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U-17's in Peru Preparing for Saturday U-17 World Championship Opener


U.S. Under-17 MNT Notes
Chiclayo, Peru
September 13, 2005

DAY (OR MORE) OF TRAVEL: Flying to Chiclayo, Peru, the U.S. U-17s venue for their first two games of the FIFA World Championship, was anything but a hop, skip and a jump. Due to delays and an extremely long layover, it took the U.S. 31 hours to get from Bradenton, Fla., to Chiclayo, a trip that would usually take half the time. After taking a four-hour bus ride to the Miami International Airport, the team’s flight to Lima was delayed two hours before the six-hour flight left the gate. Once the flight arrived in Lima, the U-17s were just halfway there, as they had to wait a full 13 hours until they could catch their flight to Chiclayo. After checking into a nearby Lima hotel to catch a bite to eat, a quick nap and an interesting indoor training session (see below), the team was back to the airport to finish the final one-hour leg to Chiclayo. Below is a quick timeline of the team’s trip to Chiclayo.
U.S. Timeline - Bradenton to Chiclayo
5-9 p.m. ET – Four hour bus ride from Bradenton to Miami International Airport
9 p.m.-1 a.m. – Check-in for flight, wait extra two hours before boarding as plane delayed
1 a.m. ET - 6 a.m. CT – Flight to Lima, Peru (gain an hour)
6 a.m. – 8 a.m. – Collect luggage, board bus and drive to Melia Lima Hotel
8 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Eat breakfast, check-in
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Training session
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Eat lunch, rest in hotel, pack up bus and leave for airport
3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Check-in for flight, wait extra hour-and-a-half before boarding as plane delayed
7:30 – 9 p.m. - Flight to Chiclayo, Peru
9 – 10 p.m. – Collect luggage, board bus and drive to Gran Hotel
10 – 11 p.m. – Eat dinner and then pass out moment head touches pillow

A long trip indeed, but to put it into perspective, here’s a few things the U-17 players and staff could have done instead over that 31-hour period.

      1. Re-enacted the goal Kyle Nakazawa scored in the first minute of play against Cuba during qualifying 1,860 times.
      2. Played 20 of the 32 total games to be played by the 16 teams in the World Championship
      3. Watched the movie “Victory” 16 times.
      4. Broken the record for longest nonstop juggling of a soccer ball (no hands of course), which is held by Nikolai Kutsenko (UKR), who didn’t let a soccer ball touch the ground for 24 hours and 30 minutes on Dec. 6, 1995 in Kiev. 

WATCH OUT FOR THE DISHES: With a 13-hour delay in Lima, head coach John Hackworth figured the team would have the time to get in a short practice before catching their flight to Chiclayo. He was right, but he probably didn’t expect to conduct the session in the same place they just ate breakfast. With their flight delayed out of Miami and traffic being congested from the hotel to the training field, Hackworth moved practice inside to guarantee the players would have a chance to catch a short nap before packing back up for the airport. Hackworth asked the tables to be cleared out of the carpeted dining area to provide a 50 x 20-foot space where the team worked on some footwork, before adding a ball for 5v2 and some tight passing drills. The practice was one of the more interesting – and quiet – the players have ever been through during their times with the U-17s. Not only were they conducting it inside their meal room as staff set up their buffet lunch, they also had to do their best to keep their voices down due to a meeting going on in the room directly next door.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: The U.S. held their first training session at Estadio Capitan Remigio Elias Aguirre Romero this morning, testing out the newly put in artificial turf and finding out there would be a number of extra guests eyeing their practices for the next few days. Construction workers littered the outside and inside of the venue as they are still finishing the final renovations, including adding bucket seats in the stands, putting up the goals (which they finished during practice today) and actually digging the dugouts for the team benches. While it looks like a lot has yet to be done, officials assured the team that everything will be finished before their match on Saturday.

ALL GAMES LIVE ON TELEVISION: The U.S. is four days away from their opening match of the 2005 FIFA World Championship against North Korea on Sept. 17 at 12:45 p.m. CT. The team will then face Italy on Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m.CT and conclude group play against Ivory Coast on September 23 (3:30 p.m. CT). The U.S. will play their first two group matches against North Korea and Italy at Estadio Elias Aguirre in Chiclayo, before moving to Lima to face Ivory Coast in their third and final group match at Estadio Nacional. Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision will be televising all three of the USA’s first round games. Between the two stations, all three of the matches will be shown live as Galavision will broadcast directly the opener against North Korea and FSC will have live coverage of the Italy and Ivory Coast games. Fans can also follow every U.S. match at the U-17 World Championship live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics. Check ussoccer.com for the latest television schedule information.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date                        Opponent                   Kickoff Time              TV
Saturday, Sept. 17    vs. Korea DPR           12:30 p.m. CT            Live on Galavision
                                (delayed on FSC at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT)
Tuesday, Sept. 20     vs. Italy                      3:30 p.m. CT             Live on Fox Soccer Channel
                                (delayed on Gala. at 9:15 p.m. ET & PT / 8:15 p.m. CT)
Friday Sept. 23         vs. Ivory Coast            3:30 p.m. CT             Live on Fox Soccer Channel
                                (delayed on Gala. at 7 p.m. ET & PT / 6 p.m. CT)

