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U.S. Under-17s Beat Portugal 3-0 to Open French Tournament

POIREVIE, France (Tuesday, March 26, 2002) - Guillermo Gonzalez and Mike Harrington each had one goal and one assist to lead the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team to a 3-0 win over Portugal today at the 30th edition of the Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee in Poirevie, France.  The U.S. team will next face Tunisia tomorrow (March 27), before wrapping up the tournament with placement matches on March 30 and April 1.

“Our team played very well today against a very skilled Portugese side,”  U.S. Under-17 head coach John Ellinger said.  “Our defense was very solid and only got better as the game went on.  As a whole, this is one of the most complete matches we have played this year.”

Guillermo Gonzalez continued his fine play this year, setting up Mike Harrington’s goal in the 29th minute, before converting a deserved penalty kick in the 38th minute.  Gonzalez has now scored in five of the USA’s last six matches, and has scored four goals in the last three U.S. internationals.

John DiRaimondo closed out the scoring for the U.S. with a goal in the 79th minute, converting after a nice set up from Harrington.  Like Gonzalez, DiRaimondo has now tallied four goals in the USA’s last three international matches.

U.S. goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi played one of his best games in a U.S. jersey in goal, making eight saves for the USA’s second consecutive international shutout. Portugal outshot the U.S. 10-5.

In other matches today, Peru topped Finland 2-0, England beat Japan 3-1 and France beat China 1-0.

Looming in the next round is a possible rematch against Under-17 World Champions France, the team that knocked the U.S. out of the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship.

In addition to the U.S., the 12-team tournament in France also includes: Portugal, Tunisia, Finland, France, England, China, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Peru and Argentina.  The U.S. is playing in Group C with Portugal and Tunisia, and will face a team from Group D (France, Belgium, China) on March 30, before playing in a final placement match on April 1.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs Portugal
Competition:  30th Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee
Location: Poirevie, France
Date: March 26, 2002

**40-Minute Halves**
Scoring Summary:
          1st  2nd  Final
    2     1      3
POR    0     0      0

USA – Mike Harrington (Guillermo Gonzalez)  29th minute.
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (penalty)        38.
USA – John DiRaimondo (Mike Harrington)  79.

USA:  1-Phil Marfuggi; 19-Kyle Helton, 13-Eric Vogl, 14-Brandon Owens, 6-Drew Harrison; 20-Brian Grazier, 4-Eddie Gaven, 5-Mike Harrington; 8-John DiRaimondo, 2-Guillermo Gonzalez, 9-Corey Ashe.

POR:  1-Felgueiras; 2-Fernandes, 3-Da Costa, 4-Veloso, 5-Alves; 6-Coimbra, 7-Machado (13-n/a, 77), 9-Veludo; 10-Fernandes (8-n/a, 64), 16-Zambujo (18-n/a, 41), 17-Cassama.

Statistical Summary:
                     USA  /  POR

Shots           5   /   10
Saves          8   /   2
Corner Kicks  0   /   6
Fouls           16   /   16
Offsides       1   /   3

Misconduct Summary:
POR – #7 (caution)   68th minute.