U.S. Under-20 Team Finishes Second At Suwon Tournament
March 28, 2005
With three Bruins in the starting lineup and another coming off the bench, the U.S. Under-20 National Team defeated Egypt 1-0 on Saturday to earn a second-place finish at the Suwon Tournament in Suwon, South Korea. UCLA sophomores Patrick Ianni and Benny Feilhaber and former Bruin Chad Barrett all started for the U.S., and Bruin freshman Kamani Hill came off the bench to help the U.S. earn its second victory over future World Youth Championship opponents.
Barrett was a handful for the Egyptian defense in the early going and had a couple of great chances for the U.S., but the usually deadly finisher couldn't find the back of the net. The first opportunity came in the sixth minute when the Chicago Fire forward intercepted a lazy back pass by left midfielder Elbahrawy Ahmed on the right side at the top of the box, putting him one-on-one with Egyptian goalkeeper Ahmed Hamada. Barrett tried to beat the 'keeper with a low strike towards the left post, but Hamada did well to dive down and get a hand on the ball for the save.
After another shot a minute later from the top of the area went over the bar, Barrett's next opportunity came in the 13th minute off a corner kick. Arturo Alvarez weighted a perfect ball to the back post to Barrett, but the striker's eight-yard header went directly to the waiting arms of Hamada. Ianni also had a scoring opportunity at the end of the first half, but his header six yards out at the back post was wide left.
Alvarez scored the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Sean Franklin won a 50-50 ball and was able to poke it up the right flank to Sacha Kljestan, who quickly found a wide open Alvarez in the middle of the field. The FC Dallas midfielder had time to set up his shot before unleashing a left-footed blast from 25 yards out that curved away from the outstretched hands of Hamada and just inside the right post.
In the final moments, Hill almost doubled the U.S. victory when he collected the ball in the midfield and went on a pretty 20-yard dribbling run before getting defender Abdellah Abdellah off balance and ripping a shot that whizzed just a few feet past the upper-right corner.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 2-1-0 record and victories over Egypt (1-0) and Argentina (2-1), both teams they will face later at the FIFA World Youth Championships.
In other U.S. Soccer news, former UCLA All-American Eddie Lewis (1992-95) scored the only goal for the U.S. National team in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Mexico City. Mexico won, 2-1. The U.S. will face Guatemala on Wednesday, Mar. 30 at 5 pm PT in Birmingham, Ala. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.