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U.S. Under-20 MNT World Youth Championship Notes - Dec. 4, 2003


U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
2003 FIFA World Youth Championship
Dec. 4, 2003 -- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

SECOND ROUND GOAL: The U.S. holds its destiny in its hands. With a win or a tie against South Korea this evening, the U.S. is guaranteed to advance to the second round. The U.S. kick off against South Korea at 8:30 p.m. local (11:30 a.m. ET) at Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The match will be televised tape delayed on Galavision at 1:30 p.m. ET & PT, but can be followed live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. will know what result is needed in the match, as the game kicks off almost three hours after Paraguay-Germany (8:45 a.m. ET kickoff). Coming into the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, the U.S. knew Group F, with Paraguay, Germany and South Korea, would be a tight race. After two games, it couldn’t be any closer as all three teams are sitting at three points and goal differential and goals scored are determining the standings. The U.S. is in second place with a zero goal differential, behind group leaders South Korea, who have a goal differential of +1. Germany, who beat the U.S. 3-1 on Tuesday night, also has a zero goal differential, but is sitting in third place as they have are behind the U.S. in the next tiebreaker – goals scored. Germany has only notched three goals, while the U.S. has four. Paraguay bounced back after falling to the U.S. 3-1 in the first match, to topple Korea 1-0, but has a –1 goal differential and sits in last place.

2003 FIFA World Youth Championship – Group F
Team            GP W  L  T GF GA +/- Pts
South Korea   2   1   1  0  2     1   1    3
USA              2   1   1  0  4     4   0    3
Germany       2   1   1  0  3     3   0    3
Paraguay       2   1   1  0  2     3  -1    3

Nov. 29
USA 3
, Paraguay 1 (Johnson, Magee, Convey)
Germany 0, South Korea 2

Dec. 2
USA 1, Germany 3
South Korea 0, Paraguay 1

Dec. 5
Germany vs. Paraguay 5:45 p.m. local
USA vs. South Korea 8:30 p.m. local (11:30 a.m. ET), Televised tape delay on Galavision 1:30 ET & PT

IN A GOOD POSITION: After two games, the U.S. was tied for first with four goals scored, but had done in with the least shots on goal (12) than any other team. The four goals will also serve the U.S. well as goals scored is the second tiebreaker.

U.S. Goal Scorers
Date       Opponent     Goal Scorers
Nov. 29   Paraguay     Ed Johnson, Mike Magee, Bobby Convey
Dec. 2    Germany      Zak Whitbread

CAUTION AHEAD: The U.S. has four players with who have received yellow cards during the first two matches. Ricardo Clark, Steve Cronin, Zak Whitbread and Santino Quaranta all saw the referee reach into his back pocket. Those four players need to be careful as a second yellow in this final Group F game would require them to sit in the Round of 16 match.

NOT ACTING LIKE ROOKIES: To say the MetroStars had a good draft in 2003 is an understatment. Clark and Magee, the second and fourth picks overall, respectively, didn't keep the bench warm and learn from watching during their rookie campaings. The two U.S. Under-20 MNT players got significant minutes (Clark led the team) and contributed on the scoreboard (Magee had seven goals). The two took the time to talk about their first-year experiences and what their looking forward to next year - besides not carrying the veteran's bags.

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GOT ONE BRACKET COVERED: The U.S. Under-20 MNT has one entire bracket of the NCAA Div. I Men’s Soccer Championship with UCLA (Jordan Harvey), Indiana (Ned Grabavoy and Drew Moor), Santa Clara (Steve Cronin and Ryan Cochrane) and Michigan (Knox Cameron) all battling it out to move on to the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio. With Indiana meeting UCLA and Santa Clara taking on Michigan, it is guaranteed that at least one Under-20 MNT player will see his team advance to the final at Crew Stadium on Dec. 14. Below is a list of the relevant team’s opponent in the Elite Eight.

