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U.S. Under-20s Wrap Up CONCACAF Qualifying with 3-2 Loss to Canada

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Sunday, November 17, 2002) - Already qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team wrapped up the CONCACAF Under-20 Group B Qualifying Tournament with a wild 3-2 loss to Canada at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.  The U.S. battled back from a 3-0 deficit and dominated the final 17 minutes of the match, but were unable to find the equalizer in a game that featured four goals in a six-minute span of the second half.

With the win Canada advanced to the 2003 World Youth Championship and will join the U.S., Mexico and Panama as CONCACAF’s four representatives in United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003.

The U.S. qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship with a win on Friday against El Salvador, and head coach Thomas Rongen made five changes from the line-up that he sent out two days ago. Ned Grabavoy, Jordan Stone, Knox Cameron, David Johnson and Frank Simek were all given starts, as the U.S. staff rested players after two taxing games in three days to open the tournament.

“Our boys definitely came out to play tonight, but we just had about 15 minutes where we were a little out of it defensively, and we paid for it,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen.  “Today we were able to look at some different players, but at the same time we really wanted to get a win. I was very impressed with the fight and the heart we showed after going down 3-0 and then nearly coming back to tie it up.”

After a scoreless first half, Canada opened the game up with a goal in the 55th minute.  Iain Hume got behind the U.S. backline and gave Steve Cronin no chance with his shot from 14 yards out.  Playing with more confidence, Canada added two more goals in the 70th and 71st minute.  Chris Lemine tallied in the 70th minute, and then Hume added his second goal of the game less than a minute later to give Canada 3-0 lead with less than 20 minutes remaining.

The U.S. team battled back, dominating the final 17 minutes of play.  The insertion of regular starters Justin Mapp and Devin Barclay in the second half woke up the U.S. attack, as the two MLS players gave the Canadians fits down the wings.

The U.S. wasted little time whittling away at the 3-0 deficit, answering with their first goal of the game less than two minutes later.  It came with little surprise that Bobby Convey, whose play all over the field was superb, figured in the USA’s first goal.  Convey sent in a corner kick from the right corner that Simek volleyed at the far post.  Simek’s right-footed shot hit a Candian defender on the goalline, but the ball caromed in for the defernder’s first international goal.

Convey also set up the USA’s second goal, sliding a ball from the top of the penalty box into the area for Ed Johnson.  Running from the left side of the box across the face of the goal, Johnson controlled the ball, evaded a defender and shot just inside the far left post for his second goal of the tournament.

The U.S. continued to press for the remainder of the match, keeping Canada on their heels for the final 15 minutes.  The U.S. recorded eight shots in the second half and created six corner kicks.  Chris Lancos almost equalized on the fifth corner of the half, glancing a header just wide of the post.  Jordan Stone had the USA’s last quality chance of the match, after Johnson played a smart ball inside the penalty area.  Stone received the ball at a tight angle in the right side of the box, and his shot found the sidenetting.

The frenzied second half was in stark contrast to the game’s first 45 minutes.  With Canada needing only to lose to by less than three goals to clinch a spot in the FIFA World Youth Championship and the U.S. already qualified, both teams played the first half with caution.

Ed Johnson had the USA’s best chance of the first half, when he got on the end of a Bobby Convey cross in the penalty area.  From nearly the same spot in the box where he scored in the win over Haiti, Johnson chested down Convey’s cross and cracked a right-footed half-volley that struck the underside of the crossbar and then bounced over the endline.

The game marked only the second international appearance for Frank Simek, who played centrally with Chad Marshall, as Ryan Cochrane and C.J. Klaas played as the wide defenders.  When Chris Lancos was inserted into the match in the second half, it meant all 16 U.S. field players played in the qualifying tournament.  Only back-up goalkeeper Clint Baumstark did not see time in the tournament.

Game Notes: The U.S. wore their all-white strip tonight, playing against a Canadian side in all red … Referee Rodrigo Badilla officiated his final international match tonight … The loss was only the USA’s second loss in eight qualifiers against Canada … Thomas Rongen and Santino Quaranta sat out the match after receiving red cards in Friday’s win. 

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Competition: CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament
Location: Blackbaud Stadium (Charleston, S.C.)
Date: November 17, 2002
Weather: 49 degrees; overcast, wet
Attendance: 896

Scoring Summary:  1st - 2nd - Final
United States 0 - 2 -
Canada 0 - 3 - 3

CAN – Iain Hume (Kevin Harmse), 55.
CAN – Chris Lemire, 70.
CAN – Iain Hume (Wyn Belotte), 71.
USA – Frank Simek (Bobby Convey), 73.
USA – Ed Johnson (Bobby Convey), 76.

USA -  1-Steve Cronin; 8-C.J. Klaas, 4-Chad Marshall, 16-Frank Simek, 5-Ryan Cochrane (14-Chris Lancos, 74); 15-David Johnson (13-Devin Barclay, 71), 6-Jordan Stone, 10-Bobby Convey, 19-Ned Grabavoy (3-Justin Mapp, 63); 17-Knox Cameron, 7-Ed Johnson.
Subs Not Used:  2-Jordan Harvey, 11-Ricardo Clark, 18-Clint Baumstark,
Not Eligible: 9-Santino Quaranta

CAN - 22-Karim Alim; 2-Winston Marshall, 6-Andres Arango, 4-Kevin Harmse; 11-Chris Lemire, 15-Josh Simpson, 13-Atiba Hutchinson, 7-Jason DiTullio (17-Sita-Taty Matondo, 78), 8-Gordon Chin, 9-Iain Hume, 10-Wyn  Belotte (5-Waldemar Dutra, 82).
Subs Not Used:  1-Daniel Fernandes, 3-Devin Matthews, 12-Joey Todaro, 14-Alex Chursky, 16-Elliott Godfrey.
Statistical Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 10 / 8
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kick: 6 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 12
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
Referee: Rodrigo Badilla (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1:  Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2:  Fredy De Paz (GUA)
Fourth Official:  Alejandro Jimenez (CRC)