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U.S. Under-20 MNT to Play Matches in Seattle and Blaine in Preparation for FIFA World Youth Championship


CHICAGO (April 19, 2005) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play matches in Seattle, Wash., and Blaine, Minn., over the next month as they continue preparations for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will take place from June 10-July 2 in Holland.

The U.S. will face the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division at Husky Soccer Field on Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m. PT before taking on the Canada Under-20 Men’s National Team three weeks later at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:35 p.m.

Fans can purchase tickets for the Seattle Sounders match by calling 206-622-3415. Due to the seating restrictions at Husky Soccer Field, the Sounders will only be offering a limited number of tickets in a $25 premium area and general admission tickets for $15. Fans can also purchase tickets to the Canada match in Blaine by calling 763-792-7337.

The roster for the match against the Seattle Sounders will be released later this week, while the roster for the match against Canada will be determined in the coming weeks. Both rosters will include a mix of professional players and college standouts.  

“It’s important to get our team together over the next month as we prepare for the World Championship,” said U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid, who is 9-1-0 in international matches since taking over as head coach last year. “Leading up to Holland we will continue to combine college players and professionals playing in Major League Soccer as we attempt to finalize our roster for the World Championship. These two games in Seattle and Blaine are extremely important in that pursuit.”

The U.S. Under-20s return on Wednesday (April 20) from a 10-day tour in Holland where they played three matches against reserve teams from clubs in Holland and Germany. In their first match on April 12, the U.S. defeated Feyenoord 1-0 behind a goal from 2004 Gatorade High School Player of the Year Lee Nguyen in the 58th minute. Two days later, the U.S. battled FC Twente to a 1-1 draw, getting the equalizer from Arturo Alvarez on a 20-yard free kick. The team plays their final match later today against the Borussia Monchengladbach reserve team.

The Seattle match will also serve as preparation for the Sounders as they kickoff their 2005 season five days later at home against the Portland Timbers. Last year, the Sounders advanced to the championship of the USL First Division (named the A-League up until this year), but fell 2-0 to the Montreal Impact to finish in second place.

Seattle Sounder defender Craig Klaas was part of to the U.S. Under-20 MNT that made a remarkable run to finish in fifth place at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. The University of Washington standout was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in the third round (32nd overall) of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, but opted to sign with the Sounders.

Canada will also be looking to prepare for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship after advancing in late January by winning Group B of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament in Honduras. The U.S. and Canada last met in December of 2004 when both teams were preparing for their qualifying tournaments, with the U.S. pulling out two 1-0 victories at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The U.S. qualified for Holland ’05 with a first-place finish in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in January. For the FIFA World Youth Championship, the U.S. was drawn into the difficult Group D with Argentina, Germany and Egypt.

The U.S. opens against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 11:30 a.m. ET, then faces Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 2:30 p.m. ET) and concludes group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 7:30 a.m. ET) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

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