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U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Knocked Out of 2005 FIFA World Championship With 2-0 Loss to the Netherlands

  • U.S. Finishes in Fifth Place for Second Straight FIFA U-17 World Championship
  • Holland’s Jeffrey Sarong Scored Game-Winning Goal in Injury Time of First Half
  • Holland Joins Mexico, Turkey and Brazil in the Semifinals

TRUJILLO, Peru (September 26, 2005) — The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s strong run through the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005 ended this evening after falling to Holland 2-0 in their quarterfinal match at Estadio Mansiche in Trujillo, Peru. With the loss, the U.S. finishes in fifth place for the second straight FIFA U-17 World Championship.

The first meeting between the two nations in a FIFA tournament at any level was an even affair as both teams were able to find chances, but strikes by Jeffrey Sarpong just before halftime and late in the match pushed Holland on to the semifinals. The U.S. took 15 shots during the match and hit the crossbar in the second half, but for the first time in eight international matches couldn’t find the back of the net.  

“We thought we could come here and advance to the finals or at least the semifinals and that was our objective all along,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth, who suffered just his fourth international loss. “We’ve trained tremendously hard and put in a lot of work, and our goal was to come in and compete for a world championship, but we came up just a bit short. I’m extremely proud of the way our players performed at this tournament and they should hold their heads up high.” 

The fifth place finish tied for the second best performance ever by a U.S. team at a FIFA U-17 World Championship. The U.S. also finished in fifth place in 1991 and 2003. The USA’s only appearance in the final four was at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.

The first half was marred by 11 fouls by Holland, including a vicious studs-up tackle along the right sideline by John Goossens, which broke Kevin Alston’s left leg. The U.S. was forced to use an early substitution due to the injury, bringing in Jeremy Hall at right midfield and moving Ryan Soroka to fill the void at left back in the 16th minute.

Each team had three shots on goal, but Holland went into halftime energized after scoring just after the fourth official signaled two minutes of extra time. The goal came after a sequence of 10 consecutive passes in the U.S. defensive end helped spring Sarpong for a goal from eight yards out. Sarpong helped start the play 45 yards from goal with a ball into Vurnon Anita, who played it back to Sarpong who then hit Diego Biseswar posting up. Biseswar then turned the ball to Anita, who was breaking into the area and was able to slide a square pass to Sarpong for the relatively easy finish.

Despite the crushing blow right before halftime, the U.S. came out inspired as they looked to find the equalizer. In the 56th minute, Kyle Nakazawa was inches from pulling the U.S. even with his 20-yard free kick from the left corner of the penalty box, but his curling attempt found the crossbar.  

Later in the half, the U.S. and Holland traded red cards as U.S. defender Neven Subotic received his second caution in the 73rd minute, only to be followed by Holland’s Jordy Buijs five minutes later.

As the U.S. pushed forward to find the late equalizer, it was Sarpong who delivered the dagger with his second strike of the night in the 84th minute. Ruud Vormer sprung Sarpong up the left side of the penalty area off a free kick and he was able to beat U.S. goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner to the lower right corner.

“I think we came out in the second half and did everything we could in search for the equalizer,” said Hackworth. “I think we were just a little bit unlucky not to score. To Holland’s credit, they are a very good team and I congratulate them on a fantastic win. They did what they had to do and they didn’t let us score. We couldn’t buy one today.”

The end of the first half was the most active in front of both nets. In the 38th minute, Holland had two good chances, but Rueckner and the U.S. backline were able to snuff them out. Biseswar was sent through and was one-v-one with Rueckner, but his shot from just inside the penalty area lacked the power it needed to get past the U.S. ‘keeper, who made the easy save to his left. Seconds later, Goossens was released down the left side and cut towards the near post, but Subotic took the ball off his foot before he could unleash a shot with a perfectly timed slide tackle.

The U.S. took a turn on goal shortly after when Quavas Kirk pounced on a poor back pass by defender Erik Pieters. Kirk stole the ball on the right side and was in on goal, but Holland goalkeeper Tim Krul was able to save his near post attempt.

