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U.S. Under-17 MNT To Face South Korea Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

U.S. U-17 MNT Notes
August 13, 2003
Lahti, Finland

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is only one day away from facing the Korea Republic in its first game of the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship on August 14. 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’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

Korea looks to be the cream of the crop from Asia as they rolled through the AFC U-17 Championship in 2002, beating Yemen in penalties in the final to hoist the trophy in triumph and qualify for the World Championship for the first time in 16 years. In their opener, Korea got two first-half goals against Pakistan, going on for a 3-0 victory. In their second match, they met Yemen in a preview of the final. The Koreans fell behind early, going down 2-1 at halftime, but got the equalizing goal in the second half to grab a draw. In their final game they dominated Vietnam 4-1 to win the top-spot in the group and go on to the quarterfinals. From there, Korea sped its way to the rematch with Yemen after easily disposing of India 3-1 in the quarterfinals and then hammering Uzbekistan 4-0 in the semis. Still tied 1-1 after 100 minutes against Yemen in the championship, the Koreans showed their cool and slotted home all of their penalty kicks as their opponent could only hit three.
Asian Championship
Group B
Date        Opponent    Result        Location
Sept. 7, 2002    Pakistan        3-0 W        UAE
Sept. 10, 2002    Yemen        2-2 T        UAE
Sept. 13, 2002    Vietnam        4-1 W        UAE
Sept. 16, 2002    India        3-1 W        UAE
Sept. 20, 2002    Uzbekistan    4-0 W        UAE
Sept. 22, 2002    Yemen        1-1(5-3) W    UAE

The U.S. and the Korea Republic are no strangers as the two countries recently battled in the Busan International Youth Tournament in late May. The two sides met in the first match of the four-team invitational tournament, which was held in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup. In front of 35,000 red-clad Korean fans at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium, Korea took advantage of a jet-lagged U.S. squad and a tournament ending injury to starting central defender Jonathan Spector in the fifth minute to notch three goals in the second half for a 3-0 victory. Despite the opening game loss, the U.S. was able to snag second place with a better goal differential than the Koreans after drawing with Argentina and defeating Poland 5-0. The host didn’t score another goal during the tournament, tying Poland 0-0 and falling to Argentina 2-0.

U.S. vs. Korea Republic
Busan International Youth Tournament; Busan, Korea
May 31, 2003

Scoring Summary:     1st     2nd     Final
United States         0        0          0
Korea Republic        0        3          3

KOR – Sang Hup Lee           51st minute
KOR – Dong Hyen Yang         79th
KOR – Dong Hyen Yang         86th

USA – 1-Phil Marfuggi; 2-Kyle Helton (9-Michael Harrington, 80), 3-Jonathan Spector (14-Julian Valentin, 4), 5-Brandon Owens, 12-Steve Curfman; 10-Guillermo Gonzalez, 8-John DiRaimondo, 15-Corey Ashe (13-Jamie Watson, 70), 7-Brian Grazier (17-Danny Szetela, 70); 11-Freddy Adu, 4-Eddie Gaven
Subs not used: 18-Stephen Sandbo, 19-Jay Denny, 6-Jacob Peterson, 16-Tim Ward, 20-Jose Gomez

KOR – 1-Ki Seok Cha (18-Dae Ho Kim, 90); 20- Gang Jin Lee (3-Kyu Hawn Hwang, 61), 4-Jin Ouk Kang, 12-Sang Yong Lee (5-In Wang Jung, 82), 2-Tae Min Park; 16-Jung Hoon Kim (8-Seung Jo Kang, 88), 10-Yong Rae Lee (17-Sang Hup Lee, 46), 7-Seung Min Baek, 14-Jun Kim (19-Dong Kun Cho, 79), 9-Dong Hyen Yang, 11-Hun Lee

Finland 2003 will be the second appearance at the FIFA Under-17 World Championship for the Korea Republic, as they qualified only once before in Canada in 1987. During that tournament, Korea and the U.S. were also in the same group. In the final group game, Korea defeated the U.S. 4-2 and ended up making an impressive run into the quarterfinals before losing out to Italy.
U.S. vs. Korea Republic
Date         Result    Location            Attendance
July 16, 1987    2-4 L    Saint John, N.B.; Canada    2,250


No. of previous appearances – 9 (1985,87,89,91,93,95,97,99,2001)
U-17 World Championship record: 11-16-5 (42 GF, 56 GA)
No. of second stage appearances – 3 (1991, 93, 99)
Best finish – 4th place (1999)

Korea Republic
No. of previous appearances – 1 (1987)
U-17 World Championship record: 1-1-2 (GF 5, GA 6)
No. of second stage appearances – 1 (1987)
Best finish – 8th (1987)

The Korea Republic found success in its final match against Cameroon (who is in Group C), getting a 3-0 win at Lamminpaa Stadium in Tampere, Finland on Sunday evening. Korea took the lead in the first half off a header by Lee Gang-Jin. In the second half they snagged two more from Jung In-Whan and Lee Sang-Yong.

Goalkeeper Cha Ki-seok has been one of the best players for the Korea Republic in the past year and could make life difficult for the U.S. forwards. Ki-seok allowed only 5 goals in six matches during the team’s qualifying run in UAE and was named to the tournament’s best eleven.

The U.S.-Korea Republic match on Thursday will be the 100th match played by an Asian team in a FIFA Under-17 World Championship final tournament. The first match was held on July 31, 1985 as China and Bolivia fought to a 1-1 draw.

The other two teams in Group D – Spain and Sierra Leone – will kick off directly following the U.S.-Korea game at 8 p.m. local time.

Assistant coach John Hackworth provides the scouting report on the Korea Republic in advance of tomorrow’s match-up. Hackworth talks about Korea’s stunning work rate, keen ability to change the point of attack and explains what the U.S. needs to do to get a better result this time around.

As Julian “Jules” Valentin and the rest of his teammates get set for the first game of the World Championship, the next entry of Jules Undercover Journal won’t be until Friday. If that’s not soon enough or you haven’t had the chance to read all his entries, you can check them all out at the U.S. Under-17 World Championship

For the latest on the U-17 MNT and complete World Championship standings visit the competitions page of