US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Advances to Quarterfinals of 2005 FIFA World Championship with 3-1 Win Against Italy

  • Ofori Sarkodie, Kyle Nakazawa and Ryan Soroka Score to Put U.S. Through to Second Round
  • Soroka Tallies 1,000th Goal in the Overall History of the FIFA U-17 World Championship
  • U.S. Moves on to Quarterfinals of U-17 World Championship for Second Straight Time and Fifth Time in 11 Appearances
  • U.S. Travels to Lima to Face Ivory Coast in Their Final Group C Match on Sept. 23 in at 3:30 p.m. CT, live on Fox Soccer Channel

CHICLAYO, Peru (September 20, 2005) — The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship this afternoon with an impressive 3-1 victory against Italy in their second match at Estadio Elias Aguirre Romero in Chiclayo, Peru. All three U.S. goals came in the second half with Ofori Sarkodie scoring first, followed by Kyle Nakazawa and Ryan Soroka.

Sitting atop Group C with six points after outclassing the European giants, the U.S. didn’t secure a spot in the quarterfinals until North Korea defeated Ivory Coast 3-0 in the second match of the day in Chiclayo. The U.S. will make their second straight appearance in the quarterfinals and their fifth appearance in 11 Under-17 World Championships.

This is the third time the U.S. has won their first two matches in group play, also pulling off the feat in 1991 and 2003. The three-goal game marked the first time in the USA's 38-game U-17 World Championship history that the team has scored at least three goals in consecutive games.

The U.S. will take a chartered flight to Lima on Wednesday morning as they will play their final match at Estadio Nacional on Friday, Sept. 23 against Ivory Coast. Kickoff for the match is 3:30 p.m. CT and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow the match live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

“Getting a victory against Italy that enabled us to advance to the quarterfinals is a great achievement by our young players,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, who increased his record in international play to 14-3-1. “We came out and executed our game plan almost perfectly today and were able to control the majority of the match. I was extremely impressed by how we played and were able to keep our composure for 90 minutes.”

“Our job isn’t done even though we’ve qualified for the next round. We will enjoy this win, but then begin to prepare for our final group match against Ivory Coast. “

After a scoreless first half dominated by the U.S., captain Ofori Sarkodie put the Americans on the board when he blasted home a free kick from Kyle Nakazawa in the 47th minute. Nakazawa flighted a perfect free kick from the left sideline into the area that Sarkodie brought down, and then finished high into the net with a calm turn from six yards out. 

The U.S. took a man advantage when Italy forward Salvatore Foti was shown a straight red in the 60th minute for an off-the-ball incident directed toward U.S. goalkeeper that was witnessed by the assistant referee.

Seven minutes later, Nakazawa took it upon himself to score on another superbly taken set piece for the second straight game of the tournament.  His 25-yard direct strike bent over the wall and into the upper left corner of the goal past Italian goalkeeper Enrico Alfonso.

The U.S. continued to cruise until Italy substitute Andrea Russotto began to give the U.S. fits in the midfield and eventually cut the U.S. lead in half when he scored in the 74th minute off a strange 45-yard free kick that tricked Rueckner. Russotto’s service from along the left sideline into the penalty area went over the head of everyone before skipping off the artificial turf and into the right side of the net.

With the lead down to one, the U.S. showed a maturity in their game by not folding. Instead, they continued to dominate and frustrate the Italians, who eventually finished the game with six yellow cards and an ejected coach to go along with the red card.

Ryan Soroka got the final tally and secured the U.S. win by finishing into an empty net in the 90th minute after a dangerous, long free kick from second-half substitute Amaechi Igwe dropped into the area for Preston Zimmerman. The scrappy forward fought through an Italian defender and was able to flick the ball past Alfonso into empty space for Soroka to finish easily. The goal by Soroka was the 1,000th in the overall history of the FIFA U-17 World Championship.  

“Scoring any goal feels so good, so really it’s just another goal,” said Soroka, who also tallied in the opener against North Korea. “I’m glad I was able to get the mark, but I had no idea about it at the time obviously. I was more happy to just secure our win with the third goal.”

The U.S. made a few slight changes on the backline to start the match, putting Nikolas Besagno as a central defender and moving Blake Wagner to left back in place of Amaechi Igwe. The move paid dividends as Besagno’s physical presence was apparent as he, along with the Ofori Sarkodie, Kevin Alston and Wagner, won head balls and frustrated Italy’s towering forwards throughout the match. In the 66th minute, Besagno was substituted after twisting his ankle and is listed as day-to-day.

