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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Beats Municipal 1-0, Advance to the Semifinals of the Dallas Cup

DALLAS, TEXAS (April 16, 2003) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team couldn’t find the back of the net against Municipal Perez Zeledon until the 83rd minute, but it was enough as the 1-0 victory propelled the U.S. onto the semifinals of the Dallas Cup. Guillermo Gonzalez nailed his third penalty kick in three games to give the U.S. seven points in Bracket A of the U-19 Super Group. The U.S. wins the bracket with a better goal differential (+7) than CD Guadalajara (+5), who also finished with seven points.

The U.S. will face Newcastle United FC (of England), winner of Bracket C, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. on Friday at Lake Highlands Stadium. In the other semifinal CD Guadalajara, winners of the wild card spot, will face the winner of Bracket B. The winner of the game between Tigres (of Mexico) and Sport Lisboa e Benfica (of Portugal), which started at 8 p.m. CT, will advance out of Bracket B.

"We did just enough of what we needed to do to win today," head coach John Ellinger said. "Now we will concentrate on Newcastle United. After watching them play on Wednesday, we know we will have our hands full with them and it will be a challenging game. Our kids our looking forward to it and it should be a good match."

Against Municipal the U.S. struggled offensively in the first half as the midfielders and forwards struggled with their first touch, continually turning the ball over. The only good chance the U.S. got was in the 19th minute when forward Freddy Adu beat Municipal keeper, Gener Godinez, to a loose ball just outside the top of the penalty area, tapping it toward the goal line. A defender was able to hustle back and clear it before it trickled in for a goal.

In the 45th minute, U.S. keeper Phil Marfuggi had the biggest save of the tournament so far, as he stonewalled a Municipal penalty. The penalty was awarded after defender Kyle Helton was called for a foul after taking down a Municipal midfielder. Forward Michael Gonzales Ilama drilled the penalty towards the right corner, but Marfuggi got a magnificent jump on it, diving low to his left and getting one hand on it to clear it out of danger. Seconds after the play, the referee blew the halftime whistle.

In the second half, the U.S. continued to pressure the Municipal defense and got numerous chances on goal, but was unable to finish. Corey Ashe, Eddie Gaven and Adu all had looks on goal, but their shots were either just wide or Godinez came up with the stop. On one possession, Adu beat two defenders to the right of the goal inside the penalty area and looked to be taken down, but no call was made.

In the 83rd minute, Adu was taken down from behind at the top of the penalty box by a Municipal defender after collecting a ball from Gaven. Adrian Chevannes started the attack by making a nice move on the left flank, lifting a ball over the head of a defender, before laying it off to Gaven. On the ensuing penalty kick taken by Gonzalez, Godinez was able to get a hand on the shot, but not enough to prevent the U.S. from taking a 1-0 lead.

The U.S. defense held the Municipal attack in check for the entire second half, not allowing a single shot on goal. Helton, Jonathan Spector, Brandon Owens and Adrian Chevannes repeatedly beat the Municipal forwards to the ball and got the ball up the field to counter.


- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Municipal Perez Zeledon
Competition: Dallas Cup XXIV
Location: Richland College Field #3; Dallas, Texas
Date: April 16, 2003
Weather: Cool, clear and windy; 70 degrees

Scoring Summary:

                                          1st 2nd Final
United States                        0    1     1
Municipal Perez Zeledon        0     0     0

USA – Guillermo Gonzalez (penalty kick) 83rd minute


USA – 1-Phil Marfuggi; 2-Kyle Helton (Jamie Watson, 78), 3-Jonathan Spector, 5-Brandon Owens, 16-Adrian Chevannes; 7-Brian Grazier, 15-Corey Ashe, 10-Guillermo Gonzalez, 8-John DiRaimondo, 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven.
Subs not used: 4-Jose Gomez, 6-Chris Germani, 18-Quentin Westberg, 17-Chase Wileman, 12-Jacob Peterson, 9- Michael Harrington

MPZ – 19-Gener Godinez; 4-Andrey Navarro, 3-J. Raul Fernandez, 6-Jose Badilla, 16-Gustavo Vega;
7-Carlos Barahona, 9-Gustavo Barrantes, 15-Randall Quesada, 8-Diego Morales, 17-Michael Navarro, 10-Michael Gonzales Ilama.
Subs not used: 14-Anthony Calvo, 1-Pablo Cubero, 12-Lucas Lobo, 5-David Solano

Statistical Summary:

                   USA     MPZ
Shots            11         3
Saves             3        10
Corner Kick    7          3
Fouls            12        14
Offside           7          4

Misconduct Summary:

MPZ – Carlos Barahona (caution) 7th minute
USA – Brian Grazier (caution) 10th
USA – Kyle Helton (caution) 45th

Dallas Cup Update
U-19 Super Group Bracket A

Team                                  GP   W   L   T   GF   GA   Pts
USA                                     3     2    0   1    9      2      7
CD Guadalajara                     3     2    0   1    9      4      7
Municipal Perez Zeledon        3     1    2    0   4      6      3
Azzurri Blue                          3     0    3   0    1    11      0

April 13
USA 2 CD Guadalajara 2
Municipal Perez Zeledon 3 Azzurri Blue 0

April 14
USA 6 Azzurri Blue 0
CD Guadalajara 5 Municipal Perez Zeledon 1

April 16
USA 1 Municipal Perez Zeledon 0
CD Guadalajara 2 vs. Azzurri Blue 1