         3
Offside               3          2

Misconduct Summary:
USA    Alex Nimo (caution)             17th minute
PER    La Torre (caution)                43.
PER    Manco (caution)                   46.
USA    Wenzel (caution)                  51.
PER    Manco (ejection)                  63.
PER    Salazar (caution)                 69.
USA    Shea (caution)                      71.
PER    Correa (ejection)                 75.
PER    Salazar (ejection)                79.

U-17 MNT Win Qualifying Tournament For Fourth Straight Time With 2-1 Win vs. Costa Rica

KINGSTON, Jamaica (May 6, 2007) — The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team won their fourth straight CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with a 2-1 victory against Costa Rica this evening at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Already qualified for their record 12th straight FIFA U-17 World Cup, the U.S. got goals from Gregory Garza and Ellis McLoughlin in the first half and held off a second half charge by the ticos to finish atop the group with nine points from three victories and one loss in four matches. Costa Rica, which had also already qualified, finished in second place with seven points. Trinidad & Tobago earned the third and final CONCACAF position with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in the final match of the tournament.

The U.S. has won the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament a total of six times, including four out of five attempts since the tournament became a two-group event in 1999. The U.S. exacted some revenge, as the only year they didn’t win their group was in 1999, when the qualifying tournament was held here in Jamaica with the U.S. finishing in second place behind the hosts. Before the final round tournament became two groups, the U.S. only won the final round twice in 1983 and 1992.

“This was a another tough match for us during qualifying, but our guys really stepped up today and showed they were the best team in this group,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, who will take the U.S. to his second FIFA U-17 World Cup, having coached the U.S. at the 2005 event in Peru, leading the team to an impressive fifth place finish. "We wanted to come out and score early and that’s exactly what we did. We played exceptionally well and I thought our defense did a remarkable job of holding off a great Costa Rica attack in the second half, especially with this being our fourth match is seven days. We’re extremely happy to come away from Jamaica with the top spot and now we can concentrate on the FIFA World Cup.”

Once again it was a tale of two halves for the U.S., as they scored two goals in the first half for the fourth straight game, but couldn’t subdue Costa Rica in the second half as the ticos scratched their way back. Neither team had a lot of quality chances on goal, but Costa Rica did outhshot the U.S. (eight to five) as they pushed forward in hopes of finding the equalizer.

A quick restart provided the U.S. with their opening goal in the 13th minute. Costa Rica captain Roy Smith had pushed forward inside the center circle and attempted to push the ball out wide left to Oviedo Bryan, but his pass was off the mark and rolled out of bounds. While Smith took his time to track back into position, Sheanon Williams quickly threw the ball up to Billy Schuler in the open space near the top of the box. The Sierra Mist Man of the Match was able to hold Smith off and dribble into the box before slotting the ball across the six-yard line for the streaking Garza who buried it first time into the net.

Six minutes later, the U.S. took a two-goal lead when they scored off another attack that started from a Williams throw-in. Deep on the left sideline, Williams tossed the ball into the penalty area, but it was cleared out right back to him. He took a touch before curling the ball back into the area where McLoughlin had lost his defender about 12 yards out. McLoughlin, who was playing his first match since a two-game suspension for a red card, took a settling touch and then placed his shot with the outside of his right foot into the lower left corner.

Costa Rica struggled to get behind the U.S. defense during the first half as Thomas Meyer and Mykell Bates won almost every header, and Williams and Brandon Zimmerman continually won their one-on-one battles, not allowing them to serve in crosses from the wing.

The ticos turned things around in the second half as they were able to take advantage of the USA’s tired legs. The U.S. had five players on the field that started all three of the previous games, including Williams and Bates on the backline.

Just 10 minutes into the half, Costa Rica cut the deficit in half with two touches of the ball. The attack actually came directly after a chance for the U.S. as Daniel Wenzel won a ball in midfield and slipped a pass through for Schuler, but goalkeeper Leonel Moreira came off his line to slide in and take it snatch it away. Moreira's subsequent punt soared over the heads of Bates and Meyer, allowing Marcos Urena to run onto the bouncing ball and then chip over the head of goalkeeper Zac MacMath who was trapped in no-man’s land.

Urena, who didn’t start but came on in the half-hour mark, was a handful for the U.S. the rest of the match. In the 60th minute, Urena collected the ball on the left flank, cut inside and unleashed a blast that missed the crossbar by mere inches. A short time later, Urena headed a Bruno Castro corner kick towards the left post, but Alex Nimo cleared it away.

