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U.S. U-20 MNT Prepares for Guatemala in Second Group A Qualifying Match

U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
Panama City, Panama
January 18, 2007

WIN AND IN: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has the opportunity to solidify a spot in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a victory over Guatemala on Friday, Jan. 19, in their second match in Group A of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama, and fans can follow the match live on GolTV and’s MatchTracker. The 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place in Canada from June 30-July 22 across six cities – Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria.

U.S. IN FIRST PLACE AFTER OPENING GAMES: The U.S. sits atop Group A of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with three points after a 4-1 dismantling of Haiti in their opening match. Guatemala and Panama are tied for second place with one point each after drawing 1-1 in their opening match, which was the late game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. On Friday, Panama and Haiti will battle in the second match of the doubleheader, kicking off at 8:30 p.m. ET.

2007 Final Round CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament
Team   GP   W   L    T   GF   GA   GD   Pts.
USA       1     1    0    0     4      1     +3      3
PAN       1     0    0    1     1      1       0      1
GUA       1     0    0    1     1      1       0      1
HAI         1     0    1    1     1      4       -3      0

Wednesday, Jan. 17
USA 4, Haiti 1
Panama 1, Guatemala 1

Friday, Jan. 19
USA vs. Guatemala 6:30 p.m. ET
Panama vs. Haiti 8:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Jan. 21
Guatemala vs. Haiti 4 p.m. ET
USA vs. Panama 6 p.m. ET

U.S.-GUATEMALA LIVE ON GOLTV: All four of the remaining games in Group A will be televised on GolTV, with the U.S.-Guatemala match being shown live. The other three matches, including the USA’s final match against host Panama, will be shown same-day delay. The U.S.-Panama kickoff is at 6 p.m. ET, but GolTV’s broadcast will be delayed by an hour, kicking off at 7 p.m. ET.

Gol TV U-20 Qualifying Broadcast
Date          Match-up                        Time (ET)
Jan. 19      USA vs. Guatemala     6:30 p.m. (live)
Jan. 19      Panama vs. Haiti         9 p.m. (SDD)
Jan. 21      USA vs. Panama          7 p.m. (SDD)
Jan. 21      Guatemala vs. Haiti     9 p.m. (SDD)

LOOKING TO BREAK OWN RECORD: The U.S. is attempting to qualify for a CONCACAF record sixth straight FIFA U-20 World Cup, and their 11th overall. The current record, held by the U.S. and Mexico, is five straight. If the U.S. does break the record, it would stand alone in CONCACAF as Mexico failed to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2005 in the Netherlands.

GOING FOR SECONDS: The U.S. also has the chance to repeat a feat they pulled off for the first time ever in 2005: Go undefeated and finish in sole possession of first place in CONCACAF qualifying. With victories over Trinidad & Tobago (6-1), Panama (2-0) and Costa Rica (2-0) in the 2005 edition at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., the U.S. finished with nine points. The U.S. finished tied for first place on points two other times in 1998 and 2001, both times with Costa Rica, with tie-breakers needed to determine the final standings.

AKPAN IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Andre Akpan’s hat trick was only the third ever by a U.S. player in U-20 qualifying, joining Ricky Davis and Eddie Gaven. Davis scored three goals against the Dominican Republic in a 9-0 win in 1976, while Gaven pulled off the feat in the USA’s last opening game of U-20 qualifying in 2005 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., tallying three against Trinidad & Tobago. Richard West of Jamaica has the most goals during a CONCACAF qualifying match with four in Jamaica's 12-0 win over Antigua & Barbuda on Aug. 21, 2004.

U.S. Hat Tricks in CONCACAF Qualifying
Date                      Player                 Opponent                        Result
Sept. 26, 1976     Ricky Davis       Dominican Republic    9-0
Jan. 12, 2005       Eddie Gaven    Trinidad & Tobago        6-1
Jan. 17, 2007       Andre Akpan     Haiti                                 4-1

THOMAS RONGEN COACHCAST: You've seen the final stats and have read the players' reaction to their 4-1 win vs. Haiti on Wednesday night, but the there's nothing like the head coach's perspective. In this exclusive CoachCast, U-20 MNT boss Thomas Rongen dissects the intricacies of the Haiti match, covering every angle, and then some. Hear what Rongen liked about his team's performance, as well as some areas that need to be buttoned up as the U.S. prepares to meet Guatemala on Friday.

QUALIFYING BLOG: As the U-20 MNT looks ahead to its second Group A match vs. Guatemala, there's no doubt that the team remains focused and yet relaxed. Check out's exclusive U-20 World Cup Qualifying Blog for the inside scoop of the team's daily preparations. We've got behind-the-scenes access to the X's and O's of team meetings plus the banter from the team bus or while the guys are just kickin' it around the hotel. It's 24/7 coverage of your favorite U-20 MNT personalities.

DANNY AND JULES CHECK IN: In the second installment of Jules Valentin and Danny Szetela’s podcast journal, U-20 starters provide fans with a synopsis of their win against Haiti and then get them caught up on the happenings away from the playing field. Find out why their eggs are crunchy in the morning, what they think of practicing in the shadow of the Panama Canal and who on the team can turn a light blue shirt navy just by putting it on. Oh, and they also invited in a special guest to join in on the fun, so listen in to find out who it is.

TALKING GUATEMALA: A handful of media greeted the Group A leaders at their training session this morning and talked with head coach Thomas Rongen and a number of players. Click here to read their quotes on getting ready for Guatemala.

