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U.S. Under-17s Post Two Shutouts to Earn Two Wins at Nike Club Tournament, Adu Scores in Second Straight Game

BRADENTON, Fla. (Saturday, December 1, 2001) – The United States Under-17 Men’s National Team stormed to two shutout wins on the second day of competition at the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  The U.S. is now undefeated through their first four games of the tournament.  The U.S. Under-17s will wrap up their participation in the first U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament with two matches on Sunday.  Four other matches will be played on Monday.

The older U.S. Under-17s (players born in ‘84-’85) jumped on top of the Chicago Sockers early in the opener on Saturday, scoring twice in the first 15 minutes on their way to a 3-0 victory.  In the afternoon, under a searing sun, the younger U.S. Under-17s withstood a wonderful performance from a duo of Richmond Striker goalkeepers to post a 2-0 victory. Freddie Adu scored for the second straight game, blasting a rocket of a free kick that gave the U.S. a 2-0 advantage early in the second half.

U.S. Men’s Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger split his team into two squads for the tournament, producing an older team (players born in ’84 and ‘85) and a younger team (‘86s).  The younger group is made up of players preparing for the 2003 Under-17 World Championship.  Nine of the players began the residency program in September 2001.

The older Under-17s opened the day with a dominating performance against the Chicago Sockers, 5-0 winners on Friday.  The U.S. took control of play from the start and two outstanding goals in the first 15 minutes of play stamped the USA’s control of the match.

Justin Mapp, who was nearly unstoppable on the flanks all afternoon, set up the first U.S. goal, beating two Sockers and then sliding the ball into the path of an onrushing Ed Johnson. Coming in from the left side of the penalty box, the Dallas Burn striker one-timed the perfect pass into the net.

The second goal was just as pretty, as Guillermo Gonzalez was the beneficiary of a great pass from Mike Magee.  When a long restart was flighted into the box, Magee’s first touch was played square across the box, splitting two Chicago defenders. Gonzalez timed his run perfectly and handed the U.S. a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes.

The U.S. continued to dominate play after the break.  Craig Capano added the final touches to the scoreline with a bending free kick that he tucked inside the left post from 20 yards out. Adam Schuerman was forced into only two saves the entire match.  Brandon Owens – part of the younger Under-17 group – played 90 minutes in the center of defense and teamed with Chris Lancos to shut down the attack.  John DiRaimondo and Gonzalez are also members of the younger U.S. Under-17 National Team that is currently in residency and is training for the 2003 Under-17 World Championship.

The younger U.S. Under-17s earned their second win of the tournament against an older, talented Richmond Strikers (‘83-’85) squad.  The Strikers goalkeeper made five saves in the first 25 minutes to keep the match scoreless deep into the first half, despite the USA’s dominance.  Gray Griffin put the U.S. on the board with an easy score in the 39th minute.  A U.S. corner kick found its way to the back post, where an unmarked Griffin tapped the ball into the net.

Freddie Adu, who scored in the younger Under-17s tournament-opening win, made sure that the USA’s second goal was a beautiful one.  Adu danced through two defenders, before being brought down just outside the penalty box.  Adu, who scored on a penalty kick after being fouled in the box on Friday, this time used his left foot to squeeze a rocket over the wall
and just under the crossbar.  Adu’s shot hit the bottom of the bar, bounced to the ground and bounced up again before the assistant referee signaled that it would count as Adu’s second goal in as many days.

Adam Hahn only had to make two saves in the win, while the Richmond Strikers two goalkeepers – the Strikers changed ‘keepers at half – ended the game with a total of 12 saves.

The older U.S. Under-17s (‘84-’85) will play the Colorado Rush on Sunday at 4 p.m.  Ellinger’s younger group (‘86s) will play FC Delco’s ‘85-‘86s at 10 a.m.  FC Delco brought three teams to the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament, and the three teams are a combined 5-1.

In other action on Saturday, Plantation topped the IMG  Under-17 squad 3-2.  The Sockers bounced back to top the IMG Under-19s, 1-0, just four-and-a-half hours after falling to the U.S. Under-17s.  A complete list of results from the first two days follows:

Complete Results: U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament
Friday, November 30, 2001
IMG Under-19s   1             Colorado Rush   1
U.S. Under-17s (‘86s)  3    Syracuse Blitz  1
Chicago Sockers    5           Blackwatch (NY)  0
U.S. Under-17s (‘84-85) 2  Houston Texans 1
IMG Under-17s  3              Richmond Strikers 0
Blackwatch (Fla.)  0            FC Delco Under-17s  5
Delco Under-15s  1            IMG Under-15s  2
Plantation  Premier  0          FC Delco Under-16s 1

Saturday, December 1, 2001
Colorado Rush 8                Blackwatch (NY)  0
U.S. Under-17s (84-85) 3 Chicago Sockers   0
IMG Under-17s   2            Plantation Premier   3
Delco Under-16s   4           Brandon  0
Syracuse Blitz  1                 Texans  3
U.S. Under-17s   2             Richmond Strikers  0
Delco Under-15s 2             Blackwatch (Fla.)  0
IMG Under-19s  0             Chicago Sockers  1
Delco Under-17s 4            Naples  1


U.S. Under-17s (‘84-‘85)  v Chicago Sockers
December 1, 2001; 10 a.m.
Bradenton, Fla. 