Throughout the match, the U.S. won a number of free kicks around Holland’s penalty area, but was unable to capitalize off the set pieces as they had done earlier in the tournament. In the second half, both Nakazawa and Hall ripped free kicks from the top of the area that narrowly missed the frame.

In the 61st minute, David Arvizu also took a chance on goal when he deftly brought down a long ball from Subotic along the left flank and got off a dangerous attempt. With one touch, he lost his defender and cut inside before ripping an 18-yard strike that carried just over the bar.

Holland will now face Mexico, which advanced to the semifinals on Sunday (Sept. 25) by defeating Costa Rica 3-1 in overtime. Mexico was behind 1-0 until Efrain Valdez’s deflected shot found the back of the net to push the game into extra periods where Mexico buried two more chances to secure their spot in the final four. Turkey will face Brazil in the other semifinal, which will be played in Trujillo.

- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: USA vs. Netherlands
Competition: 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship
Location: Mansiche Stadium; Trujillo, Peru
Date: September 26, 2005
Weather: Warm, 70 degrees

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

NED – Jeffrey Sarpong (Vurnon Anita)        46+ minute
NED – Jeffrey Sarpong (Ruud Vormer)       84.

1-Bryant Rueckner; 3-Kevin Alston (17-Jeremy Hall, 16), 5-Ofori Sarkodie (capt.), 14-Neven Subotic, 13-Blake Wagner; 6-Quavas Kirk, 8-Kyle Nakazawa, 19-Michael Farfan (4-Josmer Altidore, 79), 11-Ryan Soroka; 9-Preston Zimmerman, 10-David Arvizu (7-Omar Gonzalez, 85)
Subs not used: 12-Gabriel Farfan, 15-Daniel Kelly, 16-Nikolas Besagno, 18-Deigo Restrepo, 20-Brian Perk.
Suspended: 2-Amaechi Igwe
Head Coach: John Hackworth

NED: 1-Tim Krul (capt.); 2-Tom Hiariej, 4-Jordy Buijs, 14-Mike Van der Kooij, 15-Erik Pieters (5-Martijn Van der Laan, 46); 6-Ruud Vormer, 8-Jeffrey Sarpong, 10-Vurnon Anita; 9-Diego Biseswar, 11-John Goossens (18-Geert-Arend Roord, 82), 17-Marvin Emnes (7-Melvin Zaalman, 54)
Subs not used: 3-Dirk Marcellis, 12-Niels Vorthoren, 13-Koen Verhoeff, 16-Nicholas Skverer, a, 19-Mitchell Schet, 20-Jan-Arie Van der Heijden
Head Coach: Ruud Kaiser

Statistical Summary:
                              USA    NED
Shots                      15        16     
Saves                     8          10                    
Fouls                      18        17  
Corner Kicks          6          4  
Offside                    2           2  

Misconduct Summary:
NED – John Goossens (caution)      13th minute
USA – Neven Subotic (caution)        34.
NED – Jordy Buijs (caution)              55.
USA – Neven Subotic (caution)        73.
USA – Neven Subotic (ejection)       73. 
NED – Jordy Buijs (caution)              78.
NED – Jordy Buijs (ejection)             78.

Referee:               Horacio Elizondo (ARG)
1st Assistant:       Dario Garcia (ARG)
2nd Assistant:      Rodolfo Otero (ARG)
Fourth Official:     Mourad Daami (TUN)


Date           Matchup                                   
Sept. 25     Mexico 3, Costa Rica 1 (OT)           
Sept. 25     Turkey 5, China 1                   
Sept. 26     USA  0, Netherlands 2              
Sept. 26     Brazil vs. North Korea

Date           Matchup                                                 Venue           Time
Sept. 29     Mexico vs. Netherlands                       Chiclayo        4 p.m. CT
Sept. 29     Turkey vs. Brazil/North Korea             Trujillo            7 p.m. CT

Third Place
Date       Matchup                                                             Venue      Time
Oct. 2     Semifinal Loser 1 vs. Semifinal Loser 1         Lima         3 p.m. CT

Date       Matchup                                                              Venue      Time
Oct. 2     Semifinal Winner 1 vs. Semifinal Winner 2     Lima         6 p.m CT is the official website of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.