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U.S. U-17 MNT Notes: World Championships Get Underway This Week


U.S. U-17 MNT Notes
August 12, 2003
Lahti, Finland

TWO DAYS AWAY
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face South Korea on Thursday, August 14 in its first game in the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The match will take place at 5:30 p.m. local time / 10:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast same-day delay on Galavision at 1 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match live at 10:30 a.m. ET on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

U.S. U-17 MNT GALAVISION BROADCAST SCHEDULE IN FINLAND
Thurs., Aug. 14 USA-South Korea (delayed, 1 p.m. ET/PT)
Sun., Aug. 17 USA-Sierra Leone (live, 7:55 a.m. ET / live 6:55 a.m. CT / delay 7:55 a.m. PT)
Wed., Aug. 20 USA-Spain (live, 12:55 p.m. ET/ delay, 1 p.m. PT)

FIRST LOOK AT SIERRA LEONE
All three of the USA’s opponents in Group D have now arrived at the hotel in Lahti. While Spain and South Korea arrived the same day as the U.S. (on Sunday), Sierra Leone, the USA’s second opponent in Group D play, didn’t arrive until today. The U.S. players got their first look at Sierra Leone as the two teams ate dinner in the cafeteria at the same time.

THE SITE
All the games in Group D will be played at Lahti Stadium, which holds 7,700 and is located a little over a mile from the center of the city. Lahti stadium was built in 1977 and renovated in 2001 in time for the Skiing World Championships, which is the reasoning for the large ski jumps situated directly next to the stadium. FC Lahti, which came into existence in 1996, calls the stadium home. 

FOUR GAMES KICK OFF THE TOURNAMENT
Four matches in Helsinki (Group A) and Turku (Group B) tomorrow will officially kick off the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Finland. In the early games (starting at 5:30 local time / 10:30 ET), host Finland takes on China PR at Toolo Stadium in Helsinki, while Australia goes up against Argentina at Kupittaa Stadium in Turku. In the late games (starting at 8 p.m. local / 1 p.m. ET), Mexico takes on Colombia (Helsinki) and Costa Rica meets Nigeria (Turku).

FREDDY ADU: LOOKING BACK ... AND AHEAD TO THE TASK AT HAND
Just one year ago, then 13-year-old Freddy Adu wasn't an American citizen, and while his U.S. Under-17 MNT teammates traveled around the world to play international matches, he had to go home to Bethesda, Md.  Adu, who's now 14, is just two days away from taking the pitch for the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. South Korea in its first game of the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. Adu received his citizenship in February and has been having a great time making his mark across the world the past six months as he travels with his U-17 teammates. He didn't waste any time either, getting a goal and an assist against Jamaica in his first game at the final round of CONCACAF qualifying in early March. As Adu and his U-17 teammates prepare to clash with the best teams in the world, the youngster takes a look back at becoming a U.S. citizen, his first international game with Jamaica, and looks ahead as they try to get out of Group D at the World Championship.

ELLINGER ON THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has arrived in Finland and is only two days away from playing its first game of the ’03 FIFA Under-17 World Championship against South Korea. For head coach John Ellinger it will be another chance for him to try and lead the U.S. U-17 MNT towards a championship.  Under the guidance of Ellinger, the ’99 U.S. Under-17 team closed out a brilliant run through the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand finishing fourth, the best finish at an Under-17 World Championship in the 21-year history of the U.S. program. As the final preparations are being done, Ellinger took time to talk to ussoccer.com about how the team looks going into its first game, what players are emerging and his overall take on the Lahti, Finland.

For the latest on the U-17 MNT and complete World Championship standings visit the competitions page of ussoccer.com.

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