KINGSTON, Ontario (June 6, 2007) – After the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s dominating victory three days ago against their northern neighbors, the tables were turned this evening when Canada cruised to a 4-0 victory in the rematch in Kingston, Ontario.
The 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the second minute, and kept the U.S. defense under constant pressure for the rest of the match. Canada forward Tousaint Ricketts was the star of the show on the night, scoring two first half goals and adding another in the second half to complete his hat trick. Ricketts scored in the second, 29th and 65th minutes, and Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault added a goal in the 19th minute.
Tonight’s match was one of the final games the U.S. will play before heading to Canada for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from June 30-July 22 in six venues. Rongen will announce his World Cup roster next week and the full team will regroup in New Jersey on June 17 to begin their final preparations. The U.S. will have an opportunity to rebound when they take on Chile on June 23 in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"This was definitely not the outcome we expected tonight, but it's a game we can learn from," said U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen. "Canada learned from the match a few days ago, and we will do the same and try to learn what went wrong for us tonight and get better. We came here on this trip to do just that, while also getting a chance to see our venues and give some guys a chance to battle for some final spots on the roster. In the end, I think we've accomplished what we needed and look forward to coming back to Canada in a few weeks to kick off the World Cup."
The U.S. possessed the ball well during the match, but without a large majority of their eventual starters in this summer’s World Cup, they struggled to be creative in the final third and only put two shots on goal the entire match. Starting in a 4-3-3 formation, the U.S. changed back to a 4-4-2 in the second half, but the switch didn’t help improve their chances on target. The U.S., seemingly hindered by the long, bumpy grass after training on turf almost exclusively in the buildup to the World Cup, didn’t have an answer for Rickett’s constant pressure and Canada’s direct style of play.
Ricketts first goal came from a great individual effort, battling for the ball with the U.S. defense and forcing a turnover. He carried the ball down to the touchline to the left of Diego Restrepo’s goal and beat the goalkeeper, who was playing in his first career game with the Under-20 squad.
Beaulieu-Bourgault tallied the second goal after a loose ball was bouncing around the box, and he found himself alone about 12 yards from goal when the ball bounced in front of him and he was able to fire a low driven shot into the net. Ricketts’ second goal came after Canada created a turnover in the midfield, and played the ball forward to the lone striker. Ricketts’ was initially shut down by Julian Valentin and Ofori Sarkodie, but the three collided and the Canadian came away with the ball and was in alone on Restrepo and slotted the ball home. The final tally came when Rickett’s collected a long ball and avoided a tackle from Valentin. The forward then regained control of the ball and again found himself in on goal and beats Restrepo to the far post.
The U.S. was drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil. Argentina is in Group E with the Czech Republic, Korea DPR and Panama. 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.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report
Participants: USA vs. Canada
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Date: June 6, 2007
Weather: Cool, 50 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
Canada 3 1 4
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 2nd minute.
CAN – Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault 19.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 29.
CAN – Tousaint Ricketts 66.
USA: 18 – Diego Restrepo, 19-Tony Beltran, 14-Julian Valentin (5-Dane Brek-Shea, 69), 13-Ofori Sarkodie, 3-Amaechi Igwe, 16-Mitchell van den Beld (17-Preston Zimmerman, 46), 6-Bryan Arguez, 4-Anthony Wallace, 7-Gabriel Ferrari, 10-Sal Zizzo, 12-Andre Akpan (15-Sheanon Williams, 76)
Subs not used: 24-Steve Sandbo
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen
GUA: 1-Asmir Begovic (22-David Monslave, 46), 2-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 3-Kent O’Connor, 4-Marcus Haber, 5-Steve Lumley, 6-Christian Nunez, 8-Keegan Ayre (15-Kennedy Owusu-Ansah, 46), 9-Jonathon Beaulieu-Bourgault (9-Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis, 69), 12-Michael D’Agostino (13-A.J. Gray, 82), 10-Will Johnson, 7-Toisaint Ricketts
Subs not used:
Head Coach: Dale Mitchell
Shots 2 8
Saves 2 1
Fouls 10 12
Corner Kicks 8 4
Offside 2 1
USA – Tony Beltran (caution) 33rd minute
CAN – Marcus Haber (caution) 53.
CAN – Kennedy Owusu-Ansah (caution) 77.
Referee: Steve DePiero (CAN)
1st Assistant:Isaac Raymond (CAN)
2nd Assistant: Amato DeLuca (CAN)
Fourth Official: Justin Tasev (CAN)