CHICAGO (Saturday, August 4, 2001) - The United States Under-17 Men's National Team got another goal from the potent Hunter Freeman - Erwin Diaz combination, but couldn't hold the lead and fell 3-1 to the USASA National Select Team at the the sixth annual U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival at Trinity Christian College in Palos Haights, Ill. Diaz put the U.S. ahead in the 20th minute with his third goal in two games. Freeman has assisted on all three of those goals.
Playing in their final match of the Soccer Festival, the Under-17s grabbed the lead for the fourth consecutive game, but John Ellinger's squad gave up goals in the 26th, 60th and 70th minutes in the loss. The Under-17s scored first in all four of their Festival matches and finished with two draws and two losses. The Under-17s will leave for the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., on Sunday morning, where they will continue their preparations for September's FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Trinidad & Tobago.
The East Region Women's Team flew past the Midwest with a 3-0 victory in the first match of the afternoon. The second game was a match-up of the top two USASA finishers in each group, pitting the West against the South. After playing to a 2-2 draw through regulation and overtime, the West prevailed in penalty kicks.
The U.S. Soccer Festival finishes on Sunday, August 5th, with a women's soccer doubleheader at PLAYUSA in Naperville, Ill. The U.S. Under-16 Girl's National Team will face a National Amateur Select Team at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team making their only appearance of the Festival against the Mexican Under-18 Women's National Team.
The U.S. Under-16 Girl's Team is undefeated in 2001 with a 7-0-1 record that includes shutouts in four of its last five matches. The Under-16s, who are coached by Steve Swanson, beat the Mexican Under-18 Women's National Team 3-0 on Friday, behind two Cristina Estrada goals.
The Under-19 Women's National Team will make its only appearance at the U.S. Soccer Festival before the squad heads to Holland and Germany for three matches. Head coach Tracey Leone spent seven days with her team in training at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and the U.S.A. will depart for Europe on August 7.
This year's U.S. Soccer Festival follows a successful 2000 Amateur Soccer Festival that was held in Kingston, Rhode Island. The first Amateur Soccer Festival was held in San Antonio in 1996, and previous Amateur Soccer Festivals have also been held in Portland (1999), Manchester, N.H. (1998) and Blaine, Minn. (1997).
Recognizing the need to continue the development of young American players and needing a forum to identify other up-and-coming players, the United States Amateur Soccer Association has developed this event to serve those needs through its partnership with the United States Soccer Federation and a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
The U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival was originally conceived when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) discontinued staging their annual U.S. Sports Festival in 1995. The U.S. Amateur Soccer Festival, which is sponsored and organized by the USASA, has incorporated the concept used in the U.S. Sports Festival and has expanded it to also include several U.S. National Teams, and for the third consecutive year, international teams.
The 2001 Amateur Soccer Festival is being hosted this year by the Illinois State Soccer Association, who received a grant of $179,000 from the state of Illinois to plan, promote and host the U.S. Soccer Festival, as well as the Midwest Regional Tournament of State Champions and the local qualification phase of the Tournament of the Mexican-American Communities of the U.S.A.
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Match Summary
Erwin Diaz (Freeman), 20.
Line-up: 1-Ford Williams; 6-Chris Lancos, 12-Gray Griffin (14-Chad Marshall, 46), 20-Tyson Wahl, 11-Chefik Simo (8-Jordan Harvey, 46); 15-Jordan Stone, 16-Craig Capano (13-David Johnson, 46), 3-Justin Mapp (19-Arturo Alvarez, 46), 5-Hunter Freeman (17-Josh Villalobos, 67), 7-Mike Magee (9-Ryan Alexander, 46), 21-Erwin Diaz.