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U.S. U-20 MNT Set to Face Austria in 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals


Under-20 Men's National Team
FIFA U-20 World Cup Game Notes
July 13, 2007 - Montreal Canada

DO OR DIE: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is just a day away from facing Austria in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals at a sold-out BMO Stadium in Toronto. Kickoff is set for Saturday, July 14 at 2:15 p.m. and the game will be shown live on ESPNU and Telefutura, and fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

A NEW TRADITION: This is just the second time that the United States advanced to the quarterfinals since the field was expanded to 24 teams in 1997. The team's previous trip also came under the leadership of Thomas Rongen, who guided the team to within seconds of the semifinals in United Arab Emirates in 2003 before falling to Argentina in overtime.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: The U.S. continued their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 overtime victory against Uruguay in the Round of 16. Michael Bradley scored the game-winner in the 107th minute to assure the team of a place in the quarterfinals. A 2-1 victory over Brazil on July 6 earned the U.S. the top position in Group D with seven points. The U.S. earned three points with their 6-1 win over Poland and one point with a 1-1 tie with South Korea in the opening game of group play.
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
June 30 South Korea 1-1 T Danny Szetela
July 3 Poland 6-1 W Freddy Adu (3), Danny Szetela (2), Josmer Altidore
July 6 Brazil 2-1 W Josmer Altidore (2)
July 11 Uruguay 2-1 W Own goal, Michael Bradley

FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET: The U.S. is among tournament leaders with 11 goals scored, averaging just under three goals per game. Three players, Freddy Adu, Josmer Altidore and Danny Szetela have three goals each, while Michael Bradley has one through four games. The U.S. was the highest-scoring team through the group stage, where they tallied nine goals to set a team record.

FIRST TOUCHES: Three players made their tournament debut in the Round of 16 game against Uruguay. Most notably, goalkeeper Brian Perk made just his third appearance with the Under-20s, picking up his first win with the team on the biggest stage of his career. The 17-year-old made four key saves on the night, and was named Sierra Mist Man of the Match. Forwards Andre Akpan and Gabriel Ferrari also saw their first minutes of the World Cup on Wednesday night, with Akpan playing a key role in the game-tying own goal in the 87th minute.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3):
Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (F.C. Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo
(UCLA)

FIRST EVER MEETING: This will be the first ever meeting between Austria and the U.S. in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The two teams have only met once before at a youth championship when they clashed in the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Egypt. The U.S. dominated that lone meeting, defeating Austria, 4-0, in their final group match (the U.S. did not advance).

AUSTRIA QUALIFICATION: Austria was one of five teams to qualify from Europe during the 2006 Under-19 European Championship by coming in second in their group and advancing to the tournament semifinals. They opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Poland before falling to the Czech Republic, 3-1. Needing a win to assure themselves a place in the FIFA World Cup, they registered a convincing 4-1 victory over Belgium to advance to the semifinals.

AUSTRIA IN THE WORLD CUP: Austria was placed into Group A with host Canada and finished in second place with a 1-0-2 record. The European nation opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Congo before defeating the host, 1-0, in their second match. In their final group match, they fought Chile to a scoreless draw to end up with five points. The Austrians met Gambia in their Round of 16 match, scoring a goal just before halftime to take the lead and then finding the game-winner in the second half after a 10-man Gambia squad had pulled even.
Date Opponent Result Goal Scorers
July 2 Congo 1-1 T Erwin Hoffer
July 5 Canada 1-0 W Rubin Okotie
July 8 Chile 0-0 T --
July 11 Gambia 2-1 W Sebastian Proedl, Erwin Hoffer

Austria World Cup Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3):
Bartolomej Kuru (Austria Vienna), Andreas Lukse (Rapid Vienna), Michael Zaglmair (LASK Linz)
DEFENDERS (6): Thomas Panny (Admira), Daniel Gramann (TSV Hartberg), Sebastien Proedl (Sturm Graz), Markus Suttner (Austria Vienna), Thomas Pirker (Kaernten), Michael Madl (Austria Vienna)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Michael Stanislaw, Martin Harnik (Werder Bremen), Veli Kavlak (Rapid Vienna), Zlatko Junuzovic (Kaernten), Peter Hackmair (Ried), Bernhard Morgenthaler (Admira), Tomas Simkovic (Austria Vienna), Thomas Hinum, Siegfried Rasswalder (Leoben)
FORWARDS (2): Ingo Enzenberger (Red Bull Salzburg), Rubin Okotie (Austria Vienna)

ALL_ACCESS WITH THE U-20S: With Studio 90 providing updates from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, ussoccer.com will provide unprecedented coverage of the team in its campaign to win a world championship. A new Studio 90, which includes a sit-down interview with Dax McCarty, will be on ussoccer.com soon. For now, check out the July 11, 2007 edition of Studio 90 as we peppered midfielder Danny Szetela with the ‘Back 4 Quiz.’

BEHIND THE SCENES: Keep tabs on the Under-20 Men’s National Team with the Under-20 blog, providing exclusive day-to-day information, laughs, games and inside jokes.

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. not only won its group for the third straight time at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, but also went undefeated in the group for the second straight time.
  • The U.S. went undefeated (2-0-1) during group play for the first time ever in 2005.
  • With his three goals against Poland on in the group stage, Adu became the first player to ever record a hat trick in both the Under-17 and Under-20 FIFA World Cups. His first World Cup hat trick came with the Under-17 team in 2003 against South Korea, also a 6-1 U.S. victory.
  • The U.S. has scored a record nine goals in group play. The previous record was eight goals in 1993, with a 6-0 victory over Turkey and a 2-2 draw against South Korea.
  • Along with the U.S., Poland and Brazil both advanced to the Round of 16 in second and third place in the group, respectively.
  • The U.S. advanced to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after January’s CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. defeated Haiti, 4-1, drew, 0-0, with Guatemala and then cruised past Panama, 5-0 to finish at the top of their group.
  • This is Rongen's second stint as the head coach of the U.S. Under-20s. Rongen also coached the team to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, guiding them to an impressive fifth place finish.
  • Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu are the only two players on the team who have caps with the senior national team. Bradley was part of the Gold Cup Champions’ roster, starting all but one game leading up to the Final.
  • There are 14 players on the roster who play professionally in either Europe or Major League Soccer, more than any other U.S. team in Under-20 World Cup history.
  • Three players on the roster, Freddy Adu, Nathan Sturgis and Danny Szetela, played in the 2005 edition of the Under-20 World Cup. Adu became just the second player to ever appear in three Under-20 World Cups, as he was also part of the 2003 squad at age 14.

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