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U-20 MNT to Face Group-Leaders Poland in Second Match of 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup


Under-20 Men's National Team
FIFA U-20 World Cup Game Notes
July 2, 2007 - Montreal Canada

GAME TWO ON TAP: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is set to face Poland (quotes) in the second game of the group stage on Tuesday, July 3 at 5 p.m. from Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Another sold-out crowd is expected to be on hand for the Group D double-header, as Brazil will take on Korea Republic at 7:45 p.m. ET. Tuesday’s match will be shown live on ESPNU and Galavision, and fans can follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

POLAND ON TOP: The U.S. currently sits tied for second place in Group D after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with South Korea. In the tournament’s biggest upset so far, Poland defeated Brazil, 1-0, on Saturday and, with three points, is on top of the group. Playing with just 10 men after the 27th minute ejection of Krysztof Krol, the Polish squad made Grzegorz Krychowiak’s 23rd minute free kick goal stand up for the win. With zero points coming into Tuesday night, Brazil currently sits in fourth place. The top two teams in Group D will advance to the quarterfinals, and possibly the third place team as the four best third-place teams in the 24-team tournament will advance to the Round of 16.

USA's FIFA U-20 World Cup Schedule - Group D
Date          Match-up                                 Venue         Kickoff (ET)     Television
June 30    Korea Republic 1, USA 1     Montreal
July 3        USA vs. Poland                      Montreal      5 p.m.              ESPNU/Galavision
July 6        Brazil vs. USA                         Ottawa         7:45 p.m.        ESPNU/Galavision

2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup – Group D Standings 
                 W   L   T   GF  GA   GD  Pts.
POL         1    0   0     1     0     +1   3
USA         0    0    1    1     1       0   1 
KOR        0    0     1   1     1       0    1
BRA        0     1     0   0     1     -1    0

QUICK HITS:

  • Danny Szetela’s goal against South Korea in the first game of the World Cup was his first with the U-20s since 2005, when he scored a first-half goal against Costa Rica in the final qualifier before the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship (now called the FIFA Under-20 World Cup)
  • Since 2006, this group of U.S. U-20s holds a 9-6-5 record in international play. The U.S. is 5-2-3 this year
  • So far in 2007, the U.S. has outscored their opponents, 18-10
  • Freddy Adu leads the team in scoring in 2007, with four goals and three assists
  • There are 14 players on the roster who play professionally in either Europe or Major League Soccer, more than any other U.S. team in Under-20 World Cup history
  • Three players on the roster, Freddy Adu, Nathan Sturgis and Danny Szetela, played in the 2005 edition of the Under-20 World Cup. Adu will become just the second player to ever appear in three Under-20 World Cups, as he was also part of the 2003 squad at age 14
  • The U.S. advanced to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after January’s CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. defeated Haiti, 4-1, drew, 0-0, with Guatemala and then cruised past Panama, 5-0 to finish at the top of their group
  • This is Rongen's second stint as the head coach of the U.S. Under-20s. Rongen also coached the team to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, guiding them to an impressive fifth place finish
  • Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu are the only two players on the team who have caps with the senior national team. Bradley was part of the Gold Cup Champions’ roster, starting all but one game leading up to the Final

ADU MAKES HISTORY: By starting for the U.S. against South Korea, Adu officially became just the second player to ever participate in his third FIFA U-20 World Cup, joining Al Roomi of Saudi Arabia (1985, 1987, 1989). Adu has actually played in nine straight U-20 World Cup matches for the U.S., starting in eight straight (he came on as a substitute in his first-ever appearance against Germany in 2003). Although in terms of matches played, Adu is still far behind the Uruguayan Cesar Pellegrin (14 appearances in two tournaments - 1997 and 1999). Adu could sit alone in the record books by appearing in a fourth tournament in two years time.

12 SEE TIME, TWO SEE YELLOW: Head coach Thomas Rongen only made on substitution against South Korea, bringing on Dax McCarty for goal-scorer Danny Szetela in the 52nd minute, meaning only 11 of the 19 field players have been used so far. Of those 11, midfielder Danny Szetela and forward Robbie Rogers were the only players to receive yellow cards during the USA’s first match. If either receives another caution against Poland they would be suspended for their next match against Brazil.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (F.C. Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo
(UCLA)

POLISH QUALIFICATION: The 2006 Under-19 European Championship, which served as qualification for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, was hosted by Poland, and did not begin well for the home team. They lost, 1-0, to Austria before topping Belgium, 4-1, in their second game. With six tickets to Canada allowed for the UEFA region, by finishing in third place in their group Poland had already qualified for the World Cup before losing in the quarterfinals to the Czech Republic.

Poland World Cup Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bartosz Bialkowski (Southampton), Premyslaw Tyton (Gomik Leczna), Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal)
DEFENDERS (9): Ben Starosta (Sheffield United), Jaroslaw Fojut (Bolton FC), Krysztof Strugarek (LKS Lomza), Adam Danch (Gomik Zabrze), Adrian Marek (Zaglebie Sosnowiec), Damian Raczka (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jakub Szalek (KP Police), Macief Dabrowski (Victoria Koronowo), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Bordeaux)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Artur Marciniak (GKS Belchatow), Jakub Feter (Balusz) Mariusz Sacha (Podbeskidzie Beilsho-Biala), Tomasz Cywka (Wigan)
FORWARDS (5): Krysztof Krol (Real Madrid), Patryk Malecki (Wisla Krakow), Lukasz Janoszka (Ruch Chorzow), Dawid Janczyk (Legia Warsaw), Pawel Adamiec (Zdroj Ciechocinek)

REVISITING POLAND IN MEXICO: The USA and Poland have met twice in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, with the U.S. facing the European power in their first two appearances in 1981 and 1983. Both games were the third and final matches of group play (the U.S. did not advance to the second round in either tournament). In 1981 in Australia, the U.S. were soundly defeated by the Poles, 4-0, while 1983 in Mexico the U.S. cut the goals against in half, but were still shutout, 2-0. In 1983, Poland went on to eventually finish in third place, which is still the best finish ever for a Polish side.

ALL_ACCESS WITH THE U-20S: With Studio 90 providing updates from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, ussoccer.com will provide unprecedented coverage of the team in its campaign to win a world championship. Check out the comments from some of the U-20 players after their 1-1 draw with South Korea in the July 2 edition of Studio 90 , and then click on episodes and go to the June 30 edition to take a look at the team training in Olympic Stadium and meet all the players.

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