CHICAGO (May 25, 2004) – U.S. Soccer announced today that the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play defending Under-20 World Champion Brazil at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 16, at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. It will be the second match at Lockhart Stadium for the U.S. Under-20s in two months after they defeated Haiti Select, 1-0, on April 21, behind a 20-yard strike from Craig Capano in the second half.
“We’re excited to come back to such a great community and stadium, and are looking forward to facing the reigning Under-20 world champions,” said U.S. Under-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen. “Brazil is always one of the best teams in the world and it will definitely be a test for our players and coaching staff, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Advance tickets for the June 16 match are $20 for adults and $10 for kids under the age of 12 and are on sale now by calling Complete Ticket Solutions at 1-877-877-7677 or online at www.tixops.com. For groups of 25 or more, there is a $2 discount per ticket. Tickets are also available online at the link below: http://www.ticketfusion.com/store/one/index.html?store_id=1718&master_store_id=1718&page_type=ticket&show_id=102016&cid=957098
Rongen has yet to name the roster for the match, but it will most likely be similar to the roster he named two months earlier when the team played Haiti Select (and also Jamaica in two closed door matches in Sunrise), as he continues to sort through the U.S. U-20 player pool in preparation for the CONCACAF U-20 World Youth Championship qualifying tournament in January 2005.
For the April camp, Rongen selected five MLS professionals in Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Capano (Chicago Fire), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) and Michael Bradley (MetroStars). Rounding out the roster were five current players from U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program, 10 college and three high school players.
The U.S. and Brazil last met at this age group in the final of the 2002 C.O.T.I.F. XIX Torneig International in L’Alcudia, Spain on Aug. 29, with the U.S. falling 1-0. The U.S also faced Brazil in their first match of the tournament, taking a 1-0 lead before being reduced to ten men and allowing Brazil to find the back of the net twice for a 2-1 comeback win.
The U.S. is scheduled to host one half of the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament sometime in January 2005 at a venue to be determined. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for their fifth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be held in Holland in June and July 2005.
At the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, Rongen led the U.S. through a strong tournament run, as the Under-20s won their group and finished with a fifth-place showing in the United Arab Emirates, marking the second best performance ever at the WYC.
Along with winning their group for the first time ever, the U.S. set numerous team accomplishments during their course through the World Youth Championship, including advancing to the quarterfinals of a WYC for just the second time and first time since the tournament increased to 24 teams in 1997, winning the most matches by any U.S. team in any FIFA Men’s World Championship (three), and tying the record for the most goals scored in any FIFA Men’s World Championship (nine).