U.S. Under-20s Defeat Seattle Sounders 4-1 in World Youth Championship Preparation Match
- Forward Chad Barrett Assists on First Three U.S. Goals
- Benny Feilhaber and Tim Ward Score First-Ever Goals With Under-20s
- U.S. Under-20s Next Preparation Match Against Canada at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., on Wednesday, May 18
SEATTLE, Wash. (April 25, 2005) — With a month-and-a-half before the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, the U.S. defeated the Seattle Sounders 4-1 in a preparation match this evening in front of 2,112 fans at Husky Soccer Field on the University of Washington campus.
After allowing the Sounders to get on the board first in the 28th minute, the U.S. scored four unanswered goals, three of which were in the second half, to cruise past the USL First Division club. Forward Chad Barrett was the catalyst for the Under-20s, setting up the first three U.S. goals by Benny Feilhaber, Will John and Danny Szetela, before Tim Ward slammed any thought of a late Sounders comeback with an impressive solo dribbling run and finish.
The Under-20s will play their next preparation match in three weeks when they face Canada on Wednesday, May 18 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn.
“We hadn’t seen a few of our players for about a month, so it was beneficial to get them back into the fold,” said U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid. “It took the guys a bit to get into the match, but once they found that cohesiveness they played well, especially in the second half. The team is beginning to shape up and we will continue to use these preparation matches to determine our final roster for the World Youth Championship.”
The U.S. back line was a bit sluggish in the first 10 minutes of the match and struggled to handle forward Welton Melo. The Brazilian import got off two dangerous shots in the early moments of the match, missing just high over the bar in the fourth minute and then pushing an attempt wide right five minutes later. On both scoring chances, central defender Robby Rogers struggled to keep up with Melo and ended up pulling his hamstring trying to chase him down on his second attempt, which forced him to be substituted in the 11th minute.
On the other end, the U.S. was also able to find some scoring chances. In the seventh minute, John collected a pass from Barrett near the top of the penalty area, turned and quickly unleashed a shot on goal, but goalkeeper James Ward was able to get down for the save. Szetela looked dangerous early as twice he was able to create some space near the top of the box, but both his attempts were just off target.
Seattle finally broke through in the 28th minute when a long ball from the back was sent into the attack and flicked into the left side of the penalty area for Brent Whitfield. U.S. defender Patrick Ianni had the chance to make a play on the ball, but he held up do to miscommunication between him and goalkeeper Andrew Kartunen. Ianni’s hesitation allowed Whitfield to pounce on the loose ball and slip it past a stranded Kartunen.
The U.S. didn’t wait long to return the favor as Feilhaber struck back with his first-ever goal with the U-20s in the 32nd minute to bring the game back on even terms. Feilhaber received a pass from his former UCLA teammate about 25 yards from goal and was left unchallenged by the Sounders defense. The midfielder took advantage of the time he had and hit a well-placed shot, tucking the ball just inside the right post.
Two minutes later, the U.S. almost took the lead when John latched onto a loose ball in the box and hit the right post. The ball deflected back to the middle of the penalty area where Feilhaber drilled a low shot on frame, but somehow Ward was able to get back in position to make the save and parry it over the endline.
The U.S. dominated play in the second half and Barrett snagged his second assist of the night in the 51st minute on a beautiful through ball that unleashed John one-on-one with goalkeeper Jacob Banas, who had come on for Ward at the half. Holding the ball just over the halfway line on the right sideline, Barrett weighted a perfect ball over the backline to a streaking John, who pushed the ball around the onrushing Banas and slotted the ball into the open net.
A minute later, the Sounders almost came up with an equalizer of their own off a free kick, but second-half substitute Justin Hughes came up with the only save of the game to make sure the U.S. never relinquished the lead. Former U-20 MNT defender Craig Klaas knocked in a Sounders free kick from the left flank and defender Scott Jenkins was able to get foot to the service to direct it towards the right post, but Hughes did well to stop the ball right on the goal line.
Barrett got his third assist on the night in the 66th minute with an impressive individual effort that allowed Szetela to score the USA’s easiest goal of the night. Challenging a back pass, Barrett was able to poke the ball away before Jenkins could get to it and then turned on the jets to beat Banas to the ball along the right edge of the penalty area. With Banas racing back to try and cover the wide open net, Barrett wisely dribbled along the endline and waited for something to open up before slotting the ball across the goalmouth to Szetela, who blasted his point-blank shot home.
“It felt good to go out there tonight and contribute to all three of our first goals,” said Barrett. “We had been struggling in the final third a bit lately, but tonight we were able to do a better job of connecting on the final pass and the guys did well to finish.”
The final goal came from Ward in the 84th minute as the MetroStars’ defender collected a ball out on the left flank from Feilhaber and then did the rest. Ward went on a 30-yard dribbling run, getting past Gabriel Sturm with a nice hesitation move just inside the box and then cut back against another defender before burying his shot to the lower right corner. The goal was Ward’s first with the U.S. Under-20s.
The U.S. qualified for Holland ’05 with a first-place finish in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in January. For the FIFA World Youth Championship, the U.S. was drawn into the difficult Group D with Argentina, Germany and Egypt.
The U.S. opens against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 11:30 a.m. ET, then faces Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 2:30 p.m. ET) and concludes group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 7:30 a.m. ET) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: USA vs. Seattle Sounders
Location: Husky Soccer Field; Seattle, Wash.
Date: April 25, 2005
Weather: Sunny, warm; 70 degrees
1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
Seattle Sounders 1 0 1
SON – Brent Whitfield 28th minute
USA – Benny Feilhaber (Chad Barrett) 32.
USA – Will John (Chad Barrett) 51.
USA – Danny Szetela (Chad Barrett) 66.
USA – Tim Ward (Benny Feilhaber) 84.
USA: 18-Andrew Kartunen (24-Justin Hughes, 46); 2-Hunter Freeman, 14-Robby Rogers (8-Benny Feilhaber, 11), 4-Patrick Ianni (capt.), 3-Marvell Wynne (15-Brad Evans, 59); 16-Tim Ward, 12-Will John, 7-Michael Bradley, 17-Danny Szetela; 9-Chad Barrett, 11-Arturo Alvarez (13-Robbie Rogers, 66).
Subs not used: none
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid.
SON: 0-James Ward (1-Jacob Banas, 46); 12-Gabriel Sturm, 2-Scott Jenkins, 17-Zach Scott, 13-Andrew Gregor (21-Ben Somoza, 17); 11-Franklin Chacon (16-Chad Brown, 46), 5-C.J. Klaas, 8-Billy Sleeth (3-Jacob Besagno, 74), 15-Kevin Sakuda (9-Brett Wiesner, 70), 7-Brent Whitfield; 19-Welton Melo (10-Joshua Hansen, 63).
Subs not used: 4-Danny Jackson, 6-Ryan Edwards, 23-Preston Burpo, 26-Taylor Graham
Head Coach: Brian Schmetzer
Shots 16 6
Saves 1 5
Fouls 18 9
Corner Kicks 5 3
Offside 5 3
USA – Marvell Wynne (caution) 24th minute
SON – Zach Scott (caution) 26.
USA – Arturo Alvarez (caution) 41.