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
Player based in each of three different European countries (Michael Bradley - Netherlands, Gabe Ferrari - Italy, Johann Smith - England)
Players with senior national team caps (Freddy Adu and Bradley)
Goals scored by Andre Akpan in four games to lead the U.S. in 2007
Players who have played in Under-17 World Championships in 2003 (Adu, Szetela) or 2005 (Altidore, Arguez, Igwe, Perk, Sarkodie, Sturgis and Anthony Wallace)
Different club teams represented from Major League Soccer and Europe
KINGSTON, Ontario (June 6, 2007) – After the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s dominating victory three days ago against their northern neighbors, the tables were turned this evening when Canada cruised to a 4-0 victory in the rematch in Kingston, Ontario.
The 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the second minute, and kept the U.S. defense under constant pressure for the rest of the match. Canada forward Tousaint Ricketts was the star of the show on the night, scoring two first half goals and adding another in the second half to complete his hat trick. Ricketts scored in the second, 29th and 65th minutes, and Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault added a goal in the 19th minute.
Tonight’s match was one of the final games the U.S. will play before heading to Canada for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from June 30-July 22 in six venues. Rongen will announce his World Cup roster next week and the full team will regroup in New Jersey on June 17 to begin their final preparations. The U.S. will have an opportunity to rebound when they take on Chile on June 23 in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"This was definitely not the outcome we expected tonight, but it's a game we can learn from," said U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. "Canada learned from the match a few days ago, and we will do the same and try to learn what went wrong for us tonight and get better. We came here on this trip to do just that, while also getting a chance to see our venues and give some guys a chance to battle for some final spots on the roster. In the end, I think we've accomplished what we needed and look forward to coming back to Canada in a few weeks to kick off the World Cup."
The U.S. possessed the ball well during the match, but without a large majority of their eventual starters in this summer’s World Cup, they struggled to be creative in the final third and only put two shots on goal the entire match. Starting in a 4-3-3 formation, the U.S. changed back to a 4-4-2 in the second half, but the switch didn’t help improve their chances on target. The U.S., seemingly hindered by the long, bumpy grass after training on turf almost exclusively in the buildup to the World Cup, didn’t have an answer for Rickett’s constant pressure and Canada’s direct style of play.
Ricketts first goal came from a great individual effort, battling for the ball with the U.S. defense and forcing a turnover. He carried the ball down to the touchline to the left of Diego Restrepo’s goal and beat the goalkeeper, who was playing in his first career game with the Under-20 squad.
Beaulieu-Bourgault tallied the second goal after a loose ball was bouncing around the box, and he found himself alone about 12 yards from goal when the ball bounced in front of him and he was able to fire a low driven shot into the net. Ricketts’ second goal came after Canada created a turnover in the midfield, and played the ball forward to the lone striker. Ricketts’ was initially shut down by Julian Valentin and Ofori Sarkodie, but the three collided and the Canadian came away with the ball and was in alone on Restrepo and slotted the ball home. The final tally came when Rickett’s collected a long ball and avoided a tackle from Valentin. The forward then regained control of the ball and again found himself in on goal and beats Restrepo to the far post.
The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. Argentina is in Group E with the Czech Republic, Korea DPR and Panama. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil.
The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report
Participants: USA vs. Canada
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Date: June 6, 2007
Weather: Cool, 50 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
Canada 3 1 4
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 2nd minute.
CAN – Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault 19.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 29.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 66.
USA: 18 – Diego Restrepo, 19-Tony Beltran, 14-Julian Valentin (5-Dane Brek-Shea, 69), 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 3-Amaechi Igwe, 16-Mitchell van den Beld (17-Preston Zimmerman, 46), 6-Bryan Arguez, 4-Anthony Wallace, 7-Gabriel Ferrari, 10-Sal Zizzo, 12-Andre Akpan (15-Sheanon Williams, 76)
Subs not used: 24-Steve Sandbo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen
GUA: 1-Asmir Begovic (22-David Monslave, 46), 2-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 3-Kent O’Connor, 4-Marcus Haber, 5-Steve Lumley, 6-Christian Nunez, 8-Keegan Ayre (15-Kennedy Owusu-Ansah, 46), 9-Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault (9-Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis, 69), 12-Michael D’Agostino (13-A.J. Gray, 82), 10-Will Johnson, 7-Toisaint Ricketts
Subs not used:
Head Coach: Dale Mitchell
Shots 2 8
Saves 2 1
Fouls 10 12
Corner Kicks 8 4
Offside 2 1
USA – Tony Beltran (caution) 33rd minute
CAN – Marcus Haber (caution) 53.
CAN – Kennedy Owusu-Ansah (caution) 77.
Referee: Steve DePiero (CAN)
1st Assistant:Isaac Raymond (CAN)
2nd Assistant: Amato DeLuca (CAN)
Fourth Official: Justin Tasev (CAN)
CHICAGO (May 23, 2007) - U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has announced his 16-player roster for the team's upcoming training camp from May 30 to June 6 in Canada as part of their preparation for the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The U.S. will face Canada twice during the camp, which will provide the U.S. with a first-hand look at their two Group E venues in Montreal and Ottawa.
The U.S. will start the camp in Montreal, where they will train for three days and check out The Olympic Stadium, site of the team's first two Group E matches against South Korea (June 30) and Poland (July 3). The team will not train at the stadium, but is planning on getting a tour of the facility. The U.S. will then travel to Ottawa to face the World Cup hosts on June 3 at Frank Clair Stadium, site of their third and final Group E match against Brazil (July 6). The final stretch of the camp will take place in Kingston, Ontario, where the U.S. and Canada will play the rematch on June 6 in Richardson Stadium.
- Listen to Rongen talk about the upcoming camp and World Cup roster
"This camp will not only provide us with two matches against a strong Canada team, but it will allow us to get a feel for the facilities we'll be using during the World Cup," said Rongen, who will use this camp as his final evaluation period before announcing the World Cup roster. "We want to be as prepared as possible to advance out of a tough group, and this is a great opportunity to check out these great venues while becoming more and more acclimated to playing on artificial turf."
Three of the players on the roster play in Major League Soccer, four players will be joining the United States from overseas clubs and a pair of UCLA Bruins lead a seven-player collegiate contingent. Rongen also included a pair of players who are currently part of the Under-17 Residency Program, Dane Shea and Sheanon Williams, giving them an opportunity to gain experience with the Under-20s.
The trio of MLS players represents three different teams, with Bryan Argues of DC United, Amaechi Igwe of New England and Anthony Wallace of FC Dallas. The professional ranks of Italy, Germany, England and the Netherlands are also represented on the roster by one player each in Gabriel Ferrari of Sampdoria, Preston Zimmerman of Hamburg SV, Bolton FC’s Johann Smith and Mitchell van den Beld of FC Utrecht, respectively. Van den Beld will be participating in his first national team camp at any level.
Ten players on the roster were members of the squad that won their CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama earlier this year. The team scored 11 goals during qualification, including three from Andre Akpan, while only allowing one.
The U.S. most recently faced Canada in a two-game series last summer, coming away with a 2-1 victory in the first game, which was played in Toronto on July 7, and a 1-1 draw in Kingston two days later.
The 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be held from June 30-July 22 in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. After their opener against the Korea Republic, the U.S. faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. The United States is coming off of their first loss of the year, as they fell 1-0 to reigning World Cup Champion Argentina on May 15.
Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Diego Restrepo (University of South Florida), Steve Sandbo (SMU)
DEFENDERS (5): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Bryan Arguez (DC United), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Mitchell van den Beld (FC Utrecht)
FORWARDS (5): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Johann Smith (Bolton FC), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)