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Field of 24 Teams Set for FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina

CHICAGO (Monday, April 2, 2001) - With the draw for the 2001 World Youth Championship just over three weeks away, the 24-team field is set for Argentina this summer. Four African teams, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana, grabbed the last four available spots in the World Youth Championship that will take place in Argentina from June 17 - July 8, 2001. The African Youth Championship produced more than its fair share of shocks, as powerhouses Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa were eliminated and Angola and Ethiopia advanced to the semifinals, and consequently, Argentina 2001. At the CAF Tournament in Ethiopia, Angola topped Ghana 2-0 in the final, while Egypt topped Ethiopia 2-0 to grab third place. Angola and Ethiopia will be competing in their first World Youth Championship in Argentina. The draw for the World Youth Championship will take place on April 26 in Buenos Aires. Since the world championships began in 1977, the U.S. has only missed the finals five times. The best U.S. finish came in 1989, when Kasey Keller won the Silver Ball as the tournament's second MVP and helped the U.S. to the semifinals. In 1999, the U.S. shocked England 1-0 in group play and advanced to the round of 16, where they fell to eventual champion Spain 3-2. The USA's only other loss in the tournament came to Japan, who advanced to the final before falling to Spain. Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Japan and Costa Rica are the only five teams to qualify for each of the last four World Youth Championships (1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001).

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%=macroPart|font/arial1=%AFC (Asia)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%4%=macroPart|font/arial1=%Iraq, Japan, China, Iran
%=macroPart|font/arial1=%CAF (Africa)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%4%=macroPart|font/arial1=%Ethiopia, Egypt, Angola, Ghana
%=macroPart|font/arial1=%CONCACAF (Americas and Caribbean)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%4%=macroPart|font/arial1=%Canada, Jamaica, %=macroPart|font/arialred1=%United States, Costa Rica
%=macroPart|font/arial1=%CONMEBOL (South America)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%5 (includes host)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%Argentina (host), Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Ecuador
%=macroPart|font/arial1=%OFC (Oceania)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%1%=macroPart|font/arial1=%Australia
%=macroPart|font/arial1=%UEFA (Europe)%=macroPart|font/arial1=%6%=macroPart|font/arial1=%France, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Netherlands