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U.S. Under-17s Fall, 2-0, in First of Three Matches in Finland

HELSINKI, Finland (Thursday, August 22, 2002) - The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team fell to Finland's Under-17 squad today 2-0 in the first of three international matches between the two countries on the U.S. team's trip to the Scandanavian country.  The two teams will meet again on Saturday (Aug. 24) and Monday (Aug. 26).

Finland's goals both came in the second half of the 80-minute game.

U.S. head coach John Ellinger is using the trip to help his team get acclimated to Finland, where the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship will be held from August 13-30, 2003.

The U.S. Under-17s are now 7-7-1 in international matches this year.  Most recently, the U.S. split a pair of games with Canada’s Under-17 squad, losing 1-0 on May 22 and then rebounding for a 2-1 win just three days later.  Guillermo Gonzalez, John DiRaimondo and Corey Ashe have led the team offensively, combining for 15 goals in 15 international matches.  One of just three players to play in all 31 matches this year (along with Ashe and Mike Harrington), Gonzalez has totaled 14 goals and seven assists in 2002.

USA - Quentin Westberg; John DiRaimondo, Jonathan Spector, Brandon Owens (Adrian Chevannes, 70), Chris Germani (Kyle Helton, 72); Danny Szetela (Robbie Rogers, 64), Brian Grazier, Guillermo Gonzalaez, Eddie Gaven; Jacob Peterson, Corey Ashe (Michael Harrington, 56).