CARSON, California (July 19, 2003) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team was only able to grab a hard-fought 0-0 draw this afternoon against the Australian Institute of Sport on a training field at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U.S. U-17 MNT will finish its week-long training camp on Monday morning when the two teams will meet again at the same field.
The AIS is a developmental program used to identify and develop players for Australia’s Under-20 Men’s National Team. The majority of the players on the squad were born in 1985, making them a year older than the U.S. players.
The game was a defensive stronghold as both teams struggled to get quality chances on goal. Each team was only able to get four shots on goal during the match.
AIS dominated early as it peppered the U.S. goal, getting three of its four shots during the game in the first 10 minutes of play. The best opportunity came in the fifth minute as midfielder Chris Tadrosse made a run down the left flank and swung in a perfect cross, finding forward Dezman Giraldi in the penalty area. Giraldi’s header looked to be making a beeline for the back of the net, but ‘keeper Phil Marfuggi was able to get come up with a stellar save to maintain a clean sheet.
Four minutes later, AIS got another good chance after U.S. defender Adrian Chevannes, who is still battling an ankle injury, misplayed a ball out of the back and it was intercepted by midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse. Wheelhouse played a through ball forward to a streaking Joel Theissen, who collected the ball, pushed in to his left and ripped a low-liner that just missed the far right post. One minute later Giraldi had the final AIS chance when he ripped a 25-yard shot that went right to Marfuggi.
After surviving the AIS offensive onslaught, the U.S. began to settle down and got a couple of good scoring opportunities created from individual dribbling. In the 13th minute, Eddie Gaven collected the ball on the left baseline and beat two defenders as he dribbled towards goal, but his pass back towards the six-yard box was cleared out for a corner kick.
Freddy Adu got another shot on goal for the U.S. in the 29th minute after collecting a pass just outside the penalty are on the left sideline from Corey Ashe. Adu, facing two defenders in front of him, pushed the ball to his left and ripped a shot that ended up going directly to ‘keeper Justin Pasfield.
At halftime, head coach John Ellinger changed from a 4-4-2 line-up to a 3-5-2, with Adu and Jamie Watson up front. Jonathan Spector directed the backline in central defense, with Julian Valentin and Brandon Owens playing wide.
The change-up looked like it would pay off as the U.S. came out with a much quicker pace and crisper passing, which resulted in its best scoring opportunity of the game just four minutes into the half. Second-half substitute Daniel Szetela found Ashe on the left flank, who pushed the ball passed his defender and served up a perfect cross. Watson, sitting at the far post unmarked, ran onto the ball, but headed it just wide right of the goal.
AIS had one final chance on goal in the 67th minute as Adam Casey got behind the U.S. defense on the left side of the goal and nailed a bullet, which hit the near post and ricochet out for a goal kick.
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Australian Institute of Sport
Location: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Date: July 19, 2003
Weather: Warm; 80 degrees
1st 2nd Final
United States 0 0 0
AIS 0 0 0
USA –1-Phil Marfuggi; 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 16-Adrian Chevannes (12-Steve Curfman, 33; 14-Julian Valentin, 46) 2-Kyle Helton (17-Daniel Szetela, 46); 8-John DiRaimondo, 15-Corey Ashe, 7-Brian Grazier, 10-Guillermo Gonzalez (13-Jamie Watson, 46), 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven
Subs not used: 6-Jacob Peterson, 9-Michael Harrington, 6-Chris Germani, 20-Jose Gomez
AIS – 18-Justin Pasfield; 3-Keegan Wolfenden, 7-Liam Lilly, 12-Eli Gilfedder (8-Ivan Bosnar, 46; 6-Nikolai Toror-Stanley, 77), 17-Aaron Downes; 4-Chris Tadrosse, 10-Billy Celeski (20-Joel Theissen, 46; 16-Nick Ward, 63), 14-Jobe Wheelhouse, 15-Stuart Musilak; 11-Dezman Giraldi (9-Adam Casey, 69), 19-Matthew Deegan (13-Mark Nedelkovic, 69)
Shots 4 4
Saves 3 4
Corner Kick 4 6
Fouls 13 18
Offside 0 2
AIS – Jobe Wheelhouse (caution) 36th minute
AIS – Dezman Giraldi (caution) 45th