McLoughlin had a couple chances to put the game away, but agonizingly missed from close range. The first came in the 75th minute when a long ball over top fell into the box where McLoughlin got off a shot, but Moreira was right there to parry it wide. Ten minutes later, another ball fell to his feet from six feet out when the ball unexpectedly got over the head of Schuler and two defenders, but his first touch failed him and the ball went right to Moreira.

Costa Rica came just inches from tying the game and winning the group with three minutes left. David Guzman sent in a corner kick and Jordan Smith got his head to it from 12 yards out, but it was not to be as it hit the crossbar.

On Friday, the U.S. became the 18th team to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the fourth of five CONCACAF teams. The other two CONCACAF berths (besides Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago) are Haiti and Honduras, which qualified from Group A.

The U.S. will find out their opponents for the FIFA 2007 U-17 World Cup when the draw is held on May 17 in South Korea. There are just five spots remaining for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, all of which will come from the UEFA qualifying tournament which finish up later this week. Along with the three teams from CONCACAF’s Group B, the qualified teams are Japan, Korea DPR, Tajikistan, Syria, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Tunisia, Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, New Zealand and Korea Republic.

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

Participants: USA vs. Costa Rica
Competition: CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament (Final Round)
Location: National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Date: May 6, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

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

USA – Gregory Garza (Billy Schuler)                   13th minute
USA – Ellis McLoughlin (Sheanon Williams)    19.
CRC – Marcos Urena (Leonel Moreira)              55.

USA: 18-Zach MacMath; 2-Sheanon Williams (4-Howard Turk, 75), 3-Mykell Bates (Capt.), 5-Thomas Meyer, 16-Brandon Zimmerman; 19-Alex Nimo, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 6-Daniel Wenzel, 17-Gregory Garza (7-Nicholas Millington, 71); 9-Ellis McLoughlin 13-Billy Schuler (15-Brek Shea, 89)
Subs not used: 1-Josh Lambo, 10-Byran Dominguez 12-Brendan King, 14-Jesse Paredes, 20-Alex Dixon
Not Available: 11-Abdusalam Ibrahim

Head Coach: John Hackworth

CRC: 1-Leonel Moreira; 4-Jordan Smith, 3-Roy Smith, 13-Erick Rojas, 15-Rodrigo Herra (9-Marcos Urena, 30); 19-Daniel Varela (12-Bruno Castro, 50), 5-Esteban Luna, 6-Miguel Brenes (16-Julio Ibarra, 76), 14-Oviedo Bryan; 10-Jorge Castro, 8-David Guzman.
Subs not used: 2-Seemore Johnson, 7-Diego Brenes, 11-Jessy Peralta, 17-Josue Martinez, 18-Guillermo Camacho, 23-Stanly Jimenez
Head Coach: Manuel Urena

Statistical Summary:    USA    CRC
Shots                                   5          8
Shots on goal                    3          3
Saves                                  2          1
Fouls                                 15         18
Corner Kicks                      5          9
Offside                                 3          2

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Marcos Urena (caution)    39th minute
CRC – Jorge Castro (caution)      39.

Referee: Elmer Bonilla (SLV)
1st Assistant: Hiran Perez (CUB)
2nd Assistant: Dion Inniss (GUY)
Fourth Official: Luis Rodriguez (PAN)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Billy Schuler

2007 Final Round CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament


Team  GP   W  L   T  GF  GA   GD   Pts.
USA      4     3   1   0   9      5    +4      9
CRC     4     2   1   1   4      2    +2      7
TRI        4     2   2   0   3      6    -3       6
CAN      4     1   2   1   5      4    +1      4
JAM       4     1   3   0   3      7    -4       3

Saturday, April 28
Costa Rica 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Canada 3, Jamaica 0

Monday, April 30
Costa Rica 0, Canada 0
USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0

Wednesday, May 2
USA 2, Canada 1
Costa Rica 1, Jamaica 0

Friday, May 4
Trinidad & Tobago 2, Canada 1
Jamaica 3, USA 2

Sunday, May 6
USA 2, Costa Rica 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1, Jamaica 0

U.S. U-17 MNT Falls, 3-2, to Jamaica, Qualifies For 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup

KINGSTON, Jamaica (May 4, 2007) — Despite allowing three goals in the final 14 minutes losing, 3-2, to Jamaica in their third match in Group B of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament this evening, the U.S. managed to qualify for their record 12th straight FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The U.S. was guaranteed a spot in the World Cup this summer in South Korea before taking the field at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, due to Trinidad & Tobago’s surprising 2-1 upset against Canada in the first match of the doubleheader. Trinidad’s victory mathematically advanced the U.S. as they can not finish lower than third place. The top three teams in the group earn a berth to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in eight venues in South Korea from Aug. 18-Sept. 9.