The U.S. was all over Italy from the opening whistle, keeping possession, setting the tempo and putting pressure on the Italian backline. Forward David Arvizu was the most dangerous player on the field during the entire 90 minutes as he continually found gaps behind Italy’s defenders on and off the dribble to put crosses into the box or find space himself to take a look on target.

Arvizu had his best opportunity of the first half in the 31st minute when he joined Zimmerman on a two-on-two towards goal. Michael Farfan threaded the ball straight down the middle of the field for Zimmerman and Arvizu sprinted up his right side as he dribbled forward towards the penalty area. Zimmerman pushed the ball to his right for Arvizu at the top of the 18 where he unleashed a low drive that went inches past the left post.

Three minutes later, Arvizu had another chance when Blake Wagner sent in a cross from the left flank. All alone at the back post, Arvizu took a settling touch but Davide Brivio was able to close down and block his half volley.

Arvizu continued to be active in the second half and was unlucky to get on the scoresheet. A number of times, the seemingly tireless forward ran down long balls before beating defenders on the dribble to create space for a shot on goal.

The victory enacted a bit of revenge for the U.S. national team program as the Under-20s were bounced out of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands this past June by Italy in the Round of 16.


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

Participants: USA vs. Italy
Competition: 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship
Location: Estadio Elias Aguirre Romero; Chiclayo, Peru
Date: September 20, 2005
Weather: Cool, 65 degrees
Attendance: 15,240

Scoring Summary:
                         1     2      F
USA                 0     3      3
Italy                   0     1     1

USA – Ofori Sarkodie (Kyle Nakazawa)           47th minute
USA – Kyle Nakazawa                                         66.
ITA – Andrea Russotto                                          74.
USA – Ryan Soroka (Preston Zimmerman)       90.

USA: 1-Bryant Rueckner; 3-Kevin Alston, 5-Ofori Sarkodie (capt.), 16-Nikolas Besagno (2-Amaechi Igwe, 66), 13-Blake Wagner; 6-Quavas Kirk (4-Josmer Altidore, 71), 8-Kyle Nakazawa, 19-Michael Farfan (14-Neven Subotic, 83), 11-Ryan Soroka; 9-Preston Zimmerman, 10-David Arvizu.
Subs not used: 7-Omar Gonzalez, 12-Gabriel Farfan, 15-Daniel Kelly, 17-Jeremy Hall, 18-Deigo Restrepo, 20-Brian Perk.
Head Coach: John Hackworth

ITA: 1-Enrico Alfonso; 2-Davide Brivio, 3-Lorenzo De Silvestri (capt.), 4-Manuel Angelucci (, 16-Matteo Scozzarella, 74), 5-Michele Cremonesi; 6-Daniele Greco (10-Andrea Russotto, 65), 7-Tommaso D’Attoma (17-Michael Cia, 57), 8-Simone Palmero, 18-Marco Mancosu; 9-Cristian Tiboni, 11-Salvatore Foti.
Subs not used: 12-Paolo Tornaghi, 13-Fabio Franceschini, 14-Stefano Mauri, 15-Matteo Mandorlini, 19-Marco Dalla Costa, 20-Simone Santarelli. 
Head Coach: Francesco Rocca

Statistical Summary:
                              USA    ITA
Shots                      13       7     
Saves                      6        5                    
Fouls                       19     18  
Corner Kicks          9         3  
Offside                    6         2  

Misconduct Summary:
ITA – Michele Cremonesi (caution)                           28th minute.
ITA – Lorenzo De Silvestri (caution)                          54.
ITA – Daniele Greco (caution)                                    56.
USA – David Arvizu (caution)                                     58.
ITA – Salvatore Foti (ejection)                                    60.
ITA – Manuel Angelucci (caution)                               67.
ITA – Andrea Russotto (caution)                                76.
ITA – Francesco Rocca - Head Coach (ejection)    83.
ITA – Michael Cia (caution)                                         88.

Referee: Mark Shield (AUS)
1st Assistant: Nathan Gibson (AUS)
2nd Assistant: Ben Wilson (AUS)
Fourth Official: Marco Rodriguez (MEX)

Group C Standings/Results

Team    GP    W      L     T     GF   GA  GD    Pts.
USA       2       2      0      0      6      3      +3     6
PRK       2      1      1       0     5       3       +2     3
ITA          2      1      1      0      5      6      -1       3
CIV         2      0      2      0      2      6       -4      0

Saturday, September 17
Italy 4, Ivory Coast 3
USA 3, North Korea 2

Tuesday, September 20
USA 3, Italy 1    
Ivory Coast 0, North Korea 3  

Friday, September 23
USA vs. Ivory Coast      Lima  3:30 p.m. CT (live on Fox Soccer Channel)
Italy vs. North Korea      Trujillo  3:30 p.m. CT is the official website of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.