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U.S. Under-20 MNT Falls to Japan, 2-1, in Carson, Calif.

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, October 8, 2003) – The United States Under-20 Men's National Team dropped a 2-1 decision to Japan tonight in the team's final preparation match before the FIFA World Youth Championship UAE 2003.  U.S. defender Jordan Stone was sent off for his second cautionable offense in the 65th minute, forcing the side to play with ten men for the final 25 minutes.  U.S. midfielder Eddie Johnson recorded the lone goal for the United States, his seventh for the U-20 MNT in 2003.
An evenly played first half saw the U.S. draw first blood eight minutes before the interval.  Lining up for a corner kick, MetroStars-based midfielder Ricardo Clark was pulled down in the box by Ryoga Aoki, with the referee immediately pointing to the penalty spot.  Eddie Johnson made no mistake, sending Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima the wrong way as he buried a well-placed penalty to the lower left corner, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.  

Japan equalized soon after the break, capitalizing on a swift counter-attack.  In the 50th minute, Hiroto Mogi slipped a through ball to Daisuke Sakata, who used a U.S. defender as a clever screen while snapping a quick left-footed shot from 22 yards past 'keeper Steve Cronin.

After being booked in the 52nd minute, Jordan Stone would again be shown the yellow card, this time for an infraction inside the penalty area as he took down Japan's Satoru Yamagishi in the 65th minute.  Sakata looked to add his second goal of the night, only to see his penalty attempt clang off the left post, leaving the match on level terms.  Japan grabbed the game-winning goal in the 76th minute, a glancing near-post header from Daigo Kobayashi securing the Japanese victory.

U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen used all five substitutes from the reserves' bench, including the first appearance by Freddy Adu for the U-20 MNT as he replaced Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee in the 76th minute.

The U.S. Under-20 MNT will re-assemble on November 22, five days prior to the opening of the FIFA World Youth Championship UAE 2003 to be held November 27-December 19 in the United Arab Emirates.  The United States will face Paraguay, Germany and South Korea in Group D action in Abu Dhabi.
-- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report --

Match-up: USA vs. Japan
October 8, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Attendance: n/a
Weather: 62 degrees, hazy

Scoring Summary:    1        2      F
USA                           1       0      1
Japan                          0       2      2

USA – Eddie Johnson (PK)                             37th minute
JPN – Daisuke Sakata (Hiroto Mogi)               50th
JPN – Daigo Kobayashi                                   76th
USA — 1-Scott Cronin (18-Clint Baumstark, 86); 6-Jordan Stone, 4-Chad Marshall, 5-Ryan Cochrane, 8-C.J. Klaas; 7-Eddie Johnson; 11-Ricardo Clark (13-Craig Capano, 79), 10-Bobby Convey (capt.) (20-Guillermo Gonzalez, 84), 3-Justin Mapp (2-Jordan Harvey, 79); 9-Mike Magee (15-Freddy Adu, 74), 12-Arturo Alvarez
Subs not used:

JPN —1-Eiji Kawashima; 5-Naoya Kondo, 23-Ryoga Aoki, 3-Makoto Kakuda; 7-Yasuyuki Konno (capt.), 15-Yutaro Abe, 6-Yuhei Tokunaga, 14-Daigo Kobayashi, 8-Satoru Yamagishi (9-Norio Suzuki, 73); 10-Daisuke Sakata, 11-Hiroto Mogi (22-Hiroyuki Hayashi, 83)    
Subs not used: 20-Masahiro Okamoto, 2-Kei Yamaguchi, 4-Yuzo Kurihara, 12-Yuki Okubo, 13-Yuji Unozawa, 16-Yuta Baba, 17-Kisho Yano, 19-Tatsuya Yazawa, 21-Yohei Kajiyama, 24-Yusuke Kondo, 25-Shusuke Tsubouchi

Stats Summary:      USA     JPN
 Shots                         9          10
 Saves                        1           3
 Corner Kicks            2           5
 Fouls                        18         15
 Offside                      2           3

Misconduct Summary:
JPN – Ryota Aoki (caution)            13th minute
JPN – Naoya Kondo (caution)            38th
USA – Jordan Stone (caution)            52nd
USA – Jordan Stone (second caution - ejection)    65th
JPN – Daigo Kobayashi (caution)        74th.