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U.S. Under-17 '88 MNT Draw With Italy 1-1 in First Match of Montaigu Tournament

The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team drew 1-1 with Italy this afternoon in their first match of the Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee Tournament in Montaigu, France. The U.S. will next face England on Thursday, April 8.

Italy took the lead in the 35th minute off a good combination play near the top of the U.S. penalty area. With quick, precise touches the Italian midfielders knocked the ball around the U.S. players before finding Andrea Russotto, who turned, beat his defender and ripped a rocket past ‘keeper Bryant Rueckner.

The U-17s bounced back just three minutes later, with an opportunistic goal created by forward Quavas Kirk. An Italian defender dropped a slow ball back to ‘keeper Enrico Alfonso forcing him to run out of the box to try and kick it out of danger , but Quavas was able to block his clearance, deflecting the ball into the goal for the equalizer. 

The match was an even contest as both teams had seven shots on goal, but it was Italy that came out dominating early as the Under-17s gave them too much space to work. The Italians put pressure on the U.S. backline for the first 30 minutes before the U.S. could find a rhythm.

In the second half, it was the U.S. that had most of the run of play for the final 30 minutes, but Rueckner had to come up with a couple brilliant saves to keep the score tied. The U.S. looked dangerous up front and pushed forward in hopes of taking the lead. Ryan Soroka and second-half substitute Preston Zimmerman both had good opportunities on goal, but their efforts went just wide of the target.

- U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team Game Report -

Participants:     U.S. Under-17 ‘88s Men’s National Team vs. Italy
Competition:     Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee Tournament
Location:    Montaigu, France
Date:    April 7, 2004
Weather:    Cold and rainy, 50 degrees

Scoring Summary:    1st    2nd    Final
ITA                                    1       0         1
USA                                 1       0         1

ITA – Andrea Russotto (Salvatore Foti)    35th minute
USA – Quavas Kirk                                     38th 
USA: 28-Bryant Rueckner; 21-Richard Edgar, 26-Eric Lichaj, 23-Michael Balogun, 29-Ofori Sarkodie; 31-Carlos Borja, 35-Gabriel Farfan, 37-Jonathan Villanueva (29-Preston Zimmerman, 50), 27-Ryan Soroka; 30-Michael Stephens (13-Blake Wagner, 70), 6-Quavas Kirk.

ITA: 1-Enrico Alfonso; 2-Lorenzo de Silvestri, 3-Davide Brivio, 4-Marco Cavanna, 5-Michele Cremonesi; 6-Ivan Castiglia, 7-Nicola Redomi (15-Matteo Mandorlini, 50), 8-Simone Palermo, 9-antonio Piccolo (18-Loris Lorini, 41; 14-Nicola Cosentini, 75); 10-Andrea Russotto, 11-Salvatore Foti (17-Pio Crisci, 41).

Statistical Summary:            ITA     USA
Shots                                           7          7   
Saves                                          3         5
Corner Kick                                5         3
Fouls                                          21        16   
Offside                                        8          1

Misconduct Summary:
ITA – Andrea Russotto (caution)        55th minute
USA – Michael Balogun (caution)        56th
ITA – Simone Palermo (caution)        73rd

Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee Tournament Results/Schedule
Group A
April 7
USA 1, Italy 1
Ivory Coast 1, England 0

April 8
USA vs. England
Ivory Coast vs. Italy

April 10
USA vs. Ivory Coast
England vs. Italy

Group B
April 7
France 0, Japan 0
Germany 4, Cameroon 0

April 8
France vs. Germany
Japan vs. Cameroon

April 10
Cameroon vs. France
Japan vs. Germany