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U.S. U-20 MNT Germany Match Notes from Suez, Egypt


U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Notes
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Suez , Egypt

GAME DAY APPROACHES: After 11 days of training in Cyprus and Egypt, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is ready to kick of the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup against Germany on Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) on ESPN Classic and Galavision. The U.S. was drawn into Group C and will open against Germany on Sept. 26 before facing Cameroon on Sept. 29 and rounding out group play against Korea Republic on Oct. 2. All three of the USA’s group matches will be played at the brand new Mubarak Stadium in Suez, and will be televised on the ESPN family of networks and Galavision. Fans can also follow the USA games on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ussoccer.

U.S. U-20 MNT Group C Schedule
Date            Opponent         Time (ET)      TV                                    Venue
Sept. 26      Germany           10 a.m.           ESPN Classic/Galavision     Mubarak Stadium; Suez 
Sept. 29      Cameroon         12:45 p.m.      ESPN2/Galavision              Mubarak Stadium; Suez
Oct. 2         Korea Republic   12:45 p.m.      ESPN2/Galavision              Mubarak Stadium; Suez

For a full tournament schedule, click here. 

OFFICIAL KICK OFF IS UPON US: The host nation is finalizing its preparations for putting on a show that the whole world will watch. The first of 52 games is set to be one of the highlights of the event, as host Egypt takes on Trinidad & Tobago in the first game of the tournament on Thursday Sept. 24, evening at 8 p.m. local time. The rest of Group A, Paraguay and Italy and Group B, which includes Nigeria, Venezuela, Spain and Tahiti, gets underway on Friday, Sept. 25. The USA’s Group C and Group D are set for openers on Saturday, while Group E and F will be the last to start their respective campaigns on Sunday.

QUICK HITS:

  • All 21 U.S. players are eligible to be named to the 18-man game-day roster.
  • Only Brazil (16), Australia (13) and Spain (13) have participated in more FIFA U-20 World Cups than the United States (12).
  • The U.S. and Germany have met three times previously in this event, with the Europeans taking two wins (2-1 in 1987, 3-1 in 2003) and the squads earning a 0-0 draw in 2005.
  • Nine different players on this roster have scored an international goal at this level: Danny Cruz, Mikkel Diskerud, Dilly Duka, Jorge Flores, Jared Jeffrey, Peri Marosevic, Brek Shea, Michael Stephens, and Tony Taylor.
  • The Americans have a seven game streak of not being shut out in this event.
  • The last time the Americans were held scoreless was in the 0-0 draw against Germany in the first round of the 2005 event.
  • The U.S. roster boasts two players who were also part of the team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the event in 2007 in Canada, Bryan Arguez and Brian Perk. There are only four other players in Egypt who were also in Canada.
  • Perk was in the net for the USA’s Round of 16 game against Uruguay during that tournament, earning a 2-1 win in the absence of the injured Chris Seitz.
  • Perk has a measly goals against average of just 0.14 in international games in 2009, including four straight shutouts in Trinidad & Tobago during qualifying.
  • Six other players played for the American squad at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea Republic while one other player, Aaron Maund, also played in that event for Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Cruz, Jeffrey, Joshua Lambo, Shea and Sheanon Williams were part of the U.S. team that fell to Germany in the Round of 16 in Korea Republic.
  • A total of 10 players participated in U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., including midfielder Jeffrey, who was the leading cap winner of that team.
  • Midfielder Cruz, who will be participating in his second FIFA event, had never even seen a soccer game until he was recruited to play for his high school team as a freshman. The Glendale, Ariz. native grew up playing ice hockey and American football
  • Shea is the only player on the roster that has been called in to the full Men’s National Team. He traveled to Barbados ahead of the USA’s first round World Cup qualifier in 2008.
  • Rutgers University midfielder Dilly Duka scored in his first-ever international game, the opener of the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March against Jamaica.
  • Forty-four different leagues from around the world are represented on the 24 national teams in Egypt.
  • Dillon Powers had his best-ever year as a soccer player in 2009. He earned two national awards, taking home both the Gatorade and Development Academy Player of the Year honors. He also earned his first international cap at any level in June in Egypt.
  • Norwegian-based midfielder Mikkel Diskerud notched a game-winner in his first and only appearance with Thomas Rongen’s side, a 1-0 win against Egypt in Alexandria on June 27.
  • Flores was thrust on the national scene in 2007 as the winner of Sueño MLS, a reality show that helped him land his first professional contract. Flores debuted with Chivas USA on Sept. 27, 2007 against the New York Red Bulls, but broke out in 2008 when he appeared in 11 games and scored three goals. He has since made 13 appearances for the U-20s.