For the third straight game, the U.S. notched two goals in the opening half as Sheanon Williams and Alex Nimo scored, but three goals by Jamaica, including a penalty kick in injury time, sunk the U.S. chances of staying undefeated.

The loss broke the USA’s 18-game undefeated streak in qualifying matches at the U-17 age level. The U.S. had not lost a U-17 qualifying match since Aug. 26, 1996, when they fell in the final round to Mexico, 3-1.

The U.S. continued their streak as the only country to qualify for every FIFA U-17 World Cup and will now attempt to win their qualifying group for the fourth straight time when they face off against Costa Rica in their final match on Sunday, May 6 at 6 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match live on’s MatchTracker.

“We may have qualified before the match, but our main focus was always on Jamaica and we didn’t get the result we wanted,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, who qualified for his second straight World Cup. “Give a lot of credit to Jamaica for coming back, but we need to rectify things that we didn’t do well. I thought we started playing more direct and playing for a 2-0 result, which you can’t do. We didn’t handle it right and now we’ll have to try and turn things around against Costa Rica.”

“Right now it’s a bit difficult to celebrate that we qualified for South Korea, but we did accomplish one of the goals we had so I’m proud of our players for getting that done. But they know we came here with bigger aspirations and that was to win the group. We’ll get prepared to the best of our ability for Costa Rica.”

Costa Rica, which leads the group with seven points, qualified for the World Cup after their third match on Wednesday. The U.S. and Costa Rica faced off for the qualifying group title in 2005 as well, with the U.S. winning, 2-1, in Heredia, Costa Rica. 

Canada, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are all still alive and have a chance to qualify for the World Cup depending on the result of the final match of the tournament between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. Canada, which has a bye on the final match day, finished with only four points and can only qualify if the match finishes in a draw. 

The U.S. was once again without the services of leading scorer Ellis McLoughlin, who was suspended for two games after receiving a red card late against Trinidad & Tobago in the team’s opening match, but Sheanon Williams picked up the scoring from his right back position in the 15th minute. The former forward, playing in his third game in five days, collected a long ball from Mykell Bates down the right sideline and looked up to see he had space in front of him. Noticing the goalkeeper a bit out of position, Williams uncorked a rocket from the right corner of the penalty area into the upper left corner, hitting side netting.

The U.S. took a commanding two-goal lead in the 33rd minute when Nimo scored his third goal of the tournament. Forward Billy Schuler dropping back in the midfield to help defend, got a hold of the ball and quickly feed Nimo out wide right where he was unmarked and had space to run. Nimo collected the ball 25 yards from goal and dribble on goal uncontested, slipping the ball past Jamaican goalkeeper Oneil Wilson and into the lower left corner.

As the second half went along, the U.S. steadily got away from their game plan and had trouble keeping possession or creating much of an attack. Jamaica on the other hand, started to build momentum and found gaps in the U.S. backline to push forward and test Lambo.

After a questionable foul was called against Jared Jeffrey, giving Jamaica a dangerous free kick at the top of the box, Hackworth was sent off for expressing his displeasure with the call in the 70th minute. Hackworth may have to sit out the USA’s final match against Costa Rica, but a final ruling will be provided by CONCACAF on Saturday.

Shortly after Hackworth’s departure, Jamaica got on the scoreboard in the 78th minute. A nice give-and-go on the left sideline allowed a cross into the box to find Shamari Brown, who had time to take a settling touch before finishing a 15-yard strike past Lambo.

Four minutes later, Jamaica scored the equalizer that was started with another give-and-go, but this time from the right side between John Ross Doyley and Brown. Free down the sideline, Doyley served in a cross to the back post that was headed back across by Andre Steele to Orgill Dever who hit a one-timer into the lower right corner.

