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U.S. U-17 MNT Arrives in Finland for FIFA U-17 World Championships


U.S. U-17 MNT Notes
August 11, 2003
Lahti, Finland

THE VITALS
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face South Korea on Thursday, August 14 in its first game in the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The match will take place at 5:30 p.m. local time / 10:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast same-day delay on Galavision at 1 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match live at 10:30 a.m. ET on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

WIPE THE SLEEP FROM YOUR EYES
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team arrived in Lahti, Finland via Manchester, England late on Sunday night / early Monday morning as it gets set to compete in the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The team left Manchester around 5:30 p.m. and had a layover in Stockholm, Sweden before arriving in Helsinki, Finland around 11:30 p.m. After gathering all the gear, the staff and players piled onto a bus that drove the final hour to the team’s destination of Lahti. Despite the full day of traveling, the players were excited to arrive at the hotel and begin their quest for a World Championship.

LIGHT TRAINING ON A COOL DAY
The U.S. conducted its first day of training in Lahti this afternoon after obtaining their credentials for the tournament earlier in the day. The practice fields are less than 10 minutes from the hotel and are fairly private as fence and trees surround the entire area. After a short warm-up, trainer Jacob Joachim put the players through some footwork for about 10-15 minutes. Then, the players broke into three circles with each playing a game of keep-away. Coach Ellinger moved on from there with a game of possession and a shortened field game of 5v5 with full-size goals, which turned out to be quite explosive as numerous players had stellar finishes. The team finished with some players taking shots on goal against the goalkeepers or practicing free kicks.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH OPPONENTS
Two of the USA’s opponents, Spain and South Korea, have arrived, but Senegal is not set to arrive until tomorrow. All four of the teams are staying at the same hotel and will be sharing the same dining area throughout their stay in Finland. Spain is even staying on the same floor of the hotel as the U.S., ensuring that the players will cross paths off the field as well as on.

NEW STAFF IS WELCOMED
As the team arrived to Finland early Monday morning, there were already a couple of additional staff members who had arrived a few hours earlier. Security officer Gene Williams actually greeted the players at the airport in Helsinki, while assistant coach Keith Fulk and trainer Michael White welcomed the team when they arrived at the hotel.
 
U.S. U-17 MNT GALAVISION BROADCAST SCHEDULE IN FINLAND
Thursday, Aug. 14   USA-South Korea (delayed, 1 p.m. ET/PT)
Sun., Aug. 17       USA-Sierra Leone (live, 7:55 a.m. ET / live 6:55 a.m. CT / delay 7:55 a.m. PT)
Wed., Aug. 20       USA-Spain (live, 12:55 p.m. ET/ delay, 1 p.m. PT)

JULES’ UNDERCOVER JOURNAL FROM FINLAND
Julian “Jules” Valentin has added the fifth entry into his journal as he continues to provide you with an inside look at the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team as they compete in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. In this installment, Jules talks about the trip over to Lahti, gives a quick description of the small Finish town, uncovers a little unknown fact about Brandon Owens’ name, and deals out his “Play of the Day” from practice.

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