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U-17 '91 MNT Draws Opening Match of Ballymena Tournament

BALLYMENA, Northern Ireland (April 23, 2007) - The U.S. Under-17 '91 Men's National Team pulled out a 1-1 draw against Scotland this afternoon in their opening match of the 2007 Ballymena International Tournament at Wellington Rec in Larne, Northern Ireland. Parker Walsh scored the equalizer with five minutes left to play to earn the U.S. a point.

The U.S. sits in second place in Group B after the first day of matches, trailing the Republic of Ireland, who defeated the reigning champion Czech Republic, 2-1. The U.S. will next face the Czech Republic, the country the U.S. U-17 '90 MNT lost to in the championship match last year, on Tuesday, April 24.

The U.S. was greeted with overcast clouds and rainy conditions for their first match of the tournament. Despite the wet field, the U.S. came out and dominated possession in the first half, but went into the locker room at halftime behind as it was Scotland that scored first.

In the 29th minute, Scotland won a corner kick and took advantage. David McAulliffe served the corner to the far post for Scott Durie, but his header was cleared off the line by defender Scott Caldwell. Despite the heads up play, the clearance fell straight to Robert McHugh, who buried his shot from close range.  

The second half saw the wind and rain settle down a bit, and the U.S. was finally able to capatilize in the 75th minute off a free kick that was awarded when Scotland's goalkeeper Grant Adams picked up a back pass at the edge of the penalty area. Dersu Alfolfathi provided a quick touch to Parker Walsh on the free kick and the defender ripped a shot through the wall and past Adams into the back of the net.

In Group A action, Finland defeated Northern Ireland, 3-1, while the Switzerland and Isreal drew, 2-2.

The U.S. has never won the Ballymena International Tournament, coming up short four times in the championship match out of five overall appearances. In 2000, the U.S. finished fourth, but since has reached the final the past four consecutive years in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 only to fall to Israel (1-2), Switzerland (3-4 in penalties), Czech Republic (0-1) and Czech Republic again (0-1).  

U.S. Under-17 '91 Men's National Team Match Report

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 ‘90s Men’s National Team vs. Switzerland
Competition:  Ballymena International Tournament
Location: Wellington Rec; Larne, Northern Ireland
Date: April 23, 2007
Weather: Overcast and rainy, 50 degrees

Scoring Summary: 
               1st   2nd    Final
USA         0       1         1
SCO         1       0         1
SCO – Robert McHugh                                           29th minute
USA – Parker Walsh (Dersu Albolfathi)               75.

USA: 1-Cody Mizell; 8-Kofi Sarkodie (Capt.), 3-Gale Agbossoumonde, 9-Aubrey Perry, 12-Parker Walsh; 5-Amobi Okugo, 10-Scott Caldwell (17-Chad Barson, 75), 14-Ben Speas (7-Ade Akinsanya, 60); 4-Dersu Abolfathi, 16-Ryan Finley (6-Hasani Sinclair, 60), 13-Eder Arreola (15-Korey Veeder, 47)
Subs not used: Cooper Barham, Zarek Valentin, Rafael Diaz
Head Coach: Brian Maisonnueve

SCO: 1-Grant Adams; 2-Stephen Forbes, 3-David McAulliffe (14-Michael O'Halloran, 61), 4-Scott Durie, 5-Daniel Wilson (Capt.); 7-Ryan Martin (13Gregg Wylde, 61), 6-Gordon Smith, 8-Daniel Thomson, 11-Alex Cooper (16-Sean Fitzharris, 73); 9-Archie Campbell, 10-Robert McHugh (15-David Love, 57)

Statistical Summary:
                              USA    SCO
Shots                      9          9
Shots on goal       3          4
Saves                     3           2 
Fouls                      6          15 
Corner Kicks         4           6
Offside                    5           3        

Misconduct Summary:
USA - Gale Agbossoumonde (caution)          11th minute
SCO - Grant Adams (caution)                           32.
SCO - Gregg Wylde (caution)                            80.

Ballymena International Tournament Standings

Group A

Teams GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
Finland 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3
Israel 1 0 0 1 2 2 0 1
Switzerland 1 0 0 1 2 2 0 1
Northern Ireland 1 0 1 0 1 3 -2 0

Monday, April 23
Finland 3, Northern Ireland 1
Switzerland 2, Israel 2

Tuesday, April 24
Northern Ireland vs. Israel
Switzerland vs. Finland

Wednesday, April 25
Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland
Finland vs. Israel

Friday, April 27
Placement Matches vs. Group B

Group B

Teams GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
Republic of Ireland 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
USA 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1
Scotland 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1
Czech Republic 1 0 1 0 1 2 -1 0

Monday, April 23
USA 1, Scotland 1
Republic of Ireland 2, Czech Republic 1

Tuesday, April 24

USA vs. Czech Republic
Republic of Ireland vs. Scotland

Wednesday, April 25
USA vs. Republic of Ireland
Scotland vs. Czech Republic

Friday, April 27

Placement Matches vs. Group A