PORTLAND, Ore. (September 8) - The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team bounced back a day after falling to Brazil to defeat Mexico, 2-0, with goals on either side of halftime during the second match of the Nike National Team Friendlies at the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Ore.
The U.S. peppered the Mexican goal early and finally broke through in the 21st minute when Sheanon Williams was able to deflect a driving cross past Mexico goalkeeper Eduardo Millan. The U.S. got the insurance goal in the 58th minute when Mykell Bates headed home a perfectly place cross from Jared Jeffrey.
The U.S. will face Portugal next on Sunday, Sept. 10 in their final match of the four-team Nike National Team Friendlies. The match will kick off at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) and fans can follow the web broadcast live on ussoccer.com. Portugal won their opening match of the Friendlies with a 5-1 victory over Mexico, before falling to Brazil, 4-1, in the earlier match this evening.
“Tonight’s performance by our players was impressive after coming off a tough loss to Brazil,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “We still didn’t finish as well as I would have liked, but I was pleased with the attacking mentality we had all game and I thought we did well controlling the tempo of the match. Whenever you can beat an arch rival like Mexico it’s a great thing and I was proud of how our team performed on home soil today.”
Controlling the game from the opening whistle, the U.S. outplayed the reigning FIFA U-17 world champions for the entire 80-minute match, creating a number of chances in front of Mexico’s net while at the same time closing down any attack to provide starting goalkeeper Zac MacMath with a pretty uneventful day in just his second international start. The U.S. put half of their 14 shots on goal, while Mexico could only force MacMath into one save on four total shots.
Israel Sesay, who just received his citizenship this week, stole the show early in the match. The Sierra Leone-born forward showcased some of his impressive dribbling skills, slipping past Mexican defenders and pushing into the attack. Despite his slipperiness, Sesay hit a close range attempt right to Millan that he could have done better with and then just missed wide right with the outside of his right foot after slaloming through a block of Mexican defenders.
Williams’ opening goal started in midfield where Jeffrey pushed the ball out wide left for Greg Garza who was charging up the sideline from his left back position. Garza’s impeccable first touch freed him between two defenders and into the penalty area where he hit a low, driven cross into the box and Williams was able to get his back heel to the ball and knock it into the net.
The U.S. put the game out of reach for Mexico when Bates headed home from close range in the 58th minute. After a U.S. corner kick was cleared out, Jeffrey was able to control the ball on the left side and floated in a perfectly weighted cross to the left post for Bates who had slipped behind the Mexican defenders who were pushing up. From six yards out Bates headed past the outstretched hands of Millan into the left side of the goal.
The U.S. continued their dominance in the second half, but it was Mexican coach Jesus Ramirez that stole the show for a few minutes when he wouldn’t leave the field after being instructed to by the head official. After some coaxing by his players and assistant coaches, Ramirez finally walked off the bench to the other side of the field and play continued.
Near the end of the match, Danny Barerra came just a foot from putting the U.S. up by three goals when his 35-yard blast skimmed the top of the crossbar.
The U.S. U-17s are now 0-1-1 in the tournament, having fallen, 3-0, to Brazil in the first match. Brazil is the only undefeated team in the tournament.
U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team Match Report
Participants: U.S. Under-17 ‘90s Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Competition: Nike National Team Friendlies
Location: Ronaldo Field on Nike Campus; Beaverton, Ore.
Date: Sept. 8, 2006
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees
1st 2nd Final
USA 1 1 2
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Sheanon Williams (Greg Garza) 21st minute
USA – Mykell Bates (Jared Jeffrey) 58.
USA: 18-Zachary MacMath; 3-Brandon Lee (16-Brandon Zimmerman, 48), 4-Howard Turk, 5-Mykell Bates, 15-Gregory Garza; 2-Sheanon Williams (13-Daniel Barerra, 41), 8-Jared Jeffrey, 12-Ryan Gracia, 20-Abdul Ibrahim (11-Brendan King, 80); 19-Israel Sesay (10-Bryan Dominguez, 71), 17-Ryan Finley (9-Ellis McLoughlin, 56)
Subs not used: 1-Josh Lambo, 5-Matt Uy,7-Axel Levry
Unavailable: 6-Danny Wenzel
MEX: 12-Eduardo Millan; 3-Kristian Alvarez (20-Daniel Cervantes, 41+), 5-Heder Gutierrez (14-Luis Ramos, 60), 13-Christian Moran, 18-Carlos Gutierrez (10-Edgar Pacheco, 15); 2-Christian Perez, 6-Jose Verduzco, 8-Alberto Soto (15-Jose Magallon, 63), 11-Jesus Cuevas (16-Brayan Martinez, 56); 7-Carlos Pena (17-Saul Sandoval, 50), 19-Hugo Lopez.
Subs not used: 1-Jesus Dautt, 4-Andres Rodriguez, 9-Raul Nava
Shots 14 4
Shots on goal 7 1
Saves 1 4
Corner Kicks 3 3
Fouls 13 14
Offside 2 4
MEX – Alberto Soto (caution) 23rd minute
USA – Jared Jeffrey (caution) 50.
MEX – Jose Verduzco (caution) 52.
MEX – Hugo Lopez (caution) 60.