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U.S. Under-17s Post Two Shutout Wins at U.S. Soccer/Nike Friendlies on Saturday

BRADENTON, Fla. (Saturday, December 7, 2002) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team posted impressive shutout wins today on the second day of the second annual U.S. Soccer / Nike Friendlies at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  Freddy Adu and Danny Szetela each tallied one goal and one assist in a 3-0 win against FC Delco, and that was followed by three U.S. goals in the first 15 minutes of a 4-0 win against the Under-18 Houston Texans.

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team has been split into two squads for this event – an older team made up primarily of players born in 1986 and a younger team made up primarily of players born in 1987 – with the older team competing in the Under-18 age group and the younger team in the Under-17 bracket.

The younger U.S. team will face the Dallas Texans tomorrow at 1 p.m., and the older U.S. Under-17s match up against the Under-18 Bethesda Alliance tomorrow at 3 p.m.

The younger U.S. Under-17s recorded their second straight shutout, hammering FC Delco Dynamo II 3-0.  Dynamo II advanced to the national finals each of the last two years, winning the title in 2001 and finishing as runner-ups in 2002.  But Delco was overmatched today, as U.S. goalkeeper Stephen Sandbo was only required to make one save, and the U.S. outshot Delco 17-4.

Jamie Watson and Freddy Adu created scoring chances all afternoon, and it came as no surprise that they combined on the opener in the 36th minute.  Watson beat a Delco defender on the left side and made his way into the penalty area, where he was brought down with a reckless tackle.  The referee pointed to the penalty spot, and Adu confidently stroked home the ensuing penalty kick.

Watson scored a goal of his own in the 57th minute, his team-best fourth straight game with a goal.  Szetela, who assisted on Watson’s goal, finished the U.S. scoring with the prettiest effort of the day.

The possession in the build-up to Szetela’s goal lasted almost two minutes and nearly every U.S. field player touched the ball before it ended up on Adu’s foot along the left sideline.  Adu used a nifty move to blow by his Delco defender and made his way to the endline, where he crossed into the middle and Szetela touched the ball into the net.

The older U.S. squad jumped on top of the Houston Texans early, scoring three times on their first four shots.  Mike Harrington found the net first in the 6th minute, heading in a Gonzalez free kick after Gonzalez was fouled 20 yards from the goal.  Jacob Peterson scored the first of his two goals in the 14th minute, and one minute later he was brought down in the box to set up a penalty kick that Gonzalez converted.

Peterson closed out the U.S. scoring in the 35th minute.  U.S. midfielder Jose Gomez cleared a loose ball from the top of the U.S. penalty area, and Peterson ran onto the ball behind the Houston defense.  Peterson carried the ball into the penalty area and slotted the ball past a helpless Texans goalkeeper.

U.S. goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi made only two saves in the shutout, including a diving save in the 50th minute where he reached behind himself and pushed the ball over the crossbar.  In the match the U.S. outshot Houston 11-6.  The U.S. defense was led in the first half by the dominating play of Jonathan Spector, who was replaced in the second half by Brandon Owens.  Owens helped control play in the second half and led the U.S. to their third straight shutout.

In other matches on Saturday the Under-18 squads from the Colorado Rush and FC Delco drew 0-0, as did the U-18 teams from the Syracuse Blitz and Sockers FC.  In the U-17 age group, the Atlanta Fire, who fell 2-0 to the U.S. yesterday, topped the Richmond Strikers 3-1 and the Houston Texans topped the Rush 2-1.  A complete list of today’s results follows.


The three-day National Youth Team Coaching Symposium continued tonight with talks from U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach Mike Haas and IMG’s Trevor Moawad, a mental conditioning coach.

Haas discussed the U.S. Under-14 National Team Program and how those players are being prepared for the future.  Haas looked at the number of players in the Under-20 and Under-17 MNTs and how many of those players began their National Team careers at the Under-14 level.  Haas noted that in the U.S. Under-20s 1-0 world championship berth clinching win over El Salvador, 11 of the 13 players who saw time for the U.S. came through the U-14 program.

IMG’s Trevor Moawad discussed mental preparation for elite athletes.  Moawad regularly works with world-class athletes, including the U.S. Under-17 MNT, on their mental conditioning.  Tonight, Moawad had the coaches work through a few mental exercises, and discussed the importance of mental conditioning. 

The symposium concludes tomorrow night with the IMG Soccer Academy’s Director of Coaching Tom Durking, John Ellinger and the U.S. Under-17s Goalkeeper / Assistant Coach Peter Mellor all scheduled to speak.

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

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs FC Delco
Competition:  2nd Annual U.S. Soccer / Nike Friendlies
Location: IMG Academy Park
Date: December 7, 2002

Scoring Summary: 1st  -  2nd  -  Final
USA                      1  -  2  -  3
DEL                       0  -  0  -  0

USA – Freddy Adu (penalty kick) 36.
USA – Jamie Watson (Danny Szetela) 57.
USA – Danny Szetela (Freddy Adu) 78. 
USA:  Stephen Sandbo; 16-Adrian Chevannes, 30-Stephen Curfman (21-Brian Mascarenas, 62), 20-Julian Valentin, 17-Chase Wileman; 6-Drew Harrison (25-Christian Jimenez, 41), 22-Michael Bradley, 24-Danny Szetela, 8-John DiRaimondo; 11-Freddy Adu, 27-Jamie Watson. 

Statistical Summary: 
                    USA  /  DEL
Shots   17  /  4
Saves   1  /   6
Corner Kicks    5  /  3
Fouls    5  /  8
Offsides    1  /  1

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

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs Houston Texans Under-18s
Competition:  2nd Annual U.S. Soccer / Nike Friendlies
Location: IMG Academy Park
Date: December 7, 2002

Scoring Summary:   1st  -  2nd  -  Final
USA                    4  -  0  -  4
Houston              0  -  0  -  0

USA – Mike Harrington (Guillermo Gonzalez) 6th minute
USA – Jacob Peterson (Eric Vogl) 14.
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (penalty kick)  15.
USA – Jacob Peterson (Jose Gomez) 35.


USA:  1-Phil Marfuggi; 13-Eric Vogl, 3-Jonathan Spector (5-Brandon Owens, 41), 12-Brandon Oot, 19-Kyle Helton; 15-Corey Ashe, 14-Jose Gomez, 9-Michael Harrington; 10-Guillermo Gonzalez (7-Brian Grazier, 41); 23-Jacob Peterson, 4-Eddie Gaven (2-Tomiwa Ogunsola, 41) 

Statistical Summary: 
                 USA   /   HOU
Shots    11  /  6
Saves    2  /  2
Corner Kicks     3  /  2
Fouls     7  /  8
Offsides    1  /  0

U.S. Soccer / Nike Friendlies
Saturday, December 7
Game Results

Colorado Rush 2, Gotshalks 0

IMG 1, Bwatch (Fla.) 1

Bethesda 0, Richmond 1

FC Delco 0, Colorado Rush 0

Gotshalks 2, Temple Terrace 2

Syracuse 0, Sockers FC 0

US Under-17s 4, Houston 0


Houston Texans 2, Colorado Rush 1

Atlanta Fire 3, Richmond 1

IMG 0, Bethesda 0

Bwatch (NY) 1, Dallas 2

US Under-17s 3, FC Delco 0


IMG 7, Temple Terrace 2

FC Delco 1, Bwatch (Fla.) 1