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U-17 MNT Opens FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday, Aug. 20 vs. Tajikistan

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Tajikistan
Game Notes - 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup
Changwon, South Korea
August 19, 2007

PREPPED TO PLAY: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is ready to kick off their 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup campaign on Monday at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) in Changwon, South Korea. The team arrived in Changwon on Tuesday night and has trained in the intense heat and humidity in advance of their Group E match against Tajikistan. Head coach John Hackworth’s squad was drawn into Group E of the tournament with Tajikistan, Tunisia and Belgium. The team will stay in Changwon to battle Tunisia on Aug. 23 before moving to Cheonan to take on Belgium to close out Group E play on Aug. 26. Tomorrow’s game against Tajikistan will be shown live on ESPNU, and fans can follow along on’s MatchTracker.

WELCOME TO CHANGWON: The team has had ample time to adjust to the time change and the heat and humidity of South Korea since arriving last Tuesday night. After traveling to four different practice facilities, each with their own unique backdrops, the team will practice in the Changwon Main Stadium for the first time the night before the opening game. The stadium is just a few blocks away from the team hotel, and hosted the USA’s second game in the Eight Nations Tournament that took place in June. The team also stayed in the same hotel during their visit.

U.S. Under-17 World Cup Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.)
FORWARDS (5): Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Abdusalam Ibrahim (FC Dallas.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.), Daniel Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.)

USA ON ESPNU AND ESPN2: ESPNU will televise each of the United States’ three group stage games live, and replay the games in the afternoon in their exclusive English-language coverage of the World Cup. ESPN2 will also simulcast the team’s second Group E game on Thursday, Aug. 23 against Tunisia. ESPNU and will combine to present all 52 matches. ESPNU will televise 23 matches total, including the championship on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5:45 a.m. ET, while will offer 29 matches from the round robin stage. The final two U.S. U-17 group matches will also be broadcast live in Spanish on Galavision.

U.S. FIFA U-17 World Cup Television Schedule
Date        Opponent     Time (ET)   Venue            TV
Aug. 20   Tajikistan     6:45 a.m.    Changwon    ESPNU
Aug. 23   Tunisia         3:45 a.m.    Changwon    ESPN2 / ESPNU / Galavision
Aug. 23   Belgium        2:45 a.m.   Cheonan       ESPNU / Galavision
Full World Cup Schedule

PREPARING FOR TAJIKISTAN: If you've ever wondered how coaches and players prepare for a team from scratch, check out's all_access scouting report on Tajikistan, including how they break down tape, what to expect from their first opponent and how they turned the experience into a learning opportunity for the players.

Tajikistan Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS: Farrukh Berdiev, Mirali Murodov, Bakhtovar Nusratulloev
DEFENDERS: Sheroz Abdulloev, Eradzh Radzhabov, Romiz Bakhriddinov, Farkhod Vasiev, Furug Qodirov, Isomiddin Qurbonov
MIDFIELDERS: Kurbonali Sobirov, Buzurgmekhr Yusupov, Manuchehr Dzhalilov, Samad Shohzukhurov, Umedzhon Sharipov, FatkhulloFatkhuloev
FORWARDS: Davrondzhon Tukhtasunov, Nuriddin Davronov, Abdukayum Karabaev, Shahzod Suleimonov, Farkhod Tokhirov

INSIDER’S BLOG: Want to get all the scoop on what the U-17s are up to while in South Korea? Look no further than’s U-17 MNT Blog, which will make it feel like you’re in the locker room, sitting at a team meal, sleeping at the hotel, riding on the team bus, training on the field with the team and, well, you get the picture.

BAND OF BROTHERS: Two years ago, Ofori Sarkodie and Preston Zimmerman were integral parts of the U.S. Under-17 National Team that won their group in the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Peru, and earlier this summer they were a part of the Under-20 squad that advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Now, younger brothers Kofi Sarkodie and Brandon Zimmerman have their chance on the world stage as members of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup squad. Check out’s exclusive comparison of the siblings from coaches and the players themselves.