BRADENTON, Fla. (Wednesday, April 9, 2003) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team didn’t give up a single goal in three matches against Jamaica this past week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., winning all three games by a combined score of 12-0. The U.S. concluded the three-game sweep with a 3-0 victory Wednesday, coming on the heels of a 5-0 win on Saturday and a 4-0 triumph on Monday.
Keepers Phil Marfuggi (two games) and Quentin Westberg anchored the U.S. defense, which allowed only four shots on goal during all three games. Midfielder Corey Ashe led all scorers, netting three goals in two games. Freddy Adu, Eddie Gaven and Rodrigo Hidalgo each had two goals, while Brandon Owens, Guillermo Gonzalez and Michael Harrington each scored one goal during the series.
In Saturday’s match, Gaven continually frustrated the Jamaicans, scoring one goal and assisting on three more in a 5-0 victory. Ashe scored the first two goals of the game, slotting the first past the Jamaican keeper in the 19th minute and getting the second in the 30th minute, both of which were assisted by Gaven. Seconds before the end of the first half, Owens scored his first goal of the year, and only the second international goal of his career, to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead.
Gaven got the U.S. scoring off to a quick start in the second half, scoring in the 47th minute off a pass from Danny Szetela. Adu got the final goal in the 58th minute as Gaven got his third assist of the match.
Two days later on Monday (April 7), the two teams met again with similar results as the U.S. dominated the second half for a 4-0 victory. In the first half, the U.S. defense held strong, but the offense had trouble finishing, missing the goal on a number of open shots and two breakaways. The U.S. finally got on the board after Gaven was tripped up by the Jamaican keeper on the right side of the penalty box as he collected a through ball from the midfield and was awarded a penalty kick. Adu placed the penalty to the upper-right of the goal in the 35th minute, for the only U.S. goal in the first half.
In the second half, the U.S. continued to control the game and get a number of good opportunities. Frustrated by the continuous pressure by the U.S., Jamaica committed numerous fouls – 16 in the entire game – in an attempt to slow the U.S. attack. In the 60th minute, the U.S. was able to convert a Jamaican foul into a goal as Gonzalez placed a perfect free kick into the upper right of the goal from 20-yards out. Gaven scored his second goal against Jamaica in two days, slotting home a pass from Chris Germani in the 71st minute. Ashe finished off the game’s scoring game three minutes later off a pass from Adu.
In Wednesday’s finale against Jamaica, the U.S. again struggled in the first half, but got a lift in the second half from substitute Hidalgo, who scored two goals in the 3-0 win.
After a number of tremendous saves from the Jamaican keeper, the U.S. was finally able to get on the scoreboard after Jamie Watson slipped a ball through the Jamaican defense to a cutting Jacob Peterson. The keeper was able to get a hand on Peterson’s strike, but could only watch as Harrington collected the deflection and blasted it into the net in the 28th minute for the first U.S. goal.
Second half substitute Rodrigo Hidalgo continually kept the Jamaicans on their toes, winning head balls and making runs up front. After a couple of close shots, Hidalgo tallied a goal in the 52nd minute by outrunning two Jamaican defenders (after a beautiful long ball from Steve Curfman) and using the outside of his right foot to place the ball past the keeper and into the lower left corner of the goal. Hidalgo struck again in the 80th minute, collecting a header from Tomiwa Ogunsola behind the Jamaican defense and chipping the onrushing keeper. The goals were the first in international play for Hidalgo.
U.S. U-17 GAME SUMMARIES VS. JAMAICA
April 5, 2003
1 2 F
U.S. U-17s 3 2 5
Jamaica U-17s 0 0 0
USA – Ashe (Gaven) 19th minute
USA – Ashe (Gaven) 30
USA – Owens (Adu) 47
USA – Gaven (Szetela) 47
USA – Adu (Gaven) 58
U.S. Line-up: 1-Phil Marfuggi; 6-Chris Germani (12-Steven Curfman, 46), 5-Brandon Owens (13-Jamie Watson, 61), 3-Jonathon Spector, 16-Adrian Chevannes (2-Kyle Helton, 46); 15-Corey Ashe (22-Michael Bradley, 61), 7-Brian Grazier, 17-Daniel Szetela, 8-John DiRaimondo (9-Michael Harrington, 61); 11-Freddy Adu (25-Christian Jimenez, 61), 4-Eddie Gaven.
April 7, 2003
1 2 F
U.S. U-17s 1 3 4
Jamaica U-17s 0 0 0
USA – Adu (penalty kick) 35th minute
USA – Gonzalez (free kick) 60
USA – Gaven (Germani) 71
USA – Ashe (Adu) 74
U.S. Line-up: 1-Phil Marfuggi; 6-Chris Germani, 5-Brandon Owens, 3-Jonathon Spector, 16-Adrian Chevannes; 15-Corey Ashe, 20-Jose Gomez (10-Guillermo Gonzalez), 4-Eddie Gaven, 8-John DiRaimondo (9-Tomiwa Ogunsola, 78); 11-Freddy Adu, 23-Jacob Peterson (7-Brian Grazier, 46).
April 9, 2003
1 2 F
U.S. U-17s 1 2 3
Jamaica U-17s 0 0 0
USA – Harrington (Peterson) 28th minute
USA – Hidalgo (Curfman) 52
USA – Hidalgo (Ogunsola) 80
U.S. Line-up: 18-Quentin Westberg (28-Stephen Sandbo, 46); 12-Steven Curfman, 14-Julian Vaentin, 29-Tim Ward, 26-Drew Harrison (2-Kyle Helton, 46); 17 Daniel Szetela, 22-Michael Bradley (20-Jose Gomez, 46), 24-Chase Wileman (25-Christian Jimenez, 46), 9-Michael Harrington (19-Tomiwa Ogunsola, 46); 23-Jacob Peterson (30-Rodrigo Hidalgo, 46), 13-Jamie Watson (27-Robbie Rogers, 46).