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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Continues Training at Estadio Elias Aguirre

U.S. Under-17 MNT Notes
Chiclayo, Peru
September 14, 2005

SETTLING IN: Two days in Chiclayo and it appears the U.S. players and staff have put the 30-plus hour trip here behind them as they prepare for their opening match of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship against North Korea on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12:45 p.m. CT. The match will be televised live on Galavision (starting at 12:30 p.m. CT) and same-day tape delay on Fox Soccer Channel at 2 p.m. CT. Fans can also follow the match live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

BRADENTON TO CHICLAYO: You’ve read about the team’s long, exhausting, and interesting trip to Chiclayo, but here’s your chance to see it for yourself in the U-17s first all_access video from Peru. Today’s installment starts from Bradenton and ends in Chiclayo, showing you the team’s day-and-a-half of travel and their unique ballroom practice in Lima.

PHOTOS FROM PERU: If the video isn't enough for you, check out these two photo galleries from the USA's first two days of training in Peru in preparation for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship.
   Photo Gallery - Sept. 13 
   Photo Gallery - Sept. 14

ROCK STAR STATUS: Whenever a U.S. national team travels to another country there are usually a handful of kids who will stop by and ask for an autograph from the players, but the U-17s are experiencing a situation they’ve only seen boy bands endure. Each day the team boards the bus for practice and departs after, there are about 100 kids clamoring by the door with pen and school notebooks in hand. The players have been accommodating the youngsters with their “John Hancock,” but have to stop at some point as it just seems like wave after wave of kids comes filtering in from the local school near the hotel.

GROUP C SET: All four of the USA’s opponents have made their way to the team hotel here in Chiclayo, with North Korea and Ivory Coast arriving on Tuesday. Italy has been here over a week, arriving on Sept. 6 to prepare for the tournament. With all four teams practicing at the stadium, which is the only artificial turf field available in the city, the U.S. will be having practices in the morning, early afternoon and late afternoon during their time in Chiclayo.

SCARING O’ CAPITAN: The goofs have begun. On Tuesday night, a number of the players were looking for something to do while hanging out in the training room when they noticed a large box and the small stature of five-foot-seven Kevin Alston. A number of Alston’s teammates helped him into the box and closed the lid before asking captain Ofori Sarkodie if he could grab some water bottles from the box. Sarkodie, being the good-natured and helpful leader, obliged the request only to jump to the ceiling and hear the cackles of his teammates when Alston sprung from the cardboard.

IT’S NOT A DONKEY: One of the topics that has kept the players talking since arriving in Chiclayo is the World Championship mascot that greeted the U.S. when they got off the airplane. Contrary to what a number of players and staff (that’s means you Keith Fulk) thought, the animal is not a donkey, but rather a vicuna, which is similar to a llama or camel. The long-necked, buck-toothed animal is a ruminant, which is any cud-chewing ungulate, including antelope, camels, cattle, deer, giraffes, goats, and sheep, and is native to the Andes mountain range.

THAT GUY IS OLD: Midfielder Jeremy Hall isn’t the only one who’s turned a year older while in Peru as someone more than twice his age celebrated his birthday. Assistant coach Keith Fulk, who defeated throat and neck cancer last year, turned a young 43 on Tuesday and was presented with a chocolate cake by the hotel dining staff at dinner. Fulk proved his youthfulness a day later when he surprised the team during the middle of their pool workout, belly-flopping into the freezing-cold water, even if his shorts were pulled up to his chest like an 80-year-old man.

ALL GAMES LIVE ON TELEVISION: The U.S. is four days away from their opening match of the 2005 FIFA World Championship against North Korea on Sept. 17 at 12:25 p.m. CT. The team will then face Italy on Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. CT) and conclude group play against Ivory Coast on September 23 (3:30 p.m. CT). The U.S. will play their first two group matches against North Korea and Italy at Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo, before moving to Lima to face Ivory Coast in their third and final group match at Nacional Stadium. Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision will be televising all three of the USA’s first round games. Between the two stations, all three of the matches will be shown live as Galavision will broadcast directly the opener against North Korea and FSC will have live coverage of the Italy and Ivory Coast games. Fans can also follow every U.S. match at the U-17 World Championship live via’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics. Check for the latest television schedule information.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date                         Opponent                Kickoff Time                                                    TV
Saturday, Sept. 17    vs. Korea DPR         1:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. CT / 10:30 a.m. PT    Live on Galavision
                                (delayed on FSC at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT)
Tuesday, Sept. 20    vs. Italy                    4:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. PT        Live on Fox Soccer Channel
                                (delayed on Gala. at 9:15 p.m. ET & PT / 8:15 p.m. CT)
Friday Sept. 23        vs. Ivory Coast           4:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. PT       Live on Fox Soccer Channel
                                (delayed on Gala. at 7 p.m. ET & PT / 6 p.m. CT) is the official website of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.