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U.S. Soccer Wire: U-20s Open FWC with Win


ED JOHNSON PROVIDES GOAL, ASSIST TO LEAD WAY IN COMEBACK WIN: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team scored three unanswered goals in the second half to down Paraguay 3-1 on Nov. 29 in the first match of Group F of the FIFA World Youth Championship at Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Forward Ed Johnson led the way for the U.S. with a goal and an assist to Mike Magee, while Bobby Convey put the game out of reach with a stunning upper-90 finish late in the second half. The three goals were the second most the U.S. has scored in an opening match of a World Youth Championship in nine attempts, only bettered by a 6-0 thrashing of Turkey in 1993. The victory gave the U.S. three points and pushed them to the top of Group F (after South Korea's 2-0 victory over Germany). The U.S. will face Germany in the second game of the tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 5:45 p.m. local (8:45 a.m. ET) at Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The match will be televised live by Galavision beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET (delayed on the West Coast at 8:30 a.m. PT), and can also be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. U-20s will finish group play on Friday (Dec. 5) against South Korea live on Galavision at 1:30 p.m. ET and MatchTracker.
Group F
Team               GP     W     L     T     GF    GA     Pts
USA                 1        1      0     0      3        1        3
South Korea     1        1      0     0      2        0        3
Paraguay           1        0      1     0      1        3        0
Germany           1        0      1     0      0        2        0
U.S. U-20 MNT Results – FIFA World Youth Championship
Date           Opponent        Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 29      Paraguay         3-1 W       Johnson, Magee, Convey
Date           Opponent        Kickoff (local)                                TV
Dec. 2        Germany          8:30 a.m. ET (live) & PT (tape)     Galavision
Dec. 5        South Korea    1:30 p.m. ET & PT (tape)              Galavision

ARENA TO GET A LOOK AT HOST OF NEW FACES IN CAMP FROM DEC. 12-19 AT N.T.C.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will hold a year-end training camp from Dec. 12-19 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  The week-long camp marks the senior team’s first visit to the National Training Center since the facility opened its doors on June 7.  MNT Manager Bruce Arena has called 18 players to Carson.  New faces in the U.S. MNT camp include MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker, a trio of Chicago Fire defenders in Jim Curtin, Orlando Perez and Evan Whitfield, as well as young forwards like MLS Rookie of the Year Pat Noonan and Rapids forward Chris Carrieri. "The camp provides a good opportunity to evaluate players in our national team pool, and also survey the new facilities at the National Training Center," said Arena.  "We're looking forward to a productive week."
U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
Goalkeepers (2): Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids), Jonny Walker (MetroStars); Defenders (6): Danny Califf (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jim Curtin (Chicago Fire), Todd Dunivant (San Jose Earthquakes), Orlando Perez (Chicago Fire), Eddie Robinson (San Jose Earthquakes), Evan Whitfield (Chicago Fire); Midfielders (6): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian Mullan (San Jose Earthquakes), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Eric Quill (Kansas City Wizards), Pete Vagenas (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards); Forwards (4): Chris Carrieri (Colorado Rapids), Clint Mathis (MetroStars), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards).

U.S. TO LEARN ROAD TO GERMANY 2006 AT QUALIFYING DRAW IN FRANKFURT FRIDAY: The United States will join 197 member nations of FIFA in learning the path to soccer's ultimate contest when the Qualifying Draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup is held on Friday (Dec. 5) in Frankfurt, Germany.  The U.S. will be drawn into one of 11 qualifying groups in CONCACAF, learning the names of their potential opponent for their first qualifying match to be held the weekend of June 12-13 in 2004.  With the qualifying dates and brackets already in place, the U.S. will be able to map out potential opponents and match dates all the way to the final round, slated to begin in 2005.  The draw covers qualifying in five of the six confederations: AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America), UEFA (Europe) and OFC (Oceania and Australia). As always, the nations of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) will compete in a single group for places in the finals.

-- 2004 OLYMPICS UPDATE --

SIX TEAMS SET FOR FINAL ROUND OF CONCACAF WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: Guatemala advanced to the Final Round of CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification, to take place next year in Costa Rica, after holding visiting Panama to a 1-1 draw in the last game of the Series E Preliminary Round at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Ciudad de Guatemala yesterday. Guatemala and Panama finished leveled in the triangular, that included Belize (0-2-0, 0 Points), with four points each (1-0-1), but the host won the event on a better goal differential (+17 to +13). Guatemala joins Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA in the eight-team CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Final Round from February 25-March 7, 2004 in San José, Costa Rica. The tournament will qualify two teams to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The top two teams from round robin play in Groups A and B will face off in the semifinals of the Final Round tournament, with the finalists receiving CONCACAF's two berths to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. The change in venue for the final round now gives Costa Rica a bye through the preliminaries and a spot in Group A alongside Canada. Mexico will now host a preliminary three-team competition with Honduras and Nicaragua from Dec. 10-14 (Costa Rica was originally scheduled to host that round-robin competition) to decide the fourth and final spot in Group B, while the Cayman Islands host Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the fourth and final spot in Group A.
Final Round – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying (Women)
Group A: Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, (winner of Cayman Islands/Jamaica/Virgin Islands).
Group B: Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, (winner of Mexico/Honduras/Nicaragua).

