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U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Falls to Austria in 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Quarterfinals

TORONTO, Canada (July 14, 2007) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team lost to Austria, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup at National Soccer Stadium in Toronto, ending an impressive campaign that saw the team score 12 goals in five games. Josmer Altidore scored his team-leading fourth goal for the U.S. in the losing effort.

A 105th minute goal in the first overtime period from Erwin Hoffer held up as the game-winner, as Austria will advance to face the winner of the Spain vs. Czech Republic quarterfinal. After a scramble in the U.S. goal mouth, defender Tim Ward tried to clear the ball but it ricochet off an Austrian ankle and was trickling into the goal with Hoffer there to guide it home.

"We had some moments when we could have equalized the game, but I think throughout 90 minutes and overtime it was a battle," said U.S. Under-20 Head Coach Thomas Rongen. "(Austria) was a hard team to play against. They converted two out of four of their opportunities, we got one of five, and that's the story of this game.

"I'm very proud of what we have accomplished during this tournament. We fell short of our goal to go to the round of four and it's a big disappointment. But, at the end of the day, there are more positives for this team than negative ones."

The U.S. opened the scoring in the 15th minute, when Freddy Adu received the ball wide and played a perfect cross right to the head of Altidore, who put it past Austrian goalkeeper Michael Zaglmair, who got a hand on the ball, but couldn’t keep it out of the net.

With the U.S. controlling play for most of the rain-dampened first half, Austria responded just before the final whistle to change the face of the match. In the 43rd minute, Austrian captain Sebastian Proedle took a crack from 35 yards out that goalkeeper Chris Seitz did well to save, but couldn’t control on the rain-soaked synthetic surface. The rebound fell to Rubin Okotie, who turned on defender Tony Beltran in the box and was able to beat Seitz from six yards on the rebound.

Several chances for both teams in the second half came close to ending the game in regulation. In the 69th minute, Okotie found himself in alone on Seitz, and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper, but defender Nathan Sturgis slid in to clear the ball off the line and save a goal. In the 79th minute Austria almost capitalized on another rebound following a diving save from Seitz, but their second chance hit the post.

In the 88th minute, Adu played a through ball for Robbie Rogers, but Zaglmair came off his line to barely beat Rogers to the ball. Seconds later, Adu played a cross into Altidore, who touched the ball around a couple of defenders but his shot was partially blocked and went out wide for a corner kick.

During the first overtime, the United States looked like the more dangerous team. In the 91st minute a buildup led to Rogers crossing the ball through the box to Sal Zizzo, who header back in front of the goal was cleared away. In the 99th minute, Dax McCarty won a ball in midfield and carried forward, laying a perfect ball into the path of Adu, who took a touch around the goalkeeper but lost his angle and hit his shot over the goal.

Austria’s winning goal came just one minute after a red card to U.S. defender Anthony Wallace, who picked up his second yellow card on a late tackle in the 104th minute. Despite playing a man-down, the U.S. created a number of dangerous scoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes, highlighted by close header from Gabriel Ferrari in the 110th minute that bounced high-and-wide of the goal from six yards, and a late blast from Adu that forced a great save from Zaglmair. The U.S. had numbers on that attack, but Zaglmair’s save over the crossbar assured none of the U.S. players in the area would be able to poke home a rebound.

Most of the physical match was played in a steady rain, with the U.S. ultimately being whistled for 28 fouls, more than twice as many as the 13 Austrian fouls. The game also featured 11 yellow cards (six for the U.S.) and the one red card.

The U.S. finished the tournament with an impressive 3-1-1 record in a five-game run through the quarterfinals, but ultimately fell short of qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup semifinals for the second time in their history (1989, Saudi Arabia). For the U.S., the tournament was highlighted by winning their group competition for the third consecutive event, with victories over Brazil and Poland, and a tie against the Korea Republic.

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: USA vs. Austria
Competition: FIFA Under-20 World Cup
Location: National Soccer Stadium – Toronto, Canada
Date: July 14, 2007
Attendance: 19,526

Scoring Summary:   1   2   1OT   2OT   F
USA                              1   0     0        0      1
AUT                              1   0     1        0      2

USA – Josmer Altidore (Freddy Adu)    15th minute.
AUT – Rubin Okotie                                           43.
AUT – Erwin Hoffer                                             105.

USA: 1-Chris Seitz; 5-Nathan Sturgis, 14-Athony Wallace, 16-Julian Valentin, 19-Tony Beltran (2-Tim Ward, 85); 6-Michael Bradley, 7-Danny Szetela (10-Dax McCarty, 63) 11-Freddy Adu (c); 15-Sal Zizzo (17-Gabe Ferrari, 106) 8-Robbie Rogers, 12-Josmer Altidore, 15-Tony Beltran
Subs not used: 3-Bryan Arguez, 4-Amaechi Igwe, 9-Preston Zimmerman, 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 17-Gabe Ferrari, 18-Brian Perk, 20-Andre Akpan, 21-Steve Sandbo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen

AUT: 21-Michael Zaglmair; 2-Thomas Panny, 4-Sebastian Proedle (c), 5-Markus Suttner, 15-Michael Madl; 6-Michael Stanislaw, 8-Veli Kavlak, 10-Zlatko Junuzovic (9-Erwin Hoffer, 103), 11-Peter Hackmair, 14-Bernhard Morgenhaler (7-Martin Harnik, 37); 19-Rubin Okotie (13-Thomas Pirker, 120+)
Subs not used: 1-Bartolomej Kuru, 12-Andreas Lukse, 3-Daniel Gramann, 16-Ingo Enzenberger, 17-Tomas Simkovic, 18-Thomas Hinum, 20-Siegfried Rasswalder
Head Coach: Paul Gludovatz

Statistical Summary: USA / AUT
Shots                                 15 / 22
Shots on goal                     6 / 12
Saves                                 10 / 5
Fouls                                  28 / 13
Corner Kicks                       8 / 12
Offside                                  1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
AUT – Veli Kavlak (caution)                33rd minute
AUT – Zlatko Junuzovic (caution)      44.
USA – Robbie Rogers (caution)       46+.
USA – Anthony Wallace (caution)     48.
USA – Danny Szetela (caution)         51.
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)      56.
AUT – Michael Stanislaw (caution)  70
USA – Nathan Sturgis (caution)       72.
USA – Anthony Wallace (caution)    104
USA – Anthony Wallace (sent off)    104.
AUT – Michael Madl (caution)           115.
AUT – Erwin Hoffer (caution)            122.

Referee: Martin Hansson (SWE)
1st Assistant: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
2nd Assistant: Henrik Andren (SWE)
Fourth Official: Peter O’Leary (NZE)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Freddy Adu