SAN ANTONIO, Texas (August 20, 2005) - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team fell to Mexico 2-1 this evening at East Central Hornets High School in San Antonio, Texas.
The match, played on artificial turf, was preparation for the upcoming 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The majority of the matches during the tournament will be played on artificial turf, similar to the tournament two years ago in Finland.
In an evenly contested match, Mexico was able to slip two goals by U.S. goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner in the second half. Mexico was reduced to 10 men after 80 minutes and Jeremy Hall was able to pull one back in the 89th minute for the U.S., but the Mexican defense was able to hold off their northern neighbors as they looked for the last-gasp equalizer.
"It was a typical border battle tonight as both teams were really battling," said U.S. U-17 head coach John Hackworth. "We had our chances in the first half, but weren't able to place our shots past the 'keeper. Overall, we played well though and it was a good preparation match as we continue to move closer to the World Championship."
After a scoreless first half, Mexico broke the deadlock when Omar Morales scored in the 55th minute, intercepting a poor back pass to give him a breakaway against Rueckner, slipping the ball past the 'keeper. Eight minutes later, Mexico doubled their lead off a quick restart as Ever Zavala was able to surprise the U.S. defense and bury his shot past Ruckener.
Despite the lopsided score, the U.S. was never out of the game as Preston Zimmerman and Quavas Kirk gave the Mexican defenders fits in that attacking third. The U.S. took nine shots, eight of which were on goal, forcing goalkeeper Sergio Delgado to make seven saves on the night.
In the 80th minute, Mexico was reduced to 10 men after a rough foul. The U.S. turned up the intesity in the final ten minutes and finally broke through when Hall was able to head home a cross from Omar Gonzalez in the 89th minute.
The U.S. is less than a month away from competing in the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, which will take place from Sept. 16-Oct. 2 in Peru. The U.S. was drawn in to Group C with North Korea, Italy and Ivory Coast.
The U.S. opens against North Korea (Korea DPR) on Sept. 17 at 12:45 p.m. CT, before facing Italy on Sept. 20 (3:30 p.m. CT) and concludes group play on Sept. 23 (3:30 p.m. CT) against Ivory Coast. The U.S. will play their first two group matches against North Korea and Italy at Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo, before moving to Lima to face Ivory Coast in their third and final group match at Nacional Stadium. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics.
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Match Report
Participants: U.S. Under-17 ‘88s Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Competition: International Friendly
Location: East Central Hornets High School; San Antonio, Texas
Date: August 20, 2005
Weather: Hot, 95 degrees
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.
Shots 9 12
Saves 5 7
Fouls 21 17
Corner Kicks 7 5
Offside 0 1
USA – Nik Besagno (caution) 16th minute
MEX – Edgar Renteria (caution) 38.
MEX – Mario Ortiz (caution) 61.
USA – Michael Farfan (caution) 72.
MEX – n/a #21 (ejection) 80.
MEX – Omar Morales (caution) 84.