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U.S. U-17 MNT Enters Knock-out Phase of U-17 World Cup Thursday, August 30 Against Germany at 7 a.m. on ESPNU


U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup
Cheonan, South Korea
August 29, 2007

WIN OR GO HOME: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team enters the knockout stage with their Round of 16 game against Germany on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) live on ESPNU. The match will also be replayed at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU, and fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The team advanced through Group E as the second-place finisher, with a two-goal victory over Belgium on Sunday (Aug. 26).

STARTING XI: With forward Billy Schuler unavailable for Thursday’s game due to accumulation of yellow cards, head coach John Hackworth will use his fourth different starting lineup in as many games. Daniel Wenzel and Mykell Bates picked up one yellow card each in the first round, but their slate is wiped clean prior to the match against Germany. So far, 20 out of 21 players have seen minutes on the field, with goalkeeper Larry Jackson the only player to not yet hit the pitch.
U.S. Under-17 World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.)
FORWARDS (5): Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Abdusalam Ibrahim (FC Dallas.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.), Daniel Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.)

BIRD WATCHING: Back in April, when the roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament was announced, Kirk Urso wasn’t a part of it. Obviously disappointed, he watched as the U.S. qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup with one goal in mind: work harder to improve his game and keep his confidence up in order make his dream of playing in a World Cup a reality. Now, after scoring the game-winner against Belgium to help the U.S. advance to the second round of the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Kirk Urso told Center Circle about his journey thus far.

WE MEET AGAIN: The United States and Germany met just a little more than a month ago, with the U.S. coming away with a 3-1 victory on July 20 in Geissen, Germany. Gregory Garza, Ellis McLoughlin and Alex Nimo all scored in the first half to lead the U.S. to victory. The U.S. opened scoring in the 18th minute when McLoughlin flicked the ball to Garza on the left side, and the midfielder was able to beat German goalkeeper Fabien Giefer to the left side of the goal. In the 24th minute, Bryan Dominguez found McLoughlin on the left side of the field, and Giefer came out to try and intercept the pass. McLoughlin was able to touch it around him and put the U.S. up by two. Just three minutes later, Sheannon Williams played a brilliant ball into the corner to Billy Schuler, who ran onto the ball and found Nimo at the top of the penalty area. Nimo took a touch on the ball and fired a shot that beat Giefer to make it 3-0. Sacha Bigalke scored the lone for Germany in the second half.

ALL_ACCESS WITH THE U17S: Already, the Round of 16 has proven that anything can happen. After two losses in the Group Stage, the U.S. rebounded back against Belgium and is going into the knockout stage with a clean slate. Check out how the team is preparing mentally and physically for the must-win game against Germany in ussoccer'com's exclusive all_access feature.

LAST TEAM STANDING: One of only two teams to earn the maximum nine points in the first round, Group E winner Tunisia fell on Wednesday night in their Round of 16 game against France, 3-1. Tajikistan, Group E’s third-place finisher, battled Peru through two overtimes, and eventually fell on penalty kicks (5-4), leaving the U.S. as the last Group E representative in the Round of 16. Other results from the Round of 16 include Ghana upsetting the tournament favorites, Brazil, by a score of 1-0. Brazil led the tournament with 14 goals in the first round.
Final Group E Standings
Team           W   L   T    GF  GA   GD   Pts
Tunisia         3   0   0     8      3     +5     9
USA              1   2    0     6      7     -1      3
Tajikistan    1   2    0     4      5     -1      3
Belgium       1   2   0     3       6     -3     3
Complete Standings

USA ON ESPNU: ESPNU has been providing live coverage of the USA during the U-17 World Cup and replaying the games in the afternoon during their exclusive English-language coverage of the World Cup. ESPNU and ESPN360.com will eventually combine to present all 52 matches. ESPNU will televise 23 matches total, including the championship on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5:45 a.m. ET, while ESPN360.com broadcasted 29 matches from the round robin stage.
U.S. FIFA U-17 World Cup Television Schedule
Date         Opponent      Result          Time (ET)          Venue             TV
Aug. 20    Tajikistan      3-4 L             6:45 a.m.           Changwon     ESPNU 
Aug. 23    Tunisia          1-3 L             3:45 a.m.           Changwon     ESPN2/ESPNU/Galavison
Aug. 26    Belgium         2-0 W           2:45 a.m.           Cheonan        ESPNU/Galavision
Aug. 30    Germany                             6:45 a.m.           Cheonan        ESPNU
Full World Cup Schedule

INSIDER’S BLOG: Want to get all the scoop on what the U-17s are up to while in South Korea? Look no further than ussoccer.com’s U-17 MNT Blog, which will make it feel like you’re in the locker room, sitting at a team meal, sleeping at the hotel, riding on the team bus, training on the field with the team and, well, you get the picture.

QUICK HITS 

  • Josh Lambo’s shutout against Belgium was the first for a U.S. team at the FIFA U-17 World Cup since a 1-0 win over Belgium in 1999
  • Five different players have scored goals for the U.S. through three games: Mykell Bates (2), Gregory Garza, Jared Jeffrey, Billy Schuler and Kirk Urso.
  • Bates leads the team with two goals so far in the tournament, both coming off headers from Garza corner kicks.
  • Schuler’s 53rd minute goal against Tajikistan night was his sixth of the year, adding to his team-leading total in 2007
  • Schuler also leads the team in caps this year with 19
  • Jeffrey scored his third goal of the year with his 90th minute penalty kick against Tunisia, to move to third on the team in goals scored this year, behind only Schuler and Ellis McLoughlin
  • The U.S. is 2-2-4 all-time against European teams in their previous 11 FIFA Under-17 World Cup appearances. The U.S. faced East Germany in the 1989 tournament, falling 5-2 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • Germany has scored 11 goals in the tournament, and all but two have come in the first half. The other two were scored in the opening minutes of the second half against Colombia, and in second-half stoppage time in a 5-0 rout of Trinidad & Tobago.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Germany has been one of the highest scoring teams in South Korea with 11 goals through the first three games. After a 3-3 draw with Colombia to open their World Cup campaign, the Germans held up a 3-0 halftime lead to beat Ghana, 3-2. Germany sealed the top spot in Group F with a 5-0 drubbing of Trinidad & Tobago. The Germans booked their ticket for South Korea as the fifth-place team in UEFA Qualifying.
Germany Under-17 World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Fabian Giefer (Bayer Leverkusen), Rene Vollath (Nuremberg), Kevin Trapp (Kaiserslautern)
DEFENDERS (5): Kai Evers (Borrussia Dortmund), Jonas Strifler (TSG Hoffenheim), Nils Teixeira (Bayer Leverkusen), Mattias Haas (Bayern Munich), Mario Erb (Bayer Leverkusen)
MIDFIELERS (9): Konstantin Rausch (Hannover 96), Kevin Wolze (Bolton Wanders), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Tony Jantschke (Borrussia Moenchengladbach), Sebastian Rudy (VfB Stuttgart), Sascha Bigalke (Hertha Berlin), Patrick Funk (VfB Stuttgart), Mehmet Ekici (Bayren Munich), Sascha Bigalke (Hertha Berlin)
FORWARDS (4): Henning Sauerbier (Bayer Leverkusen), Richard Sukuta-Pasu (Bayer Leverkusen), Dennis Dowidat (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Fabian Broghammer (TSG Hoffenheim)

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