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U.S. Under-20 MNT Tie Third Straight Match in Milk Cup, Draw 1-1 With Wales

(July 21, 2004) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team tied its third straight match at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland this afternoon, battling Wales to a 1-1 draw despite dominating most of the play and getting numerous chances on goal.

With the tie, the U.S. finished tied with Denmark for second place in Group 2 and will have to compete in a shoot-out on Thursday as none of the tie-breakers could decide how the teams would finish in the standings. The two countries tied each other 1-1 in group play and also finished tied in the other two tie-breakers, goals scored (3) and goals allowed (3). 

The winner of the shootout will face Russia in the 3rd/4th Place match, while the loser will play Northern Ireland in the 5th/6th Place match. Both games will be played on Saturday, July 23.

The U.S. was the better team on the night, outshooting Wales by a wide 16-3 margin, but could only find the back of the net once during 90 minutes. Despite getting outplayed, Wales took the lead off their first shot on goal in the 41st minute when Sean Cronin buried his blast beyond the reach of Quentin Westberg. The U.S. looked like would struggle to find an equalizer when Patrick Phelan was sent off in the 52nd minute, reducing them to 10 men, but a minute later Chad Barrett beat the Welsh ‘keeper with a header.

The U.S. attacked from the opening whistle, but little did they know that when Sasha Klejstan hit the post from close range in the 4th minute that it was foreshadowing how the rest of the match would go.

Forward Charlie Davies was a terror up front and created a number of opportunities that came agonizing close. In the 18th minute he hit the crossbar on a header off a cross from Klejestan, and then followed up with two strikes that were barely wide or high. 

Davies wasn’t the only one to get a chance on goal though, as Kljestan, Tim Ward an Jay Denny all had chances within the 35-minute mark that came close to putting the U.S. in the lead. In all, the U.S. took 10 shots in the first half.

The U.S. did appear to score in the 39th minute when Barrett beat his man in the area and then found Davies in the middle for an easy tap-in, but the assistant referee said the ball had crossed the endline before Barrett made the pass.

Wales goal came a couple minutes later as the U.S. defense broke down and Cronin was left unmarked at the back post. Phil Gray supplied him with the ball and he hit it first-time past Westberg.

The game got even more interesting in the second half as Phelan was given a red card, but the exact reasoning was unclear. It appeared the centerback must have exchanged words with the referee after he awarded Wales a free kick due to a tough tackle by Phelan. 

Fortunately for the U.S., Barrett was able to tie the game before Wales was able to pack it in even more. Westberg cleared a loose ball in the box and the ball was left untouched by the Welsh defense, bouncing high into the air and Barrett snuck in to head the ball over ‘keeper Craig Attard, who had left his line.

The U.S. continued to be the better team despite being down a man, as Arturo Alvarez, Stuart Holden and Will John all were able to begin attacks on the flanks. In the 75th minute, things became even again as Stuart Fleetwood was sent off for kicking Kiel McClung in the head while the defender was lying on the ground.

Despite having 15 minutes to find the game winner with an equal number of players on each squad, the U.S. still struggled with its finishing and was never able to put another away.

- U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Match Report -

Participants: U-20 MNT vs. Wales
Competition: 2004 Milk Cup
Location: Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Date: July 21, 2004
Weather: Cool, 60 degrees

Scoring Summary:

                                      1st      2nd     Final
United States                  0         1          1
Wales                             1         0          1
WAL – Sean Cronin (Phil Gray) 
USA – Chad Barrett (Quentin Westberg)

USA –1- Quentin Westberg; 6-Steve Purdy, 2-Patrick Phelan, 20-Kiel McClung (9-Kamani Hill, 80), 4-Mike Ordonez; 15-Sasha Klejstan, 7-Jay Denny (8-Craig Capano, 46), 19-Nico Colaluca (12-Stuart Holden, 46), 3-Tim Ward (11-Arturo Alvarez, 46); 10-Charlie Davies (16-Will John, 65), 13-Chad Barrett
Subs not used: 5-Karl Schilling, 18-Justin Hughes

WAL: 21-Craig Attard; 15-Sean Cronin, 3-Sean Eardley (4-Adam Gross, 67), 16-Ryan Morgan, 6-Lee Surman; 18-Anthony Taylor (7-Liam Jones, 61), 11-Michael Williams, 8-Phil Gray (9-Chad Bond, 69), 12-Robert Davies; 5-Jamie Rewbury, 10-Stuart Fleetwood
Subs not used: 1-Wayne Hennessey; 2-Dominic Jones, 7-Liam Jones, 17-David Evans

Statistical Summary:
                           USA      WAL
Shots                     16          3          
Saves                     1           6
Corners                 9            2
Fouls                     12          10
Offside                  3            2

Misconduct Summary:
WAL – Robert Davies (caution)        22nd
USA – Patrick Phelan (expulsion)         52nd minute
WAL – Stuart Fleetwood (expulsion)    75th

2004 Milk Cup Standings

Group 1
Team         GP   W   L   T    GF   GA    +/-    Pts.
Brazil                    3      2    1    0     7       4       3       6
Russia                   3      2    1    0     7       6       1       6
Northern Ireland   3      1    1    1     4       4       0       4
Israel                     3      0    2    1     4       8      -4      1
Saturday, July 17
Russia 1, Northern Ireland 0
Brazil 2, Israel 0

Monday, July 19
Russia 4, Israel 2
Northern Ireland 2, Brazil 1

Wednesday, July 21
Brazil 4, Russia 2
Northern Ireland 2, Israel 2

Group 2
Team         GP   W   L   T    GF   GA   +/-   Pts.
Turkey         3      1    0    2     2       1      1      5
Denmark               3      0    0    3     3       3      0      3
USA                      3      0    0    3     3       3      0      3
Wales                    3      0    1    2     3       4     -1      2

Saturday, July 17
Turkey 2, Wales 1
USA 2, Denmark 2

Monday, July 19
Turkey 0, USA 0
Denmark 1, Wales 1

Wednesday, July 21
Turkey 0, Denmark 0
USA 1, Wales 1