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.”
U.S. forward PERI MAROSEVIC
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.”
LA VALETTE, France (March 25, 2008) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team closed out the Toulon International Tournament with a 2-0 loss to Group B winner, Italy, in La Valette, France.
Italy, made up of a core of players that were part of their Olympic qualifying team, took the top spot in Group B of the Toulon Tournament with three wins, and will face Japan in the semifinal match on May 27. In tonight’s other Group B game, the Ivory Coast topped Turkey, 4-0, also advancing to the semifinals to face Chile on Tuesday night.
The U.S., which was using the tournament to evaluate as many players as possible before this summer’s Olympic Games, finished the tournament with three losses. Head coach Peter Nowak used all 22 available players throughout the three games, including three different goalkeepers.
“We came to this tournament to make sure that we had all of our bases covered, and to evaluate as many players in the Olympic pool as possible,” said Nowak. “There were many positive things to take out of the tournament, and we will use a lot of what we saw here in our decision making in the next couple months as we move toward Beijing.”
The U.S. now has just 74 days before its opening game at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, when it will take on Japan on Aug. 7. The U.S. will also face the Netherlands on August 10 and Nigeria on August 13 as part of Group D.
The Americans created the first chances of the game, with a Kamani Hill shot on goal coming from distance in just the third minute. In the eighth minute, the U.S. had a golden opportunity to take an early lead when a Hill corner kick found the head of Sammy Ochoa, but the forward’s header was high over the crossbar.
The two teams traded opportunities throughout the first half, but it was Italy who was able to capitalize. Jumping on a turnover in the U.S. defensive zone, Dessena played a quick through ball for Ignazio Abate. Alone in front of Seitz, Abate played a low shot to the far post, just out of the reach of the sprawling ‘keeper to give Italy a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute.
On an Italian buildup in the 35th minute, the U.S. back line stepped up to pressure. Italian midfielder Daniele Galloppa flicked the ball up and over the defense for an on-rushing Osvaldo. Osvaldo looked up and spotted Dessena coming with him and slotted the ball back into his path. Dessena’s shot came from six yards in front of Seitz, giving him no chance to save the one-timer.
In the second half, the U.S. continued to battle and create dangerous chances. In the 66th minute, a U.S. buildup got the ball to the feet of Gabe Ferrari, who touched the ball to the middle of the field and ripped a shot that Italian goalkeeper Enrico Alfonso did well to tip over the crossbar.
U.S. goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, one of three halftime substitutes, was called upon to make several key saves, and the Troyes-based ‘keeper was up to the task. After an Italy corner kick, Dessena ripped a shot from just outside the box that sailed toward goal, but Westberg dove and punched it out of play.
The U.S. had one final opportunity, as Brek Shea combined with Julian Valentin to move the ball up field in the 90th minute. Valentin slipped the ball to Lee Nguyen, and the midfielder touched it around a pair of defenders toward goal. Nguyen pulled the trigger from the top of the box, but was unable to get much power behind his shot.
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report
Participants: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. Italy
Competition: Toulon International Tournament
Location: La Valette du Var – La Valette, France
Date: May 25, 2008
Weather: Overcast, Breezy
1 2 Final
USA 0 0 0
ITA 2 0 2
ITA – Ignazio Abate (Daniele Dessena) 30st minute
ITA – Daniele Dessena (Paolo Daniel Osvaldo) 35.
