CHICAGO (Friday, November 8, 2002) - U.S. Soccer and Innovative Sports Marketing have partnered to make the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s three matches at the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament available on pay-per-view. The three U.S. qualifying matches will be shown live and are available for $19.95 each through DirecTV and Time-Warner cable (in New York City).
The qualifying tournament will consist of three doubleheaders played at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., with games on Nov. 13, Nov. 15 and Nov. 17. The top two finishers in Charleston will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25 – April 16, 2003.
The U.S. Under-20s, who are attempting to qualify for a record fourth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship for the first time in U.S. Soccer history, open the tournament on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET against Haiti before facing El Salvador on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET and then wrapping up the tournament against Canada on Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The U.S. Under-20s have posted a 14-7-9 record in 2002, scoring more than twice as many goals as their opposition (55-27). In a tournament last month in Spain, the U.S. surprised the soccer world by topping Italy, Ukraine and Uruguay to advance to the tournament final, where they fell 1-0 to an older Brazil team.
Rongen will have more professional players – eight – on his qualifying roster than any previous U.S. Under-20 MNT. Six of those players compete in Major League Soccer – Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn), Justin Mapp (D.C. United), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United) and Jordan Stone (Dallas Burn) – while Frank Simek (Arsenal – England) and David Johnson (Willem II – Holland) represent the USA’s young yanks abroad.
“This team has put in a lot of hard work over the last 10 months, and they are ready to step out onto the field and fight for a spot in the world championship,” said Rongen. “This group is a very challenging one that will give us three quality matches against three very different opponents, but we are excited and looking forward to meeting these challenges and growing as a team.”
For more information on the pay-per-view broadcasts, contact ISM at 201-610-0200 or ismsports.com.