U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
June 13, 2005
GERMAN ENCOUNTER: Two days after pulling an impressive 1-0 upset over four-time U-20 world champions Argentina, the U.S. has it sights set on snagging another three points and moving into first place in the group when they face Germany on Tuesday, June 14 at Arke Stadion in Enschede, Holland. Playing the second match of the Group D doubleheader, the U.S. and Germany will kick off at 8:30 p.m. local time/2:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match live on Fox Soccer Channel or online at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match will also be broadcast same day tape delay on Galavison at 7 p.m. ET/PT and replayed at 11 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
SITTING IN SECOND: The U.S. is currently sitting in second place in Group D with three points after their first match. Germany is atop the table as they also have three points but hold a better goal differential (+2 to +1), which is the first tiebreaker. The U.S. can take sole possession of first place in Group D with a victory over Germany, which would give them six points, but a win wouldn’t guarantee they would finish in first or second place in the group (unless Argentina and Egypt draw). There are a number of scenarios where Germany, Argentina or Egypt could still end up with six points and have a better goal differential than the U.S. On the other hand, six points after two games would basically guarantee that the U.S. would advance to the second round as at least a third-place team.
TALKING ABOUT GERMANY: Read what U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid and players have to say the day before taking on Germany in the World Youth Championship here in Holland. Link.
COMING SOON: ALL_ACCESS VIDEO: The next installment of ussoccer.com’s All_Access Video from Holland is now available. Click here to see some pictures of the USA’s victory over Argentina, see what the team has been up to the past two days and hear what the players have to say about facing Germany.
WATSKEBURT - AUDIO DIARY PART III: The always entertaining audio diary from the U.S. midfield duo of Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan has provided their third installment from the player’s hotel in Holland. Listen as the two tackle the USA's impressive victory over Argentina to open the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, present (somewhat) a special guest, and introduce the song "Watskeburt?!", apparently all the rage right now in Holland. Link.
SEEING YELLOWS: A number of players, including U.S. midfielder Eddie Gaven, discovered that the referees were serious about handing out cautions for touching a ball that has gone out of bounds for a throw-in or corner kick, or was stopped for a free kick on the field. Gaven’s came as he was chasing the ball as it neared the sideline and was just unable to save it, but the ball did go off his leg as he reached out for it. The cautions, which are being given for actions that are deemed as time wasting to help speed up play, are costly as a player that accumulates two cautions during the first round of play is required to miss the following game.
FRIENDLY OR HOSTILE: The U.S. is expecting another sold-out crowd at Arke Stadium on Tuesday night against Germany, but whether it will be a hostile or friendly crowd isn’t so clear. With the German border only 10 minutes away, the thought was that the crowd would be pro-German. But, a large number of Dutch locals attended the first match and if they return for Tuesday’s match they will most likely be cheering against their rival neighbors and hoping to see the U.S. take over sole possession of first place in Group D.
WILL JOHN B-DAY: Midfielder Will John is the second player on the team to celebrate his birthday while in Holland, following Freddy Adu who celebrated his 16th on June 2, and he won’t be the last as Patrick Ianni (June 15) and Danny Szetela (June 17) will also find themselves a year older. John won’t soon forget his 20th birthday as not only did he get a cake at dinner, he also picked up a few presents from the friendly locals in Enschede who surprised him at breakfast and at training. At breakfast, a local TV station doing story on the team presented John with a bottle of champagne on camera (which as underage he gave to his parents), while later at training some of the local kids that have been coming to watch training every day gave him a package of candies. The kids didn’t just buy them on a whim either, as they had found out it was John’s birthday a couple days earlier and wrapped the package up and wrote the birthday boy’s name on it.
TV CIRCUIT: The local Dutch television station NOS, which is televising the games here in the Netherlands, also produces a hour-long highlight show every night and has already interviewed Freddy Adu. Adu’s interview was part of a daily feature they are doing with the top players from each team in the tournament. During the interview, Fredua was asked to point out on a map where he was born (it’s Ghana people), read some Dutch (which he did so well he was given a round of applause from fans watching nearby) and to try a local Dutch treat called Kletskoppen (it was so good Adu asked to keep the rest and handed it out to his teammates).
IANNI NO CELEBRATION: With some incredible timing, two photographers taking pictures for U.S. Soccer got almost the exact same image of the team’s celebration of Chad Barrett’s winning goal against Argentina from both ends of the field (link). Six of the players are in the shot, but one person you definitely won’t see in the picture is central defender Patrick Ianni as the UCLA standout has a bit of a superstition and doesn’t celebrate the team’s first goal. “It started last year with UCLA and I’ve done it every since. It’s really just a way for me to stay grounded and make not let up as a central defender just because we’re up a goal. Trust me, if Freddy had made that penalty kick, I would have celebrated and probably would have crushed him when I jumped on him.”
BY THE NUMBERS
1 – Costa Rica is the only CONCACAF team that has ever beaten Germany in a World Youth Championship, pulling it off by the score of 2-1 in both the 1995 and 1999 competitions.
2 – Sammy Ochoa and Jonathan Spector both started the match against Argentina, but it was only the second U-20 cap for each player as neither player was able to join the Under-20s much during the past two years due to club commitments. Each got their first cap against China PR in a friendly last week in Germany.
