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U.S. Set to Play Poland in Second Match of Group Play on Saturday, Nov. 13

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Friday, November 12, 1999) - The U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team held a light training session this morning as they prepare for their marquee match against Poland tomorrow, Nov. 13 at 4:00 p.m. local time (10:00 p.m. ET).

When the U.S. U-17s take the field tomorrow night they will be looking to extend their 21-match unbeaten streak which began in Aug. 1998. The USA also heads into the Poland match as the leaders in Group A with three points and 1-0-0 record.

Live up-to-the-minute updates of the USA-Poland match will be available on the internet at starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.

It was announced yesterday by FIFA officials that U.S. U-17 defender Oguchi Onyewu (Olney, MD) will serve a one game suspension following his red card in the 94th minute against New Zealand.

Poland have spent the last three years in preparation for this world championship, playing 49 matches and posting a 19-17-13 record. Over the course of three years the Poles have scored 80 goals while conceding 65. Poland competed in their sixth UEFA qualifying tournament for the youth championships earlier this year, finishing second to Spain. During the qualifying tournament Poland had several impressive victories on their way to the finals, including wins over Russia, Portugal and tournament hosts Czech Republic.

Poland managed a 1-1 draw with Uruguay yesterday leaving the two teams tied for second with one point apiece. Uruguay and New Zealand will square off at 1:45 p.m. before the USA-Poland match, in a must win game for the Kiwi's to keep their hopes alive of advancing to the quarterfinals.


USA RANKED 7TH IN ALL-TIME RANKING: The best result for a U.S. U-17 at the FIFA World Championships was back in 1991 in Italy, where the USA finished 5th. The U.S. is the only country to have qualified for every U-17 World Championship and have played a total of 24 matches: nine wins, three draws and 12 losses (32 goals scored and 41 conceded). With 30 points, the USA is currently ranked 7th in the all-time U-17 ranking.

USA SITS TOP OF GROUP A HEADING INTO MATCH AGAINST POLAND: Following the first day of Group A play at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand, the U.S. Men's National Team leads Group A with three points and a 1-0-0 record. Poland and Uruguay are tied for second with one point apiece and a 0-0-1 record while New Zealand sits at the bottom of the group with a 0-1-0 record and no points.

U-17s, PARENTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS ENJOY PICNIC: On Thursday, Nov. 11, U.S. Soccer hosted a picnic where family, friends, U-17 players and U.S. Soccer staff enjoyed a beautiful New Zealand afternoon at Cormwall park. Over 30 parents, family members and friends have followed the U.S. U-17 team to New Zealand to support the team in their quest for the youth world title.

FIFA U-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TELEVISED IN OVER 60 COUNTRIES: Televison rights to the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship have been sold to over 60 countries. Seventeen matches will be shown live and tape-delayed in the United States, 16 live or tape-delayed in France, 20 in Spain, 22 tape-delayed in Russia, seven tape-delayed in Britain. All 32 matches will be televised in Hong Kong, Thailand, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, the Gulf countries, Uruguay and the host nation New Zealand.

INJURY REPORT: The U.S. escaped any major injuries during the battle against New Zealand on Wednesday night. Bryan Jackson made his debut in the second half after missing a month due to a strained MCL in his left knee. Players sustained a few small knocks and bruises in the course of the game against New Zealand but all players are expected to be available for the match against Poland on Saturday afternoon.

U.S. ASSISTANT REFEREE PAUL TAMBERINO MAKES DEBUT: Paul Tamerino, a native of Maryland, will make his debut at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship as the assistant referee during the Jamaica-Burkina Faso match today. Tamberino was the named the "Referee of the Year " by Major League Soccer in 1998.

BECKERMAN RECEIVES GIFT AFTER NAMED "MAN OF THE MATCH": After each match FIFA will announce a "Man of the Match" who will be awarded a portable CD Player. The best player of the day is elected by the FIFA Technical Study Group and will be announced immediately after the end of the match.