The U.S. Under-18s bounced back from a shutout on Tuesday to put up their largest goal total of the year against the Illinois State Select Team. U.S. forward Knox Cameron went for two goals and an assist before he was replaced at halftime. The Under-18s, who had only scored once in their first two matches at the Festival, exploded for four goals in less than 20 minutes in the first half, putting the game out of reach before the Illinois State Select Team was reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute. Knox bookended the first-half scoring, netting in the 10th minute, and, after Michael Enfield and Ryan Alexander scored two minutes apart, hitting for the USA's fourth of the evening in the 29th minute.
Joe Vide, a halftime substitute, scored on two free kicks in the second half, ending the U.S. goalfest with the eighth goal of the game in the 72nd minute. Vide, who replaced Michael Enfield at halftime, scored his first with a penalty kick in the 65th minute after he was taken down in the penalty box. Brett Weisner added a goal two minutes later, before Vide finished the scoring in the 72nd minute with a well-taken free kick.
The U.S. Under-18s will play their fourth match in six days on Friday, when they conclude their 2001 Soccer Festival against UNAM Pumas at Trinity Christian College at 6 p.m.
The U.S. Under-17s fell behind the older UNAM Pumas side less than one minute into the match, but bounced back to take the lead in the 71st minute. Erwin Diaz scored both U.S. goals, equalizing in the 50th minute and putting the U.S. ahead in the 71st minute. Hunter Freeman assisted on both of Diaz's goals.
The Under-17s have had the lead in each of the first three matches at the U.S. Soccer Festival, but have finished with two draws and one loss. The U.S. Under-17s will rest on Friday and play their final match of the Festival on Saturday at 6 p.m. against a USASA National Select Team made up of players from each of the Regional Teams.
In other action on Thursday night, the West Region Team topped the East Region 2-1, and the South topped the Midwest by an identical 2-1 scoreline. With the win, coupled with the East Region's loss, the South Region Team is the only undefeated team left on the Men's side of the Soccer Festival.
The U.S. Under-16 Girl's National Team takes the field on Friday afternoon, when they face the Mexican Under-18 Women's National Team. Mexico has rolled to a pair of 4-2 wins in their first two matches at the Soccer Festival, while the U.S. Under-16s have one draw and a commanding 5-2 win to show from their first two performances. Steve Swanson's Under-16s are undefeated in 2001, with a 6-0-1 record that includes four shutouts.
The U.S. Soccer Festival runs through Sunday, August 5th, when the tournament will conclude with a women's soccer doubleheader at PLAYUSA in Naperville. The U.S. Under-16 Girl's National Team will face a National Amateur Select Team at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team making their only appearance of the Festival against the Mexican Under-18 Women's National 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
Erwin Diaz (Hunter Freeman), 50.
Erwin Diaz (Hunter Freeman), 71.
Line-up: Adam Schuerman; Jordan Harvey, Chad Marshall, Gray Griffin, David Chun; Hunter Freeman, Justin Mapp (Chefik Simo, 79), Jordan Stone, Craig Capano, Mike Magee (David Johnson, 69); Erwin Diaz.
U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team Match Summary
Knox Cameron (C.J. Klaas), 10.
Ryan Alexander (Knox Cameron), 18.
Michael Enfield (Troy Roberts), 20.
Knox Cameron (Ryan Alexander), 29.
Ned Grabavoy, 50.
Joe Vide (penalty kick), 65.
Brett Weisner, 67.
Joe Vide, 72.
Line-up: Steve Cronin (Noah Palmer, 69); Ryan Cochrane, Troy Roberts, C.J. Klaas, John Cooper (Miguel Guante, 63); Greg Dalby, John Hartman, Michael Enfield (Joe Vide, 46), Ned Grabavoy; Ryan Alexander, Knox Cameron (Brett Weisner, 46).