** Two 40-minute halves ** 

                      1     2     Final
U.S. U-17s
    2     1     3
Chicago         0     0     0

Scoring Summary:
USA – Ed Johnson (Justin Mapp), 7.
USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (Mike Magee), 16.
USA – Craig Capano   76.

USA – 18-Adam Schuerman; 20-Eric Forbes, 6-Chris Lancos, 14-Brandon Owens, 8-John DiRaimondo; 16-Craig Capano, 15-Jordan Stone, 2-Guillermo Gonzalez, 3-Justin Mapp; 7-Mike Magee, 10-Ed Johnson.

U.S. Under-17s (‘86s)  v   Richmond Strikers
December 1, 2001; 2 p.m.
Bradenton, Fla.

** Two 40-minute halves ** 

                      1     2     Final
U.S. U-17s    1     1     2
Richmond      0     0     0

Scoring Summary:
Gray Griffin, 39.
USA – Freddie Adu, 50.

USA – 24-Adam Hahn; 21-Drew Harrison, 13-Eric Vogl,  12-Gray Griffin, 11-Tomiwa Ogunsola; 17-Josh Villalobos (22-Nicholas Colaluca, 41) 23-Brian Grazier, 4-Eddie Gaven, 19-Freddie Adu; 5-Mike Harrington, 9-Corey Ashe.

The 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship ended less than three months ago, and already the preparations for the 2003 World Championship are in full swing.  The younger U.S.
Under-17 National Team playing in Bradenton this week is composed of players eligible for the 2003 World Championship.  In each daily tournament update from Bradenton, three of the younger U.S. Under-17s will be highlighted.   Today, meet defender Brandon Owens, midfielder Guillermo Gonzalez and forward Mike Harrington.

Height: 5’11” Weight:  160
Birthdate:  January 23, 1986
Hometown:  Murrieta, Calif.
Club:  La Jolla Nomads

“Brandon is a very solid center back who has almost all of the physical qualities you could want in a central defender.  He is excellent in the air and is a strong tackler.  He has excellent pace, and he reads the game very well.” 
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger

Played all 80 minutes as a central defender for the older Under-17s in the 3-0 win against the Chicago Sockers on Dec. 1 … A main reason the U.S. shutout the Sockers, Owens was a major presence in the center of the field, despite being one of the youngest players on either side … Has played in 15 matches for the Under-17s since the World Championships – missing only two games at the U.S. Soccer/ Nike Club Tournament after Ellinger split squads … Has played the entire match in the first five shutouts the 17s posted after the World Championship … Began residency in September 2001. 

Height: 5’11” Weight:  145
Birthdate:  January 4, 1986
Hometown:  Paramount, Calif.
Club:  Irvine Strikers

“’Memo’ is a predominantly left-footed player.  Tactically he is very aware as a central midfielder where the play needs to go and he enable us to establish a flow and to constantly change the point of attack.” 
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger

Called “Memo” by his teammates … Played the entire match with the older Under-17s in a 3-0 win against the Chicago Sockers on Dec. 1 … Scored the second goal against the Sockers … Has played in three of four U.S. Under-17s matches at the U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament, including both matches with the older U.S. Under-17s … Has tallied four assists for the U-17s … Assisted on two first half goals against the Under-18 Lakeland Lazers on October 14, 2001 … Scored in a 6-0 win against Blackwatch on Oct. 22 … Missed only one game with the 17s prior to the Nike Tournament … Began the U.S. Soccer residency program in September 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-16 National Team in 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000 … Traveled with the Under-14s to Mexico in 2000. 

Height: 5’11” Weight: 155
Birthdate:  January 24, 1986
Hometown:  Greenville, N.C.
Club:  CASL Elite

“Mike has one of the highest work rates on the team, and he combines that with tremendous pace.  He is very good beating defenders 1 v 1 and is a solid finisher.  He is constantly improving his ability to combine with other players at this level.” 
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger

Scored one goal and set up another in the Under-17s tourney opening win against the Syracuse Blitz … Played the entire match in the younger U-17s first two matches at the tournament … Has tallied four goals for the U.S. Under-17s  … Also has four assists … Began the U.S. Soccer residency program in September 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-16 National Team in 2001 … A member of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000 … Traveled with the Under-14s to Mexico in 2000. 

One of the highlights of the four-day U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament is the Coaching Symposium that is being put on by John Ellinger and his national staff coaches.  The first symposium took place on the IMG Academy campus on Friday night and was attended by more than 40 coaches and adminitstrators.  The second symposium took place on Saturday night, and U.S. National Staff coaches Juan Carlos Michia and Mike Haas.  Michia and Haas discussed the identification process for prospective national team players and the U.S. Under-14 National Team program.

John Stelzer, U.S. Soccer’s Director of National Teams, also spoke about the U.S. Youth National Teams and the roles that those teams play.

John Ellinger will wrap up the three-day Coaching Symposium on Sunday night, with a talk about the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team program.  Ellinger will discuss the residency program as well as the steps the team went through in preparation for the FIFA Under-17 World Championship.

The symposium is open to all state Directors of Coaching, college coaches, club coaches and administrators.