U.S. U-17 MNT Notes
August 3, 2003
FROM DOWN UNDER
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continues its march towards Finland tomorrow (August 4) with its second of four World Championship preparation matches. The U.S. will take on fellow World Championship participant Australia at Everton Football Club’s training grounds at 2:30 p.m. local time. On Saturday (August 1), the U-17s toppled the U-18 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 as Freddy Adu came on as a reserve in the second half and garnered three goals in 24 minutes. The final two preparation matches the U.S. has scheduled in England are against a Manchester United youth squad on Thursday, August 5 and Nigeria, who is also in the World Championship, on Saturday, August 7.
- The last time the U.S. Under-17 MNT played Australia was a 0-0 draw on Sept. 6, 2001, the final match for the team before departing for the ’01 World Championships in Trinidad & Tobago. The match, which was played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., ended the USA’s record 11-game international winning streak that had dated back more than a year.
- Australia is staying in the same hotel as the U.S., as they are also playing a number of preparation matches this week.
- Before leaving for England, Australia lost its final two games against two club teams – the Bulleen Zebras (3-2) and Victorian State League (1-0). Before that the Aussies had a two-match tour in Finland where they won the first game 2-1, but fell in the second 1-0.
- With a hat-trick in the last match against the Blackburn Rovers, Freddy Adu moved into second on the team in most goals scored this year with 17, overtaking Eddie Gaven (15). L.A. Galaxy’s Guillermo Gonzalez leads the team with 20.
- Australia was drawn into the Group B, considered the "Group of Death," at the World Championship, and will face Nigeria, Argentina and Costa Rica.
- Australia’s squad is based entirely on players that played in either the Oceania qualifiers in February or the recent two-match tour of Finland.
THE AUSSIES’ ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nick Crossley, Mario Aparicio, Nathan Hughes; DEFENDERS (5): Jacob Timpano, Keegan Wolfenden, Nigel Boogard, Ben Griffin, Adrian Leijer; MIDFIELDERS (6): Kristian Sarkies, Erik Paartalu, Matt Christensen, Dane Richardson, Lachlan Cahill, Angelo Martino; FORWARDS: Serkan Oksuz, Richard Cardozo, Adam Casey, Dez Giraldi, Matt Hilton, Matthew Deegan.
JULES SECOND ENTRY
He may not be as cute as E! Entertainment’s Jules Asner, but our own Jules (Julian Valentin) is doing his best to serve as your host, providing you with an inside look at the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team during their preparation matches in England, and as they compete in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. In his second passage, the Lancaster, Pa. defender talks about Freddy's three-goal explosion against Blackburn, how his teammates improvise without a weight room, forward Jamie Watson bellowing out horrendous vocals during a karoake session at a local mall, and presents his first undercover segment on goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi. Yeah, he's got a lot of interesting things going on in his second installment, so check it out.
In the new September issue of YM (Your Magazine), seven of the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team players are featured in the "Boys of the Month" section. Danny Szetela, Steve Curfman, Freddy Adu, Kyle Helton, Guillermo Gonzalez, Michael Harrington and Jonathan Spector are all pictured in the magazine, along with a short bio on each player. The pictures were taken a few months ago at IMG Academy (the location of U.S. Soccer's Residency Program). There are also pictures of four U-17 MNT players - John DiRaimondo, Adrian Chevannes, Corey Ashe and Brandon Owens on the YM Web site at www.ym.com/boys.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Sunday’s play of the day comes from the quick reflexes of goalkeeper Quentin Westberg. During a condensed game of 7v7 with full size goals, Freddy Adu got good penetration through the middle and ripped a shot from about 16-yards out that was destined for the left side netting, but Westberg was able to react swiftly and stretched out to knock the ball back towards Adu. With Westberg still on the ground, Adu calmly collected the ball and tried to loft the ball over him and into the net. Westberg thwarted the attempt though as he sprang off the ground and just reached up with his right fist to knock the attempt over the bar for a corner kick.
Freddy Adu on the play: "The first shot was good, but the second one by Quentin was amazing. He got up so quick."
Quentin Westberg on the play: "After the first save and I saw the ball going back to Freddy I thought, ‘no way, not today.’ I was just able to reach up my right hand and get a piece of it, but I would have been happy to hit it with anything, my hand, my nose, whatever."