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U.S. Under-17s Top Older Panama Squad, 5-1, Face Uruguay for 5th Place on Saturday

CAMPOS, Brazil (Friday, March 8, 2002) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will play Uruguay on Saturday for 5th place at the Mundialito Joao Havelange in Campos, Brazil. The United States has the youngest team in the entire tournament, with the U.S. team being an average of one year younger than their opponents. 


Nonetheless, the U.S. rebounded from losses to Angola and Brazil to paste Panama 5-1 in the final match of group play to earn a spot in the fifth-place game.  U.S. midfielders Guillermo Gonzalez and John DiRaimondo each scored two goals and defender Brandon Owens added one goal in the win.


The U.S. drew the unenviable task of playing an older Brazil team in Brazil in the opening match.  The U.S. played well, but were overmatched and fell 0-4.  The U.S. then faced Angola, and lost 1-2, with Drew Harrison netting the lone U.S. goal. 


Brazil and Bolivia meet in the tournament final on Sunday.  Mexico and Angola play for third place on Saturday, with Mozambique and Panama playing for seventh place earlier in the day.


The U.S. will return to the States following the conclusion of the Mundialito and will play a series of friendlies before departing for an international tournament in Montaigue, France. A complete schedule of the Montaigue Tournament is expected to be announced in the next week.