Thursday, November 16, 2006

U-20 men beat Guatemala, US Women start training

the U-20 men defeated Guatemala 2-1 last night. Surprisingly, Guatemala took the early lead off a Edward de la Roca goal in the 20th minute. This was one of only two shots his team had on the night.

However, Freddy Adu was able to tie the game up in the 63rd thanks to cross into the box by Quavas Kirk.

"Kirk collected the ball along the left flank and created enough space to knock a cross into the box where Adu headed the ball across the goal and past Reyes into the left side of the net. The assist was the first for Kirk with the U-20s. "

The US kept attacking, but they did not get the game winner till the 86th minute when Anthony Wallace put a low shot into goal that keeper Carlos Reyes misplayed, allowing it to bounce over his arms and into goal.

"Adu once again set up one of him teammates off a restart, this time sending in a accurate free kick to the head of Dax McCarty in the penalty area in the 75th minute. One of the shortest players on the field, McCarty rose for his header just inside the box, but his attempt went just wide left.

Despite missing the header, McCarty did end up getting a point when his simple pass from 30 yards out to Wallace led to the USA’s game-winning goal. The University of South Florida freshman collected the ball near the left corner of the penalty area and looked up at goal before hitting a ball that appeared to be a bad cross. The low drive bounced along the ground and took a small hop to allow what seemed to be an easy collection for Reyes, a disastrous mistake that allowed the U.S. to come away victorious. "

This was the last training camp for the U-20 players ahead of the draw for the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will decide the teams that will advance to the U-20 World Cup next summer in Canada.

The qualifying will take place in two groups. Group A taking place from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama, and Group B from Feb. 21-25 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, which is on the west coast of Mexico.

The draw to decide team groups will take place next Friday (Nov 24) in Los Angeles.

The U-20 will return to camp on December 12 in Bradenton, Florida.

On the other side of the country, the US Women have started their final preparations at the Home Depot Center for the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup. The women were last together earlier this month when the won the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea.

The Gold Cup will also decide which teams from CONCACAF qualify for next summer's World Cup in China. For the US, due to a bye in the initial leg, all they need to do is win their first match and they will be on their way to China. That first match will take place on November 22 at 7pm against Mexico or Trinidad & Tobago.

On the 22nd, they have a chance to make team history if they win. If so, they will have gone 31 consecutive matches without losing. Their current strike of 30 games dates back to Dec. 8 2004.

The Gold Cup third place and final will take place on November 26.



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