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The Freddy and Jozy Show is big hit at the Under-20 World Cup
by Ridge Mahoney, July 9th, 2007 7AM

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TAGS:  brazil, college men, mls, under-20 world cup

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3 starsAnother test against South American opposition awaits the U.S. under-20 team, which after posting an historic 2-1 win over Brazil Friday has been paired against Uruguay in the round of 16.
    For extended highlights of USA-Brazil (2-1), click here
    For extended highlights of USA-Poland (6-1), click here
Uruguay finished third in Group B after losing its final group game to Zambia, 2-0, on Saturday. It had already accumulated four points by beating Jordan, 1-0, and tying European champion Spain, 2-2.

"We're confident, and not intimidated," said U.S. coach Thomas Rongen, "but they did show up against Spain and maybe that is a wake-up call for our team to stay focused and sharp going into this game."

The U.S. plays Uruguay in Toronto on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPNU, Galavision).

Focus may be a problem for the Americans after toppling Brazil in front of a boisterous Ottawa crowd on a pair of goals by Jozy Altidore, both of them set up by Freddy Adu. For the highest-scoring team in the competition, Adu, Altidore and Danny Szetela each have three goals.
    U-20 SCORING LEADERS:
    G PLAYER (COUNTRY)
    4 Adrian Lopez (Spain)
    3 Freddy Adu (USA)
    3 Jozy Altidore (USA)
    3 Danny Szetela (USA)
    3 Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
Yes, that's right. The USA, with nine goals, is tops on the goalscoring charts. Its defense had been the question mark coming into the tournament, but a few spectacular saves by keeper Chris Seitz and some resilient tackling carried it past Brazil despite being outshot, 23-12.

"Brazil was clicking on all cylinders and they were making great plays going forward," said Rongen. "We had to be more efficient with our chances than they were."

Seitz turned away a free kick by Augusto and blocked a low shot from Alexandre Pato for two of his 14 saves. Brazil lost for the second time in the group stage, following its 1-0 loss to Poland in the opener, but did manage to reach the second round as the fourth best third-place team.

Adu created the first goal by scuffling for a loose ball and muscling past an opponent to send a through ball to Altidore, who drilled a low shot to keeper Cassio's right. Leandro Lima squeezed an equalizer under Seitz in the 64th minute, but with nine minutes left in regulation Adu ran onto a Sal Zizzo throw-in. Seemingly pinned by two defenders in the right-wing corner, with a burst of speed and a flick of the ball Adu nicked between them and cut inside to shoot. His shot deflected off another defender across the goalmouth for Altidore to bang first-time into the net.

"I've never beaten Brazil in anything," said Altidore, 17, who hadn't even been born when the U.S. under-16s beat Brazil, 1-0, in the 1989 world championships. "It's been a great night and it was a great game by both sides."

The U.S. finished atop its group at the under-20 world championships for the third straight time. In 2003, with Rongen coaching the team, the U.S. beat Ivory Coast in the second round before losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals to finish fifth. Two years ago, it beat eventual champion Argentina in the first round but lost its first knockout game to Italy and finished 11th.

"I think in 2005 we beat Argentina and a lot of guys thought with Italy being a third-place team it wouldn't be a real tough test," said Szetela, one of three holdovers -- with Adu and Nathan Sturgis -- from that team. "We learned our lesson then and now we have to concentrate on Uruguay and understand they are a really good team."

Said Sturgis, "Me, Danny, and Freddy all talked about it and said we can't come out flat and need to come out focused. We may have won our group and had a big win against Brazil, but we need to put that behind us and focus on our next game."

USA-BRAZIL SUMMARY:
July 6 in Ottawa
USA 2 Uruguay 1. Goals: Altidore 25, 81; Leandro Lima 64.
USA -- Seitz, Sturgis, Wallace, Sarkodie, Beltran (Ward, 89), Bradley, Szetela, Adu, Rogers (Igwe, 82), Altidore (McCarty, 90), Zizzo.
Brazil -- Casio, Luizao, Marcelo, Amaral, Edson, Roberto, Renato Augusto (Carlos Eduardo, 71), Ji Parana (Willian, 84), Leandro Lima (Luiz Adriano, 78), Jo, Alexandre Pato.
Yellow cards: USA -- Bradley 59, Adu 60, Igwe 90; Brazil -- Edson 46, Alexandre Pato 52.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).
Att.: 26,559.

ROUND OF 16:
July 11 in Toronto
Game 38: USA-Uruguay (ESPNU, Galavision, 7:30 pm ET)
July 11 in Burnaby
Game 39: Spain-Brazil (ESPNU, Galavision, 11 pm ET)
July 11 in Edmonton
Game 37: Austria-Gambia (ESPNU, delay, July 12, 1:30 am ET)
July 11 in Victoria
Game 40: Japan-Czech Rep. (ESPNU, delay, July 12, 3:30 am ET)
July 12 in Toronto
Game 43: Argentina-Poland (ESPNU, Galavision, 4:30 pm ET)
July 12 in Edmonton
Game 41: Chile-Portugal (ESPNU, 7:30 pm ET)
July 12 in Ottawa
Game 42: Zambia-Nigeria (ESPNU, delay, 10 pm ET)
July 12 in Montreal
Game 44: Mexico vs. Congo (Galavision, 7:30 pm ET, ESPNU, delay, July 13, midnight ET)

 



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