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U.S. Under-17s Split Final Two Matches at Nike Club Tournament, Adu Scores Twice in Win by Younger Side

BRADENTON, Fla. (Sunday, December 2, 2001) - The United States Under-17 Men’s National Teams split two matches on Sunday to finish their play in the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  The younger U.S. side (players born in '86) topped FC Delco ('85s–'86s), the defending U.S. Youth Soccer National Champions, 4-1, behind two goals from Freddie Adu.  Later in the afternoon, the Colorado Rush used two early goals to top the older Under-17s, 2-1.

The U.S. finished the tournament with a combined 5-1 record.  Although the U.S. is finished with their matches, four more matches in the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament will be played on Monday.

U.S. Men’s Under-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach John Ellinger split his team into two squads for the tournament, producing an older team (players born in ’84 and ‘85) and a younger team (‘86s).  The younger group is made up of players preparing for the 2003 Under-17 World Championship.  Nine of the players began the residency program in September 2001.

The younger U.S. Side (‘86s) stole the show at the tournament, finishing undefeated with three wins in three games, while outscoring their older opponents 9-2.  Freddie Adu and Guillermo Gonzalez put on a display on Sunday, dazzling and dicing the FC Delco defense and combining for three goals and one assist.  Adu was fouled in the box in the 35th minute and converted the ensuing penalty kick.  After FC Delco pulled a goal back with a penalty kick goal of their own to start the second half, Adu and Gonzalez scored goals three minutes apart to seal the deal for the U.S. Under-17s.

Gonzalez recorded the assist on Adu’s second goal, but Adu deserves most of the credit.  He danced around two defenders in the left side of the penalty area, and then converted from a tight angle to finish one of the prettiest goals of the weekend.

Less than three minutes later, Gonzalez hammered home his first goal of the tournament, rocketing a shot that gave the FC Delco goalkeeper no chance.  Gonzalez hit the post once in each half before finally finding the net.  The goal was Gonzalez’s fifth of the year for the Under-17s.

Eddie Gaven put the U.S. on the board early, converting after Brandon Owens sent a long ball to Corey Ashe.  Ashe’s pass put Gaven in a position to score, and Gaven made no mistake in scoring his fifth goal with the Under-17s.

U.S. goalkeepers Adam Hahn and Phil Marfuggi each played one half.  Hahn made two nice saves in the second half to keep Delco at a distance.

The Colorado Rush ('83-84s) stunned the older U.S. Under-17s ('84s-'86s), scoring twice in the first 21 minutes and then withstanding a late push by the U.S.  Justin Mapp scored a beauty of a goal in the 66th minute, but it would be all the stout Rush defense would allow, as they put ten and eleven men behind the ball in the game’s final 20 minutes.  Mapp controlled the ball on the right wing, and then put the ball on his left foot and cut all the way across the center of the field and into the left side of the penalty box, where he rounded a final Rush defender and put a delicate chip into the far side of the net.

Adam Schuerman played well in the U.S. net, finishing with eight saves.

The match was the final game the '84-'85 group will play together as Under-17s.  The  group will leave Bradenton in mid-December at the conclusion of the school semester.  Most of the players will return to their hometowns to complete the school year.

The U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament will wrap up on Monday morning with four matches.  Complete results from the first three days of competition follows:

Complete Results: U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament
IMG Under-19s   1 Colorado Rush   1
U.S. Under-17s (‘86s)  3 Syracuse Blitz  1
Chicago Sockers    5 Blackwatch (NY)  0
U.S. Under-17s (‘84-85)  2 Houston Texans 1
IMG Under-17s  3 Richmond Strikers 0
Blackwatch (Fla.)  0 FC Delco Under-17s  5
Delco Under-15s  1 IMG Under-15s  2
Plantation  0  FC Delco Under-16s 1

Rush 8      Blackwatch (NY)  0
U.S. Under-17s (84-85) 3 Chicago Sockers   0
IMG Under-17s   2 Plantation   3
Delco Under-16s   4 Brandon  0
Syracuse Blitz  1  Texans  3
U.S. Under-17s   2 Richmond Strikers  0
Delco Under-15s 2 Blackwatch (Fla.)  0
IMG Under-19s  0 Chicago Sockers  1
Delco Under-17s 4 Naples  1

U.S. Under-17s   4   Delco U-16s    1
Rush   3                    Strikers   1
IMG U-19s  0          Texans   2
Delco U-17s  6        Chargers   1
Sockers   5               Blackwatch (FL)    0
Rush   2                    U.S. Under-17s  1


U.S. Under-17s (‘84-‘85s)  v Colorado Rush (‘83-‘84s)
December 2, 2001; 4 p.m.
Bradenton, Fla.

** Two 40-minute halves **

                      1     2     Final
U.S. U-17s
    0     1     1
Colorado       2     0     2

Scoring Summary:
COL – Stephen Goddard (Antonio Porras), 8.
COL – Marcus Ryan, 21.
USA – Justin Mapp, 66.

USA – 18-Adam Schuerman; 20-Eric Forbes, 6-Chris Lancos, 12-Gray Griffin, 8-John DiRaimondo (2-Guillermo Gonzalez, 64); 16-Craig Capano, 15-Jordan Stone, 17-Josh Villalobos (13-Eric Vogl, 41), 3-Justin Mapp; 7-Mike Magee, 10-Ed Johnson.