ONE BACK IN, ONE OUT: The U.S. heads into the FIFA Under-17 FIFA World Championship with one player returning as another went down with an injury. While the return of midfielder Quavas Kirk provides the U.S. with a considerable scoring threat, the loss of defender Eric Lichaj hurts a defensive backfield that was beginning to gel at the right time. The central defender was ruled unable to perform in the tournament after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee just this past month. Lichaj’s experience and composure in the back will be missed and force Hackworth to rearrange his back four, but the U.S. has capable players such as Blake Wagner, Neven Subotic and Daniel Kelly to fill the void. Here is the complete U.S. roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 20-Brian Perk (Santa Margarita, Calif.), 18-Diego Restrepo (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (6): 3-Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), 2-Amaechi Igwe (Belmont, Calif.), 15-Daniel Kelly (Hendersonville, Tenn.), 5-Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), 14-Neven Subotic (Bradenton, Fla.), 13-Blake Wagner (Tampa, Fla.); MIDFIELDERS (6): 16-Nikolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), 12-Gabriel Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), 19-Michael Farman (San Diego, Calif.), 17-Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), 8-Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes Est., Calif.), 11-Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.); FORWARDS (5): 4-Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), 10-David Arvizu (Santa Ana, Calif.), 7-Omar Gonzalez (Dallas, Texas), 6-Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), 9-Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)

FREDDY NO ESTA AQUI: Contrary to what you might have read in a few erroneous reports, former Under-17 MNT forward Freddy Adu is not part of the U.S. team for the 2005 FIFA World Championship. Adu, who scored four goals in the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland, is not eligible to play in another FIFA Under-17 World Championship. Rules only permit a player to take part in one competition at this age level, while, on the contrary, being allowed to participate in as many FIFA World Youth (U-20) World Championships for which they are age-eligible.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO: You want the insight to all the behind-the-scenes action as the U.S. Under-17s journey through the FIFA World Championship? Look no further than ussoccer.com’s all_access video, which will take you to practice, inside the locker room, on the bus, into the team meetings and basically everywhere else the U-17 team will be during its time in Peru. Check back all week at ussoccer.com for multiple installments of all_access video, including a feature on the team's day-and-a-half of travel and the odd, but creative, practice inside the team hotel.

THE RETURN OF QUAVAS: One of the USA’s most dynamic players, Quavas Kirk, is probably the happiest player on the team to be in Peru. Unable to play in the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying Tournament and help the U.S. advance to the FIFA U-17 World Championship, the 2005 L.A. Galaxy draftee had to follow the U-17 games in Costa Rica via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker to find out if the team would qualify for the World Championship. Once they did, Kirk was all business as he has rehabbed dutifully to try and get back to the form he was at before the injury, a form that saw him score 16 goals and five assists in just 15 games at the start of 2005. Q, as he’s called by his teammates, sat down with ussoccer.com to talk about his injury, his comeback and his expectations for the World Championship in the first of what will be many exclusive podcasts covering the U-17s journey through the tournament.

TEAMS, TEAMS AND MORE TEAMS: The U.S. had only been in Peru for a few hours before they were able to start eyeing up their competition. Between the airport, the hotel in Lima and the hotel in Chiclayo, the U.S. has seen seven of their fellow World Championship competitors, including Qatar, China, Uruguay, Turkey, Australia, Italy and Brazil, who they shared a plane with from Lima to Chiclayo.

FOUR YEARS LATER: It was a case of déjà vu for one member of the U.S. staff yesterday when the team settled into the Melia Hotel in Lima. Almost to the day, U.S. assistant coach Tim Mulqueen was staying in the hotel four years ago with the Kansas City Wizards as the team was stranded there after the incidents of Sept. 11, 2001. The team traveled to Lima to play in the 2001 Copa Merconorte Tournament, facing Sporting Cristal on Sept. 12, and was stranded in the hotel until flights to the U.S. were reopened.

HALL BIRTHDAY: Jeremy Hall turned 17 on Sunday (Sept. 11), but didn’t do much celebrating as it was the day the U.S. left for Peru. With lots of “happy birthday” greetings, Hall says the best thing he got was a portable digital music player, which came in handy during the long trip the team endured to Chiclayo.

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