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U.S. Under-17s Win Two Games to Open U.S. Soccer/Nike Club Tournament

BRADENTON, Fla. (Friday, November 30, 2001) - The first U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament kicked off today, with the two U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Teams posting wins to highlight eight games played on the tournament’s opening day in near-perfect weather in Bradenton, Fla.  The older U.S. Under-17s topped the Houston Texans 2-1, and the younger U-17s opened the day with a 3-1 win over the Syracuse Blitz.

U.S. Men’s Under-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach John Ellinger split the U.S. Under-17s into two squads for the tournament, producing an older team (players born in ’84 and ‘85) and a younger tean (‘86s).  The younger group is made up of players preparing for the 2003 Under-17 World Championship.  Nine of the players began the residency program in September, 2001.

Mike Magee paced the older U.S. Under-17s to a 2-1 win against the Under-18 Houston Texans (‘83-‘84s).  Magee scored once in each half, and Adam Schuerman made six saves, before the Texans pulled one goal back six minutes from time.  Magee has played in six games since the World Championships in September and has scored seven goals.

Magee gave the U.S. the first-half lead with a beautiful strike in the 32nd minute. Chris Lancos played a long ball from the midline that Magee controlled at the top of the penalty box. Magee put the ball on his left foot and carried it past a defender into the center of the field, where he bent a left-footed curling shot into the lower left corner. Justin Mapp set up Magee’s second goal, dancing around the right side of the Texans defense and getting to the goalline, before sending a cross into the box that Magee finished.

Schuerman had six saves in the match, the most by any U.S. ‘keeper since the World Championship. The U.S. Under-17s (‘86s) opened the tournament in the morning with a 3-1 win against an older Syracuse Blitz (‘84-’85) team. Mike Harrington tallied a goal and an assist for the U.S., and Corey Ashe and Freddy Adu each added their name to the goalscorers sheet.  The U.S. outshot the Blitz 12-3, and U.S. goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi recorded only one save.

Tomiwa Ogunsola created the opening goal, playing a long ball to Harrington, who played Ashe through into space, where the Virginia Beach striker finished with aplomb. Ashe has now tallied six goals for the U.S. Under-17s and leads all of the ‘86s in scoring.

The U.S. dominated play after the Blitz equalized, and Freddy Adu created the gamewinner the U.S. deserved. Adu beat a Blitz defender at the top of the box and shuffled into the penalty area, where he was brought down.  He calmly stepped to the penalty spot and scored his second goal of the year for the Under-17s.

Ogunsola set up Harrington for the third U.S. goal of the game with a dashing run down the right flank. Harrington’s goal was his fourth of the year for the U.S. Under-17s.

The young U.S. Under-17s (‘86s) face the Richmond Strikers on Saturday, while the older U.S. squad (‘84-85’) will face the Chicago Sockers. The Sockers were 5-0 winners against Blackwatch (NY) in both teams’ tournament opener.

In other games on the opening day, FC Delco’s Under-17s cruised to a 5-0 win against Blackwatch (Fla.) and the IMG Under-15s topped Delco’s Under-15s 2-1. A complete list of results follows:

Complete Results: U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament

Friday, November 30, 2001
IMG Under-19s   1             Colorado Rush   1
U.S. Under-17s (‘86s)  3    Syracuse Blitz  1
Chicago Sockers    5           Blackwatch (NY)  0
U.S. Under-17s (‘84-85) 2 Houston Texans 1
IMG Under-17s  3              Richmond Strikers 0
Blackwatch (Fla.)  0            FC Delco Under-17s  5
Delco Under-15s  1            IMG Under-15s  2
Plantation  0                       FC Delco Under-16s 1


U.S. Under-17s (‘84-‘85) vs. Houston Texans (‘83-’84)
November 30, 2001; 2 p.m.
Bradenton, Fla.

** Two 40-minute halves **

                      1     2     Final
USA              1     1     2
TEX               0    1     1

Scoring Summary:
USA – Mike Magee (Chris Lancos), 32.
USA – Mike Magee (Justin Mapp), 52.
TEX – Benjamim Bonin, 74.

USA – 18-Adam Schuerman; 20-Eric Forbes (21-Drew Harrison, 41) (2-Guillermo Gonzalez, 56), 12-Gray Griffin, 6-Chris Lancos, 8-John DiRaimondo; 16-Craig Capano, 15-Jordan Stone, 17-Josh Villalobos, 3-Justin Mapp; 7-Mike Magee, 10-Ed Johnson.

USA Misconduct Summary:
Josh Villalobos (caution), 46.
Gray Griffin (ejection), 65.

