U.S. Under-20s Tie Germany 0-0

June 14, 2005

courtesy U.S. Soccer

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team dominated the majority of play, but couldn't find the back of the net as it remain locked in second place in Group D of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship after a 0-0 draw with group leaders Germany on Tuesday at Arke Stadium in Enschede, Holland. The U.S. is tied with Germany with four points after two games, but sits in second place due to a lower goal differential (+2 to +1).

'I'm very, very proud of our team,' said U.S. Under-20 head coach and former UCLA head coach Sigi Schmid, whose record with the Under-20s now stands at 12-1-1. 'We came to this tournament wanting to send a message to the world that U.S. Soccer can play. I think in our game against Argentina and in our game tonight, we showed we can play and we don't have to hide ourselves from anybody.

'We obviously would have liked to come away with more as I'm sure Germany is too, but we are satisfied with one point. In our last game against Egypt we need to find the back of the net to try and win the group. But, I'm very pleased with how our team played over the first 60 minutes.'

The scoreless draw marked the first-time ever the U.S. has come away with at least a point in their second match after winning their opening game at a FIFA World Youth Championship. The U.S. had lost its second match in each of the four previous tournaments ('93, '97, '99, '03) it had won their opening match. The only other time the U.S. had more than three points after their first two matches was in 1989 in Saudi Arabia, when they also acquired four points.

The U.S. will next face Egypt on Saturday, June 18 in their final Group D match in Enschede. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET and fans can follow the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips. The match will also be televised on Galavision same-day tape delay at 7 p.m. ET/PT and replayed on Fox Soccer Channel at 11 p.m. ET.

Germany had the first shot on goal in the 32nd minute as a poor clearance by the U.S. allowed Michael Delura to pounce on a loose ball and square up for a shot from the right corner of the penalty area. Delura hit it clean, but USA goalkeeper Quentin Westberg was in a good position for the relatively easy save.

After the save, the crowd began to show their support for the Americans and it appeared the U.S. players fed off the fans energy as the U.S. began peppering German `keeper Rene Adler, who came up huge to keep the game deadlocked before halftime.

In the 39th minute, a poor touch by Andreas Ottl near the center circle fell to Freddy Adu, who dribbled towards goal before slipping a ball through the German defense into the penalty area for a streaking Eddie Gaven. The MetroStars midfielder's left-footed shot was well-saved by Adler, but the rebound fell behind him towards the left post. Gaven raced the ball down and appeared he would get to it to punch it home, but was tackled from behind, but surprisingly no foul or resulting penalty kick was given.

On the ensuing corner kick, Adu whipped the ball in and UCLA sophomore Patrick Ianni was able to get a foot to flick it over his head for Gaven in the middle of the penalty area. Gaven had lost his man and got off a wheeling side-volley, but again Adler was there to make the save from point-blank range.

'I got my foot onto it and wasn't really sure where it was going as I just tried to get it on goal,' said Gaven. 'I ended up hitting it right at the `keeper again. I was a little bit unlucky, but sometimes it happens like that.'

In the 42nd minute, Adu had a good look on target after a well-executed free kick. Adu ran over the ball and former Bruin Chad Barrett appeared he would shoot, but instead pushed the ball for Adu, now to the left of the German wall. Adu received the ball in the box and appeared to be alone for a shot on goal, but Marcel Schuon slid in out of nowhere to block his attempt.

UCLA sophomore midfielder Benny Feilhaber was the leader for the U.S. during the match, especially in the second half, as the midfielder controlled the center of the field and had a couple of the team's limited chances. Feilhaber, named the ussoccer.com's Man of the Match, had his best opportunity in the 53rd minute when Adu got free on the left side and chipped in a cross that bounced to Feilhaber near the top of box. He struck it cleanly, but his shot went barely wide right of the target.

The final ten minutes were all Germany. In the 82nd minute, the U.S. escaped the biggest scare as Germany found space in the box and had a couple opportunities from close range. Christopher Reinhard got free on the left side of the penalty area and whipped in a low cross across the goalmouth that Hunter Freeman played into the air. Westberg tried to snag it, but bobbled it and it bounced back to the left where the ball was quickly put back in. This time, Feilhaber got a foot to the cross, popping it into the air and Francis Senesie tried a bicycle kick, but whiffed as the U.S. finally cleared.

Delura was almost the savior for Germany, as he became dangerous on the right flank in the final moments. In the 86th minute, he put in a cross for Senesie, but the second half substitute couldn't get a foot on it. Two minutes later, the Schalke 04 forward cut inside and hit a shot on goal, but Westberg was able to cover.

Senesie had the final chance for Germany in the 90th minute, when he was able to turn in the box an hit a slow roller toward the right post, putting it just wide.

All four Bruins - Barrett, Feilhaber, Ianni and Marvell Wynne - started for the second-straight game. Ianni and Wynne helped the defense record its second consecutive shutout, marking the first time the U.S. has ever opened a World Youth Championship with two straight shutouts and the first time they've ever blanked more than one of their group opponents. Feilhaber had two quality shots and was chosen the U.S. Soccer.com Man of the Match.

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