TUNING IN AND TUNING UP: The U.S. came together on Sept. 14 for a week of training in Larnaca, Cyprus, that included two scrimmages against fellow World Cup participants Australia and Trinidad & Tobago. All 18 field players played at least 45 minutes in both games as the U.S. picked up two 2-0 victories. Brek Shea and Bryan Arguez scored for the U.S. against T & T on Sept. 18, while Tony Taylor and Mikkel Diskerud netted goals against Australia on Sept. 20.

LATE ADDITIONS TO RONGEN’S ROSTER: Hertha Berlin’s Bryan Arguez and Chivas USA’s Gerson Mayen rounded out Thomas Rongen’s 21-player squad after Sam Garza and Anthony Wallace both suffered knee injuries. With 12 professional players and eight college players on the roster, Rongen has options for both his starting 11 and his bench for the duration of the tournament.

U.S. U-20 Men's National Team World Cup Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham, N.C.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin, Miami), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Gerson Mayen (Chivas USA; Los Angeles), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (3): Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Miami FC; Jacksonville, Fla.) 

HOW WE GOT HERE: The U.S. U-20 MNT qualified for its CONCACAF record seventh-straight and 12th overall FIFA U-20 World Cup by clinching second place in the regional championship held in Trinidad & Tobago in March. Five different goal scorers netted for the U.S. side during group play in Tobago, as a 3-0 win against Jamaica, a 0-0 draw with Honduras and a 2-0 win against El Salvador paved the way to a place in the semifinals and a berth to Egypt. Top-choice goalkeeper Brian Perk, who was between the pipes for all three group games, held onto a fourth-straight shutout, was once again the hero in the semifinal against host Trinidad & Tobago. With the game tied at 0-0 through regulation and overtime, Perk came up with two penalty stops during the ensuing shootout that lifted the Americans to the final. With a 10-game unbeaten streak leading into the championship match against Costa Rica, the U.S. also hadn’t conceded a goal in nearly 600 minutes of playing time. In the first CONCACAF U-20 championship game since 1996, head coach Thomas Rongen made several changes to his lineup for the championship match and the U.S. eventually fell 3-0 to Costa Rica.

2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Results
Date            Opponent        Result                     U.S. Goalscorer(s)                  Venue                         
March 6      Jamaica            3-0 W                     Marosevic, Duka, Schuler         Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 8      Honduras         0-0 T                      --                                          Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 10    El Salvador       2-0 W                     Shea, Taylor                           Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 13    T & T               0-0 T (4-3 PKs)        --                                          Marvin Lee Stadiunm; Macoya, Trinidad
March 15    Costa Rica        0-3 L                       --                                          Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad

ABOUT GERMANY: After failing to qualify for the 2007 event, Germany qualified for Egypt 2009 at the 2008 UEFA U-19 Championship, starting off with a 2-1 opening win against Spain followed by impressive form for remainder of the tournament. With four straight wins, including a last-second winner in a 2-1 semifinal victory against host Czech Republic, Germany advanced to the European final. There, despite being a man down for 40 minutes, a 3-1 win against Italy gave Germany its first ever continental U-19 title. At the final draw for the World Cup, coach Horst Hrubesch’s side was one of only three seeded teams and will enter the tournament as one of the favorites just two years after failing to qualify for the 2007 event in Canada. The Germans will rely on several players who led Germany to a impressive third-place finish at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which included a Round of 16 win against the United States.

