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U.S. Under-17 Men, Under-18 Men Lose Openers at U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival in Chicago

CHICAGO (Sunday, July 29, 2001) - The United States Under-17 Men's National Team and the Under-18 Men's National Team lost their opening matches of the sixth annual U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival to older, more experienced teams on Sunday afternoon at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Haights, Ill. The U.S. Under-17s gave up two-second half goals to fall 2-1 to the USASA South Region team, while the U.S. Under-18s were topped 4-1 by the East Region team.

In Sunday's other matches, Mexican club side UNAM Pumas' Under-20 side topped the Midwest Region team 1-0 with a second-half strike, and the Illinois State Select Team battled to a 1-1 draw with the West Region Team.

The six-team women's side of the Festival kicks off Monday and includes the U.S. Under-16 Girls National Team and the Mexican Under-18 Women's National Team. The U.S. Under-16s will face the East Region team at Trinity Christian College at 6 p.m.

After dominating play from the opening whistle, the U.S. Under-17s got on the board in just the 10th minute. U.S. midfielder Chris Lancos played a ball down the left wing to Justin Mapp, and the left-footed midfielder tucked his shot just inside the far post.

The U.S. jumped on top of the South in the first half, despite missing regular starters Ed Johnson, Santino Quaranta, Craig Capano and Mike Magee. Mapp's crafty dribbling caused the South problems on the left side in the first half, while Paul Johnson's speed created difficulties on the right wing for the older South team. But the South Region Team answered with goals less than five minutes apart in the second half and managed to hold off a late U.S. rally to win 2-1.

In an earlier match, the U.S. Under-18s gave up three goals in the early going and were never able to fully recover, falling 4-1 to the East Region Team. Ned Grabavoy scored a nifty goal in the 42nd minute after receiving a Michael Enfield pass and dancing around the goalkeeper.

The U.S. continued to press in the second half, creating endless opportunities around the penalty box, but were unable to add to their tally. After a U.S. goal was called back because of offsides, the East team added a late goal for the 4-1 scoreline.

The United States Under-17 and Under-18 Men's National Teams will return to the playing field on Tuesday, July 31, at Trinity Christian College. The Under-17s face the USASA Midwest Regional Team and the Under-18s square off against the USASA West Regional Team.

This year's U.S. Soccer Festival follows a successful 2000 Amateur Soccer Festival that was held in Kingston, Rhode Island. The first Amateur Soccer Festival was held in San Antonio in 1996, and previous Amateur Soccer Festivals have also been held in Portland (1999), Manchester, N.H. (1998) and Blaine, Minn. (1997).

Recognizing the need to continue the development of young American players and needing a forum to identify other up-and-coming players, the United States Amateur Soccer Association has developed this event to serve those needs through its partnership with the United States Soccer Federation and a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

The U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival was originally conceived when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) discontinued staging their annual U.S. Sports Festival in 1995. The U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival, which is sponsored and organized by the USASA, has incorporated the concept used in the U.S. Sports Festival and has expanded it to also include several U.S. National Teams, and for the third consecutive year, international teams.

The 2001 Amateur Soccer Festival is being hosted this year by the Illinois State Soccer Association, who received a grant of $179,000 from the state of Illinois to plan, promote and host the U.S. Soccer Festival, as well as the Midwest Regional Tournament of State Champions and the local qualification phase of the Tournament of the Mexican-American Communities of the U.S.A.

U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Match Summary

U.S. Goalscoring:
Justin Mapp (Chris Lancos), 10.

Line-up: Adam Schuerman; Jordan Harvey, Gray Griffin, Chad Marshall, David Chun; Justin Mapp (Chefik Simo), Jordan Stone, Chris Lancos, Paul Johnson (Tyson Wahl), Josh Villalobos (Arturo Alvarez); Erwin Diaz (Mike Magee).

U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team Match Summary

U.S. Goalscoring:
Ned Grabavoy (Michael Enfield), 42.

Line-up: Steve Cronin; Ryan Cochrane, John Hartman, Kirk Dinnall; Michael Enfield, Ned Grabavoy, Miguel Guante (John Cooper, 46), Troy Roberts; Joe Vide, Andre Schmid (Brett Wiesner, 46), Knox Cameron (Ryan Alexander, 67).