BLAINE, Minnesota (July 13, 2003) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got goals in each half from Guillermo Gonzalez and one from Freddy Adu in the final minute of the game to topple Canada 3-1 tonight in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,511 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn.
The U.S. will leave for Carson, Calif. tomorrow, where it will conduct a week-long training camp at The Home Depot Center.
"Every time we play Canada they give us a really good game and today was no different," said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger. "We were able to comeback after they tied it up and hold on for the victory. Playing Canada was definitely a good test for us as we prepare for the World Championship in August."
Gonzalez and Eddie Gaven, both of who played in their first games for their respective MLS teams this past month, combined for the game-winning goal in the 77th minute. Gaven (MetroStars) dribbled down the right flank and served in a pinpoint cross to Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), who hit a one-time volley with his left foot from about six-yards out, slamming the ball past a helpless Robert Giacomi.
About 15 minutes later, Adu delighted one of the biggest crowds to ever watch a U.S. Under-17 match in the United States by slotting home the final goal three minutes into extra time. Substitute Jamie Watson started the attack after pushing the ball towards the goal from about 30-yards out. He knifed through two defenders before laying the ball off to his right to Adu, who was at the top of the penalty area. Adu’s one-timer was saved by a diving Giacomi, but Adu was able to chase down the rebound before Giacomi could cover it up and knocked it into the back of the net with his left foot.
Despite being outplayed for most of the first half, the U.S. was able to get on the board first when Gonzalez knocked home a penalty kick awarded when captain Corey Ashe was taken down in the box. Before the foul, a quick combination put the Canadian defense on its heels as Gonzalez threaded a pass across the top of the 18-yard box from left to right to Gaven, who poked the ball into the penalty area to Ashe. As Ashe attempted to collect the ball and move in on goal he was knocked down from behind. Gonzalez slotted the penalty kick to the lower-left corner as Giacomi dove to the opposite side.
Down 1-0, Canada was still able to push forward as the U.S. struggled to control the midfield. With just seconds remaining in the half, Canada finally broke through the U.S. defense as midfielder Derek Rios ripped a shot into the lower corner past a diving Quentin Westberg after collecting a through ball from Tyler Rosenlund. The equalizing opportunity started after the U.S. tried to clear the ball from danger, but it was deflected and fell to Rosenlund.
Just minutes before Adu’s goal, Canada came close to a getting their second equalizer of the game. Defender David Edgar won a header off a Canadian corner kick, knocking the ball past a diving Phil Marfuggi towards the right corner, but Gonzalez was sitting at the right post and cleared the ball from danger.
Quentin Westberg started the game and played the entire first half, but was substituted for the second half by Phil Marfuggi.
The crowd was the fourth largest to ever watch a soccer match in the National Sports Center, which is the home field for the A-League Minnesota Thunder.
The win was the ninth for the U.S. U-17s in international play this year, brining their record up to 9-3-3 (36 goals for, 13 goals against). The team will continuing to prepare for the World Championship, which will take place in Finland from August 13-30, as it will face Colombia and Australia in scrimmages as it trains at The Home Depot Center next week.
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Location: National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
Date: July 13, 2003
Weather: Warm; 70 degrees
1st 2nd Final
United States 1 2 3
Canada 1 0 1
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (penalty kick) 32nd minute
CAN – Derek Rios (Tyler Rosenlund) 45th
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (Eddie Gaven) 77th
USA – Freddy Adu 90th
USA – 18-Quentin Westberg (1-Phil Marfuggi, 46); 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 12-Steve Curfman 2-Kyle Helton (16-Adrian Chevannes, 82); 8-John DiRaimondo, 15-Corey Ashe (13-Jamie Watson, 71), 7-Brian Grazier, 10-Guillermo Gonzalez, 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven
Subs not used: 6-Jacob Peterson, 9-Michael Harrington, 6-Chris Germani, 20-Jose Gomez
CAN – 1-Robert Giacomi; 6-Myles Davis, 4-Andrew Hainault, 5-David Edgar, 2-Trevor Delpippo (15-Graham Ramalho, 82); 8-Rob Orefice (13-Gabriel Seguin-Gauthner, 57), 7-Tyler Rosenlund, 9-Derek Rios (16-Michael Luk, 83), 17-Vince Stewart; 10-Cam Wilson, 12-Andrea Lombardo (11-Marcel DeJong, 68)
Subs not used: 22-Dan Pelc, 3-Brad Peetoom, 14-Daniel Nileson
Shots 7 6
Saves 4 4
Corner Kick 3 10
Fouls 14 11
Offside 2 3
CAN – Trevor Delpippo (caution) 34th
Referee: Brian Hall
Assistant Referee: Sia Rahimi
Assistant Referee: Jeff Filipek
4th Official: Mishaun Akmad