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U-17 MNT Defeats Portugal for Second Win at Nike National Team Friendlies

BEAVERTON, Ore. (Sep. 10, 2006) - The U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team got all four of their goals in the first half as they defeated Portugal 4-2 in their final match of the Nike National Team Friendlies at the Ronaldo Field on the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Ore.

The U.S. cruised to an early lead going up by three goals before the 20th minute as defender Mykell Bates twice headed home for his second and third goals of the weekend and Sheanon Williams buried a penalty kick. Midfielder Danny Barerra finished off the scoring for the U.S. just a minute before halftime.

In the second half Portugal pulled back two goals and hit the frame twice as well, but the U.S. was able to do enough to earn their second victory in a row. The U.S. finishes the Nike National Team Friendlies with a 2-1-0 record. After falling to Brazil, 3-0, in their opening match on Sept. 7, the U.S. bounced back to defeat archrival Mexico, 2-0.

“If you would have told me we would have four goals before the end of the first half I wouldn’t have believed you, but we really finished well during the first forty minutes which allowed us to take control of the match,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “We didn’t play as well as I would have liked in the second half as our players seemed to relax a bit with such a big lead. Overall though, I’m pleased with the two victories during the event and the ability we had to give a number of players some international experience.”

The USA’s fantastic first half started in the sixth minute when Bates scored off their first shot of the game, heading home a corner kick. Greg Garza served in the corner to the middle of the box and Bates headed the ball into upper left corner, slipping it just above the Portugal defender standing at the post.

The U.S. continued to apply pressure to the Portugal defense and Garza once again set up the goal, this time by getting taken down in the box. Garza collected a loose ball on the left side and quickly pushed into the penalty box along the endline, blowing past a Portugal defender who tackled him from behind which forced the referee to point to the spot. Williams calmly placed his penalty into the left corner for his second goal in two games as the Boston, Mass., native tallied the game-winner against Mexico.

Two days after scoring his first-ever goal with the U-17s, Bates registered his first two-goal game when he headed home once again in the 20th minute. The ball was played in from the right sideline by Barerra and Bates got loose from his defender to place his header past the Portugal goalkeeper.

Amazingly, the U.S. wasn’t done as Barerra tallied the USA’s forth goal just before the halftime whistle. For the third time on the day it was Garza who provided the set-up, finding Barerra who finished past Portugal’s ‘keeper.

In the second half, Portugal was the better team as they made a couple of substitutions and pushed forward into the attack in an attempt to make a comeback. Along with scoring two goals to cut the U.S. lead in half, they hit the post twice. Overall, Portugal took 19 shots on goal, forcing Lambo into five saves.

Portugal’s first goal came in the 61st minute when two of Portugal’s second half substitutes linked up. Wilson Naval da Costa won the ball on the left flank and quickly swung in a cross for Jose Barbosa who was crashing in on net. Barbosa headed home the cross from the six-yard box, giving Lambo no chance to make a save.

Naval da Costa, who took a number of attempts on goal in the second half, finally got his own goal in injury time. Dribbling the ball along the top of the penalty area, the Portugal forward  unleashed a drive that deflected off of Brandon Zimmerman, who had slid in to try and block the shot, and it got past Lambo into the right side of the goal.

In the earlier match, Brazil defeated Mexico, 2-0, to go undefeated during the Nike National Team Friendlies.

U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team Match Report

Participants:     U.S. Under-17 ‘90s Men’s National Team vs. Portugal
Competition:     Nike National Team Friendlies
Location:    Ronaldo Field on Nike Campus; Beaverton, Ore.
Date:    Sept. 10, 2006
Weather:    Sunny, 70 degrees

Scoring Summary:   
                 1st    2nd    Final
USA           4        0         4
POR           0       2         2
USA – Mykell Bates (Greg Garza)                               6th minute
USA – Sheanon Williams (penalty kick)                    15.
USA – Mykell Bates (Danny Barerra)                          20.
USA – Danny Barerra (Greg Garza)                            39.
POR – Jose Barbosa (Wilson Naval da Costa)       61.
POR – Wilson Naval da Costa (unassisted)            82.

USA: 1-Josh Lambo; 16-Brandon Zimmerman, 2-Sheanon Williams, 14-Mykell Bates, 5-Matthew Uy;
13-Daniel Barerra, 6-Danny Wenzel (Capt.), 12-Ryan Gracia (10-Bryan Dominguez, 61); 15-Gregory Garza (11-Brendan King, 78), 19-Israel Sesay (7-Axel Levry, 76), 9-Ellis McLoughlin (17-Ryan Finley, 67).
Subs not used:, 3-Brandon Lee, 4-Howard Turk, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 18-Zachary MacMath, 20-Abdul Ibrahim

POR: 12-Luis Simoes de Silva; 2-Ivo Mendoca, 13-Pedro Mendes (5-Joao Vieira, 41), 14-Fabio Ribeiro, 19-Michael Ferreira; 6-Diogo Correia (Capt.), 16-Joao Conceicao (8-David Martins, 67), 20-Leandro Coelho (9-Rui Pedro da Rocha, 41); 11-Alfredo Kulembe (10-Jose Barbosa, 52) , 15-Joao Prazeres (7-Wilson Naval da Costa, 41), 17-Rui Jorge
Subs not used: 1-Leonardo Joao Correia da Silva, 3-Bruno Catarino, 4-Daniel dos Santos, 18-Vitor Gaio

Statistical Summary:
                                  USA    POR
Shots                         13       19
Shots on goal             5         7
Saves                           3         1
Corner Kicks              3         5
Fouls                         20       13
Offside                         2         2

Misconduct Summary:
POR – Michael Ferreira (caution)        19th minute
USA – Matthew Uy (caution)                  31.
USA – Ellis McLoughlin (caution)         50.
POR – Fabio Ribeiro (caution)              51.
USA – Danny Barerra (caution)             77.