Germany Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tom Mickel (Hamburg SV), Sebastian Mielitz (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Manchester United)
DEFENDERS (8): Patrick Funk (Vfb Stuttgart), Sebastian Jung (Eintracht Frankfurt), Florian Jungwirth (1860 Munich), Cihan Kaptan (Busapor), Bjorn Kopplin (Bayern Munich), Maik Rodenberg (Bielefeld), Kai-Fabian Schulz (Hamburg SV), David Vrzogic (Borussia Dortmund)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Semih Aydilek (Kayserispor), Lars Bender (Bayern Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Lewis Holtby (FC Schalke), Timo Perthel (Werder Bremen), Mario Vrancic (Rot Weiss Ahlen)
FORWARDS (4): Tobias Kempe (Werder Bremen), Manuel Schaffler (1860 Munich), Dani Schahin (Greuther Furth), Richard Sukuta-Pasu (Bayern Leverkusen)

2008 UEFA U-19 Championship Results
Date                 Match                                         Venue                                   
July 14              Germany 2, Spain 1                    Stadion Mesta Pizne; Pizne, Czech Rep.
July 17              Germany 3, Bulgaria 0                Stadion Mesta Pizne; Pizne, Czech Rep.
July 20              Germany 2, Hungary 1                Na Litavce; Pribram, Czech Rep.
July 23 (Semi)   Germany 2, Czech Rep. 1 (OT)     Mestsky Stadion; Mlada Boleslav
July 26 (Final)    Germany 3, Italy 1                      Strelnice Stadion; Jablonec Nisou, Czech Rep.

FAMOUS USA-GERMANY GAMES: The U.S. and Germany have been a part of many memorable games in their rivalry. Men’s National Team fans will remember the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, a 1-0 loss for the U.S. in an evenly matched game that marked a turning point in U.S. MNT history. On the women’s side, the U.S. and Germany have had some historic clashes, including a 2-1 semifinal win for the U.S. team en route to the Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004. Their first heavy weight battle came back in the first Women’s World Cup, where the U.S. came in as major underdogs and ran away with a 5-2 semifinal win against the tournament favorites.

WELCOME TO SUEZ: Suez is a city with 500,000 people, settled between Port Ibrahim and Port Tawfiq along the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal of course connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The area is a hot spot for travelers from Eastern Europe and Asia who are drawn to fishing and Red Sea beaches.

MUBARAK STADIUM: The U.S. and Germany will participate in the first event ever held at the brand-new Mubarak Stadium in Suez. The natural-grass stadium holds approximately 40,000 people, but at the end of construction, as many as 65,000 people will be able to attend events in the soccer-specific venue.

EID MUBARAK (HAPPY EID): After a week of training in Larnaca, the U.S. traveled to Suez on the second day of Eid, a three-day celebration of the end of Ramadan. People put on their best clothes, trade gifts with their neighbors and share traditional foods, like special cookies (Kahk). Schools, government offices and some restaurants are closed in celebrations, and this year the start of the school year has actually been pushed back until after the three days are over. Families spend the days in amusement parks, picnics, or neighborhood parks.

KELLER REMEMBERS: Former Men’s National Team goalkeeper, Kasey Keller, spoke with ussoccer.com about the USA’s surprising fourth place finish at the 1989 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia. In the podcast, he recounts his experiences from the tournament and also discusses what the tournament in Egypt means for the current U-20 team.

IKE’S NEW HAIRCUT: Make sure to vote for whether U.S. defender Ike Opara should keep his new haircut! Watch him go from a full head of hair to a mohawk in this ussoccer.com all_access video, and vote for whether or not he has to keep it for Saturday’s match against Germany. You can also catch a preview of USA-Germany and see how the team has been getting fit and ready for match day in our Media Center, by clicking

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