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Argentina edges USA, 1-0, in U-20 World Cup warmup
May 16th, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  argentina, under-20 world cup, youth boys


Defending world champion Argentina beat the United States, 1-0, in a tuneup game for the Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday night at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y.

Diego Braghieri scored on a header off an Alejandro Gomez free kick for the game's only goal in the 55th minute.

The USA created numerous scoring opportunities, outshooting Argentina, 15-8, but goalkeeper Emiliano Centeno was outstanding for Argentina. Centeno's best save was on a point-blank shot by Jozy Altidore only four minutes after Braghieri's goal.

"In the end, we didn't convert our chances and they converted the one they had," said U.S. under-20 coach Thomas Rongen. "I can't be prouder of the mentality of the team, though. We put the reigning world champions on their heels. It's a great lesson to be learned at this point, that the little things make a difference. I'm not happy about the loss, don't get me wrong, but at the same time there are a lot of building blocks and positive things we can work on."

Rongen fielded what should be virtually his first team at this summer's Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Missing against Argentina were European-based players Michael Bradley (Heerenveen) and Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria).

Argentina will travel to Canada as one of the favorites. All but one of its U-20 stars will play in Canada. Lionel Messi, star of Argentina's 2005 team, will skip this year's tournament for the Copa America. U-20 coach Hugo Tocalli will take Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), French-born Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) and 2007 Libertadores Cup standout Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield) to Canada. They all were unavailable for the game in Rochester.

May 15 in Rochester, N.Y.
USA 0 Argentina 1. Goal: Braghieri 55.
USA -- Seitz, Igwe, Sturgis, Valentin (Anibaba, 76), Ward, Adu, Szetela, Arguez (Lopez, 46), Rogers (Zizzo, 62), Altidore, Smith.
Argentina -- Centeno, Mercado, Cardozo, Villafane, Sanchez, Braghieri (Sotomayor, 88), Vangioni (Dul, 64), Meza, Coria (Scoppa, 85), Malano (Caraglio, 69), Gomez (Chavez, 79).
Referee: Steve DePiero (Canada).
Att.: 3,531.

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