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U-17 MNT Set for Clash Against Tunisia in World Cup


U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup
Changwon, South Korea
August 22, 2007

REGROUPED AND READY: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will play their second Group E game against Tunisia on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), live on ESPN2 and Galavision. The match will also be replayed at 12 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The U.S. trained for two days in Changwon since Monday evening’s loss against Tajikistan, and will play again in Changwon Main Stadium on Thursday evening. 

BACK IN BUSINESS: Ellis McLoughlin, the U.S. team’s leading scorer over the past two years, is expected to return to the lineup after missing most of the opening match with strep throat. The Seattle, Wash., native came on in reserve for the final five minutes against Tajikistan in the USA’s opening match. The forward has 14 international goals in 36 games with the Under-17 team, including four so far in this year.
U.S. Under-17 World Cup Roster
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 simulcast the team’s second Group E game on Thursday, Aug. 23 against Tunisia. ESPNU and ESPN360.com 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 ESPN360.com will offer 29 matches from the round robin stage. Thursday’s game against Tunisia and Sunday’s match with Belgium 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./12 p.m.       Changwon     3-4 L
Aug. 23   Tunisia           3:45 a.m./12 p.m.      Changwon     ESPN2 / ESPNU / Galavision
Aug. 23   Belgium         2:45 a.m./12 p.m. Cheonan        ESPNU / Galavision
Full World Cup Schedule

GROUP E STANDINGS: Tunisia currently sits atop Group E with three points and a +2 goal differential after their 4-2 victory over Belgium in their opening game. Tajikistan earned three points from their win against the U.S., while Belgium and the U.S. will be looking for their first points. Tajikistan and Belgium will face off in the second match of the night in Changwon. The final Group E games will be played on Sunday, Aug. 26 with the U.S. heading to Cheonan to face Belgium (live on ESPNU), while Tunisia and Tajikistan will meet in Suwon. 
Group E Standings
Team         W  L  T    GF GA  GD Pts
Tunisia      1   0   0     4    2    +2    3
Tajikistan  1    0   0    4    3    +1    3
USA            0   1   0     3    4     -1    0
Belgium     0   1   0     2    4     -2    0
Complete Standings

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 ussoccer.com’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.
 
UNDER PRESSURE: Goalkeepers are often the most scrutinized position on the field, especially in the World Cup. In the recent tradition of successful American goalkeepers, the U.S. Under-17 World Cup team has three who could step in at any moment without missing a beat. Check out ussoccer.com's exclusive all_access video about how Zac MacMath, Josh Lambo and Larry Jackson train, compete and prepare for a World Cup game.

QUICK HITS:

  • Billy Schuler’s 53rd minute goal Monday night was his sixth of the year, adding to his team-leading total in 2007
  • Schuler also leads the team in caps this year with 17
  • The game against Tajikistan marks the eighth time that the U.S. has scored three or more goals in World Cup play
  • The U.S. is 1-4-1 against African teams in FIFA Under-17 World Cup competitions, going 1-0-1 in their past two matches. In 2003, the U.S. defeated Sierra Leone, 2-1, on two goals from Freddy Adu and then drew, 1-1, with Ivory Coast in their final group match in 2005
  • Tunisia is participating in only their second FIFA Under-17 World Cup, and their first since 1993
  • The U.S. has five players on their roster who were born in 1991, while Tunisia’s entire 21-man squad was born in 1990
  • The U.S. has never met Tunisia at the Under-17 level, but the senior sides played to a 1-1 draw on March 12, 2000 in Birmingham, Ala. Ben Olsen scored the USA’s lone goal
  • The temperature in Changwon at game time is expected to be about 85 degrees with 70 percent humidity. Average temperatures during training have been 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity
  • Daniel Wenzel was the only U.S. player to receive a yellow card in the team’s first match. If he receives another caution during group play, he will be required to sit out the next match. 
  • Tunisia central midfielder Oussama Boughanmi will be unavailable against the U.S. as he received two yellow cards and was sent off in their match against Belgium. Boughanmi scored in Tunisia’s 4-2 victory.

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS: Already through 20 matches at the FIFA U-17 World Cup a total of 76 goals have been scored, for an average of 3.8 per match. Brazil leads all teams in the tournament with 13 goals through their first two matches in Group B, with a 7-0 win over New Zealand and 6-1 victory over North Korea. If any of the Brazilians look familiar, it may be because this is the team that has participated at the past two Nike Friendlies in Bradenton, Fla. Click here for highlights of USA-Brazil from the 2006 Nike Friendlies.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Tunisia’s qualification through Africa wasn’t an easy one, and began with a 0-0 draw with Gabon. They turned around their disappointing result by topping fellow World Cup qualifier, Togo, 3-0, and drawing with South Africa, 2-2, to advance to the semifinals. In their semifinal, Tunisia lost to two-time Under-17 World Cup Champion Nigeria, 2-0, but with four teams qualifying out of Africa, their mission was accomplished.
Tunisia Under-17 World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Habib Tounsi (Esperance), Atef Dikhili (Jendouba S), Mohamed Ali Souidi (Club Africain)
DEFENDERS (6): Mohamed Karoui (Esperance), Bilel Ifa (Club Africain), Hamza Tlili (JS Kairouan), Meher Jaballag (ES du Sahel), Slim Marzougui (Club African), Saifeddine Ben Akremi (Club Africain)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Mohamed Wazani (Stade Tunisien), Ala Eddine Abbes (ES du Sahel), Nour Hadhria (Club Africain), Sadok Arbi (Esperance), Majdi Makhzoumi (Club Africain), Youssef Msakni (Stade Tunisien), Ahmed Mejr (Esperance)
FORWARDS (4): Rafik Dkhil (Esperance), Mohamed Ben Azouz (Esperance), Mossaab Sassi (ES du Sahel), Khaled Ayari (AS Ariana)


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