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U-17s Blank El Salvador, 4-0, to Clinch Berth in 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Saturday, May 22, 1999) - In the first-ever international match at the new Columbus Crew Stadium the U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team defeated El Salvador 4-0, in the second-leg of the 1999 CONCACAF playoff series to clinch the third and final CONCACAF berth in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand, November 10-27. The USA is the only country to have qualified for every world championship since the first youth tournament in 1985.

"It is great to return to Columbus and get a win in a very convincing manner in this awesome stadium. This team always plays to win and today was no exception," said U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Head Coach John Ellinger. "First we had the pressure of qualifying for the world championship but now we will have the pressure of performing well in New Zealand and I am confident this team will do well."

The USA was lead by Oguchi Onyewu (Olney, MD) who was the USA's leading goal scorer in the home-and-home playoff series with El Salvador, netting three goals in just two matches. Onyewu put the USA on the board just before half-time, in the 44th minute, off a cross from the left side by DaMarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne, IN). Onyewu powered his way into the box and headed the ball into the back of the net. "As the game went on we picked up the intensity and created numerous scoring chances," said U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu. "I was in the right place at the right time. Beasley hit a perfect cross and I all I had to do was re-direct the ball past the keeper."

Beasley showcased his individual talent with some crafty footwork giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute. After blowing by three defenders Beasley slotted the ball from 6-yards out past El Salvador goalkeeper Christian Blanco.

Onyewu and Beasley teamed up again for the USA's third goal in the 59th minute when again Beasley whipped in a cross that found the head of Onyewu. Onyewu out jumped the El Salvador goalkeeper as he headed the ball into the net. In the collision with the El Salvadoran keeper, Onyewu chipped a tooth, suffered a black right eye and had to leave the match.

The USA's scoring sensation Landon Donovan scored his 30th career U-17 goal in the 87th minute after receiving a threw ball from teammate Kyle Beckerman (Crofton, MD) and slotting the ball past the El Salvadoran goalkeeper, securing a USA victory and berth in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship. Upon scoring the goal Donovan raised his shirt during his celebration revealing a message on his undershirt addressed to his grandfather who passed away last month, reading 'For you Grandpa, a wish.' "My grandfather passed away last month and never had a chance to watch me play," said Donovan. "That goal was for him because I know he was watching."

Since 1985, FIFA has held the Under-17 World Championship every two years. In 1985 FIFA held the first-ever Under-16 World Tournament and in 1989 FIFA changed the tournament to the Under-17 World Championship. In all, 16 countries qualify for the youth tournament, three from each confederation and one from Oceania. Of the 16 teams 13 have already assured themselves a berth in New Zealand '99. The following is a look at the teams that have qualified for '99 World Championship:

CAF UEFA CONCACAF CONMEBOL AFC HOST/OFC
TBD Spain Mexico Brazil Thailand New Zealand
TBD Poland Jamaica Paraguay Qatar
TBD Germany USA Uruguay Bahrain

The USA is the only country to have qualified for every FIFA U-17 World Championship since the tournament's inception in 1985. With New Zealand being the hosts for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, every confederation will have staged the world championship. Past hosts include Chine (1985), Canada ('87), Scotland ('89), Italy ('91), Japan ('93), Ecuador ('95) and Egypt ('97). The following is a look a the 13-year history of the FIFA U-17 World Championship:

Year Host Winner Final USA Finish
1985 China Nigeria Nigeria 2, Germany 0 12th
1987 Canada Russia Russia 1, Nigeria 1 (PK) 14th
1989 Scotland Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 2, Scotland 2 (PK) 10th
1991 Italy Ghana Ghana 1, Spain 0 5th
1993 Japan Nigeria Nigeria 2, Ghana 1 7th
1995 Ecuador Ghana Ghana 3, Brazil 2 15th
1997 Egypt Brazil Brazil 2, Ghana 1 11th

All-Time World Championship Appearance Leaders
USA - 8 (1985, '87, '89, '91, '93, '95, '97, '99)
Brazil - 7 (1985, '87, '89, '91, '95, '97, '99)
Mexico - 6 (1987, '91, '93, '95, '97, '99)
Argentina - 6 (1985, '89, '91, '93, '95, '97)
Qatar - 6 (1985, '87, '91, '93, '95, '99)

Led by head coach John Ellinger the 1999 USA U-17 team will be looking to better a fifth place finish in 1991, the best finish for a U.S. U-17 team in the world championship.

The U-17s will break for the summer and return home this week. The team will regroup in early June for a training camp in New York. The U-17s next international will be against England on June 27 in Tampa, Fla.

1999 U.S. MEN'S UNDER-17 NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Participants:U.S. Men's U-17 National Team vs. El Salvador U-17s
Competition:Second Leg of 1999 CONCACAF Home-and-Home Playoff Series
Venue:Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Date:May 22, 1999
Weather:Rainy - 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
134
El Salvador
000

USA - Oguchi Onyewu, (Beasley), 44,
USA - DaMarcus Beasley, (unassisted), 54,
USA - Oguchi Onyewu, (Beasley), 59,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Beckerman), 87.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Delvin Countess,, 4-Nelson Akwari, 17-Seth Trembly, 8-Alexander Yi, 14-Oguchi Onyewu (Adolfo Gregorio, 61), 5-Bryan Jackson (22-Kelen Kalso, 76), 7-Kenneth Cutler, 3-DaMarcus Beasley, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 16-Jordan Cila (11-Bobby Convey, 65), 20-Landon Donovan.

SAL - 22-Christian Blanco, 7-Raul Gudiel, 3-Mario Gonzalez, 14-Eliseo Quintanilla, 5-Luis Martinez, 4-Alexander Escobar, 6-Miguel Carrallo (13-Juan Leiva, 58), 8-Jose Rivera, 9-Hilmar Monterossa, 17-Eduardo Aguilar (15-Roberto Ochoa, 45), 11-Cristian Cerrarva.

Statistical Summary:USASAL
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
2411
Saves . . . . . . . . .
94
Corner Kicks . . . .
176
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
2111

Misconduct Summary:
SAL
Gonzalez (caution)5,
USA
Donovan (caution)27,
SAL
Monterossa (caution)31,
SAL
Martinez (ejection)61,
USA
Trembly (ejection)71.

Officials:
Referee:
Peter Pendergast(Jamaica)
Assistant Referee:
Owen Powell(Jamaica)
Assistant Referee:
Rinaldo Francis(Jamaica)
Fourth Official:
Victor Stewart(Jamaica)

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