USA: 1-Chris Seitz (24-Quentin Westberg, 46); 13-Blake Wagner (4-Kyle Davies, 46), 3-Eric Brunner, 6-Julian Valentin, 25-Jonathan Leathers; 16-Corey Ashe, 14-Bryan Arguez, 8-Greg Dalby, 7-Kamani Hill - capt. (17-Lee Nguyen, 46); 9-Gabe Ferrari, 19-Sammy Ochoa
Subs Not Used: 2-Rob Valentino, 5-Michael Gavin, 11-Ellis McLoughlin, 15-Bryan Jordan
Head Coach: Peter Nowak
ITA: 12-Alfonso Enrico; 2-Marco Motta, 5-Lino Marzoratti, 13-Andrea Coda – capt., 6-Salvatore Bocchetti; 20-Daniele Dessena, 21-Luca Cigarini (4-Antonio Nocerino, 59), 14-Daniele Galloppa; 17-Ignazio Abate; 10-Claudio Marchisio (7-Davide Lanzafame, 46); 9-Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (19-Graziano Pelle, 59)
Subs Not Used: 1-David Bassi, 3-Paolo De Ceglie, 8-Tiberio Guarente, 10-Sebastian Giovinco, 11-Claudio Marchisio, 14-Daniele Galloppa, 15-Hernan Dellafiore, 16-Lorenzo De Silvestri, 18-Antonio Candreva,
Head Coach: Pierliuigi Casiraghi
Statistical Summary: USA / ITA
Shots 7 / 16
Shots on Goal 5 / 8
Saves 6 / 5
Fouls 18 / 9
Corner Kicks 4 / 4
Offside 4 / 4
USA – Lee Nguyen (caution) 71st minute.
Referee: Steven Depiero (CAN)
Asst.: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Asst.: Darren Clark (CAN)
4th: Monetchet Nahi (CIV)
Toulon International Tournament
Group B Standings
Team W L T PTS GF GA GD
ITA 3 0 0 9 6 1 +5
CIV 2 1 0 6 6 2 +4
TUR 1 2 0 3 4 8 -4
USA 0 0 3 0 2 7 -5
Wednesday, May 21
Italy 2, Ivory Coast 0
Turkey 3, USA 2
Friday, May 23
Ivory Coast 2, USA 0
Italy 2, Turkey 1
Sunday, May 25
Italy 2, USA 0
Ivory Coast 4, Turkey 0
Chile vs. Ivory Coast
Italy vs. Japan
TOULON, France (May 23, 2008) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team dropped its second game of the Toulon International Tournament to Ivory Coast, 1-0, this evening in La Seyne, France.
The lone goal came after defender Tony Beltran was called for a foul in the penalty box during what appeared to be a fair tackle against Nassa Niangbo. Djakpa, Ivory Coast’s captain, stepped up and converted from the spot for the eventual game-winner.
The U.S. is in fourth place in Group B, behind Italy (six points), Ivory Coast (three points) and Turkey (three points), and will look to rebound in its final game of the tournament on Sunday, May 25 against Italy. That match from Stade Vallis Laeta in La Valette, France, will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel at 6 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET).
U.S. Under-23 head coach Peter Nowak used an almost entirely different lineup from the team’s first match against Turkey, with Lee Nguyen the only returning starter. Tony Beltran, Kamani Hill and Brek Shea, who all came on as substitutes in the first match against Turkey, started against Ivory Coast and played major roles for the U.S.
“It was a new group that played today, and as I said before the last game we want to have a look at everybody,” said Nowak. “Today was another chance to see the players in action and to see how the new players have developed. We’re looking at what’s going to happen in July and August and this is one of the times that we’re going to look at all the players and make the right decisions.”
Though the Ivory Coast held much of the possession early in the game, the U.S. was able to create a handful of chances. In the 25th minute, after a buildup through the midfield, forward Bryan Jordan got the ball inside the box and held off shooting, instead laying the ball off for Nguyen. The midfielder took a touch around one defender, but by the time he looked up again, there were eight orange shirts in the box as Ivory Coast did well to get behind the ball defensively.
Shea was dangerous up front all night, and had the USA’s best chance of the night in the 61st minute. Beltran moved into the attack from his right back position and played a long cross for Shea inside the box. The FC Dallas rookie lunged forward and beat his defender to get a head on the ball, but his shot clanged off the far post.
On the other end of the field, U.S. goalkeeper Chris Seitz was active throughout the game, making big saves to help keep his team alive. It appeared a ball snuck under the 6-foot 4-inch ‘keeper in the 31st minute despite getting a glove on a powerful shot to the near post, but Seitz reached back and pulled the ball off the goal line.
His biggest save of the night came in the second half after Ivory Coast capitalized with a U.S. player went down behind deep in their defensive half. The position of the injured player kept forward Nassa Niangbo onside as he ran onto a through ball and sped past the U.S. defenders, before firing a point blank shot that Seitz reached out and blocked to keep the game scoreless.
“I think we came out a little timid, but after we really started passing the ball and playing together, we stepped it up,” said Seitz. “I think defensively we did everything we could, and we saw a very good Ivory Coast team today. There are definitely some positives to take out of this game.”
Sitting in last place with zero points, the U.S. doesn’t have any opportunity to advance to the semifinals. Even with a victory against Italy in their final match to give them three points, the best position the U.S. can finish is in third place as Turkey and Ivory Coast both have three points and face each other in the final match, meaning one, or both, will end up with at least four points. Italy, which sits in first place heading into the final group game, is secured advancement to the semifinals with six points.
Participants: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. Ivory Coast
Competition: Toulon International Tournament
Location: Stade Marquet - La Seyne, France
Date: May 23, 2008
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
CIV 0 1 1
CIV - Constant Djakpa (penalty) 71st minute
USA: 1-Chris Seitz; 20-Tony Beltran, 2-Rob Valentino, 4-Kyle Davies, 5-Michael Gavin; 7-Kamani Hill (9-Gabe Ferrari, 78), 14-Bryan Arguez, 17-Lee Nguyen (16-Corey Ashe, 59), 15-Blake Wagner; 21-Brek Shea, 15-Bryan Jordan (11-Ellis McLoughlin, 71)
Subs Not Used: 3-Eric Brunner, 6-Julian Valentin, 8-Greg Dalby, 19-Sammy Ochoa, 24-Quentin Westberg, 25-Jonathan Leathers
Head Coach: Peter Nowak
CIV: 1-Christian Fabrice Okoua, 15-Constant Djakpa, 4-Souleman Bamba, 10-Kouamantien Emmanuel Kone, 6-Moura-Komenan Anthony (3-Ousmane Viera Diarassouba, 60), 5-Serge Pascal Wawa, 17-Antoine Jean-Ettien N’Gossan, 9-Nassa Guy Roland Niangbo (12-Franck Dja-Djedje, 64), 7-Kafoumba Coulibaly, 13-Soilyho Ouattara
Subs Not Used: 2-Mamadou Bagayoko, 8-Ahmed Herve Diomande, 11-Beko Ismael Fofana, 14-Sekou Ouattara, 15-Constant Djakpa, 16-Badra Ali Sangare, 18-Sekou Cisse
Head Coach: Gerard Gili
USA / CIV
Shots 7 / 15
Shots on Goal 4 / 7
Saves 5 / 3
Fouls 18 / 16
Corner Kicks 1 / 11
Offside 1 / 6
CIV – Franck Dja-Djedje (caution) 88th
Referee: Jorg Soussa (POR)
Asst.: Jose Ramalho (POR)
Asst.: Karl Santigli (FRA)
4th: Olivier Thual (FRA)
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Chris Seitz
Toulon International Tournament Standings
Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
Italy 2 0 0 6 4 1 +3
Turkey 1 1 0 3 4 4 --
Ivory Coast 1 1 0 3 1 2 -1
USA 0 2 0 0 2 4 -2
Wednesday, March 21
Turkey 3, USA 2
Italy 2, Ivory Coast 0
Friday, March 23
Ivory Coast 1, USA 0
Italy 2, Turkey 1
Sunday, March 25
USA vs. Italy
Ivory Coast vs. Turkey
The defender says his relationship with Southampton dates back to the beginning of his time in Residency. He traveled with the U-17 team to England for a tournament, and instantly caught the eye of the team scouts in attendance. He decided to finish high school in Bradenton, Fla., before making the move overseas.
Born in California to English parents, Davies didn’t need to worry about securing a work permit before making the move, but international rules still said that he had to wait until he turned 18 before appearing in any games or receiving a paycheck. He moved to Southampton in February of 2007 and celebrated his 18th birthday that April.
“I was training with the team, but obviously was kept out of the game day lineup. It wasn’t exactly disheartening, but sometimes I wondered why I didn’t just stay home and wait until the summer to come over,” the now 19-year-old admitted. “In the end though, it did end up helping out a lot. When I came back this season it felt like I had already been there and gotten to know everybody, so that made it easier.”
Like many young Americans who move overseas, Davies took some time to adjust to all the novelties, including a new team, life and city. He admits that getting to know people outside the team was difficult, but has since become comfortable in his new surroundings and even picked up a very slight English accent.