U.S. vs. GUATEMALA IN 2006: The U.S. and Guatemala are no strangers as the two teams have met twice this year (once in a closed-door scrimmage) with the U.S. coming away with narrow 2-1 victories both times (game report). The U.S. last met Guatemala in CONCACAF Qualifying back in 2001 in the first match of Group B play. The USA posted an impressive 5-0 win led by Bobby Convey (2), DaMarcus Beasley, Conor Casey and Brad Davis. Overall, the U.S. and Guatemala have met eight times in CONCACAF qualifying, with the U.S. holding a 7-1-0 record over the chapines. The U.S. lost their first ever qualifying match-up to Guatemala, 3-1, on April 10, 1964, in Guatemala, which was only the second CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament. Since then, the U.S. has dominated, outscoring Guatemala 19-4 in seven games.

NO CUP: Guatemala has never qualified for a FIFA U-20 World Cup and is making their first appearance in a CONCACAF U-20 Final Round qualifying tournament since 2002.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Guatemala earned a berth in the CONCACAF Final Round after hosting and winning Triangular 1 of the Central American Zone Qualifying Tournament over El Salvador and Belize. Guatemala easily moved to the Final Round with two dominating wins, 5-0 over Belize and 6-1 over El Salvador. Costa Rica, which is in Group B, was the other team to qualify as they won Triangular 2 with a victory over Nicaragua and a draw with Honduras.

Central American Zone Qualifying Final Round
Triangular 1 – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Team             GP   W    L    T      +/-       Pts.
Guatemala    2      2     0    0    11/1        6
El Salvador    2      1     1    0      6/7        3
Belize              2      0    2    0      1/10       0

August 2, 2006
Guatemala 5, Belize 0

August 4, 2006
Belize 1, El Salvador 5

August 6, 2006
Guatemala 6, El Salvador 1

LAST TIME OUT: The last time the two countries met was on Nov. 15 at Florida Atlantic University Varsity Field in Boca Raton, Fla., with the U.S. pulling out a 2-1 victory with goals from Freddy Adu and Anthony Wallace. The U.S. fell behind in the match after Guatemala tallied in the 20th minute, but Adu’s header off a cross from Quavas Kirk in the 63rd minute pulled them even and then goalkeeper Carlos Reyes mishandled Wallace’s shot from the top of the box allowing the U.S. to snag the victory.

USA vs. Guatemala
Florida Atlantic University Varsity Field; Boca Raton, Fla.
Nov. 15, 2006

Scoring Summary:   1    2    F
USA                              0    2    2
GUA                              1    0    1

GUA – Edward Santeliz 20th minute
USA – Freddy Adu (Quavas Kirk) 63.
USA – Anthony Wallace (Dax McCarty) 86.

USA: 1-Nicholas Skverer; 2-Tim Ward; 5-Nathan Sturgis, 4-Neven Subotic (13-Kyle Davies, 46; 16-Kris Banghart, 81), 14-Anthony Wallace; 7-Danny Szetela (8-Dax McCarty, 46), 11-Freddy Adu, 3-Bryan Arguez ; 6-Quavas Kirk, 9-Johann Smith, 19-Miguel Gonzalez (10-David Arvizu, 62).
Subs not used: 15-Ellis McLoughlin, 18-Zac MacMath
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

GUA: 1-Carlos Reyes, 6-Jamie Vides, 2-Pablo Solorzano, 3-Ricardo Sandoval, 14-Rafael Morales; 11-Edward Santeliz (22-Carlos Del Valle, 89), 4-Cristian Noriega (15-Manuel Leon, 80), 5-Patrick Howell (captain), 7-Julian Friego, 8-Marco Papa (10-Marco Ciani, 65); 9-David Aroohe (18-Abner Trigueros, 72).
Subs not used: 00-Jonathan Lopez, 13-Allan Secaida, 19-Wilber Perez


  • With their victory over Haiti on Wednesday, the U.S. increased its international record to 5-4-2 since 2006
  • In the USA’s match against Guatemala on Nov. 15, Wallace's strike was the first international goal of his U-20 career
  • Eight players on the current qualifying roster appeared in the Guatemala game, all as starters: Tim Ward, Nathan Sturgis, Anthony Wallace, Danny Szetela, Freddy Adu, Bryan Arguez, Quavas Kirk and Johann Smith
  • 12 players on Guatemala's qualifying roster dressed for the Nov. 15 match: Carlos Reyes, Jamie Vides, Pablo Solorzano, Ricardo Sandoval, Rafael Morales, Cristian Noriega, Manuel Leon, Patrick Howell, Marco Papa, Marco Ciani and Abner Trigueros. Jonathan Lopez dressed but did not play
  • The U.S. scrimmaged Guatemala one day prior to the Nov. 15 contest, that meeting also ending in a 2-1 U.S. win with Smith scoring the game-winner for the U.S. (video highlights)
  • The U.S. has beaten all three CONCACAF teams it has faced since 2006. The U.S. has beaten Canada, Guatemala and Haiti
  • The USA and Panama are the only teams in Group A that qualified and competed in the last FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands in 2005
  • With their draw against Guatemala on Wednesday, Panama has only lost once in their last 11 games in qualifying. Their one loss during the streak was to the U.S. in Group A of the 2005 Final Round
  • Julian Valentin and Nathan Sturgis, the teams starting central defenders, are the only U.S. players with a yellow card going into their match against Guatemala. Guatemala has three players – Rafael Morales, Jaime Vides and Cristian Noriega – that were booked in the first game
  • Of the 11 U.S. starters against Haiti, only five had more than three international caps under their belt
  • With his three goals against Haiti, Akpan now leads the team in international strikes
  • With two assists against Haiti, Robbie Rogers increased his team lead in international assists with four
  • While being the youngest player on the roster at 17 years of age, Freddy Adu is the only player that played in the 2003 and 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships