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U.S. U-20s Continue Suwon Tournament vs. host South Korea

U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
March 23, 2005
Suwon, South Korea

MEETING THE HOST: After an impressive come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Argentina in their opening match of the Suwon International Youth Football Tournament, the U.S. Under-20s will face host South Korea on Thursday, March 24. Kickoff at Suwon World Cup Stadium is at 7 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET), following the earlier match between Egypt and Argentina. South Korea also won their first match against Egypt, pulling out a 1-0 victory. While the USA’s first match didn’t garner much of a crowd until the final 15 minutes as Korean fans began filtering into the stadium to watch the second match of the doubleheader, Suwon World Cup Stadium will no doubt be loud for their match on Thursday against the host.

Suwon International Youth Football Tournament
Team           GP W L  T GF GA GD Pts.
South Korea  1   1   0  0 1   0   +1  3
USA             1   1   0  0 2   1   +1  3
Egypt           1   0   1  0 0   1   -1   0
Argentina      1   0   1  0 1   2   -1   0

Tuesday, March 22
USA 2, Argentina 1
South Korea 1, Egypt 0

Thursday, March 24
Egypt vs. Argentina 4:30 p.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET)
USA vs. South Korea 7 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET)

Saturday, March 26
USA vs. Egypt 12:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET on March 25)
Argentina vs. South Korea 3 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET)

PREPARING FOR THE COLD: The U.S. players have broken out the Nike winter parkas, stocking hats and gloves as the temperature drops to below 35 degrees when the sun goes down. While the U.S. players aren’t enjoying the cool temperatures, they must be handling it better than the Argentineans, who are experiencing a drastic difference to their summer weather back home.

THOUGHT THEY WERE SHORT: The U.S. players have been able to pick out the South Korea Under-20 Men’s National Team players around the hotel and it has nothing to do with the team gear they are wearing. While the players tower over the majority of Koreans they come across in the hotel, oddly, the Korean U-20 players are quite tall, possibly even having a height advantage over the U.S. players.

THE LUCKIEST U.S. GOAL: The north goal in Suwon World Cup Stadium might be the luckiest frame ever for U.S. Soccer. A little less than three years after John O’Brien, Brian McBride and Landon Donovan scored their goals in the north end in the first half of the U.S. MNTs 3-2 victory over Portugal in the 2002 World Cup, U-20 forward Kamani Hill put away his game-winning strike past the Argentina ‘keeper and into the same goal on Tuesday night.

TRAINING: The U.S. players held their third practice since arriving in Suwon at a field next to Suwon World Cup Stadium this afternoon. After a short warm-up the players played a game of possession before working on their marking and defending in the final third. Schmid then worked on free kicks and corner kicks during the 90-minute session before giving the players time on their own to work on shooting or passing.

IMPRESSIVE FIRST CAP: UC-Irvine product Brad Evans collected his first cap when he came on in reserve for Jacob Peterson in the 68th minute against Argentina. Evans made the most of his first appearance, creating a spark for the U.S. offensively. The Phoenix, Ariz., native created havoc for the Argentina defense with some blistering runs, good vision and awareness to strike from deep. His tenacity paid off in the end when his flick header perfectly split the Argentina defense allowing Kamani Hill to bury the game-winner.

STAYING UNDEFEATED: U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid’s international record is now 8-0-0 since taking over the team in late October of 2004. Under the former L.A. Galaxy manager, the U.S. has beaten Canada twice (1-0 and 1-0), Honduras (2-0), Mexico (2-1), Trinidad & Tobago (6-1), Panama (2-0), Costa Rica (2-0) and Argentina (2-1).

HOW THE HOST ADVANCED TO HOLLAND: South Korea didn’t start off well in the Asian Youth Championship last October, falling 3-0 to Iraq in their first match and then drawing 1-1 with minnows Thailand, but just managed to qualify for the knock-out stage on goal difference. Things didn’t get much easier, but once again Korea found a way to move on getting a 105-minute extra-time winner to down Uzbekistan and then taking out archrival Japan from the penalty spot (3-1) after finishing in a 2-2 draw. In the final against China, Korea put together their best game of the tournament to take home the Asian crown for the 11th time with a 2-0 victory over China.

LAST MATCH AGAINST KOREA: The last match for the U.S. Under-20s against South Korea took place on June 22 in Busan, South Korea in the Busan International Youth Tournament, which also included Brazil and Poland. In the match, the U.S. struggled against the stellar work rate of the Koreans and eventually fell 1-0 in the end. The winning goal came in the 62nd minute when Korea finally broke through as Han Dong Won got free on the right side and served in a ball to the far post where Oh Jang Eun, sitting between two U.S. defenders, easily headed home from five yards.

U.S. U-20 MNT vs. South Korea
Busan Four Nations International Youth Tournament
Busan Asiad Main Stadium
June 22, 2004
25,000 (est.)

Scoring Summary:
                   1st 2nd Final
United States  0 0 0
Korea Rep.     0 1 1

KOR – Oh Jang Eun (Han Dong Won) 62nd minute

USA – 1-Quentin Westberg; 3-Tim Ward, 14-Kiel McClung, 4-Julian Valentin, 5-Nathan Sturgis; 12-Stuart Holden, 15-John DiRaimondo, 8-Memo Gonzalez, 13-Jamie Watson; 16-Will John (22-Steve Curfman, 84’), 10-Charlie Davies (19-Nico Colaluca, 65’)

KOR – 1-Cha Ki Seok; 4-Lee Yoo Han; 20-Lee Gang Jin (12-Kang Jin Ouk,75’); 6-Kim Jin Kyu; 3-An Tae Eun (2-Park Hee Chul, 59’); 9-Oh Jang Eun; 8-Baek Ji Hoon (15-Hwang Kyu Hwan,72’); 18-Kim Seung Yong (7-Baek Seung Min, half); 16-Kim Young Sin (24-Hong Jin Sub, 61’); 11-Han Dong Won; 17-Cho Won Kwang