L'ALCUDIA, Spain (Saturday, August 24, 2002) - A ten-man United States Under-20 Men's National Team fought valiantly and led midway through the second half, but surrendered two late goals to lose 2-1 to an older Brazil team in the opening match of the C.O.T.I.F XIX Torneig Internacional in L'Alcunia, Spain. David Johnson gave the U.S. the lead in the 52nd minute, but Brazil scored twice in a three-minute span to pull out the come-from-behind victory.
The U.S. squad next takes on Italy on Monday at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET).
“I was pleased with our effort tonight against a talented Brazilian team, but I was not pleased with the result”, said U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen. “We did do certain things well in this game, and I think we gave ourselves a nice point to start at, and now we need to build on this for the coming games.”
The U.S. went to ten men when defensive midfielder Ricardo Clark was shown his second caution of the match in the 34th minute. The 80-minute match was a scrappy one that produced 25 fouls and seven cards, as well as countless other crunching tackles.
A tough U.S. backline, anchored by the solid play of centerbacks Chad Marshall and Ryan Cochrane, held Brazil scoreless for the first hour. Marshall and Cochrane seemed to win everything in their area and forced the South Americans into launching shots from well outside the penalty area.
The U.S. shocked the crowd when they went ahead early in the 52nd minute. Eddie Johnson’s defensive work gave the U.S. the ball deep in Brazil’s half. Defender C.J. Klaas launced a cross from the right side that found David Johnson running to the back post in the penalty area. David Johnson, playing in just his fourth match with the Under-20s, outjumped Edno at the backpost and headed the ball back across the goal, giving Brazilian goalkeeper Diego no chance.
Brazil answered shortly thereafter, scoring in the 63rd and again in the 66th minute. Tavares equalized in the 63rd minute, taking the ball down with his chest and hitting a half volley past a diving Steve Cronin. Walker gave the Brazilians the lead minutes later when his blast from outside the penalty area took a deflection that left Cronin stranded with no chance to make a save.
The U.S. nearly pulled out an injury-time equalizer on the final corner kick of the game. Eddie Johnson’s header was cleared from the goalmouth, and Cronin – who came all the way into the Brazilian penalty area for the corner kick – hit the rebound just high of the goal.
Eddie Johnson also had the USA’s best chance early, rising above two Brazilian defenders to head a David Johnson cross inches wide of the near post. The Dallas Burn forward caused problems all evening long for the Brazilian defense with his speed.
The U.S. does not play on Sunday, but will return to the field to play Italy on Monday at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET). Italy was scheduled to face Ukraine late Saturday night. The U.S. and Ukraine meet on Tuesday at 10 p.m. local time.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals on August 28. Each team will play their final game on August 29, with the semifinal winners meeting for the championship, the semifinal losers playing for third place, the two third-place finishers from each group playing for fifth place and the two fourth-place finishers from each group playing for seventh place.
The C.O.T.I.F. tournament will be the Under-20s final international games before World Youth Championship qualifying kicks off at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., from November 13-17. The top two teams from the four-team qualifying tournament in Charleston will qualify for the 2003 World Youth Championship in United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003.
Notes: The U.S. wore blue jerseys with white shorts and white socks, while Brazil wore their traditional yellow-blue-white strip … Brazil kicked off to start the game … Under tournament rules, Clark will not be suspended for the USA’s next match … Players are only suspended for straight red cards or three cautions across the entire tournament … Steve Cronin was forced to switch jerseys (from grey to black) prior to the game, as the Brazilian ‘keeper was wearing the same goalkeeper shirt … Devin Barclay wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. ... Steve Cronin is the only U.S. player to play every minute of all six international matches in 2002.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report
Participants: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team (‘83s) vs. Brazil (‘82s)
Competition: C.O.T.I.F XIX Torneig Internacional
Location: L’Alcudia, Spain
Date: August 24, 2002
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny
** Match Played With 40-minute Halves**
Scoring Summary: 1st - 2nd - Final
United States 0 - 1 - 1
Brazil 0 - 2 - 2
USA – David Johnson (C.J Klaas), 52.
BRA – Tavares, 63.
BRA – Walker (Caca) 66.
USA - 1-Steve Cronin; 4-Chefik Simo (20-Mike Magee, 74), 5-Ryan Cochrane, 14-Chad Marshall, 8-C.J. Klaas; 3-Justin Mapp (2-Jordan Stone, 41), 11-Ricardo Clark, 10-Ned Grabavoy (17-Raul Palomares, 64), 15-David Johnson; 13-Devin Barclay, 7-Eddie Johnson.
Subs not used: 6-Jordan Harvey, 12-Chris Lancos, 16-Knox Cameron, 18-Ford Williams, 19-Mike Ambersley, 21-Craig Capano.
BRA - 1-Diego; 2-Daniel (13-Vinicius, 60), 3-Marquinhos, 4-Glauber, 5-Walker; 6-Edno, 8-Dudu (16-Krauss, 60), 10-Caca, 11-Alberoni (17-Marcelo, 54); 9-Bruno Moraes (15-Wendel, 74), 7-Tavares.
Subs not used: 12-Rougger, 14-Jean, 18-Leandro, 19-Ygor.
Statistical Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 6 / 13
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kick: 2 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 14
Offside: 2 / 2
USA – Ricardo Clark (caution), 16.
USA – Ricardo Clark (caution), 34.
USA – Ricardo Clark (ejection), 34.
USA – Ed Johnson (caution), 57.
BRA – Walker (caution), 65.
BRA – Krauss (caution), 67.
BRA – Tavares (caution), 69.