The U.S. Boys' U-17 national team hammered their South Korean counterparts, 5-1, Dec. 17 in Christchurch, New Zealand to win the 1998 Christchurch Cup international youth tournament. The six-team, round robin tournament featured the U-17 national teams from the USA, South Korea, South Africa, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand.
U.S. forward Landon Donovan (Redlands, Calif.) was once again the engine behind the U.S. scoring machine. Donovan pounded in three goals and added one assist against the South Koreans, bringing his five-game, tournament-leading totals to 11 goals and 5 assists.
At the defensive end of the field, the United States held the South Koreans to just one goal, which happened to be the only goal the U.S. allowed in the tournament. U.S. starting goalkeeper D.J. Countess (Sacramento, Calif.) earned three shutouts in the tournament.
Under the guidance of head coach John Ellinger (Ellicott City, Md.) the United States U-17s conclude a productive year with a record of 17-7-4 in U-17 internationals and an overall record of 31-8-7. During 1998, the team traveled abroad to play in France, Italy, Jamaica, England, Belgium, Austria and New Zealand, posting tournament championships at the KC Mechelen Tournament (Belgium) and the Christchurch Cup. Along the way, the squad defeated the U-17 national teams from Austria, Sweden, Greece, England, France and Germany.
The U.S. team will travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica in February to compete in CONCACAF qualifying for the right to compete in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand. In qualifying the U.S. will play Group A opponents Costa Rica (Feb. 24), Honduras (Feb. 26) and host Jamaica (Feb. 28). The top team will advance to New Zealand d99 with the runner-up to face a play-off against the Group B runner-up.
1998 Christchurch Cup
Dec. 11 -- USA 10 Solomon Islands 0. USA Goals: Donovan (5), Beasley (2), Cila, Onyewu, Bolin.
Dec. 12 -- USA 0 New Zealand 0
Dec. 14 -- USA 6 Tahiti 0. USA Goals: Cila (2), Beasley, Donovan, Trembly, Yi.
Dec. 16 -- USA 4 South Africa 0. USA Goals: Donovan (2), Cila, Convey.
Dec. 18 -- USA 5 South Korea 1. USA Goals: Donovan (3), Beckerman, Cila.
USA Leading Scorers: Landon Donovan 11 goals: Jordan Cila 5; DaMarcus Beasley 3; Kyle Beckerman, Danny Bolin, Bobby Convey, Oguchi Onyewu, Seth Trembly, Alex Yi 1.
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