2003 NCAA Div. 1 Men’s College Soccer Championship
Fourth Round (games to be played Dec. 6)

Jordan Harvey (UCLA -- 20-1-1) vs. Ned Grabavoy and Drew Moor (Indiana -- 14-3-5)

Knox Cameron (Michigan -- 14-6-1) vs. Steve Cronin and Ryan Cochrane (Santa Clara -- 15-3-3)

EGYPTIAN FANS COME IN DROVES: The organizing committee of the Dubai Groups of the FIFA World Youth Championship have decided to install a giant screen outside the main stadium at Al Nasr Club for tomorrow’s match between Egypt and Japan to accommodate the large number of Egyptian fans that have made the trip to watch their side compete in Group D. The organizers came under pressure to find a way to provide viewing for the abundance of Egyptian fans after over 3,000 spectators were unable to find seats in the fully packed stadium. For Tuesday night’s match between Egypt and England, fourteen thousand people were estimated to have entered the stadium, which has a capacity of 11-12,000 spectators. The matches are free for people as General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence, purchased every ticket to the matches in Dubai.

ALL ABOUT SOUTH KOREA:

World Youth Championship Facts:
Games Played
– 27
Wins – 7
Losses – 12
Ties – 8
Goals Scored – 31
Goals Against – 49
Points – 29
Tournaments – 1979, 1981, 1983, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999
Best Finish – 1983 (4th place)
Against U.S. – One meeting in third match of group play in Australia ’93, ending in a 2-2 draw.


LOOK OUT FOR: Korea’s tandem of Kim Dong-Hyun and sidekick Jung Jo-Gook will be a handful for the U.S. defense. Gook, who plays his club football for Chunggu High School, has the speed and strength to create havoc for an entire 90 minutes. Comparisons have been drawn with the great Anderlecht striker, Ki-Hyeon Seol, and even with Christian Vieri. His height and ability in the air, along with his never-say-die attitude earned him the Player of the Tournament at the Asian Youth Championship in Qatar, where he netted five times.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: South Korea advanced to the 2003 World Youth Championship in route of a dramatic golden goal by Jung Jo-Gook seven minutes into extra-time at Al Arabi Stadium in Doha, Qatar, which gave South Korea a 1-0 victory over Japan and the 2002 AFC U-20 championship. The win provided Korea with their 10th AFC U-20 championship. With two wins and a tie in Group C of the final round, South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals and whipped overmatched India 7-0 to move on to the semifinals. Korea was never behind in the semifinal, going up 1-0 at halftime and holding on for a 2-1 win. Strikers Kim Dong-Hun and Jo-Gook were a formidable pair during the tournament as they combined to score seven of the team’s 13 goals. Korea’s defense, led by Lim You-hwan, was even more impressive as it only allowed one goal against in six matches.

2003 AFC UNDER-20 Championship – Group A
Team GP W L T GF GA +/- Pts
South Korea 3 2 0 1 3 0 3 7
Uzbekistan 3 2 1 0 9 6 3 6
Qatar 3 1 2 0 7 8 -1 3
Thailand 3 0 2 1 2 7 -5 1
Group A Matches
Oct. 15, 2002 South Korea 1, Qatar 0
Oct. 18, 2002 South Korea 2, Uzbekistan 0
Oct. 21, 2002 South Korea 0, Thailand 0

Quarterfinals
Oct. 25, 2002 South Korea 7, India 0
Semifinals
Oct. 29, 2002 South Korea 2, Saudi 1
|Finals
Oct. 31, 2002 South Korea 1, Japan 0

LUCKY ENDING IN THREE: With this year’s World Youth Championship being held in 2003, it could be a lucky one for South Korea. Both years in which the Asian side has made the knockout stages – 1983 and 1993 – end in three. They reached the semi-finals in Mexico 20 years ago and the quarters ten years later.

POOR DEFENSE: South Korea has one of the worst defensive records in the World Youth Championship, conceding 49 goals in 27 matches, making them the fourth in most goals allowed. Australia owns the negative record with 59 conceded in 42 matches.

TOP ASIAN NATION: Korea Republic has taken part in these championships more than any other Asian nation with now eight appearances. Saudi Arabia and Japan are in joint second place with five appearances.

JOINED FORCES: In 1991, North and South Korea teamed up for the one and only time.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "There was a lot of trash-talking going on in that house. And even though we were outnumbered, we held our own."
  -- Paul Cronin, starting goalkeeper Steve Cronin’s father, talking about his and his wife Jan’s stay at a friends house in Germany before making the trip over to UAE. Their friend’s son plays on the Germany U-18 Men’s National Team.

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