CHICAGO (Wednesday, April 2, 2003) — One month after qualifying for a record 10th consecutive FIFA World Championship, the United States Under-17 Men’s National Team will compete in the Dallas Cup XXIV in Dallas, Texas from April 13-20. The U.S. Under-17s, placed in the U-19 Super Group, will kickoff the tournament on Sunday, April 13, against the Cameroon Jr. National Team at Lake Highlands Stadium. The U.S. Under-16 Men’s National Team, compiled of primarily players in the U.S. Soccer residency program in Bradenton, Fla., will also compete in the Dallas Cup, playing in the Under-17 Group.
The U.S. Under-17s will also face Promesas 2006 (El Salvador) on Monday, April 14, and RS Futebol Clube (Brazil) on Wednesday, April 16, in Super Group Bracket A round-robin play.
This year’s Super Group is comprised of 12 teams from nine countries, including Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica), Newcastle United FC (England), Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portugal), UNAM Pumas (Mexico) and Woodbridge Strikers (Canada).
The U.S. Under-17s, preparing for the FIFA World Championship in Finland from August 13-30, last competed in the Dallas Cup in 1999. That year, the U.S. Under-17s finished fourth at the World Championship in New Zealand, the team’s best finish ever.
“The games we play at this tournament will be excellent matches to prepare us for the World Championship in August,” said U.S. Under-17 head coach John Ellinger. “It will be a challenge to advance, but I have the confidence that our players will be able to rise and meet that challenge and put forth a great effort. I know our guys are looking forward to matching up with the teams in our group.”
While in Dallas, the recently implemented U-17 structured media plan will remain in affect. Any media looking for interviews with the team and coaches, must make arrangements in advance of attending a team training session or game. No unscheduled interviews will be allowed. To schedule an interview, contact U.S. U-17 Press Officer Neil Buethe at 312-528-1270.
Ellinger will rely on a quartet of talented attackers to generate the majority of the team’s offense at the Dallas Cup. Recent MLS draftees Guillermo Gonzalez (27 goals) and Eddie Gaven (17), along with fleet-footed Corey Ashe (15) and 13-year-old Freddy Adu (26) have combined to score 85 goals in the past 15 months.
Two players on the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, Jamie Watson and Chase Wileman, hail from Texas. Watson has totaled 12 goals and nine assists in 19 matches since joining the team last fall and will provide the U.S. with an offensive spark off the bench.
The U.S. Under-17s shattered several U.S. Soccer records in 2002, setting new marks for wins in a year (40), games played (66) and shutouts (25). The Under-17s posted a 40-15-11 record in 2002, scoring more than twice as many goals as their opponents (153 goals for, 74 goals against). The team closed out the year with only two losses in their final 25 matches, losing a pair of 1-0 games in the final week of December.
So far in 2003, the U.S. Under-17s have posted a 9-3-2 record, scoring 37 goals and only allowing 11 against.
The U.S. Under-16s, who have been placed in the U-17 Group, will open tournament play against the Dallas Texans Red on Monday, April 14, before meeting Palo Alto Gold Crew (California) on Tuesday, April 15. In their final match, the U.S. will take on Yahara United Premier (Wisconsin) on Wednesday, April 16.
Ellinger, who is also coaching the U.S. Under-16s, will have a number of talented players to use at his disposal, including midfielder Daniel Szetela and defender Julian Valentin. Both players traveled with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team to Guatemala for the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Championship, with Szetela starting one game and coming on in relief in the other two matches.
The Dallas Cup is considered the most competitive youth soccer tournament in North America and is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer and FIFA. Participation in the tournament is by invitation only and teams are selected based on their competitive performance. In past years, teams and referees have traveled to Dallas from 98 countries and six continents.
In the opening round robin, teams are bracketed into groups of four and are guaranteed a minimum of three games. The group winners, along with wildcards, advance to the elimination stage. All the games are played on grass fields in the Dallas area.
