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Perez: 'We are building something special'
by Paul Kennedy, September 27th, 2012 2:05AM

TAGS:  netherlands, under-20 world cup


[U.S. UNDER-18 NATIONAL TEAM] The U.S. under-18 men’s national team recently completed a successful training camp in the Netherlands, where it beat the Dutch under-18 national team, featuring seven starters from its 2012 UEFA U-17 championship team, and youth teams from Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord before losing its last game to Belgium's Club Brugge.

Perez said it was a very good camp for two reasons.

"One, we had for the first time only ‘95s in this group," he told "Most of the players have already been with us, but we had other players that came for the first time. They were very well integrated into the team and the dynamic of the group and the system of play. That was very good news that we have a solid group. The other reason is that we wanted to offer the opportunity for the team to be in a very competitive environment and compete with different types of play with teams from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. It was accomplished and the good thing was the team received good results."

The big win came against the Netherlands, which won its second straight UEFA U-17 in May.

“It was outstanding," said Perez. "It was a very consistent game and very difficult. The players are not used to that level of game. When we have the opportunity to play against such a big nation in the soccer world, we have to embrace it. I think the players did. At the beginning, the Netherlands was very aggressive with the ball and they were moving the ball well. We came down and were concentrated and well organized and little-by-little we started to take control of the game. We have to give credit to our players. We have talent in the team and being focused in the game and being mentally strong - the mental strength was probably the most important thing in that game. They are quality players. We scored four goals against one of the strongest soccer nations in the world and all four goals came from four different players. They completed a remarkable game and outstanding performance.”

The group Perez is working with is preparing for the 2015 Under-20 World Cup.

“I think now they understand that they are part of something special," he said. "We are building something special. This trip reflects a lot of that. Being able to go to the Netherlands and play against some of the best teams in Europe is very remarkable. They feel good and part of the team. From my part, what I want is to provide them with as best an experience as possible."

Sept. 16 in Gilze
Club Brugge U19s 3 USA 1. Goals: Paquet 11, 84, Birgisson 89; Amick 17.
USA -- Steffen; Dainkeh, Amick, Haberkorn (Markey, 88), Hayes; Delgado, Acosta, Wannemuehler; Pfeffer, Lopez, Henkel (Gall, 46)

Sept. 13 in Dortmund
USA 1 Borussia Dortmund academy 0. Goal: Amick 65.
USA -- Horvath; Hayes (Wannemuehler, 58), Haberkorn, Amick, Dainkeh; Arriola, Acosta, Delgado; Lopez, Gall, Pfeffer.

Sept. 11 in Groesbeek
USA 4 Netherlands 2. Goals: Spencer 34, Lopez 40, Gall 54, Green 80; Karsdorp 8, Becker 74.
USA -- Steffen; Hayes, Amick, Haberkorn, Greenberg (Dainkeh, 46); Delgado, Acosta, Green; Henkel (Gall, 46), Spencer (Lopez, 39), Pfeffer.

Sept. 8 in Rotterdam
USA 2 Feyenoord 0. Goals: Pfeffer 69, Acosta 73.
USA -- Steffen (Horvath, 46); Greenberg (Dainkeh, 46), Amick, Haberkorn (Markey, 46), Allen; Acosta, Scott (Hayes, 46), Arriola (Pfeffer, 46); Green (Lopez, 46), Gall (Henkel, 46), Spencer (Wannemuehler, 46).

  1. Alberto Mora
    commented on: September 27, 2012 at 9:42 p.m.
    Appears that finaly someone is using the brain by going to the Netherlands to learn from the Dutch school, I never imagine that the US will ever try such thing!!!!! that is awesome!!!. I have been training and coaching soccer since 1986 and have certifications from the best schools of futbol in the world: the Dutch and the Brazilian congratulations and I wish you the best. I'm
  1. Luis P. KIFUTSAL
    commented on: September 28, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.
    No doubt you measure development by the wins you get, you might get misplaced somewhere. For sure, if you went there few years ago, lost all the games and you went back there this year and won few games, you can say you improved, made history, we are on the right track. If you had lost all games over there, probably we would even heard anything about it, right? Even if you had won a WC, you can also get your measurements of true development misplaced. England won in 66, France in 98 and Spain 2010, and they might not even win ever again. England 66, 90% of the referees were English, France's final with Ronaldo having a seizure like never before right after lunch? and Spain winning the WC without even facing Brazil nor Argentina? They play Argentina with their full roster and lost by 4 x 0 and never really played Brazil after they became European champions for the first time??? Lost to USA of all teams on that Confederations' Cup in 2009 to not face Brazil in the final match? My point is...there is nothing special for this USA boys! They are still lacking many skills the game requires, they are still being coached by non-former soccer players, real coaches from 5 to 18, the players still not spending the amount of time with the ball they need to spend...There is nothing special at all!!!

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