US SoccerUS Soccer

Thomas Meyer

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team
Stories

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.

Lineups:
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.

Officials:
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

RESULTS / STANDINGS

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 ussoccer.com’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+

Lineups:
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.

Officials:
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

RESULTS / STANDINGS
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 ussoccer.com’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.

Lineups:
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:
USA / CAN
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

Officials:
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

U-17 MNT Opens CONCACAF Qualifying with 3-0 Win vs. Trinidad & Tobago

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

Scoring Summary:
           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.

Lineups:
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

Statistical Summary:
USA / TRI

Shots 10 / 11
Shots on goal 5 / 6
Saves 4 / 2
Fouls 24 / 11
Corner Kicks 3 / 3
Offside 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
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.

Officials:
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

U-17 '90 MNT Defeat Georgia OPD

BRADENTON, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2007) - The U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team defeated the Georgia OPD '90s, 3-0, this afternoon at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

The U.S. got on the board in the 52nd minute as Alex Dixon scored, while Alex Nimo buried two more in the 75th and 90th mimutes.

U.S. Under-17 ’90 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants: USA vs. Georgia ODP ‘90s
Competition: Friendly
Location: Bradenton, Fla.
Date: Jan. 14, 2007
Weather: Warm, 80 degrees

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

USA – Alex Dixon                                        52nd minute
USA – Alex Nimo (Greg Garza)                77.
USA – Alex Nimo (Josh Lambo)              90.

Lineups:
USA: 18-Zac MacMath (1-Josh Lambo, 46); 4-Howard Turk, 5-Matt Uy, 16-Brandon Zimmerman (27-Brendan King, 58), 21-Thomas Meyer; 14-Jesse Paredes (12-Kirk Urso, 79), 26-Greg Garza, 30-Jose Altamirano (20-Alex Dixon, 46), 36-Nick Millington; 19-Alex Nimo, 32-Billy Schuler

GGA: 2-James Deal (1-Ben Yabrow, 69); 8-Conner Conns (17-Matthew Hoskins, 43), 11-Warren Creavalle, 15-Jorge Rossello, 19-Nicky MacKain; 3-Jocob Lee (5-Cameron Wilder, 26), 4-Francis Twohig, 9-Gerard Barbero, 18-Thomas Vania; 10-Eddie Gonzalez (6-Russell Thompson, 26), 20-Taylor White (14-Malcolm Miller, 36)

Statistical Summary:
                             USA    GAA
Shots                    15        6
Shots on goal        8        1
Saves                      1        5
Fouls                    16       16
Corner Kicks          1        2
Offside                    2        0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Brandon Zimmerman (caution)      9th minute
GAA – Thomas Vania (caution)                   57.
USA – Alex Dixon (sent off)                           70.

×