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U.S. Under-20 MNT World Youth Championship Notes - Dec. 1, 2003

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
2003 FIFA World Youth Championship
Dec. 1, 2003 -- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

OFF TO A GOOD START: The U.S. couldn’t have put themselves in a better position after their 3-1 victory over Paraguay in their first match of the World Youth Championship. The win places the U.S. atop Group F, with South Korea sitting in second after downing Germany 2-0 in the late group game. The U.S. will face Germany in its second match of the tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The match kicks off at 5:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. ET) and will be televised live on Galavision in the Eastern (8:30 a.m.), Central (7:30 a.m.) and Mountain (6:30 a.m.) time zones. In the Pacific Time zone, the match will be televised tape delay, starting at 8:30 a.m. The match can also be followed live via’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. will finish Group F play against South Korea on Friday, Dec. 5.

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

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

Dec. 2
USA vs. Germany 5:45 p.m. local (8:45 a.m. ET), Televised live on Galavision 8:30 a.m. ET (PT delayed)
South Korea vs. Paraguay 8:30 p.m. local

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

A MALL IN THE MIDDLE EAST: The players got an unexpected treat today when head coach Thomas Rongen announced the team would have the chance to cruise the Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. Originally, it was set that the players would go between the second and third group matches, but the change was a resounding hit with the team as they haven’t had the chance to see much of the city. It was the first time he players got to wear something besides training gear, khakis, or a U.S. Soccer polo. No major purchases were made by any of the players, but there were plenty of shops, including big name stores found in the U.S., such as Ikea, The Body Shop, Watch House, Elle, Radio Shack, and Sand Sports. Forward Ed Johnson was tempted by the numerous watch stores, especially the Rolexes, but couldn’t pull the trigger.

GOLD, GOLD, GOLD: With the price of gold being cheaper in Abu Dhabi, some of the staff members took a trip to a gold center in the city. A couple pulled out their wallets to make some Christmas purchases for their loved ones, including team doctor, Dwite Dahms. The doc said he didn’t spend too much, but informed the rest of the staff that the price of the gold is about 25-30 percent less than it is back home.

NIGHT PRACTICE: The U.S. had its final practice before facing Germany this evening. After a 10-minute warm-up and stretch with assistant coach Cle Kooiman, the players played a game of 10v10 between the 18-yard lines, working on their passing, spacing and movement as a team. Rongen then had the team play a 6v6 half-field game with full-size goals and neutral players on the sidelines and endlines.

MAGEE, CONVEY HAVE PLAYS OF THE DAY: The second and third goals of the USA’s game against Paraguay by Mike Magee and Bobby Convey, respectively, were pencilled in as the "Play of the Day" by the FIFA Technical Officer in Abu Dhabi. The officer, former Argentine World Cup star Gabriel Caledron, chose the two goals as they completed the USA’s comeback after giving up a goal in the 6th minute of play. The Technical Study Group dissects every match of the World Youth Tournament and bestows compliments on good play. Here is what Caledron had to say about the two strikes: "The last two American goals were each as interesting as each other. The one that made it 2-1 came from a nice piece of skill from Ed Johnson on the right. He set his defender up nicely, slowed, dribbled and burst clear. His cross shot was excellent and even though the Paraguayan keeper Anthony Silva managed to keep it out, Mike Magee followed up well and finished. The goal for 3-1 was just as pleasing: picking up the ball thirty yards from goal on the right side of the attack where he was hugging the touchline, Bobby Convey cut in on a diagonal run and shook off his defender with a nice dummy. Silva got something on his cross shot but the ball still ended up in the corner."

CENTRAL DEFENDERS TALK ABOUT GERMANY: You’d think they’d get sick of each other. U.S. Under-20 central defenders Ryan Cochrane and Chad Marshall seem to be basically attached at the hip. On the field they play next to each other, off the field they sleep next to each other (on separate beds of course), even the states they grew up in – California for Marshall and Oregon for Cochrane – are next to each other. Luckily for the team, the two college standouts like each other, and it shows on the field. The defenders have been the rock in a constantly changing backline, as during their two years with the Under-20s there have been numerous players to their right and left. With 83 appearances between them, the roomies will be a crucial element in handling the rough and tumble play of Germany. Click below to read about what Marshall and Cochrane had to say about their second match of the World Youth Championship.



World Youth Championship Facts:
Games Played
– 26
Wins – 13
Losses – 8
Ties – 5
Goals Scored – 47
Goals Against – 27
Points – 31
Tournaments – 1981, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2001
Best Finish – 1981 – 1st place
Against U.S. - 1987 (Federal Republic of Germany beat the USA 2-1)

LOOK OUT FOR: He may be small on height at 5’5", but Germany’s Piotr Trochowski is considered to be one of the team’s most important players. The midfielder scored three goals with the U-16s in the European Championship in 2001, and was a standout at the U-19 European Championship last year in Norway as Germany advanced to the final. He had played at smaller clubs before being signed by Bayern Munich in 1999, getting three appearances with the first team last year.

A FIGHTING SPIRIT: Just because the Germans fell to South Korea in their first game 2-0, don’t expect them to sleep walk through its match with the U.S. This German team has a never-say-die spirit, which was most evident when they clawed their way to the European Youth Championship final. Trailing 3-1 against England in their first group match, before getting two goals in injury time to snag a draw and a crucial one point. Germany then went on to defeat Ireland 3-0 and Belgium 2-1, before finally falling to Spain 1-0 in the final.

A VERSATILE TEAM: Head coach Uli Stielke is known to make a number of substitutes and changes during a game. He frequently moves between 44-2, 3-5-2 and 3-4-3. At the U-19 European Championship. Stielike made up to six changes per game, providing his team an element of surprise.

TWO FINALS, BUT LITTLE AFTER: Germany has advanced to the World Youth Championship twice in six appearances. The Germans raised the trophy in 1981 in Australia, and reached the final again in 1987, only to lose to Yugoslavia on penalties. Since 1987 though, the Mannschaft have only gotten past the first round once (2001) in four attempts (1993, 199, 1999, 2001).