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U-17 Men Defeats Gambia 1-1 in Forfeit

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (August 28, 2005) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National team drew 1-1 with Gambia in an international friendly at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., this evening in a match that was suspended in stoppage time after Gambia was reduced to six players due to five ejections.

The match, which was part of both teams’ preparations for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, was a rough affair, especially in the second half as Gambia received a total of 10 yellow cards and five ejections. Gambia was reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute and then nine men in the 82nd minute as each player received their second yellow card. The final three ejections came after Gambia players protested a clear handball in the box that was called in the 90th minute, giving the U.S. a penalty kick. The players sat on the penalty spot and then punted the ball away in objection to the call that would have given the U.S. the opportunity for the winning goal.

With only six players left on the field for Gambia, the referee called the match indicating that the African team was below the required numbers of players necessary to finish the game.

The goals came in the first half as Gambia scored in the 22nd minute before the Jeremy Hall answered back for the U.S. with the equalizing goal a minute before halftime. Hall was set up for the finish by defender Blake Wagner.

The match was played on the artificial turf field at Eckerd College as the surface will be used for every game at the FIFA U-17 World Championship, which will be played from September 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’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics.

Gambia is placed in Group D along with Brazil, Qatar and the Netherlands. The U.S. and Gambia could face each other in the quarterfinals depending on how each team finishes in their group.

The U.S. and Gambia were supposed to play on Friday (Aug. 26) as well, but Gambia was delayed in arriving to the U.S. due to visa problems. The U-17s will play two more international matches before they leave for Peru, facing China in early September.

- U.S. U-17 Men'st National Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. Under-17 ‘88s Men’s National Team vs. Gambia
Competition:  Friendly
Location: Eckerd College; St. Petersburg, Fla.
Date: Aug. 28, 2005
Weather: Warm, windy 80 degrees
Attendance: 100

Scoring Summary: 
                   1st    2nd      Final
USA             1       0           1
GAM            1       0           1

GAM – #22                                               22nd minute
USA – Jeremy Hall (Blake Wagner)      44. 

USA: 1-Bryant Rueckner; 3-Kevin Alston, 13-Blake Wagner, 5-Ofori Sarkodie, 14-Amaechi Igwe; 11-Ryan Soroka (20-Cam Brown, 80), 8-Kyle Nakazawa (15-Dan Kelly, 46), 12-Gabe Farfan (16-Nik Besagno, 80); 6-Quavas Kirk (7-Omar Gonzalez, 75), 9-Preston Zimmerman, 10-David Arvizu (17-Jeremy Hall, 37).

GAM: n/a

Statistical Summary:
                              USA     GAM
Shots                      10          8
Saves                      3           3
Fouls                      12          21
Corner Kicks          6           3
Offside                    2           2 

Misconduct Summary:
GAM - #11 (caution)                             9th minute
GAM - #22 (caution)                             48.
GAM - #5 (caution)                               49.
GAM - #4 (caution)                                53.
GAM - #22 (caution)                              56.
GAM - #22 (ejected)                              56.
GAM - #9 (caution)                                 63.
USA – Gabe Farfan (caution)               70.
GAM - #6 (caution)                                80.
GAM - #4 (caution)                                82.
GAM - #4 (ejected)                                82.
GAM - #5 (ejected)                                90.
GAM – n/a (ejected)                              90.
GAM – n/a (ejected)                              90.