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U.S. Under-20 MNT Draw With Denmark 2-2 in Opening Match of Milk Cup

CHICAGO (July 17, 2004) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team had the lead twice, but ended up letting Denmark find equalizers to finish their opening match of the 2004 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland in a 2-2 draw. The U.S. will play Turkey in its next Group 2 match on Monday, July 19.

Midfielder Stuart Holden was involved in both of the U.S. goals, scoring the opening goal in the 40th minute and then assisting on Chad Barrett's goal in the 71st. Both goals provided the U.S. with the lead, but Denmark was able to bounce back both times, snagging one point.

It was the Danes who came out of the blocks faster as they peppered U.S. goalkeeper Quentin Westberg early in the match. In the sixth minute, a ball into the box was chased down by Westberg, but he was only able to get a foot to the ball and it landed to the feet of Morten Rasmussen about 25 yards from goal. Rasmussen took a quick shot on goal, but his attempt went wide.

Denmark had two more chances on goal from distance before the U.S. started to come alive. Craig Capano came close to giving the U.S. the lead in the 23rd minute on a free kick awarded after Holden was taken down about 25 yards from goal. Capano curled his attempt around the wall and clanked off the post. The ball bounced to the center of the area and midfielder Tim Ward pounced on the loose ball, unfortanetly striking it off the very same post and out of bounds.

The U.S. finally got on the board in the 40th minute as Holden found the back of the net off a rebound. Forward Kamani Hill was sent through on a ball from Capano, giving him a breakaway with the Danish goalkeeper Kasper Ambrose. He tried to push it around Ambrose, but he was able to get a piece of it to knock it away. The ball fell to Holden, who quickly collected the ball and drilled it into net to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

Right before halftime, Capano almost gave the U.S. a two-goal lead with another well-struck free kick, but this attempt also sailed wide.

Down by a goal, the Danes quickly found the equalizer, striking four minutes into the second half. The U.S. backline mishandled a punt by the Danish ‘keeper and fell to Rasmussen. The striker cut inside his defender and curled a shot past Westberg.

The U.S. struck back in the 71st minute though as Holden collected a ball near midfield na dlofted a ball to Barrett inside the box. Barrett was able to hold off his defender and bury the ball into the net.

With just over ten minutes remaining in the match, the U.S. squandered its chance to come away with three points as Bernburg finished from the top of the penalty area with a nice chip over Westberg, who was coming off his line.

In other matches, Turkey beat Wales 2-1 in Group 2, while Brazil shoutout Israel 2-0, and Russia defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 in Group 1 play.

- U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Match Report -

Participants: U-20 MNT vs. Denmark
Competition: 2004 Milk Cup
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date: July 17, 2004
Weather: Cool, 60 degrees

Scoring Summary:

                                      1st      2nd     Final
United States                  1         1          2
Denmark                         0         2          2

USA – Stuart Holden (unassisted)                             40th minute
DEN – Morten Rasmussen                                         49th
USA – Chad Barrett (Stuart Holden)                          71st
DEN – Martin Bernburg (Martin Vingaard)                77th

USA –1- Quentin Westberg; 6-Steve Purdy, 20-Kiel McClung, 5-Karl Schilling (7-Jay Denny, 64), 4-Mike Ordonez; 12-Stuart Holden, 3-Tim Ward, 8-Craig Capano (15-Sasha Klejstan, 83), 11-Arturo Alvarez (19-Nico Colaluca, 74); 9-Kamani Hill (10-Charlie Davies, 64), 16-Will John (13-Chad Barrett, 64).
Subs not used: 2-Patrick Phelan, 18-Justin Hughes

DEN: 1-Kasper Ambrose (Jesper Hansen, 46); 2-Anders Kure, 3-Kasper Gronn, 4-Henrik Kilkentoft, 7-Jeppe Hestehave; 8-Henrik Smedegaard, 12-William Qvist Jorgensen (13-Danny Olsen, 84), 11-Niki Zimling (capt.), 6-Jonas Borring (Martin Vingaard, 60); 15-Morten Rasmussen, 17-Morten Friis Jensen (18-Martin Bernburg, 46).
Subs not used: 14-Kasper Lorentzen

Statistical Summary:
                           USA      DEN
Shots                     5            6          
Saves                    1             1
Corners                 5            4
Fouls                     14          14
Offside                  4            2

Misconduct Summary:
DEN – Niki Zimling (caution)                   31st minute
DEN – Jeppe Hestehave (caution)        44th
DEN – Henrik Kilkentoft (caution)           90th