U.S. Under-20s Face Ukraine Today, Can Advance from Group with Win
MENDOZA, Argentina (Friday, June 22, 2001) -
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%LOOK AHEAD TO U.S. - UKRAINE: The U.S. heads into their final match of group play in a very advantageous position: they control their own destiny. A win and they advance. But a draw or a loss and they have to wait and see. Ukraine has looked to be a very solid side through their first two games, and enter Saturday's match at the top of Group C with four points and a +2 goal differential. The Ukraines drew 0-0 with China on Wednesday, in a match that saw little offensive force from either side. In the tournament opener on Sunday, Ukraine took advantage of their chances and hammered Chile, 4-2. Only a late Chile goal saved the final scoreline. In the first two matches Ukraine has displayed a very organized defense and an oportunistic offense that is led by the striking combination of Olekci Byelik and Ruslan Valeev. Byelik scored twice in the win against Chile and also tallied twice in the 2000 UEFA Under-18 Championship that served as a qualifier for the World Youth Championship.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%USA OFFENSE AWAKENS IN 4-1 WIN OVER CHILE: The United States pounded Chile, 4-1, at the Stadium Malvinas Argentinas in Medoza, Argentina, on Wednesday, June 20, and put themselves in a wonderful position to advance to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championship. DaMarcus Beasley led the U.S. attack with two goals and an assist, and Bobby Convey added two assists, as the U.S. rebounded from Sunday's loss to China to post a commanding win reminiscent of the USA's scorching run through CONCACAF qualifying earlier this year. Beasley tallied twice in the first half to give the U.S. a 2-1 advantage at the break. Brad Davis scored in the 69th minute and Edson Buddle ended the scoring seven minutes later with a clinical finish after the U.S. shredded the Chilean defense with three precision passes. D.J. Countess came up with one of his finest games in a U.S. jersey, recording nine saves. Countess made several acrobatic saves, but none may have been bigger than his one-on- one stop of Mario Salgado in the first minute.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%DAY OFF THURSDAY: After the team's 4-1 victory on Wednesday, Wolfgang Suhnholz gave the U.S. the team Thursday off to rest their legs and spend time with their family members. Many of the players visited the mall and walked around town. The U.S. team returned to the training field on Friday for a light training session.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%CONCACAF IN WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: CONCACAF is representsed by four nations at the 11th FIFA World Youth Championship. The United States and Costa Rica qualified at the Group B tournament in Trinidad, while Canada and Jamaica qualified at the Group A tournament in Canada. The Group B qualifiers have fared well to date, posting a combined 3-1 record to date. Costa Rica, who sits atop Group E with a maximum six points from two games, is one of the surprise of the tournaments. Costa Rica, who the U.S. has drawn 1-1 on two occasions in 2001, has topped Holland, 3-1, and Ethiopia, 3-1. Canada and Jamaica, on the other end of the spectrum, have not been as fortunate. Canada has been outscored 0-7 in their two losses to Germany and Iraq, and still have to face Brazil. Jamaica opened the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Egypt, and then fell to Finland 1-0 on an 86th minute goal on June 20. Jamaica still has a chance to advance, but must get through tournament favorites Argentina on June 23.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%REVIEW OF GROUPS TO DATE: The second matchday of the group phase continued to produce surprises, perhaps none more shocking than the 1999 runner-ups Japan losing their second consecutive match. France, who cruised to a 5-0 win in the Blue's first match, drew 2-2 with Paraguay. Brazil and Argentina both exploded on matchday two and leaped to the top of their respective groups, with Argentina scoring seven unanswered goals for a 7-1 win against Egypt. Saviola scored a hat trick before being replaced at half-time for the host nation. Brazil cruised to a 6-1 win over Iraq. Group D is one of the tightest groups heading into the final matchday. Angola and the Czech Republic sharing the top honors with four points, and Australia trails with three points after two games. Angola and Australia face off on the final day, with the Czechs facing Japan.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%STAT OF THE DAY:The USA's four goal-outburst in Wednesday's win against Chile was the second-most goals the U.S. has ever scored in a World Youth Championship game. In the '93 World Youth Championship in Australia, the U.S. opened with a 6-0 win against Turkey. The U.S. has only scored two or more goals in consecutive matches once at the World Youth Championship, tallying thee goals against Cameroon in the final group match at the '99 World Youth Championship and then falling to eventual champions Spain, 2-3, in the Round of 16.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"I think one of the strengths on this team are when we get the ball in the middle and play the ball out wide. We organize from there and then attack when the other team is still trying to get back."