With just injury time left deciding Jamaica’s fate, the hosts pushed forward into the attack knowing they needed a victory to keep their World Cup hopes alive. With the crowd back into the match, Kabari Palmer pushed up the left sideline and sent in a cross that hit Bates arm. The referee pointed to the spot and the crowd erupted when Doyley stepped up and roofed the shot into the upper netting past Lambo for the game-winner.

Jamaica’s coach, David Hunt, didn’t see the final moments of the match as he was also sent off by the referee for leaving the coaches box in front of the bench.

The U.S. became the 18th team to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the fourth of five CONCACAF teams. The other two CONCACAF berths (besides Costa Rica) are Haiti and Honduras, which qualified from Group A. The U.S. will find out their opponents for the FIFA 2007 U-17 World Cup later this month when the draw is held in South Korea.

This will be the second team Hackworth will take to a FIFA U-17 World Cup, having coached the U.S. Under-17s at the 2005 event in Peru, leading the team to an impressive fifth place finish.

U.S. midfielder/forward Abdusalam Ibrahim will be unavailable for the Costa Rica match as he received his second caution of the tournament a few minutes later. 

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

Participants: USA vs. Jamaica
Competition: CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament (Final Round)
Location: National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Date: May 4, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

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

USA – Sheanon Williams (Mykell Bates)   15th minute
USA – Alex Nimo (Billy Schuler)                   33.
JAM – Shamari Brown                                    78.
JAM – Orgill Dever (Andre Steele)                82.
JAM – John Ross Doyley (penalty kick)       91+

USA: 1-Josh Lambo; 2-Sheanon Williams, 3-Mykell Bates (Capt.), 6-Daniel Wenzel, 16-Brandon Zimmerman, 19-Alex Nimo (12-Brendan King, 68), 8-Jared Jeffrey, 7-Nicholas Millington, 15-Brek Shea (11-Abdusalam Ibrahim, 61); 10-Bryan Dominguez (14-Jesse Paredes, 80), 13-Billy Schuler.
Subs not used: 4-Howard Turk, 5-Thomas Meyer, 17-Gregory Garza, 18-Zach MacMath, 20-Alex Dixon
Not Available: 9-Ellis McLoughlin

Head Coach: John Hackworth

JAM: 1-Oneil Wilson, 20-Shamari Brown, 17-Jermaine Jarret, 18-Damaine Thompson, 8-Kenniel Hyde; 4-Christopher Banner (15-Noel Mais, 24), 19-Kabari Palmer, 16- John Ross Doyley, 23-Yannick Salmon (7-Akeen Brown. 59); 11-Dever Orgill, 22-Christopher Wauch (5-Andre Steele, 73)
Subs not used: 3-Peter Kafach, 9-Marvin Boothe, 10-McKauly Tulloch, 12-Adrian Christian, 13-Andre Blake, 14-Shabon Brown.
Head Coach: David Hunt

Statistical Summary:   USA    JAM
Shots                                 11         9
Shots on goal                    2          5
Saves                                  3          0
Fouls                                  16         5
Corner Kicks                      2          4
Offside                               13         0

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Damaine Thompson (caution)          36th minute
USA - Abdusalam Ibrahim (caution)            65.
JAM – John Ross Doyley (caution)               84.

Referee: Luis Rodriguez (PAN)
1st Assistant: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
2nd Assistant: Hiron Dopicio Perez (CUB)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Sheanon Williams

2007 Final Round CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament

Team GP  W   L   T   GF GA  GD  Pts.
CRC   3      2   0   1    3     0    +3    7
USA    3      2   1   0    7     4    +3    6
CAN    4      1   2   1    5    4     +1    4
JAM     3      1   2   0    3    6     -3     3
TRI      3      1   2   0    2    6     -4     3

Saturday, April 28
Costa Rica 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Canada 3, Jamaica 0

Monday, April 30
Costa Rica 0, Canada 0
USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0

Wednesday, May 2
USA 2, Canada 1
Costa Rica 1, Jamaica 0

Friday, May 4
Trinidad & Tobago 2, Canada 1
Jamaica 3, USA 2

Sunday, May 6
USA vs. Costa Rica
Jamaica vs. Trinidad & Tobago

U-17 Men Defeat Canada, 2-1, at CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament

KINGSTON, Jamaica (May 2, 2007) — The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Canada, 2-1, on Wednesday evening in their second match in Group B of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

In a see-saw affair, it was the U.S. that came out dominating with an almost flawless performance in the first half, which included goals from Billy Schuler and Mykell Bates. Early in the second half it appeared it would be more of the same, but the Canadians roared back with a tenacious fury and cut the USA’s lead in half when forward Cederic Carrie scored in the 54th minute. Canada continued to attack a tiring U.S. backline, but goalkeeper Zac MacMath and his defenders were able to hold on for their second victory in as many games.