U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Schedule
U-19 Super Group, Bracket A
Date / Opponent / Location / Time
April 13 / Cameroon Jr. National Team / Lake Highlands Stadium / 3:30 p.m. CT
April 14 / Promesas 2006 (El Salvador) / Richland College – Field #3 / 4 p.m. CT
April 16 / RS Futebol Clube (Brazil) / Richland College – Field #3 / 12 p.m. CT
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Roster
|Adu, Freddy||F||5'8"||140||06/02/89||Potomac, Md.||Bethesda International|
|Ashe, Corey||F||5'5"||135||03/14/86||Virginia Beach, Va.||Beach FC Impact|
|Chevannes, Adrian||D||5'11"||175||06/17/86||Ft. Worth, Texas||Club Dallas|
|DiRaimondo, John||M||5'6"||140||04/23/86||St Louis, Mo.||Busch SC|
|Gaven, Eddie||F||6'0"||145||10/25/86||Hamilton, N.J.||Hibernians FC|
|Germani, Chris||D/M||5'6"||140||07/10/86||Yardley, Pa.||FC Delco|
|Gomez, Jose||M||5'8"||150||01/02/86||Inglewood, Calif.||Irvine Strikers|
|Gonzalez, Guillermo||M||5'11"||145||01/04/86||Paramount, Calif.||Irvine Strikers|
|Grazier, Brian||M||5'11"||145||03/17/86||Edwardsville, Ill.||Metro FC|
|Harrington, Michael||F||5'11"||155||01/24/86||Greenville, N.C.||CASL Elite|
|Helton, Kyle||D||5'7"||155||05/20/86||Alpharetta, Ga.||Atlanta Fire|
|Marfuggi, Phil||GK||5'11"||165||01/15/86||West Windsor, N.J.||PDA United|
|Owens, Brandon||D||5'11"||160||01/23/86||Murrieta, Calif.||La Jolla Nomads|
|Peterson, Jacob||F||5'10"||160||01/27/86||Portage, Mich.||Michigan Wolves|
|Spector, Jonathan||D||6'0"||165||03/01/86||Arlington, Heights, Ill.||Sockers FC|
|Watson, Jamie||F||5'8"||145||04/10/86||Coppell, Texas||Dallas Comets|
|Westberg, Quentin||GK||6'0"||165||04/25/86||Saint Cloud, France||Institute National de Football|
|Wileman, Chase||D/M||5'6"||140||06/25/86||Dallas, Texas||Solar FC|
U.S. Under-16 Men’s National Team Schedule
U-17 Group, Bracket G
Date / Opponent / Location / Time
April 14 / Dallas Texans Red / Univ. of Texas-Dallas – Field #4 / 6 p.m. CT
April 15 / Palo Alto Gold Crew (Calif.) / Richland College – Field #1 / 12 p.m. CT
April 16 / Yahara United Premier (Wis.) / Richland College – Field #1 / 2 p.m. CT
U.S. Under-16 Men's National Team Roster
|Beltran, Anthony||M||5'7"||147||10/11/87||Claremont, Calif.||Arsenal Gunners|
|Bradley, Michael||M||5'8"||130||07/31/87||Palatine, Ill.||Chicago Sockers|
|Curfman, Steven||M||5'11"||155||10/08/86||Raleigh, N.C.||CASL Elite|
|Folk, Greg||D||5'9"||145||04/10/87||Woodland Hills, Calif.||So. Cal United|
|Harrison, Drew||D||5'8"||160||02/17/86||Roanoke, Va.||Roanoke Premier|
|Hidalgo, Rodrigo||M||5'11"||160||08/21/87||Atlantis, Fla.||Weston SC|
|Jimenez, Christian||M||5'9"||150||11/03/86||San Dimas, Calif.||Irvine Strikers|
|Mascarenhas, Brian||M||5'9"||150||03/04/87||Marietta, Ga.||Concorde|
|McCarty, Dax||M||5'7"||128||04/30/87||Maitland, Fla.||Central Fl. United|
|Ogunsola, Tomiwa||D/M||5'7"||145||03/18/86||Woodbridge, Va.||Potomac Cougars|
|Rein, Marcus||GK||6'1"||185||01/27/87||Modesto, Calif.||Ajax United|
|Rogers, Robbie||F||5'6"||130||05/12/87||Rolling Hills Estate, Calif.||PVSC Raiders|
|Sandbo, Stephen||GK||6'1"||175||02/23/87||Columbus, Ohio||Ohio Thunder|
|Singh, Jay||M||5'8"||140||01/15/87||San Bruena, Calif.||Cal. North Pumas|
|Sloustcher, Adam||D||5'9"||150||07/31/87||Pleasonton, Calif.||Ballistic United|
|Szetela, Daniel||M||5'9"||160||06/17/87||Clifton, N.J.||World Class Olympic|
|Valentin, Julian||M||5'10"||155||02/23/87||Lancaster, Pa.||Leeds United|
|Ward, Tim||M||5'11"||150||02/28/87||Waukesha, Wisc.||Parkland SC|