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U-17 '88s Sit Atop Group B of Ballymena Tournament After 2-0 Win Over Scotland

The U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team took over sole possession of first place in Group B of the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland this evening with a 2-0 victory over reigning champion Scotland at the Ballymena Showgrounds. Preston Zimmerman scored both second half goals to give the U.S. a full six points after two games, as the U.S. defeated Belgium 1-0 in their first match of the tournament on Thursday.

The U.S. will battle Austria on Saturday for the chance to win Group B and advance to the championship match against the winner of Group A, which consists of Northern Ireland, Canada, Switzerland and Finland.

The first half was a midfield battle as both teams struggled to create chances on goal. Nik Bosegano was the catalyst for the U.S. in the middle, controlling the game as much of the play went through the newest member of the U-17 squad.

In the second half, the U.S. was able to pull away as Zimmerman scored his second and third international goals in just six matches with the Under-17s. His first strike came in the 50th minute on a great individual play as he collected the ball near the top of the penalty area, held off two defenders and buried a left-footed strike into the lower-right corner of the goal.

Twenty minutes later, Ryan Soroka, who scored the lone goal against Belgium, beat the offside trap with a well-timed run and collected a through ball from Quavas Kirk. The Scottish 'keeper left his line and Soroka unselfishly dished the ball off to his right for Zimmerman, who easily placed the ball into the net.

The U.S. defense, led by Richard Edgar, had another outstanding match as it collected its second shutout in the tournament, the only team to collect even one. The U.S. held Scotland to just two shots on goal, both of which came off set pieces.

In the other Group A match, Austria got its first victory of the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. In Group B, both games ended in draws as Canada and Switzerland tied 1-1 and Northern Ireland and Finland finished 2-2.

- U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team Game Report -

Participants:     U.S. Under-17 ‘88s Men’s National Team vs. Scotland
Competition:     Ballymena Tournament
Location:    Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Date:    April 30, 2004
Weather:    Brisk and chilly, 40 degrees

Scoring Summary:    1st    2nd    Final 
SCO                                  0       0         0
USA                                 0        2         2

USA – Preston Zimmerman                 50th minute
USA - Preston Zimmerman (Ryan Soroka)               70th
USA: 1-Bryant Rueckner; 5-Richard Edgar, 4-Eric Lichaj, 2-Michael Balogun, 7-Ofori Sarkodie; 10-Carlos Borja, 15-Amaechi Igwe (3-Kevin Alston, 41), 11-Ryan Soroka (17-Jeremy Hall, 72) , 16-Nik Besango; 9-Preston Zimmerman, 6-Quavas Kirk (12-Michael Dal Pra, 76).

SCO: 1-Curtis Matthew; 3-Lewis Stevenson, 4-Greg Cameron (18-Matthew Glass, 46), 5-Scott Laird, 14-Jordan MacMillan (13-Guy Kerr, 41) ; 17-Paul MacDonald, 6-Steven Lennon, 7-David Gray, 10-Paul Emslie, 15-Ian Cameron; 9-Jason Crooks.  

Statistical Summary:            SCO      USA
Shots                                           2            10   
Saves                                          2            2
Corner Kick                                0            4
Fouls                                           15          10   
Offside                                        0            3

Misconduct Summary:
SCO - Lewis Stevenson (caution)                   56th minute 

5th Ballymena International Tournament

Group A
Team                     GP      W     L     T      GF     GA     +/-     Pts
Switzerland            2         1      0     1       5         3      +2       4
Northern Ireland     2         0      0     2       3         3       0        2
Canada                  2         0      0     2       2         2       0        2
Finland                   2         0      1      1      4         6      -2        1

Group B
Team                     GP      W     L     T      GF     GA     +/-     Pts
USA                       2         2      0      0       3         0      +3      6
Scotland                2         1      1      0       3         3       0       3
Austria                   2         1      1      0       2         3       -1      3
Belgium                 2         0      2      0       0         2       -2      0

Thursday, April 29
Group A
Switzerland 4, Finland 2
Canada 1, N. Ireland 1

Group B
Scotland 3, Austria 1
USA 1, Belgium 0

Friday, April 30
Group A
Northern Ireland 2, Finland 2
Canada 1, Switzerland 1

Group B
USA 2, Scotland 0
Austria 1, Belgium 0

Saturday, May 1
Group A
Canada vs. Finland     6 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET)
N.Ireland vs. Switzerland    8 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET)

Group B
USA vs. Austria     7 p.m. local (2 p.m. ET)
Scotland vs. Belgium    7:30 p.m. local (2:30 p.m. ET)

Monday, May 3
Placement Matches
Ballymena Bowl (4th Place Playoffs)    11 a.m. local (6 a.m. ET)
Larne Sheild (3rd Place Playoffs)       11 a.m. local (6 a.m. ET)
Larne Plate (2nd Place Playoffs)       11 a.m. local (6 a.m. ET)
David Cairns Memorial Trophy (1st Place Playoffs)    3 p.m. local (10 a.m. ET)