With the victory, the U.S. was the only team to earn the maximum six points in their first two games and jumped into first place in five-team Group B, but the hold on the top spot was short-lived. Costa Rica, playing in their third match, defeated Jamaica, 1-0, to give them seven points, moving the U.S. to second place (with a game in hand).

The top three teams earn a berth to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the U.S. can clinch a spot with at least a draw against Jamaica on Friday, May 3. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and fans can follow the match live on’s MatchTracker. The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. The 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place in South Korea from August 18 to September 9.

The U.S. could actually qualify for the World Cup before playing another minute. If Canada and Trinidad & Tobago draw in the early match on Friday, the U.S. would secure at least third place with six points. Canada would end up with five points, while Trinidad & Tobago could only earn as much as four points if they won their final 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,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “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.”

The U.S. were without the services of leading scorer Ellis McLoughlin, who was suspended for two games after receiving a red card late against Trinidad & Tobago. On Tuesday, CONCACAF reviewed the incident deemed it a malicious foul, requiring the two game suspension.

The loss of McLoughlin forced Hackworth to make a few changes to his roster, pushing Abdusalam Ibrahim from right midfield to forward and replacing the open spot with Alex Dixon, who earned his first start at the qualifying tournament. Tommy Meyer also got his first start in central defense alongside Bates, pushing Daniel Wenzel to central midfield with Jared Jeffrey.

Canada actually created the first attack as the speed of Carrie seemed to surprise the U.S. and he got free down the right side and sent in a dangerous cross that was cleared out for a corner by Bates. Carrie once again got behind minutes later, this time on the left side, but his shot was off target.

After squelching that early pressure, the U.S. dominated possession and controlled the tempo for the rest of the half. Pushing forward into the attack, Ibrahim and Schuler had room to run and were continually being fed through balls from Jeffrey and Wenzel, giving them each good looks on target.

The first U.S. goal came off a turnover in Canada’s defensive half in the 10th minute. Defender Sheanon Williams took the ball away along the right sideline and quickly dribbled forward and cut inside before slipping the ball forward for a streaking Schuler. The forward, who just recently joined the U-17s in January, held off his defender inside the penalty area and hit a low drive past onrushing goalkeeper Adam Street and into the left corner for his first international goal with the U.S.

In the 20th minute, Schuler had a great chance to put the U.S. up by two when Alex Nimo served in a cross from the right flank and he had an uncontested header, but his attempt went high over the bar.

A few minutes later, the U.S. got two chances to score their second goal, as they ran the exact same set play off a corner kick. On the first attempt, the play worked to perfection as the end result was Ibrahim ripping a shot from the top of the box, but Street was up to the challenge getting low to make the save before the rebound was cleared out for another corner.

The U.S. ran the same exact play, although not as smoothly. Nimo played a short corner to Wenzel, who served the ball to the corner of the penalty area for Ibrahim to hit first time. Unlike Wenzel’s low service on the first attempt, this one was high and Ibrahim struggled with a tough volley out of the air. His shot was off target, but as everyone pushed up, Bates perfectly timed his delayed run and met the ball at the left corner of the six-yard box and finished past Street.

The U.S. looked to slam the door with a third goal and it was Schuler once again up to the task just a couple minutes later when this time he was able to put a Nimo cross on goal with his head, but Street stretched to his left and got just enough to parry it wide.

Throughout the first half, and much of the second, Wenzel pushed all the right buttons from his defensive midfield position. The Federal Way, Wash., native was intelligent and creative all night which, by the final whistle, would earn him Sierra Mist Man of the Match honors.

“We preach every day that this is the kind of soccer we want to play, but very rarely when you get in an international competition, especially in qualifying, does that type of soccer come out,” said Hackworth, who’s been with the U-17s since 2002. “We were sitting on the bench saying, 'It can’t get any better,' but we took things for granted from there, which happens with young kids. But if we can sustain the level of play we had in the first half, you couldn’t ask for much more.”

The second half started as it ended, with the U.S. continuing to control possession and push into the attack in the first five minutes, but soon the tide would turn to their northern neighbors.

