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U.S. Under-20 MNT Draw Argentina, Germany and Egypt in Group Play 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland


CHICAGO (March 6, 2005) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group D with Argentina, Germany and Egypt for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, which will take place from June 10-July 2.

The U.S. opens against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 11:30 a.m. ET, then faces Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 2:30 p.m. ET) and concludes group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 7:30 a.m. ET) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics.

"Any time you go to a World Championship the teams you draw into your group are going to give you a challenge and that is definitely true for us in Holland,” said U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Sigi Schmid. “We will have our work cut out for us against Argentina, Germany and Egypt. Each team in the group presents problems and will definitely test our players, but overall I’m happy with the draw and I’m looking forward to all three of our games.”

This is the fifth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their tenth overall. The best finish ever for the U.S. came in Saudi Arabia ’89 when the U-20s, led by goalkeeper Kasey Keller, advanced to the semifinals before falling to Brazil in the Third Place match to finish in fourth place. In the last tournament in the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. had a remarkable run to the quarterfinals and eventually finished in fifth place.

In Holland, the U.S. will face three teams with plenty of experience and success at the Under-20 level. Argentina, Germany and Egypt all qualified of the past two FIFA World Youth Championships (2001, 2003). Also, with the tournament being played in the summer, rather than the usual March schedule, most teams will have all their best players available as there will not be European club commitments keeping them from playing in Holland.

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 Holland with games in Doetinchem, Emmen, Enschede, Kerkrade, Tilburg and Utrecht.

Argentina, who won the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, will be one of the most difficult matches for the U.S. in what can be considered the tournament’s “Group of Death.” The South American power qualified for the world championship by finishing third in the South American qualifying tournament behind Colombia and Brazil. In the quarterfinals of UAE ’03 it was Argentina that sent the U.S. packing, scoring a last-gasp equalizer in regulation before scoring a penalty kick in overtime to advance to the semifinals before finishing in fourth.

In January, Egypt qualified for their third world championship with a second place finish at the African Youth Championship, falling 2-0 to Nigeria in the final. Egypt is no stranger to the U.S., as the African youth power knocked the U.S. out of Argentina ’01 with a 2-0 victory in the Round of 16.

The U.S. may possibly get the chance to face both Argentina and Egypt later this month when they travel to Suwon, South Korea to participate in the Suwon International Youth Tournament. The U.S. is scheduled to face Argentina, Egypt and the host from March 22-26, but opponents and dates may change in the coming weeks.  

The U-20s will face Germany in group play for the second straight time as the U.S. also went up against the European power in their second match of UAE ’03, falling 3-1. Germany, the 1981 World Youth Champions, snagged the final qualifying spot with a third-place group finish at the UEFA U-19 European Championship in 2004. The Germans opened the group with a 3-0 loss to Spain before recovering to defeat Poland 3-1 and then draw 1-1 with Turkey in their final match.

The U.S. has had limited success against European teams, going 3-8-1 in World Youth Championship play against squads from UEFA. With the tournament in the summer this year,

“Getting put in a group with Argentina, Germany and Egypt couldn’t get much more difficult,” said U-20 midfielder Eddie Gaven. “We’re going to have to play our best in every single match if we want to advance to the second round. It will be a big challenge, but I think everyone on the team will be confident we can play up to the level of all three teams.”

The U.S. qualified for Holland ’05 with a first-place finish in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in January. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 6-1 thrashing of Trinidad & Tobago before collecting identical 2-0 shutouts against Panama and Costa Rica. The impressive performance marked the first time the U.S. went undefeated and finished in sole possession of first place in CONCACAF qualifying.

Since taking over as head coach of the Under-20s in late October, Schmid has gone undefeated (7-0) in international matches, beginning with impressive victories over CONCACAF counterparts Mexico (2-1) and Honduras (2-0) in Fort Lauderdale in November. Over the past two years, the Under-20s have amassed a 9-4-4 international record (17-8-8 overall). The U.S. offense is headlined by MLS standouts Eddie Gaven and Freddy Adu, who combined for five goals during the qualifying tournament.

This will be the second time Schmid has lead the U.S. Under-20s in a world championship as he was also the head coach during the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. Schmid led the U.S. through a strong performance on the world stage as they finished second in Group E with two victories, a first for the U-20 program, and advanced to the Round of 16.
 