“It’s a bit scary once you realize that you’re actually living there and it’s not a vacation,” said Davies. “But then you start to get to know people, and meet people outside of football and that makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you live there and belong there.
“Sometimes I get a little jealous of the MLS guys who get to stay home and play. Especially when I’m playing with the reserves and trying to break through, watching all my friends play on the first team in the States. But really, I’m happy with the direction I went.”
Transitioning to life as a professional player in Europe, Davies has also been one of the most experienced members of Under-20 Men’s National Team camps as the team prepares for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
“The time with the Under-20s has been fun,” he said. “Living in England I don’t get to see the guys I was in Residency with very often, so when we get back together it’s like a big reunion.”
His time with U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen helped him earn a place at the Toulon International Tournament with the Under-23s and head coach Peter Nowak. Though he has yet to make a first-team appearance for his club, he credits his training at Southampton to his national team opportunities.
“Training with the first team is a big step up from where I was before I came over,” he said. “I was a bit nervous at first coming into this camp because I don’t know a lot of the guys, but at the end of the day we’re all good players playing on the same team. Training has been going well and we’ve all adjusted to each other on the field as we’ve gotten to know each other off the field.”
Next up for the young defender after Toulon is a true off-season. With about a month off from training in Southampton, he will head home to California to relax. There, he’ll stay fit and prepare for either another national team camp, or head back to England in July.
As for his long-term plans, Davies hopes he can stay in Southampton after his initial contract expires at the end of next season. Otherwise, he hopes to find another squad in England.
For now, Davies is trying to make the most out of his opportunity in Toulon, with new coaches and new teammates. He knows that this tournament can only enhance his national team experience and help build toward the next Championship season.
All 16 games of the tournament will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel, including the U.S. Group B match-ups against the Ivory Coast on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. ET), and Italy on May 25 at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET).
“This tournament will give us an opportunity to have a look at some players we have had in previous camps, and also a look at the new faces,” said Nowak. “We don’t want to be short-sighted with our selection for the Olympics. We want a whole picture that includes a variety of players, and to make sure we see every option before we make final choices.”
Group A of the tournament features France along with Chile, the Netherlands and Japan. The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals on May 27, and either the third-place match or final on May 29.
Of the three goalkeepers on the roster, Dominic Cervi and Chris Seitz, shared duties between the pipes during Olympic qualifying and combined for a goals against average of just 0.40 over five games. Defender Kamani Hill is the only field player on the roster to have played in that tournament, helping the U.S. qualify for the Olympics with a 3-1-1 record.
Seitz, who started three out of the five games in the tournament, is one of five players heading to Toulon who were also part of the U.S. Under-20 team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada last summer. Joining the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper are Bryan Arguez, Tony Beltran, Gabe Ferrari and Julian Valentin.
Arguez is one of four players who are eligible to play in the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, along with Hertha Berlin teammate Ellis McLoughlin, Southampton’s Kyle Davies and FC Dallas defender Brek Shea.
In addition to Major League Soccer, seven leagues from across the globe contribute players to the U.S. roster. Sammy Ochoa, who will be part of his first U.S. National Team camp since the 2005 Under-20 World Cup, plays for UAG Tecos in Mexico. Goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who was also part of the 2005 Under-20 World Cup team, joins the squad from French club Troyes AC. Davies and Derby County’s Benny Feilhaber, the oldest member of the team, will join the U.S. from England and Hill joins the Hertha Berlin duo from Germany. SC Charleroi (Belgium) defender Greg Dalby and Randers (Denmark) midfielder Lee Nguyen round out the foreign contingent.
Of the 11 players from MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy have the most representatives on the roster with Mike Gavin, Bryan Jordan and Valentin. FC Dallas sends a pair of defenders in Blake Wagner and Shea.
Overall, the U.S. has made seven previous trips to the invitation-only event, with their most recent appearance dating back to 2001 when the team finished in fifth place. In 1989 the team finished in a best-ever third place, and in 1994, 1997 and 2001 received the Fair Play Award. Josh Wolff is the only American to earn an individual award at the tournament, earning the Golden Boot by scoring five goals in 1997, outscoring future FIFA World Cup winner Thierry Henry.