U-23s DOWN ST. KITTS 4-0 IN MARYLAND TO WIN SERIES 10-0 ON AGGREGATE:  The U.S. Under-23 Men's National advanced to the final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying by virtue of a 4-0 win and 10-0 aggregate goal advantage over the visiting St. Kitts & Nevis on Nov. 19 in front of 1,085 drenched fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex. While the U.S. again dominated its opponent, the resilient Sugar Boyz fought admirably and didn't let the winter cold and driving rain affect their performance. The U.S. was led by Richmond Kickers forward David Testo, who struck for goals in the 3rd and 62nd minutes and later assisted on a Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew) goal to give the squad a commanding 3-0 lead in the 87th minute. With his five-point performance, the A-League Rookie of the Year equaled his scoring total for the entire year and finishes 2003 as the team's leading scorer with four goals and two assists for 10 points. Second-half substitute Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) added an insurance goal in the 94th minute, converting a penalty kick that he earned after being brought down in the box after a dribbling run down the left endline. The U-23s finished 2003 with a 5-1-3 overall record, including an undefeated international mark of 4-0-2. The team is set to re-group at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as part of a week-long camp from Dec. 12-19 that will run concurrently with the full U.S. Men's National Team camp. The team will then start the new year with an extended training camp alongside the U.S. MNT in Carson in January and be together for most of the month leading up to the final round of the eight-team CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying competition in Guadalajara, Mexico, from Feb. 2-12, 2004.
U-23 MNT Results – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
Date              Opponent                 Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 15         St. Kitts & Nevis     6-0 W    Johnson (2), Convey, Buddle (2), Eskandarian
Nov. 19         St. Kitts & Nevis     4-0 W    Testo (2), Martino, Gaven

BOTH GROUPS SET FOR FINAL ROUND OF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING IN MEXICO IN FEB. ‘04:  The two four-team groups for the final round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying are set, as all of the two-game series that made up the second round were completed last week, with Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago advancing to join the USA, Panama (who qualified in late October over St. Lucia) and Mexico (who qualified automatically as the host nation). Group A will consist of Canada, Honduras, Panama and the U.S., with Group B featuring Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica and T&T. The top two teams in each group advance to the semi-finals, with A1 meeting B2 and B1 facing A2. The two finalists earn CONCACAF’s automatic berths to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, which take place in August.
Final Round – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
Group A: Canada, Honduras, Panama, USA
Group B: Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, T&T

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-17 SPLIT SQUAD TO COMPETE IN NIKE FRIENDLIES IN BRADENTON THIS WEEKEND: U.S. Director of Youth Development and U-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger has finalized a 90-game, four-day schedule for U.S. Soccer’s third annual Nike Friendlies to be played this weekend (Dec. 5-8). Highlighting the schedule will be a trio of matches televised by Fox Sports World featuring the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, Brazil’s U-17 Men’s National Team and a Nike Friendlies All-Star Team. As they did last year, the U.S. will field two teams in the tournament from their 40-member residency program divided by age level. The U.S. Under-17 1987s will play the first two televised matches, while the U-17 1988s will play one. The U-17 1987s will face the Brazil U-17 MNT on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. ET and that match will be aired at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 11 on Fox Sports World. The second televised game for the ‘87s will be against a Nike Friendlies All-Star Team on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. ET (delayed at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 12). The ‘88s will also face Brazil on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. ET (delayed at 11 p.m. ET on Dec. 12). The Nike Friendlies are an annual youth soccer event presented by Nike and U.S. Soccer that invites elite soccer clubs from around the United States and Youth National Teams to the IMG Academy at Bradenton, Fla. Most teams will play four games (one per day) and no standings are kept so that the emphasis is put on quality soccer and player development as opposed to wins and losses.

U.S. UNDER-17 1987s GO 2-0 IN CHULA VISTA TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-17 1987s Men's National Team won two matches over the weekend versus the Region II and Region IV 1986 teams at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.  Forward Christian Jimenez put home the lone goal in a win over Region II on Nov. 29, with the tally coming in the 38th minute off an assisted from Rodrigo Hildalgo. Stephen Sandbo made five stops in goal for the U.S. On Sunday, the U.S. defeated Region IV by a 2-0 margin. Danny Szetela scored in the 22nd minute on an assist by Michael Bradley, and in the second half Hildalgo added an insurance goal on an assist from defender Jesse Henderson. Goalkeeper Marcus Rein earned the clean sheet without making a save. The team returns from the training came tomorrow (Dec. 2) and will play four games in four days as part of the Nike Friendlies this weekend (Dec. 5-8).
U.S. U-17 1987 Results
Date               Opponent                   Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 29          Region II 1986           1-0 W       Jimenez
Nov. 30          Region IV 1986         2-0 W       Szetela, Hildago

