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U-20 MNT Wins First Match of Two-Game Series Against Canada

TORONTO, Canada (July 7, 2006) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team scored two goals in the first half for a 2-1 win in the first match of a two-game series against 2-1 against Canada this evening at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada. The two teams will meet again on July 9 in Kingston, Ontario.

The U.S. got goals from Robbie Rogers and Josmer Altidore in a seven-minute span just after the opening half hour. An own goal by captain Julian Valentin late in the match pulled Canada to within one, but the U.S. defense closed out the final 10 minutes to secure the victory.

The U.S. has now beaten Canada by one goal in each of their last five meetings since 2003. The last time the U.S. fell to their CONCACAF rival was during qualifying for the 2003 FIFA World Cup, a 3-2 loss on Nov. 17 in Charleston, S.C.

In the 31st minute, Rogers appeared to have gotten past Stefan Leslie, but the defender was able to recover and wrestle possession back. Leslie dwelled far too long in possession and was stripped by Rogers 25 yards from the Canadian goal. The University of Maryland product then took two touches to clear his feet and hammered a shot into the roof of the Canadian goal for the game’s opening goal.

Seven minutes later, the U.S. stretched their lead to two when Amaechi Igwe carried the ball from inside his own half to the edge of theCanadian area before he fed Altidore in alone on Canadian goalkeeper David Monsalve. The 'keeper did very well to block Altidore’s initial shot but the ricochet was not kind to Monsalve and the ball fell straight back to N.Y. Red Bulls' striker and he coolly slide his shot into the empty goal.

Canada pressured the U.S. defense in the second half and it eventually paid off when AJ Gray managed to get a cross into the box. He was looking for Lammie inside the area but his cross took a deflection off the foot of Valentin and settled into the back of Mike Gustavson’s goal.

Canada continuee to press for the equalizer, but the U.S. defense did well squelch any late charges.

"The goal (by Rogers)  was from a special player, and then we got the second from the big man from the Red Bulls," said U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. "It was a tale of two different halves, we took our chances well."

Both teams will now travel to Kingston, Ontario, where they will meet again on July 9th at Richardson Stadium at 7pm.

Tickets for the match at Richardson Stadium are still available and are priced at $29.00 for Centre Gold Reserved seating, $19.00 for Sideline Reserved seating, and $12.00 for General Admission seating. General Admission tickets for this match can be purchased at the Southeast Ontario Soccer Association at 613-546-6642, while all Reserved Seating can be purchased at the Physical Education Centre on the campus of Queen’s University at 613-533-6000 x 74715, and online at

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

Participants: USA vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Location: Toronto, Canada
Date: July 7, 2006
Weather: Warm, 60 degrees
Attendance: 5,325

Scoring Summary:
                    1    2    F
USA            2    0    2
CAN            0    1    1

USA – Robbie Rogers                         31st minute
USA – Josmer Altidore                        37.
CAN – Own goal (Julian Valentin)     80.
USA: 24-Mike Gustavson; 19-Tony Beltran, 2-Kyle Davies, 4-Julian Valentin (capt.), 13-Blake Wagner; 15-Brad Ring, 22-Bryan Arguez (7-Corben Bone, 64), 8-Rodrigo Lopez (16-Cameron Brown, 72); 3-Amaechi Igwe, 14-Josmer Altidore (9-Estuardo Sanchez, 64), 11-Robbie Rogers (17-Omar Gonzalez, 85).
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

CAN: 1-David Monsalve; 2-Kennedy Owusu-Ansah; 5-Stephen Lumley; 7-Masumi Turnbull (3-AJ Gray, 46); 8-Alex Elliott (captain) (14-Gabe Gala, 62); 9-Massimo Di Ioia; 10-Hector Contreras (13-Shane Lammie, 46); 11-Olivier Babineau; 15-Mike D’Agostino; 16-Stefan Leslie (4-Ibrahim Balde, 46); 17-Joey Loreth (6-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 46)
Head Coach: Dale Mitchell

Statistical Summary:
                                 USA    CAN
Shots                         7          5   
Saves                        0          2
Fouls                        16        10
Corner Kicks            2          1
Offside                       2          3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tony Beltran (caution)               65th minute
USA – Estuardo Sanchez (caution)    90.