U.S. Under-17s (‘86s) vs. Syracuse Blitz (‘84-’85)
November 30, 2001; 12 p.m.
Bradenton, Fla.

** Two 40-minute halves **
           1     2     Final
  1     2     3
SYR   0     1     1

Scoring Summary:
USA – Corey Ashe (Mike Harrington), 34.
SYR -  Andy Pierce, 65.
USA – Freddie Adu (penalty), 70.
USA –  Mike Harrington (Tomiwa Ogunsola), 80.

USA Misconduct Summary:
Drew Harrison (caution), 31.

The 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship ended less than three months ago, and already the preparations for the 2003 World Championship are in full swing. The younger U.S. Under-17 National Team playing in Bradenton this week is composed of players eligible for the 2003 World Championship. In each daily tournament update from Bradenton, three of the younger U.S. Under-17s will be highlighted. Today, meet goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi, midfielder John DiRaimondo and defender Tomiwa Ogunsola.

Height: 5’11”  Weight: 165
Birthdate: January 15, 1986
Hometown: West Windsor, N.J.
Club: PDA United

“Phil is very strong and very in control of the penalty box. He is a very solid shot stopper. Tactically, as a goalkeeper, he is improving every day.”
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger

Marfuggi started and played 90 minutes in the USA’s 3-1 win against the Syracuse Blitz ...  He has played in a total of 11 matches for the U.S. Under-17s, posting five wins and two losses … Began the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in September 2001 … A member of the 2001 U.S.
Under-16 National Team pool … Member of the 2000 U.S. Under-14 National Team … Traveled to Mexico as part of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000.

Height: 5’6” Height: 140
Birthdate: April 23, 1986
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Club: Busch SC

“John plays with a great deal of poise and savvy for a 15-year old. He’s very talented as a wide player, and technically he’s very gifted. As a wide player, he’s an excellent server of the ball.”
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger
DiRaimondo started both games for the U.S. Under-17s on the first day of the U.S. Soccer/Nike Club Tournament … Played the first 40 minutes as a wide midfielder for the U.S. Under-17s (’86) against the Blitz … Played the entire match for the older Under-17s as a defender, playing a major role in keeping the Texans scoreless for the first 73 minutes … Has played in five matches with the Under-17s … Began the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in September 2001 … A member of the 2001 U.S. Under-16 National Team pool … Member of the 2000 U.S. Under-14 National Team … Traveled to Mexico as part of the U.S. Under-14s in 2000. 

Height: 5’7” Weight: 145
Birthdate: March 18, 1986
Hometown: Woodbridge, Va.
Club: Potomac Cougars

“Tomiwa has excellent pace and great acceleration. As a right back he is very dangerous going forward because he combines well, and he can beat players on the dribble. He is another player who is learning to play the position we are asking him to play, but he is doing it very effectively.”
- U.S. head coach John Ellinger

Played the entire match in the 3-1 win against the Syracuse Blitz … Won a ball in the midfield that led to the USA’s first goal against the Blitz … Assisted on the third goal with a great run forward and cross … Established himself as a regular on the backline … Has played in 12 of the
Under-17s first 13 games since the World Championships … Began the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in September 2001 … A member of the 2001 U.S. Under-16 National Team pool … Member of the 2000 U.S. Under-14 National Team … Traveled to Mexico with the U.S. Under-14s in 2000. 

One of the highlights of the four-day U.S. Soccer / Nike Club Tournament is the Coaching Symposium that is being put on by John Ellinger and his national staff coaches.  The first symposium took place on the IMG Academy campus tonight and was attended by more than 40 coaches and adminitstrators.  Peter Mellor, Ellinger’s assistant coach and the U.S. Under-17 Goalkeeping Coach, highlighted the evening’s talk with a presentation about goalkeeping in the United States.  Mellor – along with Adam Schuerman – discussed what the U.S. learned about goalkeeping in the 2001 U.S. Under-17 World Championship.  Mellor pointed to dealing with crosses as the one area where he feels U.S. goalkeepers can most improve.

Trevor Moawad, a sports psychologist with IMG who has worked extensively with the U.S. Under-17s, spoke about the importance of the mental approach to the game. Moawad has worked with sprinter Michael Johnson as well as many of IMG's football clients, and he spoke about what he has learned from those athletes and how it can be applied to youth soccer players - at both the club and national team levels.

Two more coaching symposiums will take place during the tournament, as U.S. Soccer Director of National Teams John Stelzer and U.S. National Staff Coaches Mike Haas and Juan Carlos Michia will speak at Saturday’s symposium, and John Ellinger will speak on Sunday. The symposium is open to all state Directors of Coaching, college coaches, club coaches and administrators.