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U.S. Under-17s Open Dallas Cup With 2-2 Tie

DALLAS, TEXAS (Sunday, April 13, 2003) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opened the Dallas Cup U-19 Super Group with a 2-2 tie with CD Guadalajara at Lake Highlands Stadium in Dallas, Texas. John DiRaimondo and Guillermo Gonzalez found the back of the net in front of about 7,000 fans that packed into the stadium for the tournament's opening game.

After withstanding a furious offensive attack by Guadalajara in the first 15 minutes of the game, which included numerous shots on goal – including one off the left post – the U.S. was able to get on the board first with a clinical finish by DiRaimondo.

Early in the second half, Guadalajara began pressuring the U.S. defense again, but didn’t come up empty handed this time, notching the equalizer off a corner in the 48th minute. Twelve minutes later, Guadalajara struck again off a misplayed free kick by the U.S. in their own end to take a 2-1 lead. But, the U.S. was able to bounce back after Freddy Adu was taken down in the box, and Gonzalez put home the penalty kick.

The U.S. defense had its hands full all game as Guadalajara’s 4-3-3 line-up continually put pressure on keeper Phil Marfuggi. Guadalajara got numerous opportunities as forward Hector Gomez got free on the right side and sent in dangerous crosses throughout the match. In the 13th minute, Guadalajara had its best chance of the first half with a point blank shot from 12 yards out, but Marfuggi came up with a huge save, diving to his left to snag the low shot.

The U.S. next faces CS Azzurri Blue (of Canada) on Monday at 4 p.m. CT, before concluding group play against Municipal Perez Zeledon (of Costa Rica) on Wednesday at 12 p.m. CT. Earlier today, Municipal defeated Azzurri Blue 3-0.

“We knew coming in to the game Guadalajara would be a tough opponent and they definitely proved that today,” head coach John Ellinger said. “We did some good things today, but we also have areas where we can improve. Guadalajara gave us a great game and it was good to come out with one point.”

The first U.S. goal started with Gonzalez playing the ball down the left side of the field for Corey Ashe, who outran a defender and crossed the ball into the penalty area for forward Eddie Gaven. Gaven collected the ball and played the ball back towards DiRaimondo, who fired the ball past the keeper from the top of the penalty box.

Guadalajara struck back three minutes into the second half off a corner kick. The U.S. wasn’t able to clear the cross and Midfielder Ganohi Alvarez collected the bouncing ball and blasted it past Marfuggi. They took the lead in the 60th minute after U.S. defender Jonathan Spector misplayed a free kick to a Guadalajara defender. Guadalajara countered quickly on the unprepared U.S. defense, getting the ball up to Jose Gomez, who held back defender Brian Grazier and placed the ball past Marfuggi.

In the 77th minute, Spector redeemed himself, taking away a Guadalajara pass deep in the U.S. half and running with the ball 35 yards ahead into space on the right flank and giving a beautiful ball cross to a charging Adu. After collecting the ball just inside the penalty box, Adu was tripped up by the last defender as he tried to go around him. Gonzalez took the penalty, placing it in the lower left corner of the goal, beyond the keeper’s reach.

Gonzalez almost gave the U.S. a last second victory, but his left-footed free kick from about 25 yards out went just wide right.

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

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. CD Guadalajara
Competition: Dallas Cup XXIV
Location: Lake Highlands Stadium; Dallas, Texas
Date: April 12, 2003
Weather: Cool, clear; 70 degrees

Scoring Summary:  1st     2nd     Final
United States                 1         1         2
CD Guadalajara             0         2        2

USA – John DiRaimondo (Eddie Gaven)     22nd minute
GUA – Jose Gomez             48th
GUA – Ganohi Alvarez            60th
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez        77th

USA - 1-Phil Marfuggi; 6-Chris Germani, 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 16-Adrian Chevannes; 7-Brian Grazier, 15-Corey Ashe (capt.), 10-Guillermo Gonzalez, 8-John DiRaimondo; 11-Freddy Adu (13-Jamie Watson, 77th), 4-Eddie Gaven.
Subs not used: 6-Kyle Helton, 9-Michael Harrington, 17-Chase Wileman, 14- Jose Gomez, 12-Jacob Peterson

GUA – 18-Sergio Rodriguez; 2-Guadalupe Alatorre, 3-Alberto Cantero, 4-Damian Rosales; 5-Jose Villalobos, 6-Ganohi Alvarez, 7-Sergio Avila (17-Juan Mendoza, 46), 8-Jose Gomez; 9-Renato, Rivera, 10-Hector Gomez, 16-Manuel Vela (11-Angel Diaz, 46)

Statistical Summary: USA     GUA
Shots                  8         8
Saves                  9          9
Corner Kick        6          6
Fouls                  12        14
Offside                1           3

Misconduct Summary:
USA –  Brandon Owens (caution) 33rd minute.
GUA –  Jose Gomez (caution) 68
GUA – Juan Mendoza  (ejection) 77
GUA – Alberto Cantero (caution) 90+