5 – This is the fifth time the U.S. has won their opening match in the FIFA World Youth Championship as the Under-20s also secured three points from the get go in 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2003. In all four of those previous tournaments the U.S. failed to get points in their second match as they lost each time, but in each instance they advanced to the second round.
7 – U.S. goalkeeper Quentin Westberg registered his seventh shutout in sixteen international games with the Under-20s when he blanked Argentina in the opening match of the World Youth Championship.
8 – Chad Barrett’s game-winning goal against Argentina was his eighth international strike with the Under-20s, which leads the team.
9 – Number of starts Nathan Sturgis has with the U.S. Under-20s since 2004. Sturgis may start in place of Jonathan Spector due to an injury.
11 – The U.S. has faced UEFA teams 11 times in the World Youth Championship, coming away with only two wins, eight losses and one draw. One of the two victories was against East Germany in Saudi Arabia in 1999, a 2-0 win.
12 – Number of international wins U.S. head coach Sigi Schmid has compiled in 13 games for a 12-1-0 record since taking over the Under-20s in November of 2004. The team’s only loss was to South Korea in South Korea earlier this March.
37 – The USA’s match against Germany will be their 38th match played in a FIFA World Youth Championship, tying them with Mexico for the most by any CONCACAF team. In the previous 37 matches, the U.S. holds a 13-20-4 record with 45 goals for and 55 against.
1500 - The 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship will likely see the competition’s 1500th goal since it was first held in Tunisia in 1977. The last goal of the opening matches was scored by Johan Vonlanthen of Switzerland, which was No. 1471.
ALL ABOUT GERMANY
LAST TIME OUT: The U.S. and Germany last met at this level in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, with that match also the second group match for both teams. The match was a tale of two halves, as the first 45 minutes was an even battle that only saw three shots on goal by the U.S. and Germany combined, while the second period was a wide-open, attacking game as four goals and numerous other near misses defined the half. Germany came out blazing in the first 25 minutes of the second half, scoring two minutes into the half, before adding two more in a four-minute span not long after. Despite being down by three goals, the U.S. was able to swing the momentum back to their side and peppered the German goal for the last 20 minutes, unlucky to only come away with only one goal. For the full match report, click here.
PLAYERS OUT: Germany has lost a number of key players eligible for their squad before the tournament due to injury or first team commitments. Defensive linchpin Lucas Sinkiewicz (Cologne) and forward Mario Gomez (Stuttgart) were taken off the roster due to injuries suffered shortly before their opening game. Meanwhile, Germany’s best player, Lukas Podolski, is with the senior squad as they compete in the FIFA Confederations Cup. To top things off, Andreas Ottl missed the Egypt game due to tearing a muscle and status is uncertain for the match against the U.S., while Oliver Hampel suffered a double fracture of the shin due to a late tackle by Mohamad Mahmoud. Hampel’s leg was surgically repaired in an hour-long operation at 2:30 in the morning, the day after the match. Accompanied by a small delegation from the Egyptian squad, a contrite Mahmoud dropped by the stricken German's bedside the following morning to apologize.
TOP PLAYER: Germany’s top player is right midfielder Michael Delura (Shalke 04), who is one of Germany’s rising stars. Interestingly, the 19-year-old is apparently of Polish-American descent (but details on what the exactly means have been hard to come by).. Delura is a talented midfielder with impressive one-v-one skills, a tireless workrate and probably the most confident player on the field for the German squad. There are a number of other players that the U.S. will need to be aware of, including goalscorer Nicky Adler, Marcell Janssen and Christoph Reinhard. Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper, René Adler, has also been impressive and will be a tough nut to crack.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), 12-Philipp Tschauner (Nuremberg), 21-Erik Domaschke (FC Sachsen); DEFENDERS (7): 2-Christoph Janker (Munich 1860), 3-Marvin Compper (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 4-Marvin Matip (FC Cologne), 5-Marcel Schuon (VfB Stuttgart), 14-Christopher Reinhard (Eintracht Frankfurt), 18-Paul Broeker (FC Cologne), 20-Francis Banecki (Werder Bremen); MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Andreas Ottl (Bayern Munich), 8-Christian Gentner (VfB Stuttgart), 10-Sahr Senesie (Grasshopper-Club Zurich), 11-Marcell Jansen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 13-Alexander Huber (Eintracht Frankfurt), 16-Oliver Hampel (Hamburger SV), 17-Daniyel Cimen (Eintracht Frankfurt); FORWARDS (4): 7-Michael Delura (Schalke 04), 9-Nicky Adler (Munich 1860), 15-Sebastian Freis (Karlsruher SC), 19-Thomas Broeker (FC Cologne).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Germany advanced to their eighth World Youth Championship, but it definitely didn’t do it in commanding fashion. The Germans qualified as one of the two third-place teams at the group stage of the UEFA Under-19 Championship, securing the final spot for the FIFA WYC. Germany cruised through the first two qualifying rounds of the UEFA Under-19 Championship, blowing past Luxembourg (6-1) and Malta (9-1) before drawing with Denmark (2-2). In the second qualifying round, the games were a bit tougher, but the Germans got through with wins over Armenia (5-0), Portugal (1-0) and Slovakia (2-1). The Germans may have advanced to the final two groups, but missed out on the semifinals after falling to Spain (3-0), defeating Poland (3-1) and then drawing with Turkey (1-1). Part of the reason for getting in at the sixth-place spot was due to an inability to put away chances, especially in the match against Turkey.