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U.S. Under-17s Top Uruguay 3-0 to Claim 5th Place in Brazil

CAMPOS, Brazil (Saturday, March 9, 2002) - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team topped Uruguay 3-0 to claim 5th place at the Mundialito Joao Havelange in Campos, Brazil. 

Corey Ashe, John DiRaimondo and Guillermo Gonzalez scored for the U.S. in the win - the USA's second straight win at the tournament.  DiRaimondo and Gonzalez scored in their second straight match for the U.S., and each finished the tournament with three goals. Gonzalez was named to the all-tournament team.

The U.S. dominated play early, with Ashe scoring once and the U.S. hitting the crossbar twice in the first 30 minutes.  Uruguay was reduced to 10 men after a breakaway foul in the 38th minute.  DiRaimondo added a second goal just before the half, and then Uruguay was reduced to nine men after another breakaway foul in the 47th minute.  Gonzalez added the final goal just after halftime. 

U.S. head coach John Ellinger saw his team drop a player when Ashe was shown a direct red card in the 60th minute. 

The U.S. advanced to the fifth-place game with a 5-1 pasting of Panama in the final match of group play on Wednesday.  U.S. midfielders Gonzalez and DiRaimondo each scored two goals and defender Brandon Owens added one goal in the win.

The U.S. drew the unenviable task of opening the tournament against an older Brazil team.  The U.S. played well, but were overmatched and fell 0-4.  The U.S. then faced Angola, and lost 1-2, with Drew Harrison netting the lone U.S. goal.  The Americans outshot Angola 8-3, but the Angola 'keeper produced six saves to see his team into the third-place match.

The U.S., Uruguay and Mexico brought teams to the tournament that were a full year younger than the competition.

The Under-17s will now return to the U.S. and will face Finnish club side MYPA on Thursday, March 14, at 4 p.m. at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  The U.S. will depart later this month for an international tournament in Montaigue, France. A complete schedule of the Montaigue Tournament is expected to be announced in the next week.