U.S. Wins Group D At World Youth Championships
June 20, 2005
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team earned its third-straight shutout with a 1-0 victory Saturday afternoon over Egypt at Arke Stadium in Enschede, Holland, to win the 'Group of Death' and advance to the second round of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Three of the four Bruin players on the squad saw action in Saturday's game, including midfielder Benny Feilhaber and team captain Patrick Ianni, both of whom started and played all 90 minutes. The U.S. chose to rest a number of players from the regular starting lineup, including Marvell Wynne, who did not play, and Chad Barrett, who entered the game in the 71st minute.
The U.S. got the only score it needed in the 56th minute when Jacob Peterson headed home a deflected shot from Freddy Adu. The Ianni-led defense held Egypt to just one shot on goal for the entire 90 minutes to give the U.S. the victory in their final group match.
In the other group match, Argentina defeated Germany 1-0 in Emmen, providing the U.S. with first place in Group D with seven points and allowing them to stay in Enschede to face Italy, who finished in third place in Group E. The U.S.-Italy match will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at Arke Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:30 a.m. PT (5:30 p.m. local), and fans can follow the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The back-to-back-to-back shutouts in the tournament's toughest group marks one of the greatest national team accomplishments in U.S. Soccer history, with the U.S. becoming just the 12th team in the tournament's 28-year history to manage the feat. The previous lowest amount of goals allowed by a U.S. team in a WYC was three, which occurred in four tournaments (Chile '87, Australia '93, Malaysia '97 and Argentina '01).
The victory also marks the second straight time the U.S. has won their group in the World Youth Championship, as they claimed first place for the first time in 2003 in the United Arab Emirates. This is also the second time U.S. head coach and former UCLA coach and player Sigi Schmid has led the U.S. Under-20s to the second round of a FIFA World Youth Championship, as the U.S. also advanced to the Round of 16 in Nigeria '99.
Additionally, the seven points mark the most points ever earned by the U.S. U-20s in group play in 10 tournament appearances.
'We're very proud to win the group, to get seven points and to have three shutouts in a difficult group,' said Schmid, who's international record with the Under-20s now stands at 13-1-1 since taking over the team last year. 'We didn't play all that well today, but sometimes it can be a good sign when you don't play well and can still come out with a victory. We're pleased we were able to rest some players today and not risk those players that had yellow cards. Now we are just looking forward to Tuesday.'
The match against Egypt marked the 39th game the U.S. has played in a FIFA World Youth Championship, pushing them past Mexico to become the all-time CONCACAF leader in games played at the youth tournament.
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