US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Under-20 MNT Defeats Honduras 2-0 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale

Preston Zimmerman Scores Opening Goal in 45th Minute in First Ever U-20 Cap
* Freddy Adu Notches First Goal With Under-20s on Second Half Penalty Kick
* Head Coach Sigi Schmid Gets Victory in First Game Since Taking Over Under-20s
* Under-20s Will Face Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Lockhart Stadium at 7 p.m.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2004) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Sigi Schmid got a victory in his first game since taking over the team in late October, guiding the U.S. to a 2-0 win over Honduras this evening at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Preston Zimmerman and Freddy Adu scored as the Under-20s improved their international record this year to 3-4-4. 

The U.S. will face Mexico in their next match on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. ET at Lockhart Stadium. Mexico defeated Brazil 3-1 in the second match of the doubleheader this evening, scoring three goals in the second half as Brazil was reduced to eight men due to three expulsions.

Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Preston Zimmerman, who is currently in Residency with the Under-17s, battled tough for a full 90 minutes as the lone forward up top in his first Under-20 cap. Getting knocked to the ground numerous times in a rough first half that saw 22 fouls (11 by each team) and six cautions, Zimmerman continued to fight for balls with his back to the goal until his hard work paid moments before halftime.

With the ball near the top of the penalty area on the right side, midfielder Arturo Alvarez tried to feed Zimmerman in the box, but his pass was blocked by a Honduras defender. Fortunately for the U.S., deflected back off Alvarez and dropped into the box where Zimmerman pounced on the ball, cut slightly to his right to avoid another defender and slotted the ball perfectly inside the lower left post giving the ‘keeper no chance. The 15-yard strike was Zimmerman’s first goal with the Under-20s.

In the second half, Adu was able to give the U.S. some breathing room after putting home a penalty kick in the 79th minute. With the U.S. keeping possession in Honduras’ final third, a great hustle play by Greg Dalby kept the U.S. attack alive as he raced in to keep the ball away from a Honduras midfielder after a poor back pass from Zimmerman. After winning the ball, he calmly pushed it out wide left to Adu on the left wing. Adu took on defender Erick Norales, giving him a quick juke before pushing the ball to the left to get by him with ease and venture into the penalty area. In an effort to recover on the play, Norales tripped up Adu from behind and the official pointed to the spot. 

Due to the beginning of the NCAA Men’s College Cup kicking off this weekend, a number of the usual Under-20 players were not available for this match, forcing Schmid to put together a rather young and inexperienced squad against Honduras. Four players – Zimmerman, Dalby, Marvell Wynne and Ryan Soroka – received their first cap with the Under-20s tonight.

“I thought in the first half, Honduras had a bit more of the game even though we had a 1-0 lead,” said Schmid. “In the second half we did a better job of getting behind their defense. Considering the number of guys we are missing and that we’re looking at a few new guys, I was pleased with the result.”

With both teams struggling to get behind their opponent’s backline in the first half, the game turned ugly as fouls dominated the run of play over any creative chances on goal. Honduras outshot the U.S. 6-4 (4-2 in first half), but the U.S. had the better quality of chances as most of Honduras’ attempts were way off target and Quentin Westberg was only forced to make two saves on the night.

Westberg’s first save was huge though, as it came in the 20th minute and kept the match scoreless when the U.S. was struggling to find a rhythm. Patrick Phelan misjudged a long ball from the Honduras backline and Cesar Whity ran onto the loose ball near the top of the box. Westberg raced off his line and got there almost the same time as Whity as the forward was just able to get a toe to it, but Westberg had positioned himself well and the shot deflected off his leg to keep it out of the net.

While the U.S. offense sputtered during most of the game, the defensive play of its outside backs was impressive as both Wynne and Hunter Freeman slowed down the Honduras attacks on the wings and got involved in the attacking phase with stellar balls forward. Playing his first cap for the Under-20s, Wynne was probably the best player on the field at times as he helped the U.S. squelch any quality chances for Honduras.

“We wanted to get some kids in that we had some questions about such as Marvell Wynne, Greg Dalby and Hunter Freeman to see if they could play at this level,” said Schmid. “I think all three of those kids showed that they were three of our better kids tonight.”

In the second half, Schmid made one adjustment by taking out Guillermo Gonzalez and inserting Will John. The U.S. woke out of their slumber and began to produce chances, but still didn’t manage to put Honduras away.

Twice in the last 20 minutes of the match the U.S. broke down Honduras’ defense and served in balls across the six-yard box, but no one was able to get a foot to the pass and knock it home. The first came in the 70th minute when Freeman released Adu up the left flank and he raced in on goal before pushing it across the goalmouth where Zimmerman and Szetela were in the area, but neither could get to it. Twelve minutes later, Wynne played a perfect long ball down for Szetela on the right flank and he dribbled towards goal before knocking it across, but John was unable to stretch out for it.

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Competition: Friendly
Location: Lockhart Stadium; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Date: Nov. 19, 2004
Attendance: 2,000 (estimated)
Weather: Warm; 70 degrees
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. 

Statistical Summary:
                              USA        HON
Shots                       4              6                                                      
Shots on goal          2             3                
Saves                       2             0                                      
Corner Kick            4              5                 
Fouls                      22            23                      
Offside                     3             4         

Misconduct Summary:
HON – Fernando Cruz Avila (caution)          20th minute
HON – Rene Moncada (caution)                   26th
USA – Danny Szetela (caution)                    35th
USA – Freddy Adu (caution)                         38th
HON – Cesar Whity (caution)                       41st
USA – Hunter Freeman (caution)                 43rd
HON – Erick Norales (caution)                     51st
USA – Marvell Wynne (caution)                    57th 

Referee: Alex Prus (USA)
Assistant: Andre Pfefferkor (USA)
Assistant: Merrit Guthre (USA)
4th Official: Carlos Sandoval (USA)