US SoccerUS Soccer
Thomas Rongen

U.S. Falls To Germany 3-0 To Open 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup

  • Germany Tied for the Group Lead with Cameroon On Three Points Through One Game
  • U.S. Continues Group C Play Against Cameroon on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Against Cameroon, Live on ESPN2 at 12:45 p.m. ET

SUEZ, Egypt (Sept. 26, 2009) – Reigning European champion Germany scored two goals within three minutes in the first half and went on to defeat the U.S. by a final score of 3-0 in the first game for both teams at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The U.S. has a chance to rebound against Cameroon on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 6:45 p.m. local time (12:45 p.m. ET), in a game that will be shown live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow live on’s MatchTracker and at

“This clearly wasn’t a good day for us. We have to give Germany some credit, they are the European champions and we knew we’d be in for a long and hard match, we were prepared for that,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen, who is leading the U.S. at this event for the third time. “Saying that, the team as a whole, especially in the first half, gave Germany a little too much respect.

“We tried to pull back in the second half, where we played somewhat better with the changes that we made. Based on performances and the scouting of Cameroon, I would certainly think that we will make some changes for our next game.”

Cameroon topped Korea Republic 2-0, in the second game of the double-header at Mubarak Stadium in Suez, Egypt, meaning that they are tied for the group lead with Germany on three points.

Germany started out strong, and looked dangerous as early as the fourth minute, and nearly took advantage of a poor clearance from the U.S. backline. The ball ended up on the feet of Richard Sukuta-Pasu, who took two touches and was inside the U.S. penalty area, but his ensuing shot went just wide of the far post.

The Germans continued to control the early part of the game, and Sukuta-Pasu had another opportunity to get on the board in the eighth minute, getting behind the U.S. defense. Goalkeeper Brian Perk came out aggressively and forced Sukuta-Pasu to lift his shot over the crossbar.

Just as the U.S. appeared to be gaining possession and confidence, Germany went on a counter attack. Bjorn Kopplin found his way into the penalty box and cut toward goal. Forward Brian Ownby, tracking back quickly to make up ground, tackled Kopplin and was whistled for a penalty.

Perk, who had stopped two penalty shots in the semifinal of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March, dove to his left as Semih Aydilek put the ball low and to his right to give Germany the 1-0 lead.

The U.S. goalkeeper, who entered the game having given up only one goal in nine games this year, got a hand on the second goal in the 32nd minute, which came after Germany earned one of its four first-half corner kicks. The driven ball went to the top of the box, where Florian Jungwirth was waiting. Jungwirth took a touch and fired a shot through a crowd, where Perk was able to react quickly and get a hand on the ball, but couldn’t keep it from hitting high inside the net.

Just three minutes after the second goal, U.S. captain Kyle Davies had to leave the game with a head injury, forcing Rongen to use one of his substitutes early bringing on Jorge Flores to play left back. At halftime, the U.S. coach used his second substitution, inserting Bryan Arguez into the midfield in place of Dillon Powers, looking for an attacking spark.

Minutes later, the Hertha Berlin-based midfielder nearly cut into the Germany lead. On just his second touch of the game, he ripped a shot from 22 yards out that just missed the crossbar.

In the 62nd minute, the U.S. had their best chance of the game, as Arguez played a through ball that sprung Mikkel Diskerud into the box. Diskerud took a touch toward goal and played a low shot in an effort to slip the ball past Ron-Robert Zeiler, but the goalkeeper sprawled out to make the save. Four minutes later, Jared Jeffrey took the ball from about 25 yards out and hit a hard shot that clanged off the crossbar.

Germany’s third goal came in the 73rd minute, during another counterattack opportunity. Cihan Kaptan found some space down his right wing, and drove a low ball across the box. Manuel Schaeffler was there, running with Ike Opara at the far post. Schaeffler slid and was able to get his body on it and push it into the goal to round out the scoring.

The last dangerous opportunity for the U.S. came in the 81st minute, when Arguez played a long diagonal ball looking for an onrushing Ownby, but Zeiler did well to come off of his line, and slid to intercept near the top of the box.

It was the first time the U.S. has been shutout at this event since their most recent match against Germany in the first round in 2005. 

                            - U.S. UNDER-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT -

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team vs. Germany
Date: Sept. 26, 2009
Competition: 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup
Venue: Mubarak Stadium; Suez, Egypt
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 90 degrees, sunny

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

GER – Semih Aydilek (penalty kick)             30th minute
GER – Florian Jungwirth                             32
GER – Manuel Schaffler                              72

USA: 24-Brian Perk; 14-Gerson Mayen, 2-Gale Agbossoumonde, 16-Ike Opara, 2-Kyle Davies (capt.) (19-Jorge Flores, 36); 3-Dillon Powers (17-Bryan Arguez, 46), 8-Jared Jeffrey, 11-Mikkel Diskerud (10-Dilly Duka, 78); 7-Tony Taylor, 15-Brian Ownby, 20-Brek Shea
Subs not used: 1-Sean Johnson, 18-Josh Lambo, 4-Sheanon Williams, 5-Danny Cruz, 9-Peri Marosevic, 12-Aaron Maund, 21-Michael Stephens
Head coach: Thomas Rongen

GER: 1-Ron-Robert Zieler; 2-Sebastian Jung,  4-Florian Jungwirth (capt.), 5-Lars Bender, 8-Mario Vrancic, 9-Richard Sukuta-Pasu, 10-Lewis Holtby (16-Cihan Kaptan, 71), 13-Bjorn Kopplin, 15-Semih Aydilek (3-David Vrzogic, 81), 17-Patrick Funk, 18-Tobias Kempe (11-Manuel Schaffler, 64)
Subs not used: 12-Tom Mickel, 21-Sebastian Mielitz; 3-David Vrzogic, 6-Lars Bender, 7-Timo Perthel, 14-Dani Schahin, 19-Kai-Fabian Schulz, 20-Maik Rodenberg
Head Coach: Horst Hrubesch

Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 6 / 17
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 17 / 11
Offside: 3 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Brian Ownby (caution)                     29th minute
GER – Florian Jungwirth (caution)               63

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeong Hae Sang (KOR)
Fourth Official: Jorge Larrionda (URU)