The U.S. will be participating in its 13th Olympic Games, earning their place by advancing to the final of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in March. The Americans finished the tournament with a 3-1-1 record, with their only loss coming to Honduras in overtime of the championship match. Both teams had already secured their ticket to Beijing, the United States defeating Canada in one semifinal while Honduras ousted Guatemala in the other.
|Arguez, Bryan||M||6-2||175||01/13/89||Miami, Fla.||Hertha Berlin (Germany)|
|Ashe, Corey||M||5-6||140||03/14/86||Virginia Beach, Va.||Houston Dynamo (MLS)|
|Beltran, Tony||D||5-8||150||10/11/87||Claremont, Calif.||Real Salt Lake (MLS)|
|Brunner, Eric||D||6-4||170||02/12/86||Dublin, Ohio||Out of Contract|
|Cervi, Dominic||GK||6-6||205||07/09/86||Norman, Okla.||Out of Contract|
|Dalby, Greg||M||6-0||175||11/03/85||Poway, Calif.||SC Charleroi (Belgium)|
|Davies, Kyle||D||5-11||165||04/11/89||Pleasonton, Calif.||Southampton (England)|
|Feilhaber, Benny||M||5-9||150||01/19/85||Irvine, Calif.||Derby County (England)|
|Ferrari, Gabe||F||6-1||170||09/01/88||New York, N.Y.||Sampdoria (Italy)|
|Gavin, Michael||D||5-10||165||03/30/86||Scottsdale, Ariz.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Hill, Kamani||D||6-0||175||12/28/85||Berkeley, Calif.||Vfl Wolfsburg (Germany)|
|Jordan, Bryan||F||5-8||160||09/13/85||Temple City, Calif.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Leathers, Jonathan||D||5-9||160||11/05/85||Athens, Ga.||Kansas City Wizards (MLS)|
|McLoughlin, Ellis||F||5-10||170||07/08/90||Seattle, Wash.||Hertha Berlin (Germany)|
|Nguyen, Lee||M||5-8||150||10/07/86||Richardson, Texas||Randers FC (Denmark)|
|Ochoa, Sammy||F||6-0||180||09/04/86||Riverside, Calif.||UAG Tecos (Mexico)|
|Seitz, Chris||GK||6-4||205||03/12/87||San Luis Obispo, Calif.||Real Salt Lake (MLS)|
|Shea, Brek||D||6-3||180||02/28/90||College Station, Texas||FC Dallas (MLS)|
|Valentin, Julian||D||6-0||180||02/23/87||Lancaster, Pa.||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Valentino, Rob||D||6-3||190||12/21/85||Cave Creek, Ariz.||New England Revolution (MLS)|
|Wagner, Blake||D||5-10||165||01/29/88||Tampa, Fla.||FC Dallas (MLS)|
|Westberg, Quentin||GK||6-1||04/25/86||Paris, France||Troyes AC (France)|
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Quentin Westburg (Troyes)
DEFENDERS (10): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Eric Brunner (out of contract), Kyle Davies (Southampton), Michael Gavin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Jonathan Leathers (Kansas City Wizards), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Julian Valentin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Rob Valentino (New England Revolution), Blake Wagner (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Greg Dalby (SC Charleroi), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Lee Nguyen (Randers FC)
FORWARDS (4): Gabe Ferrari (Sampdoria), Bryan Jordan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ellis McLoughlin (Hertha Berlin), Sammy Ochoa (Tecos)
National Team Staff:
|Head Coach:||Peter Nowak||Naples, Fla.|
|Assistant Coach:||Lubos Kubik||Prague, Czech Rep.|
|Assistant Coach:||Josh Gros||Burke, Va.|
|Goalkeeper Coach:||Tim Mulqueen||Bradenton, Fla.|
|Team Coordinator:||Alfonso Cerda||Carson, Calif.|
|Equipment Coordinator:||Gabe Vogler||Shoreview, Minn.|
|Team Doctor:||William Heinz||Portland, Maine|
|Team Doctor:||Lucien Ouellette||Portland, Maine|
|Athletic Trainer:||Marcus Holliday||Bradenton, Fla.|
|Strength and Conditioning:||Tomek Kaczmarek||Cologne, Germany|
|Press Officer:||Kate McMaster||Chicago, Ill.|