U.S. Under-17s Finish 2001 with Three Wins in Soccer Showcase
ORLANDO, Fla. (Sunday, December 30, 2001) - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team wrapped up 2001 with three wins in five matches at the Disney Soccer Showcase in Orlando, Fla. from Dec. 26 - Dec. 30. The U.S. finished the tournament with three wins, a draw and a loss against older competition, including one of Ajax of Amsterdam's youth squads.
The U.S. opened by topping Ajax Capetown ('85s) 2-1, as co-captain Brandon Owens set up Eddie Gaven for the winner. The Under-17s were shutout in their second match before bouncing back to top Region II, 3-1, behind goals from Freddy Adu, John DiRaimondo and Michael Harrington. Only a goal three minutes from the final whistle ruined Phil Marfuggi's shutout bid for the U.S.
The U.S. allowed another late goal against Ajax of Amsterdam to draw 2-2, as a goal four minutes from time equalized the scoreline and canceled out strikes from Guillermo Gonzalez and Harrington. The U.S. posted a shutout in their final match, topping Region IV 2-0, with Cameron Lewis and Nicolas Colaluca tallying for the U.S.
The five matches wrapped up a busy end to 2001 for John Ellinger's newest crop of Under-17s. The young Under-17s finished the year with an 8-2-2 record. Nine members of the team began U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program in the fall of 2001, and a total of 20 players will be in residency starting in January 2002.