Group A -- Netherlands, Japan, Benin, Australia
Group B – Turkey, China PR, Ukraine, Panama
Group C – Spain, Morocco, Honduras, Chile
Group D – Argentina, United States, Germany, Egypt
Group E – Colombia, Italy, Syria, Canada
Group F – Brazil, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Switzerland

Group A Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 10    Benin vs. Australia                8 pm          Kerkrade
June 10    Netherlands vs. Japan          4 pm          Kerkrade
June 15    Japan vs. Benin                    5:30 pm     Kerkrade
June 15    Netherlands vs. Australia     8:30 pm     Kerkrade
June 18    Japan vs. Australia              1:30 pm      Kerkrade
June 18    Netherlands vs. Benin         1:30 pm      Tilburg

Group B Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 11   Turkey vs. China PR              5:30 pm    Utrecht
June 11   Ukraine vs. Panama              8:30 pm    Utrecht
June 14   China PR vs. Ukraine            5:30 pm    Utrecht
June 14   Turkey vs. Panama                8:30 pm    Utrecht
June 17   Turkey vs. Ukraine                 8:30 pm    Doetinchem
June 17   China PR vs. Panama          8:30 pm    Utrecht

Group C Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 11   Spain vs. Morocco                 5:30 pm     Doetinchem
June 11   Honduras vs. Chile                 8:30 pm     Doetinchem
June 14   Morocco vs. Honduras          5:30 pm     Doetinchem
June 14   Spain vs. Chile                       8:30 pm     Doetinchem
June 17   Spain vs. Honduras               8:30 pm     Doetinchem
June 17   Morocco vs. Chile                  8:30 pm     Utrecht

Group D Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 11   Argentina vs. USA                 5:30 pm    Enschede
June 11   Germany vs. Egypt                8:30 pm    Enschede
June 14   Egypt vs. Argentina               5:30 pm    Enschede
June 14   USA vs. Germany                 8:30 pm    Enschede
June 18   Argentina vs. Germany         1:30 pm    Emmen
June 18   USA vs. Egypt                       1:30 pm    Enschede

Group E Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 12   Colombia vs. Italy                   5:30 pm    Tilburg
June 12   Syria vs. Canada                   8:30 pm     Tilburg
June 15   Colombia vs. Canada           5:30 pm     Tilburg
June 15   Italy vs. Syria                          8:30 pm     Tilburg
June 18   Colombia vs. Syria                4 pm          Tilburg
June 18   Italy vs. Canada                     4 pm           Kerkrade

Group F Schedule
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 12   Brazil vs. Nigeria                    5:30 pm     Emmen
June 12   Korea vs. Switzerland           8:30 pm      Emmen
June 15   Brazil vs. Switzerland             5:30 pm     Emmen
June 15   Nigeria vs. Korea                   8:30 pm     Emmen
June 18   Brazil vs. Korea                      4 pm          Emmen
June 18   Nigeria vs. Switzerland         4 pm           Enschede

Second Stage
Round of 16
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
June 21   (#37) 2nd C vs. 2nd A             5:30 pm    Enschede
June 21   (#38) 1st D vs. 3rd B,E,F       8:30 pm    Enschede
June 21   (#39) 1st B vs. 3rd A,C,D      5:30 pm    Tilburg
June 21   (#40) 1st F vs. 2nd E              8:30 pm    Tilburg
June 22   (#41) 2nd F vs. 2nd B             5:30 pm    Doetinchem
June 22   (#42) 1st A vs. 3rd C,D,E      8:30 pm    Doetinchem
June 22   (#43) 1st E vs. 2nd D             5:30 pm    Emmen
June 22   (#44) 1st C vs. 3rd A,B,F       8:30 pm    Emmen

Quarterfinals
Date         Match                                            Time          Venue
June 24   (#45) Winner 38 vs. Winner 37   5:30 pm    Utrecht
June 24   (#46) Winner 40 vs. Winner 39   8:30 pm    Tilburg
June 25   (#47) Winner 41 vs. Winner 42   3:30 pm    Kerkrade
June 25   (#48) Winner 43 vs. Winner 44   8:30 pm    Enschede

Semifinals
Date         Match                                           Time          Venue
June 28 (#49) Winner 46 vs. Winner 48    5:30 pm     Utrecht
June 28 (#50) Winner 45 vs. Winner 47    8:30 pm     Kerkrade

Third Place Match
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
July 2 (#51) Loser 49 vs. Loser 50       5 pm          Utrecht

Final
Date         Match                                      Time          Venue
July 2 (#52) Winner 49 vs. Winner        8 pm           Utrecht 


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