EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (June 23, 2007) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Chile, 2-1, at Giants Stadium behind goals from Freddy Adu and Robbie Rogers in the team’s final preparation match before the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada from June 30-July 22.
Adu was a part of both goals, striking the opening goal in the 34th minute off a pass from Josmer Altidore and then feeding Rogers in the second half to give the U.S. a temporary 2-0 lead.
The U.S. will play a closed-door scrimmage against New Zealand before they leave, but this was the final match for the U.S. before they travel to Montreal, Canada, on June 26 in preparation for their opening match of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup against South Korea at Olympic Stadium. The U.S.-Korea match will kick off at 2:15 p.m. ET. The U.S. will also play Poland on July 3 in Montreal and finish group play against Brazil on July 6 in Ottawa. Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
“I think it’s important for us to play teams like this that pose different problems,” said head coach Thomas Rongen. “One of the problems in the second half for us was to maintain our composure. The result was important obviously against a good team that tied Brazil and Argentina during qualifying and I was happy with the outcome, but we know that we can improve in certain ways. Possessing the ball and moving the ball a little bit quicker is obviously important as we move forward.”
Chile put pressure on the U.S. early and often, but it was the U.S. that struck first. Defender Tony Beltran won the ball and quickly played a pass forward to Josmer Altidore. The 17-year-old, playing in his club team’s home stadium, beat his defender on the dribble, cut into the penalty area and slotted a ball back to the top of the box for Adu. In three touches, Adu made a move to beat both his defender and goalkeeper Christopher Toselli, and placed a low shot into the back of the net to put the Americans up, 1-0, in the 34th minute.
After the U.S. goal, the game became more physical, and the Chilean attack became more aggressive. The second half, which saw six yellow cards to add to two from the first half, was as much of a physical battle as it was a display of beautiful soccer.
It was the 77th minute before either team created a dangerous scoring opportunity, and once again it was the U.S. capitalizing. Adu played the ball from the center of the field just over the midfield stripe to a streaking Rogers on the left flank. Rogers took one touch before hitting a rocket just under the crossbar. Even though he had a hard angle, the Columbus Crew midfielder didn’t give Toselli a chance on the hard, perfectly placed shot.
Just two minutes later, the Chilean attack was finally able to crack the U.S. defense. After a ball was played into the box, Sturgis got tied up with Chile’s second-half sub Jaime Grondona, and the referee called a penalty kick. Alexis Sanchez stepped up in the 80th minute and beat Seitz to cut the U.S. lead in half.
With about 10 minutes left, play got a little bit out of hand as Chile tried to frustrate the Americans' attack. The best last-minute chances for Chile came on long-range free kicks, but the U.S. put numbers around the ball and were able to clear the ball out of danger and allow the 2-1 score to hold up.
- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: USA vs. Chile
Competition: International Friendly
Location: Giants Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Date: June 23, 2007
Weather: Warm, 75 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
CHI 0 1 1
USA – Freddy Adu (Josmer Altidore) 34th minute
USA – Robbie Rogers (Freddy Adu) 77.
CHI – Alexis Sanchez (penalty) 80.
USA: 1-Chris Seitz; 2-Tim Ward, 5-Nathan Sturgis, 16-Julian Valentin (Ofori Sarkodie, 82), 19-Tony Beltran; 11-Freddy Adu (14-Anthony Wallace, 82), 7-Danny Szetela, 10-Dax McCarty; 12- 9-Johann Smith (15-Sal Zizzo, 46), Josmer Altidore (20-Andre Akpan, 82), 8-Robbie Rogers (17-Gabe Ferrari, 82)
Subs not used: 3-Bryan Arguez, 4-Amaechi Igwe, 18-Brian Perk, 21-Steve Sandbo
Not Available: 6-Michael Bradley
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen
CHI: 1-Christopher Toselli; 5-Nicolas Larrondo, 3-Mauricio Isla, 2-Cristian Suarez; 8-Dagoberto Currimilla (10-Juan Pablo Arenas, 46), 6-Gary Medel (4-Orlando Godoy, 46), 14-Arturo Vidal (13-Chrisitan Sepulveda, 46), 15-Carlos Carmona, 18-Mathias Vidangossy, 16-Gerardo Cortes (7-Alexis Sanchez, 46), 9-Nicolas Medina (11-Jaime Grondona, 46)
Subs not used: 5-Francisco Larrondo, 17-Hans Martinez, 21-Ronaldo Valladeres
Head Coach: Hugo Tocalli
Statistical Summary: USA CHI
Shots 10 8
Shots on goal 5 7
Saves 4 3
Fouls 31 25
Corner Kicks 5 1
Offside 3 4
USA – Freddy Adu (caution) 20th minute
CHI – Cristian Suarez (caution) 28.
USA – Robbie Rogers (caution) 49.
CHI – Isaias Peralta (caution) 52.
USA – Nathan Sturgis (caution) 61.
CHI – Eric Godoy (caution) 64.
CHI – Mathias Vidangossy (caution) 79.
USA – Gabe Ferrari (caution) 89.
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Robbie Rogers
Referee: Hilario Garejeda (USA)
AR1: Adam Wienckowski (USA)
AR2: Lee Suckle (USA)
4th: Jorge Gonzalez (USA)