Looking Ahead to U.S. Under-20s vs. Chile in World Youth Championship in Argentina
MENDOZA, Argentina (Tuesday, June 19, 2001) -
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%THE SKINNY ON CHILE: Chile advanced to the 2001 World Youth Championship with a fourth-place finish at the CONMEBOL Under-20 Championship in early 2001. Chile managed only one win in five matches in the final round, but, coupled with two ties, their five points saw them through to Argentina '01. Chile opened the final round by taking a 6-0 beating from eventual champion Brazil, but bounced back to post a crucial draw with Argentina in the next match. Chile went up 2-0 at the half, before allowing two second-half goals.
Chile is led by striker Mario Salgado, who tallied three of Chile's five goals in the final round. In five final round matches, Chile let in a CONMEBOL-high 12 goals. Chilean goalkeeper Jhonny Herrera, who played all 450 minutes in the final round, was an alternate on the Chile Olympic team that topped the U.S. for the bronze medal in Sydney.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%CALLING ALL HEALTHY PLAYERS: The U.S. team has been hit by a form of a tourista bug this week, and it has struck players as well as staff members. Nearly half of the team had been effected by Tuesday night, as well as a third of the staff. Most players have nearly kicked the bug from their system, and it is likely Suhnholz will be able to field his full XI for Wednesday's match. A decision on who will be able to play in Wednesday's match with Chile will not be made until Wednesday morning.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%DAVIS RETURNS TO TEAM: U.S. midfielder Brad Davis will return to the U.S. bench for tomorrow's match against Chile after sitting out the tournament opener with a one-game suspension stemming from the final game of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. Davis, who is tied for the team lead with 12 goals in the last two years, picked up two cautions in the USA's 1-1 draw with Costa Rica on March 22, seeing yellow in the 41st and 49th minutes. Davis was the USA's instant offense in the first two qualifiers, coming off the bench to score in each of the USA's first two qualifiers. With a spot in qualifying already clinched, Suhnholz gave Davis a start in the match against Costa Rica.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%NEWS FROM FIRST TWO TOURNAMENT DAYS: The shock of the first two days of the World Youth Championship came from Costa Rica, who upset Holland 3-1 in Group E action. The U.S. has faced Costa Rica twice in 2001 and settled for a 1-1 draw both times. Holland and the U.S. met in the Toulon Festival, and the U.S. had the better chances in the match, but were unable to score in a 0-0 draw. France turned in what was possibly the best performance of the tournament with a 5-0 win against Iran.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%GALAVISION TELEVISION REMINDER: The Chile match will be shown on Galavision's East Feed (Eastern/Central/Mountain except Arizona) at 9:00 p.m. ET, and on Galavision's West Feed (Pacific/Arizona/Alaska/Hawaii) at 9:00 p.m. PT.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%U.S. TREK TO THE MOUNTAINS: The U.S. team awoke a little earlier than normal on Tuesday morning and after breakfast boarded the team bus to head west into the mountains. The U.S. team stopped twice along the way and stepped out of the bus to take pictures and stretch their legs. The first stop along the way was a resort that the 1978 Holland World Cup Team stayed at prior to the '78 World Cup in Argentina. The U.S. continued on their tour of the local mountains and stopped again 30 minutes later to stop for pictures and take in the beautiful scenery. The team traveled to an altitude of 1800 meters, which is more than one mile high.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%PRACTICE SESSIONS: Following Sunday's match with China, the U.S. underwent a relatively light training session on Monday, at the auxiliary stadium that sits just next to the Stadium Malvinas Argentinas. The U.S. spent the first 25 minutes stretching, getting warmed up and lightly knocking the ball around. The U.S. then moved into a variety of finishing drills, including crossing and shooting drills. The highlight of the training session was Edson Buddle hammering a ball into the upper right corner from 20 yards out, drawing "oohs" and "ahs" from those present.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%U.S. - CHINA RELATIONS: Twenty-four hours after the U.S. fell to China, an unexpected visitor from the China team turned up at the USA's training session. And he brought a video camera and taped portions of the U.S. practice. Who was that masked man? None other than former U.S. Men's National Team coach Bora Milutinovic. "The Miracle Worker" is currently working as the head coach of the Chinese Men's National Team, who are trying to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Why was he filming the practice? No one has any idea. He did speak highly of the U.S. team after the USA's 0-1 loss to China. Qu Bo, the goalscorer in the U.S. - China match, has spent considerable time with Bora and the senior team, and Bora glowingly referred to him as "my boy" after the match.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%REVIEW OF U.S. - CHINA: The United States Under-20 Men's National Team fell 1-0 to China in their opening match of the XIth FIFA World Youth Championship in a cold and chilly Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina. Despite controlling play for the majority of the second half, the United States was unable to penetrate the Chinese defense and was shutout in an international for the second consecutive match.
"I am a little disappointed with the result, but on the other hand I thought we saw two good teams out there playing good soccer for the first game in this tournament," U.S. head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz said. "I know that China is a very good team and they gave us a lot of problems in the first half. Finally in the second half we came out and got the game under control. I think we did most of the attacking in the second half."
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%STAT OF THE DAY: The current group of Under-20s has not lost two straight internationals since the team formed in January, 2000. Nor has the U.S. ever lost their first two games at a World Youth Championship.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"I think we still can reach the next round. We came here to reach the next round, and with two good results in the next two games we are gonna make it. I am very positive. I realize this is the first game and it is always difficult, especially for us because we had players arriving in Argentina late."