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U.S. Under-17 MNT Falls to Scott Gallagher U-18 1-0 in Second Day of Nike Friendlies

  • Michael Kemp Scores Winning Goal in 69th Minute to Defeat U.S. Under-17 MNT   
  • U.S. Under-17s Will Play Final Match of Nike Friendlies on Saturday Against Pateadores at 12 p.m. ET
  • Nike Friendlies Coaching Symposium Will Be Held Tonight, U.S. MNT Head Coach Bruce Arena to Speak to Over 120 Coaches
BRADENTON, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2004) — The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team couldn’t overcome a late second half goal despite a couple of near misses in the final ten minutes and fell to the Scott Gallagher U-18s this afternoon during the second day of the 2004 Nike Friendlies at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Scott Gallagher proved its claim as the best club team in the nation this afternoon, keeping pace with the U.S. before finally notching the game-winner in the second half. This past summer, the same Scott Gallagher team won the USYSA Under-17 National Championship, defeating Florida Weston 2-1 in overtime.
The U.S. had the majority of chances on goal during the match, but it was Scott Gallagher that took advantage of their best opportunity in the 69th minute when Michael Kemp found space inside the box and hit a well-struck drive into the lower-right corner. The U.S. had a good opportunity in injury time, but ‘keeper Aaron Johnson came up with his third save to provide the St. Louis, Mo., club with the upset.
“This match is exactly what the Nike Friendlies is all about,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “We played a highly competitive team that provided us with one of the best match-ups we’ve ever had in non-international competition. I was disappointed with the loss, but not with the players effort, and what is most important is the knowledge they will take away from this match as we move forward.”
The U.S. started an almost completely different line-up than they did a day earlier against the Australian Under-17 MNT, as Hackworth picked nine different starters against Scott Gallagher. The only two players that made their second appearance in two games were defender Ofori Sarkodie, who moved from central to outside left back, and Nikolas Besagno, who stayed in his central midfield position.
The less experienced line-up showed on the field as the U.S. struggled to find a rhythm early and wasn’t able to find any open space up front. While the U.S. outshot Scott Gallagher 6-3 in the first half, all of its chances were from distance and well off the mark. Scott Gallagher forced U.S. ‘keeper Evan Newton into three saves on all its attempts, but none were too demanding.
Early in the second half, the U.S. looked to be the better team, but still didn’t manage to get their first shot on goal until the 52nd minute. Jeremy Hall pushed the ball out wide right to second-half substitute David Arvizu, who played in a swerving service into the back post. Gabriel Farfan was able to outjump his defender, but his header went directly to the ‘keeper to keep the game scoreless.
Keeping on the attack, Farfan was on the giving end of another chance on goal in the 55th minute when he sent in a cross from the right flank to Amaechi Igwe at the far post, but the midfielder’s header went wide left. Three minutes later, it was Farfan once again in the middle of things, this time creating the team’s best chance of the game by himself. Holding the ball on the right sideline, Farfan cut in towards the middle of the field near the top of the penalty area. With three defenders closing in on him, Farfan cut back to his right and did a quick chip shot that beat the ‘keeper and bent towards the left post, but it was just a bit long, hitting the top of the crossbar and bouncing harmlessly over the frame.
Scott Gallagher’s Zach Bauer created an opportunity in the 60th minute. After his free kick from 25 yards out deflected off the U.S. wall, the defender chased down the ball to his left and then crossed in a ball in front of the goal. Rich Hallingsworth was free at the six-yard box, but his header went wide left.
In the 69th minute, Scott Gallagher was finally able to break through the U.S. Under-17’s backline when forward Hallingsworth spun free from his defender on the left side of the penalty area on a beautiful dribbling move and found a wide-open Michael Kemp to his right. Kemp turned quickly on goal and took a few touches before burying his shot into the lower-right corner past a diving Newton.
The U.S. pushed forward in the final ten minutes of the 80-minute match and almost squeaked out a draw when Preston Zimmerman nodded a service on net, but Johnson was there to stonewall the attempt. On the play, Quavas Kirk ran down a partially cleared ball on the right side and quickly turned and knocked in a floating ball toward the back post. Zimmerman was right on target for the header, but again Johnson was in the right position as the ball fell into his waiting arms. 
In the other youth national team matches, the U.S. Under-17 MNT tied the Concorde Fire U-18 2-2, getting goals from Cesar Nunez and Eric Avila, while the U.S. Under-15 MNT fell 5-2 to the Arsenal FC U-16. 
A total of 63 games have been played in the first two days of the four-day event. For a complete list of results from all of today’s matches at the 2004 Nike Friendlies, log onto and click on the 2004 Nike Friendlies competition page.
U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 age divisions are invited to the IMG Academy in Bradenton for a high-level four-day event which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Standings are not kept during the competition, in which each team plays four 80-minute games over the four days.
U.S. Soccer will also host a Coaching Symposium and a Premier Referee Academy as part of the Nike Friendlies extended weekend. The Coaching Symposium will last two days starting tonight, Dec. 3, and features sessions led by U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena, U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, U.S. Soccer’s Director of Advanced & International Referee Development Esse Baharmast and U.S. Men’s National Team Fitness Coach Pierre Barrieu. More information about the symposium is available at

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

Match-up:  U.S. Under-17 MNT vs. Scott Gallagher U-18
Date:  Dec. 3, 2004
Competition:  International Friendly
Venue:  IMG Academy Park – Bradenton, Fla.
Kickoff:  2 p.m. (ET)
Attendance: 200
Weather: 75 degrees; hot

Scoring Summary:
       1       2        F
USA                                   0       0        0
Australia                            0       1        1

SCG – Michael Kemp (Rich Hallingsworth)        69th minute

USA: 18-Evan Newton; 7-Ofori Sarkodie, 30-Joel Smith, 3-Kevin Alston, 31-Ernest Mariscal; 20-Gabriel Farfan, 16-Nikolas Besagno, 23-Anthony Ampaipitakwong; 26-Eddie Ababio (33-David Arvizu, 41); 21-Amaechi Igwe (6-Quavas Kirk, 58), 17-Jeremy Hall (9-Preston Zimmerman, 58).
Subs not used: 1-Bryant Rueckner, 4-Eric Lichaj, 14-Kyle Nakazawa, 10-Carlos Borja, 13-Blake Wagner, 3-Kevin Alston, 11-Ryan Soroka.

SCG: 1-Aaron Johnson; 3-Tim Gabel, 9-Ben Hemkens, 11-Zack Bauer, 13-Geoff Fallon (7-Joe Brennan, 64), 10-Jack Traynor; 5-Brandon Barklage, 8-Conor Neusel (17-Joe Sondag, 64), 15-T.J. Novak (2-Michael Kemp, 41); 6-Tim Walters (14-Jimmy Dickson, 59), 18-Rich Hallingsworth (12-Joe Olwig, 75).
Subs not used: 4-Andrew Fitzgerald, 16-Mark Dorsey.

Stats Summary:       USA    SCG
   Shots                          10         6
   Shots on Goal             4          5    
   Saves                          4          3
   Corner Kicks              5          2
   Fouls                          15        11
   Offside                        2          1

Misconduct Summary:

USA – Ernesto Mariscal (caution)         29th minute
SCG – Brandon Barklage (caution)        35th
SCG – Jimmy Dickson (caution)            70th