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U-20 MNT Prepares For Mexico After 2-0 Win Over Honduras

U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
Sunrise, Fla.
Nov. 20, 2004

MEXICO FOR THE TITLE: With the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeating Honduras 2-0 and Mexico coming from behind to beat Brazil 3-1 on Friday night, their match-up on Sunday will determine who ends up with the best record and will be crowned champion of the four-team tournament. Brazil and Honduras will kick off at 5 p.m. ET in the first game of the doubleheader at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., followed by the U.S. and Mexico at 7 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the U.S.-Mexico match live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
U-20 MNT Results/Schedule
Date               Opponent                Result/Kickoff
Nov. 19          Honduras                2-0 W
Nov. 21          Mexico                   7 p.m. ET

DOWN TO 16: The U.S. roster fell from 22 players to 16 on Saturday morning as six players returned to their college teams as they prepare for their second round games in the NCAA Men’s College Cup on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Five of the six players that caught their flights home this morning started for the U.S. against Honduras last night, the only exception being Jacob Peterson (Indiana). Peterson would have started as the lone forward up top, but Preston Zimmerman had to fill in for him as he injured his foot slightly in practice on Wednesday and was not 100 percent. From all indications from the U.S. Soccer medical staff, Peterson should be back to full strength for Indiana’s match-up against Big Ten foe Michigan on Tuesday. The other players that are now back with at their college campus are defenders Marvell Wynne (UCLA), Brandon Owens (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest), Hunter Freeman (Virginia) and midfielder Greg Dalby (Notre Dame).

YOUTH vs. MEXICO: Due to the large number of college players leaving – only Nathan Sturgis (Clemson) and Will John (St. Louis) remain – head coach Sigi Schmid will have to rely on a large number of high-school aged players when the U.S. faces Mexico on Sunday night. Out of the 16 available players, six (Bryant Rueckner, Ryan Soroka, Preston Zimmerman, Carlos Borja, Ofori Sarkodie and Nikolas Besagno) are currently in U.S. Soccer’s Residency program and another, Robby Rogers, is still in high school in Fairfax, Va. At 15 years of age, Freddy Adu is the youngest player on the roster, but when the camp started he actually wasn’t the only player that wasn’t old enough to legally drive as both Besagno (Nov. 15) and Zimmerman (Nov. 21) just turned 16 this week. The average age of the U.S. squad that will be available for their match against Mexico is 17.0 years of age. 

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamunga, Calif.), Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France); DEFENDERS (4): Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Robby Rogers (Fairfax Station, Va.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Nathan Sturgis (Clemson); MIDFIELDERS (7): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Nikolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Bradley (MetroStars), Jay Denny (Stoke City – England), Guillermo Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew); FORWARDS (3): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Will John (St. Louis University), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

A NUMBER OF FIRSTS: There were a number of firsts for the U.S. Under-20 MNT that occurred during their 2-0 victory over Honduras on Friday night. Here is a list below:

    * The match was the first under the helm of head coach Sigi Schmid’s since he was hired to take over the team in late October.
    * While it was not Schmid’s first victory with the Under-20s, as he had coached the squad from 1998-99, it was his first with this group of players.
    * Four players received their first Under-20 caps against Honduras. Defender Marvell Wynne, midfielder Greg Dalby and forward Preston Zimmerman all started for their first appearance, while Ryan Soroka came on in the late stages.
    * Zimmerman’s goal was his first for the Under-20s.
    * Freddy Adu’s penalty kick was his first ever goal for the Under-20s in his seventh appearance.

LEAD BY 15 YEAR OLDS: They may be playing with players four years older than them, but it was two 15-year-olds that provided the U.S. with their two strikes against Honduras. Freddy Adu and Preston Zimmerman are the youngest players on the roster and, at game time on Friday, were still 15 years of age. Still 15, Zimmerman scored his first U-20 goal before waking up Sunday morning a 16-year-old as he gets to celebrate his birthday here in Fort Lauderdale. To celebrate his birthday, an ice cream birthday cake was presented to Zimmerman at lunch on Saturday.

U.S. vs. Honduras
Nov. 19, 2001

Scoring Summary:        1st     2nd     Final
United States                    1        1          2
Honduras                          0        0          0

USA – Preston Zimmerman (Arturo Alvarez)         45th minute
USA – Freddy Adu (penalty kick)                            79th

USA – 1-Quentin Westberg; 2-Marvell Wynne, 3-Brandon Owens, 21-Patrick Phelan, 20-Hunter Freeman; 4-Greg Dalby, 8-Danny Szetela, 11-Arturo Alvarez (capt.) (6-Jay Denny, 69), 9-Guillermo Gonzalez (12-Will John, 46), 10-Freddy Adu (13-Ryan Soroka, 87); 17-Preston Zimmerman.
Subs not used: 5-Nathan Sturgis, 7-Michael Bradley, 15-Ofori Sarkodie, 16-Nikolas Besagno, 18-Bryant Rueckner, 19-Robby Rogers, 22-Carlos Borja.

HON – 1-Yull Arzu; 5-Chester Nunez, 6-Rene Moncada, 7-Emilio Isaguirre, 9-Cesar Whity (11-Julian Rapalo, 90); 10-Luis Rodas (8-Fayron Barahona, 65), 13-Fernando Cruz Avila (Andres Morales, 75), 15-Roy Bodden (12-Jorge Claros, 80), 19-Ramon Castillo; 20-Hendry Thomas, 21-Erick Norales.
Subs not used: 2-Maynor Martinez, 3-Lidio Garcia, 4-Aaron Bardales, 14-Jalmar Morales, 22-Fernando Botto.

FOUR PLAYERS OUT, FOUR GOALS IN: If some of the fans at Lockhart Stadium on Friday night thought the U.S.-Honduras match lacked excitement, they got their money worth if they stayed for the late match between Mexico and Brazil. In the first half of play there were three ejections (two for Brazil, one for Mexico) right before halftime, but Brazil still took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. That lead quickly evaporated for Brazil in the second half, now down a man, as Mexico took a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute. When Brazil received its third ejection in the 75th minute the game was all but over with Mexico adding a third goal in the 84th minute. Both coaches were also ejected from the match.

Mexico vs. Brazil
Nov. 19, 2001

Scoring Summary:       1st     2nd     Final
Mexico                              0          3          3
Brazil                                 1          0          1

BRA – Ricardo Silva             24th minute
MEX – Emilio Lopez            59th
MEX – Oscar Herrara            66th
MEX – Luis Landin             84th

MEX – 1-Rafael Alamo Cruz; 4-David Cavazos, 6-Omar Hernandez, 7-Oscar Herrera, 17-Luis Robles; 9-Luis Landin (16-Rafael Murguia, 70), 10-Emilio Lopez (2-Julio Canto, 52), 18-Alberto Ramirez (8-Alejandro Zurito, 80), 19-Jonathan Prado (3-Luis Alberto Padilla, 71); 14-Efrain Velarde, 15-Marco Parra (5-Antonio Olvera, 90).

BRA – 1-Renan Brito; 2-Rafael, 3-Henrique (15-Fernando, 72), 4-Gladstone, 6-Fabio Santos; 5-Roberto, 7-Amparo (16-Andre, 66), 8-Diego, 10-Rodrigo; 9-Ricardo (14-Rodrigo Dias, 46) , 11-Paulinho.