A tough challenge by defender Brek Shea earned him a knock to the head and, while still trying to shake off the blow, Canada forward Jarek Whiteman took advantage. Receiving a quick throw-in along the right sideline, Whiteman surprised Shea and was able to get around him and tip-toe along the endline inside the box. With MacMath protecting the near post, Whiteman dropped the ball back to the penalty spot where Carrie ripped a one-timer into the net to bring Canada back into the match.

While the U.S. was still able to possess the ball for long spans, Canada was much more active moving forward, especially Whiteman, who was a handful for the rest of the final 30 minutes of play.

In the 70th minute, Canada crossed the ball into the penalty area and the ball where it pinballed before falling to Whiteman on the right side. He tried to drop it back to Oliver Lacoste-Lebuis, but it was just out of his reach. The attempted clearance by the U.S. was deflected and fell back to Whiteman in the box, but his 16-yard blast went wide left.

Nimo had a chance to score his third goal of the tournament in the 73rd minute, when Jeffrey found him along the right flank with a long ball from midfield. The lightning-quick midfielder got inside the penalty area, but his drive soared over the bar.

Whiteman once again put the U.S. on their heels when he got around Brandon Zimmerman on the left sideline. Dribbling along the endline, he looked to slip it across the area similar to Canada’s first goal, but this time no one was there to finish it off.

MacMath came up big for the U.S. with five minutes remaining when Mohamed Sylla got past Williams. Carrie had the ball in midfield and slipped a pass through for Sylla, who held off Williams and ripped a 17-yard shot toward the right corner, but MacMath was able to stretch out and push it wide.

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

Participants: USA vs. Canada
Competition: CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament (Final Round)
Location: National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Date: May 2, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

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

USA – Billy Schuler (Sheanon Williams) 10th minute
USA – Mykell Bates (Abdusalam Ibrahim) 23.
CAN – Cederic Carrie (Marek Whiteman) 54.

USA: 18-Zach MacMath; 2-Sheanon Williams, 3-Mykell Bates (Capt.), 5-Thomas Meyer, 15-Brek Shea (16-Brandon Zimmerman, 57); 19-Alex Nimo, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 6-Daniel Wenzel, 20-Alex Dixon (17-Gregory Garza, 65); 11-Abdusalam Ibrahim, 13-Billy Schuler (7-Nicholas Millington, 82).
Subs not used: 1-Josh Lambo, 4-Howard Turk, 10-Byran Dominguez 12-Brendan King, 14-Jesse Paredes.
Not Available: 9-Ellis McLoughlin

Head Coach: John Hackworth

CAN: 1-Adam Street; 13-Williams Hyde, 3-Daniel Tannous (Capt.), 5-Adam Straith, 21-Erick Leal (11-Kyle Porter, 70); 16-Colin Parenteau-Michon (14-Mohamed Sylla, 46), 7-Marcus Johnstone, 6-Philippe Davies, 4-Oliver Lacoste-Lebuis; 9-Jarek Whiteman, 17-Cederic Carrie (15-Gagandeep Dosanjh, 84).
Subs not used: 8-Devin Gunenc, 10-Randy Edwini-Bonsu, 12-Oleksandr Semenets, 18-Drew Beckie, 20-Julien Latendresse-Levesque.
Not available: 2-Greg Smith

Head Coach: Stephen Hart

Statistical Summary:
Shots 10 / 12
Shots on goal 6 / 7
Saves 6 / 3
Fouls 11 / 7
Corner Kicks 6 / 3
Offside 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Brek Shea (caution) 18th minute

Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
1st Assistant: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
2nd Assistant: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Fourth Official: Luis Rodriguez (PAN)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Daniel Wenzel

Jared Jeffrey spent three semesters in the Under-17 MNT Residency Program and competed in two youth World Cups, in 2007 with the U-17s and in 2009 with the U-20s. The former Development Academy player was a part of each of Caleb Porter’s camps but has not made an appearance for the U-23 MNT.
  • Had a total of 11 caps for the U-20s – all starts – and added a goal and an assist, his goal coming in the 2-1 win against the Costa Rica U-20 team
  • During his three semesters in Residency, Jeffrey led all players with 39 international appearances
  • Signed for Club Brugge in 2008 and is now on the reserve squad at Bundesliga club Mainz
  • Played for Dallas Texans in the Development Academy