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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Beats Newcastle in Semifinals, Advances to Dallas Cup Final

DALLAS, Texas (April 18, 2003) – Freddy Adu scored a first half goal and the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defense held off an offensive attack despite being down a man for the entire second half to beat Newcastle United FC 1-0 in the semifinals of the Dallas Cup tonight at Lake Highlands Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

The U.S. will try to become the first American team in the history of the Dallas Cup to win the U-19 Super Group since its inception in 1990, when they face Tigres (of Mexico) on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Lake Highlands Stadium. Tigres defeated CD Guadalajara 1-0 in the earlier semifinal tonight.

Adu headed home a Guillermo Gonzalez free kick from the right of the 18-yard-box in the 33rd minute for the game winner. The goal was Adu’s first in the Dallas Cup.

During injury time of the first half central defender Jonathan Spector was given his second yellow card of the half and was ejected from the game. The U.S. had to play with only 10 men for the entire second half, but was still able to shut down the Newcastle attack and didn’t allow a single shot on goal.

"The guys did a great job of closing down Newcastle, while still putting pressure on their goal despite being down a man," head coach John Ellinger said. "We changed up our line-up because we knew Spector was out for the second half and the guys really responded. Our backline did a great job of frustrating their attack and allowed us to advance to the final. We’re looking forward to Sunday and hope we can make history as the first U.S. team to win the Super Group."

Adu’s goal was set-up after midfielder Corey Ashe was able to draw a foul as he dribbled down the right flank, giving the U.S. the free kick. Gonzalez bent the ball into the box, where Adu was able to rise up and head the ball just inside the left post for the only goal of the game. After the goal, the pro-U.S. crowd, estimated at about 10,000, began chanting U-S-A, U-S-A.

In injury time of the first half, Spector got his second caution after pulling down Newcastle forward, Lewis Brett Guy, from behind after he had run onto a long ball served from the Newcastle backline. The caution was Spector’s second after receiving one in the 29th minute for a hard challenge and he was sent off.

Moments before receiving his first card, Guy punched Spector in the head while challenging for a ball in the air, but no foul was called. The collision created a cut above Spector’s right eye, forcing him to come out for four minutes as U.S. trainers stopped the bleeding and put a bandage over the wound. After the game, Spector went to a local hospital to get stitches.

With only 10 men for the second half, Ellinger moved midfielder John DiRaimondo to right fullback and Adrian Chevannes to a central defender position with Brandon Owens. Kyle Helton remained in his left fullback position. Eddie Gaven, Corey Ashe, Brian Grazier and Adu filled out the midfield, while Gonzalez was the lone forward for the U.S.

The U.S. defense did a remarkable job of handling Newcastle’s pressure during the entire second half. Newcastle made some decent attacks up the wings and got some dangerous crosses in, but the U.S. was able to clear them out of the box. The U.S. defense didn’t give up a single shot on goal as the majority of Newcastle shots went wide or high above the American goal.

Newcastle’s best chance came in the 88th minute when U.S. keeper Quentin Westberg punched out a dangerous cross and it landed to the feet of Newcastle defender Christopher Carr near the top of the penalty area. Carr had a clear shot at an open goal, as Westberg raced to get back in front of the goal, but he ripped it wide left.

The U.S. was still able to get some clean looks at the Newcastle net, despite being down a man. Gonzalez had two blasts from about 30-yards out, one of which the keeper had to punch over the net to prevent it from giving the U.S. a bigger lead. Ashe and Adu also created havoc for the Newcastle defense in the second half, using their speed to make quick counter-attacks.

- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Newcastle United FC
Competition: Dallas Cup XXIV
Location: Lake Highlands Stadium; Dallas, Texas
Date: April 18, 2003
Weather: Cool; 60 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                                 1st 2nd Final
United States               1    0     1
Newcastle United FC    0    0     0

USA – Freddy Adu (Guillermo Gonzalez) 33rd minute


USA – 1-Quentin Westberg; 2-Kyle Helton, 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 16-Adrian Chevannes; 7-Brian Grazier, 15-Corey Ashe (13-Jamie Watson, 87), 10-Guillermo Gonzalez, 8-John DiRaimondo, 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven.
Subs not used: 4-Jose Gomez, 6-Chris Germani, 1-Phil Marfuggi, 17-Chase Wileman, 12-Jacob Peterson, 9- Michael Harrington

NWC – 1-Adam James Collin; 2-Lee Frederick Norton (17-Guy Leslie Bates, 55), 3-Kristopher Gate, 4- Peter Iain Ramage, 6-Christopher Shanks, 7-Martin Brittain (14-Matthew Joseph Pattison, 75), 8-James Beaumont, (18-Ben Jackson, 58), 9-Lewis Brett Guy, 10-Andrew Eric Ferrell (11-Alan O’brien 78), 12-Daniel Howe, 16-Carl Finnigan,

Statistical Summary:
                            USA NWC
Shots                      7      2
Saves                      2      6
Corner Kick              4      9
Fouls                       3    19
Offside                     0      2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Jonathan Spector (caution)         29th minute
NWC – Fredrick Norton (caution)           39th
USA – Spector (ejection)                      45th
NWC – Ben Jackson (caution)              59th
NWC – Christopher Shanks (caution)     90th

Dallas Cup U-19 Super Group Semifinal Results and Final Schedule

Friday, April 18
Tigres 1 CD Guadalajara 0
USA 1 Newcastle United FC 0

Third Place Match
Saturday, April 19
Newcastle United FC vs. CD Guadalajara 7:30 p.m. CT Lake Highlands Stadium

Sunday, April 20
USA vs. Tigres 7 p.m. CT Lake Highlands Stadium