U.S. UNDER-17 1988s SPLIT WEEKEND GAMES IN CALIFORNIA: The U.S. Under-17 1988s Men's National Team split games over the weekend, falling to Region IV 1-0 on Nov. 29 before rebounding the next day (Nov. 30) to top the Region III 1987s 1-0. In the Sunday win, the U.S. goal was scored by second-half substitution Fernando Ayala and assisted by Michael Farfan.
U.S. U-17 1988 Results
Date             Opponent                    Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 29        Region IV                    0-1 L        ---
Nov. 30        Region III 1987           1-0 W       Ayala

U-16 GIRLS WIN TWO MATCHES AT THANKSGIVING COMPETITION:
The U.S. Under-16 Girls National Team finished the 2003 U.S. Youth Soccer Girls ODP Thanksgiving Interregional Event with a 2-1 record, including a 2-1 win over Scotland. The U.S. opened the tournament on Nov. 24 with a 3-0 win over Region II 1986, as Cynde Currie scored twice for the U.S. in the first half, and Brittany Bock added a goal in the 65th minute. On Nov. 26, the team fell 1-0 to Region III 1986, surrendering the game’s only goal in the 17th minute. The U.S. closed out the week with a 3-0 victory over Scotland, with all three goals coming in the second half. Alexa Orand scored in the 64th and 66th minutes, and Currie added her third goal of the week on a 79th minute penalty.
U.S. U-16 GNT Schedule
Date             Opponent                   Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 24        Region II ’86              3-0 W       Currie (2), Bock
Nov. 26        Region III ’86             0-1 L        ---
Nov. 28        Scotland                     3-0 W       Orand (2), Currie  

-- AROUND THE SOCCER NATION --

ONE WEEK OF ONLINE VOTING LEFT FOR 2003 “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS: Fans have just over a week left to vote online at ussoccer.com for U.S. Soccer’s 11 year-end awards that honor the standout performances of the calendar year in American soccer and make up the second annual “Best of U.S. Soccer” Series. The final voting deadline is Dec. 10, giving fans nine more days to make their voice heard with a vote in one or all of these unique categories AND have a chance to win a variety of special prizes from Philips Electronics.
Best of U.S. Soccer 2003 Awards
Best U.S. Soccer Story
Best Soccer Bar
Best Soccer Store
Best U.S. Crowd
Best Soccer Stadium
Best Soccer Fans
Best Soccer Promotion
Best Game Performance – Player
Best Game Performance – Team
Best U.S. Goal – Youth National Team
Best U.S. Goal – Full National Team

U.S. FUTSAL TO HOST SIX-TEAM GOAL CUP IN ANAHEIM THIS WEEKEND: U.S. National Futsal Team head coach Keith Tozer has named a 16-player roster for the Futsal Goal Cup, a four-team tournament this weekend (Dec. 5-7) at the Anaheim Convention Arena in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. will square off against CONCACAF rivals Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the international tournament, which will serve as important preparation for 2004 CONCACAF qualifying play next year in Costa Rica in advance of the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship being played in Chinese Taipei in November 2004. The three-day event will feature three doubleheaders, with the U.S. facing Canada on Friday (Dec. 5), Guatemala on Saturday (Dec. 6) and Mexico on Sunday (Dec. 7). Tickets for the Futsal Goal Cup are available for purchase by calling U.S. Futsal at 510-836-8733 or by calling the Anaheim Convention Arena at 714-765-8980. The complete schedule is below:
Goal Cup Schedule
Date            Match-up                            Kickoff (PT)          
Dec. 5         Guatemala vs. Mexico          6:30 p.m.
                   Canada vs. USA                  8:15 p.m.
Dec. 6         Canada vs. Mexico              6:30 p.m.
                   Guatemala vs. USA              8:15 p.m.
Dec. 7         Canada vs. Guatemala          3 p.m.
                   Mexico vs. USA                   5 p.m.

*** U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: As predicted, the attacking trio of Bobby Convey, Ed Johnson and Mike Magee were key contributors for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in its 3-1 win over Paraguay at the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. All three players scored in the important come-from-behind win and will be expected to continue to spark the U.S. offense throughout the tournament.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The U.S. Under-20s have a chance to secure a spot in the next round tomorrow (Dec. 2) with a win over Germany, who fell to South Korea 2-0 in their opener. Fans can follow the match live on Galavision at 8:30 a.m. ET (and 8:30 a.m. PT) and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

SOCCER SHOCKER: With three points from its first match, the U.S. already has more points at the FIFA World Youth Championship than the rest of CONCACAF combined. The other three teams from the confederation haven't produced a single point from five matches, as both Canada and Panama have lost their first two opening round matches, while Mexico lost its opening match 2-1 to Ivory Coast.

QUOTABLE: "We have some unbelievable talent; it’s just a matter of showing it on the field. Mike (Magee) is real clinical in the box. With our experience with playing professionally in the MLS, it has helped a lot. It’s just a matter of finishing.”
        --U-20 MNT midfielder/forward Ed Johnson, on the potent U.S. offense

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