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U.S. Under-18 MNT Draw 1-1 With Deportivo Saprissa

The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team bounced back after a loss in their first match of the Dallas Cup with a 1-1 draw with Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) this afternoon at the University of Texas at Dallas, playing most of the match with only 10 men. With just one game remaining against CF Monterey of Mexico on Wednesday, April 7, the U.S. will need a victory and help to advance to the semifinals with only one point after two matches.

The Under-18s were shorthanded for the majority of the match after defensive midfielder Mike Orozco received his second yellow just 30 minutes in. Orozco’s ejection for a rough tackle required head coach Bob Jenkins to shuffle some players around to secure the defense, while also maintain the team’s ability to go forward and try for the all-important three points.

Despite being a man down, the U.S. defensive backline of Julian Valentin, Karl Schilling, Greg Folk and Tim Ward did a good job of keeping Deportivo’s shots on goal at a minimum. And when the did get a shot on goal, ‘keeper Marcus Rein displayed some fantastic skill and athletic ability, coming up with some world-class saves.

After a scoreless first half, the U.S. finally put away their first goal of the tournament as forward Nico Colaluca buried it past the ‘keeper. The attack started from the left back position as Ward played a perfect ball down the sideline to Christian Jimenez, who served in a low drive into the box. Danny Szetela froze the defenders with a nice dummy, leaving the ball for Colaluca, who blasted it to the back of the net from 15 yards out.

The U.S. couldn’t hold onto the lead for too long though, as Deportivo found the equalizer just 10 minutes later off a corner kick. With no one going out to defend, a Deportivo midfielder received the quick, short corner and had time to serve in a well-placed ball to the back post that found an unmarked Saul Phillips, who headed it home.


- U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team Match Report -

Participants:     U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team vs. Deportivo Saprissa
Location:     Dallas, Texas 
Date:    April 5, 2004
Weather:    Warm, 70 degrees

Scoring Summary:    1st    2nd    Final 
DSA                                 0       1         1
USA                                 0       1         1

USA - Nico Calaluca (Christian Jimenez)                       55th minute
DSA - Saul Phillips                                                            65th
USA: 1-Marcus Rein; 13-Greg Folk, 4-Jules Valentin, 5-Tim Ward, 2-Karl Schilling; 16-Christian Jimenez (9-Rodrigo Hidalgo, 60), 10-Danny Szetela, 7-Michael Bradley (20-Mike Videira, 70), 22-Mike Orozco; 12-Nico Colaluca (11-Jamie Watson, 60), 3-Mike Grella

DSA: n/a

Statistical Summary:           DSA    USA
Shots                                          n/a       n/a                 
Corner Kick                                          

Misconduct Summary:
USA - Mike Orozco (caution)                 12th minute
USA - Mike Orozco (caution)                 30th
USA - Mike Orozco (ejection)                30th