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U.S. U-20 MNT Arrives in Montreal in Advance of FIFA U-20 World Cup


U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team
2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup Update
Montreal, Canada
June 27, 2007


BIENVENUE A MONTREAL: Following eight and a half days of training in central New Jersey, the U.S. contingent arrived in downtown Montreal on Tuesday evening for three days of training leading up to their FIFA Under-20 World Cup opening game against South Korea at Olympic Stadium. The U.S. will take advantage of the opportunity to train at Olympic Stadium every day leading up to Saturday’s match. The game against South Korea on Saturday, June 30, kicks off at 5 p.m. ET and will be shown live on ESPNU and fans can follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. TOPS NEW ZEALAND: In Monday’s closed-door scrimmage, the U.S. topped New Zealand by a final score of 4-0. The United States called upon three Under-17 residency players to fill out a 24-man roster, so that no field player played more than 45 minutes. Kofi Sarkodie, Amobi Okugo and Trey Perry joined the Under-20s during the first half before giving way to a potential starting lineup in the second half. A first-half goal from Gabe Ferrari helped set the tone for three second-half goals. Freddy Adu finished a pass from Josmer Altidore in the 58th minute, Danny Szetela slotted home a breakaway in the 69th minute and Michael Bradley capped off the scoring on a header in the 78th minute for the final 4-0 score.

NEW ADDITION: Following an injury to forward Johann Smith in the scrimmage against New Zealand on Monday, June 25, Preston Zimmerman has been called into Montreal, and joined the team late Tuesday night. The Bolton forward suffered a third-degree sprain of his right ankle during the 4-0 victory. Zimmerman, who plays for Hamburg SV in Germany, will complete the 21-man roster as Smith has returned home to Connecticut for treatment. Zimmerman was part of the U.S. team that traveled to Canada for one of the team’s final preparation camps in early June, scoring a goal in the United States’ 4-1 win against Canada on June 3 at Frank-Clair Stadium in Ottawa.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Dax McCarty (F.C. Dallas), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (F.C. Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Akpan (Harvard), Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV), Sal Zizzo
(UCLA)

JULES’ JOURNAL RETURNS: In addition to ussoccer.com’s daily blog updates, Julian Valentin is back with Jules’ Journal. Jules will provide a player’s perspective on the daily life of training camp, including what really happens at practice and at the hotel. The Journal returns after a two-year hiatus and can be found on ussoccer.com.

ALL_ACCESS WITH THE U-20S: With Studio 90 also providing updates from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, ussoccer.com will provide unprecedented coverage of the team in its campaign to win a world championship. Check all_access coverage of the scrimmage against New Zealand, as well as behind the scenes coverage of training camp in Somerset. Stay tuned to ussoccer.com for updates from Canada as the team prepares for group play.

FINAL PREPARATIONS: The U.S. is in their final preparations for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from June 30-July 22 in Canada. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf. All of the United States’ matches can be seen live on ESPNU, while ESPNU and ESPN360.com will combine to show all 52 games of the tournament.

USA's FIFA U-20 World Cup Schedule - Group D
Date          Match-up                                Venue         Kickoff (ET)    Television
June 30    Korea Republic vs. USA     Montreal     2:15 p.m.        ESPNU
July 3        USA vs. Poland                     Montreal     7:45 p.m.        ESPNU/Galavision
July 6        Brazil vs. USA                        Ottawa        7:45 p.m.        ESPNU/Galavision

QUICK HITS:

  • Since 2006, this group of U.S. U-20s holds a 9-6-3 record in international play. So far in 2007, the U.S. is 5-2-1
  • So far in 2007, the U.S. has outscored their opponents, 17-9. Two goals were scored by Haiti national teams (U-20 and full team), one by Argentina, one by Chile and five by Canada in the team’s two-game World Cup preparation tour in June
  • The other three games on the year all came during the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. defeated Haiti, 4-1, drew, 0-0, with Guatemala and then cruised past Panama, 5-0 to finish at the top of their group
  • Along with the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama all qualified from CONCACAF for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. With Canada as host, CONCACAF has five teams in the tournament
  • This is Rongen's second stint as the head coach of the U.S. Under-20s. Rongen also coached the team to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, guiding them to an impressive fifth place finish
  • Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu are the only two players on the team who have caps with the senior national team. Bradley was part of the Gold Cup Champions’ roster, starting all but one game leading up to the Final
  • Freddy Adu leads the team in scoring in 2007, with four goals and two assists leading up to the World Cup
  • There are 14 players on the roster who play professionally in either Europe or Major League Soccer, more than any other U.S. team in Under-20 World Cup history
  • Three players on the roster, Freddy Adu, Nathan Sturgis and Danny Szetela, played in the 2005 edition of the Under-20 World Cup. Adu will become just the second player to ever appear in three Under-20 World Cups, as he was also part of the 2003 squad at age 14
  • First-choice goalkeeper Chris Seitz has a goals against average of just 0.67 in 2007

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