U.S. Under-17s (‘86s)  v   FC Delco Dynamo II (‘85-‘86s)
December 2, 2001; 10 a.m.
Bradenton, Fla.

** Two 40-minute halves **

                      1     2     Final
U.S. U-17s
    2     2     4
FC Delco       0     1     1

Scoring Summary:
Eddie Gaven (Corey Ashe), 16.
USA – Freddie Adu (penalty), 35.
FCD – Stephen King, 41.
USA – Freddie Adu (Guillermo Gonzalez), 52.
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (Mike Harrington), 55.

USA – 1-Phil Marfuggi (24-Adam Hahn, 41); 21-Drew Harrison, 13-Eric Vogl,  14-Brandon Owens, 11-Tomiwa Ogunsola; 23-Brian Grazier, 2-Guillermo Gonzalez, 4-Eddie Gaven, 19-Freddie Adu; 5-Mike Harrington, 9-Corey Ashe (22-Nicholas Colaluca, 41).

The 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship ended less than three months ago, and already the preparations for the 2003 World Championship are in full swing.  The younger U.S. Under-17 National Team playing in Bradenton this week is composed of players eligible for the 2003 World Championship.  In each daily tournament update from Bradenton, three of the younger U.S. Under-17s will be highlighted.   Today, meet forward Corey Ashe, midfielder Eddie Gaven and defender Eric Vogl.

Height: 5’5” Weight:  135
Birthdate:  March 14, 1986
Hometown:  Virginia Beach, Va.
Club:  Beach FC Impact

“Corey has excellent pace and quickness.  His speed reminds me a lot of DaMarcus Beasley.  He is a solid finisher and is one of our leading scorers right now.  He is a great team leader, and he will be one of our team captains.”
- U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team head coach John Ellinger

Wore the captain’s armband in the opening match of the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament … Has scored seven goals for the U.S. Under-17s … Has one goal and one assist in the Nike tourney … Scored the opening goal of the tournament for the U.S. in a 3-1 win against the Syracuse Blitz … Assisted on the opener in the 4-1 win against FC Delco … Played in all three matches with the Under-17s in Mexico in October – November … Started two of those matches … Began residency in September 2001 … A member of the 2001 U.S. Under-16 National Team pool … Member of the 2000 U.S. Under-14 National Team … Traveled to Mexico with the U.S. Under-14s in 2000.

Height:  6’0”  Weight:  145
Birthdate:  October 25, 1986
Hometown:  Hamilton, N.J.
Club:  Hibernians FC

“As an attacking center midfielder, Eddie is extremely creative.  He turns and goes forward very well with the ball, and he is an excellent finisher around the box.  He works very hard defensively and can win balls in the air.  As he develops physically, he’ll be a beast.” 
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger

Played every minute of all three games at the U.S. Soccer  / Nike Club Tournament … Scored the opening goal in the USA’s win against FC Delco … Has scored five goals with the Under-17s … Scored game-winning goals against Region II (‘85s) on November 26 and against Jacksonville University on Nov. 10 … Also scored against the Lakeland Lazers and Blackwatch … Played in all three matches in Mexico, starting two … Began the U.S. Soccer residency program in September 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-16 National Team in 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000 … Traveled with the Under-14s to Mexico in 2000. 
Height: 5’8” Weight:  140
Birthdate:  March 12, 1986
Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.
Club:  AFC Lightning

“Eric has worked very hard to learn the position as a central defender while being in residency.  He has good pace, is technically very good and is a heady, smart player.  He is great at reading situations and being able to cut down the attack.  Coming from an attacking background helps in that regard.” 
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger

Played each minute of each game with the Under-17s at the Nike tournament … Played in all three Under-17 matches in Mexico, starting one … Began the U.S. Soccer residency program in September 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-16 National Team in 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000 … Traveled with the Under-14s to Mexico in 2000. 

One of the highlights of the four-day U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament was the Coaching Symposium hosted by John Ellinger and his national staff coaches.  The three-day symposium came to an end on Sunday night with a talk from Ellinger.  The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team coach discussed the residency program as well as the preparations the U.S. Under-17s went through prior to the World Championship in Trinidad & Tobago in September.  Ellinger went in-depth, detailing the progression of the team from his first identification of the players to their first international game to their qualifying tournament and, finally, through the World Championship.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s Assistant Coach Peter Mellor opened the symposium on Friday night with a discussion about goalkeeping and lessons learned about U.S. goalkeepers at the World Championship. Trevor Moawad, a sports psychologist with IMG who has worked extensively with the U.S. Under-17s, spoke about the importance of the mental approach to the game.

The second symposium took place on Saturday night, with U.S.  National Staff coaches Juan Carlos Michia and Mike Haas.  Michia and Haas discussed the identification process for prospective national team players and the U.S. Under-14 National Team program.  Director of National Teams John Stelzer discussed the U.S. Youth National Teams and answered questions from the coaches in attendance on a variety of U.S. Soccer subjects.

The symposium was open to all state Directors of Coaching, college coaches, club coaches and administrators.  The three sessions were attended by more than 85 people.