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U.S. and Spain Prepare to Battle for First Place in Group D on Wednesday at the FIFA U-17 World Championship

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team will be fighting to finish atop Group D when it faces Spain on Wednesday, August 20, in its third and final group match at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship. The U.S., which has already qualified for the second round with two victories over the Korea Republic (6-1) and Sierra Leone (2-1), can win the group with a win or a tie. A loss would place the U.S. second in the group. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. local time / 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics (click to launch).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Spain notched 12 goals in four games during the UEFA U-17 Championship as they beat Italy (2-0) and Israel (3-0) and then battled to a tough 2-2 draw against England. In the semifinal against Austria, striker David had a career game, putting four goals past the ‘keeper to lead his team to a dominating 5-2 win. They couldn’t get the same output in the final though, as the Spaniards fell 2-1 to Portugal.

2003 UEFA Championship
Final Round – Group B
Date                  Opponent        Result    Location
May 5, 2003      Italy                2-0 W   Villa Real, Portugal
May 9, 2003      Israel              3-0 W   Chaves, Portugal
May 11, 2003    England          2-2 T     Villa Real, Portugal
May 14, 2003    Austria           5-2 W    Mangualde, Portugal
May 17, 2003    Portugal         1-2 L     Viseu, Portugal

COMEBACK SPANIARDS: Spain has comeback from deficits in both of its matches in Group D to either grab a tie or a win. After going up 2-0 against Sierra Leone, Spain had a man sent off and watched as three goals went against them and they went behind 3-2. But, a late goal brought the Spaniards even and provided them with an important one point. In their second game, Korea Republic took a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but second half substitute Silva scored a remarkable hat trick in 12 minutes to bring Spain all the way back for a 3-2 victory.

SPAIN AT THE U-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Spain has made six appearances at the FIFA U-17 World Championship, including the last five. Here is how they have finished in each tournament: 1991 – 2nd
1995 – 9th
1997 – 3rd
1999 – 9th
2001 – 11th 

GROUP C STILL WIDE OPEN: The two possible teams the U.S. could face in the quarterfinals are still uncertain as all four teams in Group C have the possibility of winning the group. Brazil leads the group with four points, but Portugal (3 points), Cameroon (2) and Yemen (1) all could end up on top with victories and significant goal differentials. Brazil will face Yemen at 5:30 p.m. local / 10:30 a.m. ET, while Portugal and Cameroon with play at 8 p.m. local / 1 p.m. ET.


  • In 10 appearances at the FIFA U-17 World Championship, the USA has reached the quarterfinals four times. The previous three occasions were in 1991, 1993 and 1999.
  • In their second match against Korea Republic on Sunday, Spain’s Silva scored the second fastest hat trick in FIFA U-17 World Championship history. He scored all three goals within 12 minutes (between the 65th and 76th minute). In 1997, another Spaniard, David, carried off the incredible feat of scoring four goals in just seven minutes (from the 43rd to 49th minute) in New Zealand’s 13-0 drubbing.
  • Adu’s game-winner against Sierra Leone in the 89th minute on Sunday was the 50th goal by the U.S. in the FIFA U-17 World Championship. The goal was also the second 89th minute goal for Adu in the tournament, as he scored in the same minute of play against the Korea Republic in the team’s first match.
  • The U.S. and Spain have two of the three leading scorers in the tournament going into their match on Wednesday. Adu is tied for the tournament lead with 4 goals (Colombia’s Carlos Hidalgo also has four, netting all in their third match on Tuesday), while Silva is tied for third with three.
  • The two goals against Sierra Leone were the first ever scored against an African team by the U.S. in the U-17 World Championship. The U.S. had gone scoreless in five previous matches against African teams: Guinea 1-0 L (1985); Ivory Coast 1-0 L (1987); Ghana 2-0 L (1995); Ghana 2-0 L (1999); Nigeria 2-0 L (2001).
  • After the first two matches, the U.S. led the tournament with eight goals scored.
  • With eight goals already scored in its first two games, the U.S. only needs one more goal to tie the team record for the most goals ever scored in the FIFA U-17 World Championship. The U.S. scored nine goals in 1999 on its way to a fourth place finish.
  • Four players have yellow cards for the U.S., including forward Freddy Adu who has collected two in two games. In the first match, Danny Szetela and Jonathan Spector received cautions, while Corey Ashe also received one in the second match.


U.S. vs. Sierra Leone
August 17, 2003

Scoring Summary:
                                                1st     2nd     Final
United States                             1        1         2
Sierra Leone                              1        0         1

SLE – Alimamy Sesay (Obi Metzgar)    32nd minute
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (penalty kick)    45th
USA – Freddy Adu (Jamie Watson)        89th

USA–1-Phil Marfuggi; 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 12-Steve Curfman (2-Kyle Helton, 76), 15-Corey Ashe, 17-Daniel Szetela, 8-John DiRaimondo, 10-Guillermo Gonzalez (7-Brian Grazier,
70 ), 4-Eddie Gaven; 13-Jamie Watson, 11-Freddy Adu (16-Adrian Chevannes, 90).
Subs not used: 18-Quentin Westberg, 19-Jacob Peterson, 28-Stephen Sandbo, 14-Julian Valentin, 9-Michael Harrington, 6-Chris Germani

SLE-1-Patrick Bantamoi; 2-Daniel Taylor (4-Mohamed Koroma, 33), 3-Umaru Bangura, 5-Hassan Sesay, 6-Mohamed Kamara; 8-Alimamy Sesay, 10-Samuel Barlay, 11-Obi Metzger, 14-Lansana
Bayouh (13-Emerson Samba, 74); 16-Ibrahim Khalil Tahini (19-Sheriff Suma, 58), 18-Kalie Jalloh.
Spain vs. Korea Republic
August 19, 2003

Scoring Summary:
                                                1st     2nd     Final
Korea Republic                             1        1         2
Spain                                             0        3         3

KOR – Dong Hyen Yang          45th minute
KOR – Own goal            59th
ESP – Silva            65th
ESP – Silva            73rd
ESP – Silva            76th

KOR–1-Ki Seok Cha; 4-Jin Ouk Kang, 6-Sang Hup Lee, 7-Seung Min Baek, 8-Young Chol Shin (14-Jun Kim, 75), 9-Dong Hyen Yang, 11-Yong Rae Lee, 12-Sang Yong Lee (3-Kyu Hawn Hwang,
29), 16-Sang Hyun An, 19-Young Rok Shin (15-Hun Lee, 46), 20-Gang Jin Lee.

ESP-1-Adan; 2-Ruz, 3-Raul Llorente, 4-Francis, 5-Sanchez; 6-Tebar (17-Cesc, 46), 7-Sisi, 8-Markel (Xisco, 59), 9-David; 11-Jurado, 18-Oskitz (10-Silva, 46).

ALL THREE CONCACAF TEAMS ADVANCE: The two other teams that qualified for the World Championship from CONCACAF – Mexico and Costa Rica – have advanced to the second round. Mexico advanced out of Group A after tying China PR 3-3 on Tuesday to finish second in the group. Costa Rica got through Group B by the flip of a coin as it finished tied with Nigeria on all possible tiebreakers for second place.
U-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FACT: The top goal scorer in any FIFA U-17 World Championship was France’s Florent Sinama Pongolle, with nine goals in four matches in Trinidad & Tobago 2001. Marcel Witecek from Germany is second with eight goals in three games (1985 China PR).