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U.S. Under-17 '91 Men's National Team Tops Chivas USA Under-18 in Development Academy Showcase Game

CARSON, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2007) – The U.S. Under-17 '91 Men’s National Team topped Chivas USA Under-18 in their first match of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, scoring three unanswered goals from three different scorers in the premier game of the Fall Showcase Weekend at The Home Depot Center.

The U.S. controlled most of the match, taking a 1-0 into halftime after a goal from Pablito Cruz, his first goal with the Under-17 squad.  Just before the 30 minute mark, Bryan Dominguez, who was dangerous all night, played the ball to Cruz streaking downfield to his left. Cruz took a touch and hit a low, hard shot to the far post, beating Chivas ‘keeper Juan Quiroz.

Chivas turned up the pressure in the second half, doing their best to break down the U.S. defense, but the back line of Aubrey Perry, Kofi Sarkodie, Greg Garza and team captain Gale Agbossoumonde kept Chivas from getting many quality chances.

The U.S. doubled their lead in the 73rd minute when Okugo made a run from his defensive position and found Nick Millington, who hit a strong shot past Quiroz from near the top of the penalty area.

Quiroz was called on to make one of his many great saves, denying a heavy, curling shot from Ryan Finley. But just a minute later, second-half substitute Ben Speas beat a defender and then slotted a ball across the box and eventually found Eder Areola, who made no mistake in finishing the ball into the empty net for the final score of 3-0.

The Under-17s will take on the Richmond Kickers on Monday, Oct. 8, on the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field in the final match of the Fall Showcase weekend.

In Saturday's other Under-18 games, Birmingham United rallied to a 3-3 draw with Nomads behind a natural hat trick from Edgar Avalos in an 11-minute span in the second half. The Nomads got a pair of goals from Rodolfo Godinez and one from Elio Ignacio De La Torre.

In the day’s toughest defensive battle, IMG Academies and Virginia Rush played to the day’s only 1-0 game. IMG’s goal from Luis Ocejo just before halftime proved to be the game winner. Goalkeeper Larry Jackson, a member of the recent U.S. Under-17 World Cup squad, and his defense were able to preserve the shutout and the victory.

Over on the Murphy Family Field, DeAnza Force cruised to a 5-0 victory against the Clearwater Chargers. Mackenzie Pridham scored three goals for the Sunnyvale, Calif. club. In the only other U-18 game decided by more than two goals, the Surf topped the Concorde Fire, 3-0, scoring all three goals in the second half.

In Under-16 action, Austin Savage of Bridge FA became the leading scorer on the day with four goals as he led his team to an 8-0 win against AFC Lightning. That game would prove to be an anomaly, as six of the nine U-16 games on Saturday were decided by two goals or less.

The Nomads opened the day in exciting fashion on Mooch Myernick Field, coming from behind to beat Birmingham United, 2-1. Just six minutes after Kerry Bowden opened the scoring for Birmingham, Danchrisandre Delgado leveled the score and set up Ian McKelvey for the game winner with just seven minutes left.

The competition was only part of the activities surrounding the first day of matches. In additional to a full complement of national staff coaches, including U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley, U.S. U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, U-17 head coach John Hackworth and U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Bob Jenkins, more than 50 college coaches from across the country were on hand to scout the elite talent.

Referees from across the nation, including full-time U.S. Soccer and FIFA referee Terry Vaughn, are officiating matches this weekend under the eyes of top members of the U.S. Soccer Referee Department Esse Baharmast (Director of International and Professional Referee Development), Alfred Kleinaitis (Manager of Referee Training and Development) and Paul Tamberino (Manager of Professional Assignment and Assessment) are conducting referee assessment and training of the 40 officials who are participating in this weekend's action. Baharmast spoke with about the importance of the Academy in the identification and development of referees in the United States.

Throughout the afternoon, players relaxed in a special Players Lounge that was stocked with Gatorade and fruit snacks, and entertained themselves playing FIFA '08 on Xbox and checking emails on computers provided by Nike. Headlining the entertainment in the lounge was a performance by Seymour Saves The World, a Minneapolis, Minn., based rock band.

For all the scores, photos, podcasts and video from the inaugural U.S. Soccer Development Academy Fall Showcase, log on to

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

Participants: USA U17 MNT vs. Chivas USA U-18
Competition: Development Academy Fall Showcase
Location: Carson, Calif.
Date: Oct. 6, 2007
Weather: Cool, clear

Scoring Summary:
                           1   2   F
USA                   1   2   3
Chivas USA     0   0   0

USA – Pablito Cruz (Bryan Dominguez)     29th minute
USA – Nick Millington (Amobi Okugo)        76.
USA – Eder Arreola (Ben Speas)                83.

USA: 18-Zac MacMath; 5- Aubrey Perry, 7-Kofi Sarkodie, 11-Gregory Garza, 17-Gale Agbossoumonde; 9-Amobi Okugo, 10-Bryan Dominguez (20-Scott Caldwell, 83), 14-Charles Renken (13-Eder Arreola, 74), 15-Pablito Cruz (22-Ben Speas, 66); 19-Nick Millington, 21-Ryan Finley

Subs not used: 1-Samir Badr, 3-Mykell Bates, 23-Korey Veeder, 25-Chad Barson

Head Coach: Raul Diaz Arce

Chivas: 1-Juan Quiroz, 2-Omar Elmasri, 3-Nikolas Acosta, 4-Gerson Mayen, 5-Jose Diaz, 6-Caesar Zamora (14-Omar Becera, 46), 7-Leopoldo Morales (15-Sergio Molina, 83), 8-Hector Molina, 10-Armando Rocha, 11-Mario Ledezma (9-Arnaldo Salazar, 70), 13-Hugo Sanchez (19-Adrian Ruelas, 61)

Subs not used: 12-Caesar Gonzales, 16-Manuel Rodriguez, 18-Erick Escobedo

Head Coach: Sacha van der Most

Statistical Summary:
                USA  /  Chivas
Shots      17  /  6
Shots on goal 11 / 2
Saves 2 / 8
Fouls 9 / 13
Corner Kicks 2 / 1
Offside 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary: N/A