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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Takes Second at the Dallas Cup

DALLAS, Texas (Sunday, April 20, 2003) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team lost to Tigres (of Mexico) 2-1 in the Dallas Cup final tonight at Lake Highlands Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The second place finish was the best ever for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Dallas Cup.

The U.S., which was trying to become the first American team in the history of the Dallas Cup to win the U-19 Super Group since its inception in 1990, fell behind by two goals in the first 15 minutes. The U.S. was able to cut the deficit in half after a Freddy Adu penalty kick in the 66th minute, but wasn’t able to get the equalizer.

"The guys didn’t play their best soccer in the 20 minutes of the first half and Tigres was able to get two quick goals," head coach John Ellinger said. "We knew we had an uphill battle, but they never gave up and were able to get one back in the second half. We had a couple other chances, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way. Tigres played a great game and they deserved the championship today."

In the seventh minute, Tigres scored their first goal off a free kick taken about 35 yards out near the left sideline. Midfielder Jose Mendoza curled a perfect ball into the box and Yar Vasquez headed the ball back into the far right of the goal.

Eight minutes later, Mendoza got a goal of his own after the U.S. defense was unable to clear the ball from the box. Vasquez dribbled the ball into the box and got off a shot from close range, but keeper Phil Marfuggi was able to knock it away. Mendoza pounced on the loose ball and buried it into the back of the net.

Texas native Jamie Watson and Jose Gomez were subbed in to start the second half, as the U.S. went with only three players in the defensive backline. The formation allowed the U.S. to push the ball forward a little more effectively and created more chances for Adu and Watson.

The U.S. finally got on the board midway through the second half. Right fullback Kyle Helton threw the ball into Adu, who collected the ball just inside the top right corner of the box. As he tried to turn he was taken down from behind and a penalty kick was given to the U.S. Adu calmly buried the penalty into the left side of the goal to cut Tigres’ lead in half. After the goal, Tigres changed from a 3-5-2 formation to a more defensive 4-4-2.

The U.S. had a few other opportunities in the final 20 minutes, but weren’t able to find the back of the net. In the 89th minute on a U.S. corner, the Tigres keeper rose jumped and got his hands on the ball, but it slipped through his grasp and fell to the ground. The ball bounced around the box like a pinball machine as a few U.S. players did their best to get it through the crowded area, but no one could find the back of the net. In extra time, Adrian Chevannes blasted a shot from the left side of the penalty area, but it was just over the crossbar.

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

Participants: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Tigres
Competition: Dallas Cup XXIV
Location: Lake Highlands Stadium; Dallas, Texas
Date: April 20, 2003
Weather: Cool; 70 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:
                            1st 2nd Final
United States          0    1     1
Tigres                     2    0     2

TGS – Yar Vasquez (Jose Mendoza)      7th minute
TGS – Jose Mendoza (Yar Vasquez)      15th
USA – Freddy Adu (penalty kick)            66th

USA – 1-Phil Marfuggi; 2-Kyle Helton, 6-Chris Germani (14-Jose Gomez, 46), 5-Brandon Owens, 16-Adrian Chevannes; 7-Brian Grazier, 15-Corey Ashe, 10-Guillermo Gonzalez (13-Jamie Watson, 46), 8-John DiRaimondo, 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven.
Subs not used: 18-Quentin Westberg, 17-Chase Wileman, 12-Jacob Peterson, 9- Michael Harrington

TGS – 27-Leobardo Garza; 82-Luis Munoz (58-Miguel Cedillo, 41), 81-Enrique Escudero, 79-Jose Hernandez, 88-Jose Mendoza, 91-Yair Vazquez (107-Rogelio Rojas, 68), 92-Carlos Vela (114-Ruben Ariguznaga, 75), 65-Luis Garcia, 85-Jose Rivas, 113-Adrian Gallegos (93-Gullermo Mitre, 80), 80-Jorge Nerio

Statistical Summary:
                            USA TGS
Shots                      5      11
Saves                      8       3
Corner Kick              5       1
Fouls                     10      22
Offside                     2       7

Misconduct Summary:
TGS – Yar Vasquez (caution)    55th minute
TGS – Jorge Nerio (caution)      60th

Dallas Cup U-19 Super Group Results

Friday, April 18
Tigres 1 CD Guadalajara 0
USA 1 Newcastle United FC 0

Third Place Match
Saturday, April 19
CD Guadalajara 3 Newcastle United FC 2

Sunday, April 20
Tigres 2 USA 1