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Pre-Game Notes: U.S. U-17 '88 MNT vs. Mexico - Dec. 7, 2005

ONE LAST MATCH: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team will face recently crowned FIFA U-17 World Champions Mexico on Wednesday, December 7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The match will kickoff at 8 p.m. PT and will be the final match for the 1988 age group at the U-17 age level as all but two of the U.S. players will be graduating from U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program this December. This will be the first international match for the U-17s since the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, giving the U.S. players the chance to go out with a win. The team’s last international match was the 2-0 quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands, which knocked them out of the World Championship and placed them in fifth place for the second straight time.

TWO OUT, TWO IN: The U.S. 20-player roster for the friendly match against Mexico will be almost identical to the roster U.S. U-17 head coach Hackworth selected for the FIFA U-17 World Championship, with just two changes due to injury. Defenders Eric Lichaj and Richard Edgar will replace injured defender Kevin Alston and forward Quavas Kirk. Alston suffered a broken leg in the World Championship against the Netherlands and is still rehabbing (watch the all_access interview), while Kirk is still recovering from a broken foot.

LONG AWAITED REMATCH: The match on Wednesday at the Coliseum will be the second encounter this year between the U.S. and Mexico as the two teams met in San Antonio, Texas, on August 20 in preparation for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship. Mexico came out on top with a 2-1 victory, but the U.S. still has a bitter taste in their mouth from that game, knowing they missed a couple open chances that could have swung the result in their favor. The U.S. almost got the chance for the rematch during the World Championship as the two teams would have met in the semifinals if the U.S. could have knocked off the Netherlands in their quarterfinal match.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO: The U.S. players know they have one final game to show they can beat the best in the world. Will they pull it off? We’ll find out Wednesday, but before that happens, take an inside look into what the players and head coach John Hackworth are thinking about the match-up in the latest all_access video from

TICKETS AVAILABLE: Tickets for the game, starting at $25, are still available for the match and can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets, online at or the Los Angeles Coliseum box office.

COMING UP ROSES: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will be looking for some of the University of Southern California Trojans’ magic to rub off on Wednesday. USC, who is undefeated, plays their home games at the Coliseum and won their final conference game last Saturday over UCLA to guarantee their spot in the Rose Bowl against Texas, which will decide the NCAA National Championship. The players were reminded of USC’s influence during practice as the field painting is still visible on the grass, with USC Trojans written at centerfield and U-S-C painted in one of the endzones.

FACING THE BEST IN THE WORLD: The Mexican U-17 National Team captured their first-ever world title for their country at any level after defeating Brazil 3-0 in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship final on Oct. 2 in Lima, Peru. Mexico finished second in Group B (2-0-1) before disposing of Costa Rica in the quarterfinals and the Netherlands in the semifinals on their way to their match-up with Brazil. In their six games, Mexico scored 16 goals, while only allowing three against – none of which came in their final two matches.

Mexico U-17 MNT Results in the 2005 FIFA World Championship
Date       Opponent        Result
Sept. 16 Uruguay           2-0 W
Sept. 19 Australia          3-0 W
Sept. 22 Turkey              1-2 L
Sept. 25 Costa Rica      3-1 W (OT)
Sept. 29 Netherlands    4-0 W
Oct. 2 Brazil                      3-0 W

ONE IN FOUR: The U.S. and Mexico have met at this age level four times since 1999, the same year U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program kicked off in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. won the initial, and most meaningful match-up, 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, but have since been on the short end with three one-goal losses in 2000, 2003 and 2004.

U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Mexico U-17 MNT History (since 1999)
Date                   Match                           Location                          Result   U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 20, 1999    U-17 FIFA WC             Auckland, New Zealand  3-2 W    Beasley, Cila, Beckerman
March 28, 2000  International Tourn.     Port of Spain, Trinidad     0-1 L     --
May 25, 2003     International Friendly   Lancaster, Calif.              1-2 L    Gaven
Aug. 20, 2005    International Friendly   San Antonio, Texas         1-2 L    Gonzalez


U.S. vs. Mexico
San Antonio, Texas
August 20, 2005

Scoring Summary: 1st 2nd Final
USA                              0      1     1
MEX                             0      2      2

MEX – Omar Morales 55th minute
MEX – Ever Zavala 63.
USA – Jeremy Hall (Omar Gonzalez) 89.

USA: 1-Bryant Rueckner; 2-Amaechi Igwe, 5-Ofori Sarkodie, 13-Blake Wagner, 3-Kevin Alston; 19-Michael Farfan, 16-Nik Besagno (11-Ryan Soroka, 62), 8-Kyle Nakazawa, 10-David Arvizu (17-Jeremy Hall, 69); 6-Quavas Kirk (7-Omar Gonzalez, 79), 9-Preston Zimmerman.

MEX: 1-Sergio Delgado; 14-Pedro Flores (20-Jose Blas, 46), 2-Edgar Renteria, 4-Christian Narvaez, 7-n/a, 21-n/a, 18-Juan Maya (19-Julio Gonzalez, 87), 17-Cristian Iniguez; 13-Ever Zavala (15-Enrique Tirado, 76), 10-Jorge Gonzalez (11-Mario Ortiz, 46), 9-Omar Morales.

MEAL AT NAKA’S: Last night, the U.S. players and staff got the chance to get away from the normal pasta, chicken and vegetables they’ve been used to for meals while on the road over the past two years when midfielder Kyle Nakazawa’s parents invited the team over for dinner. A short 15-minute bus ride away in Palos Verdes Estates, Alan and Chris Nakazawa provided the 20 players and seven staff members with a load of delicious beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, grilled peppers and cucumbers, salad and for desert a Dairy Queen-like ice cream cake.

WRITE-IN GOAL: The nominations have all ready been selected and voting is underway for U.S. Soccer’s “Best of 2005” Awards, but U.S. U-17 forward David Arvizu made the case for a write-in vote for the “Best Goal” category this past week in Bradenton, Fla., during the 2005 Nike Friendlies. If you haven’t seen his bicycle kick goal against the Dallas Texans, you’re missing out on one of the most remarkable goals scored by a U.S. national team player at any age level. Luckily for you, we’ve got the jaw-dropping video on Check out Arvizu’s goal and the rest of the action from the four-day event at the Nike Friendlies competitions page at is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.