[VACLAV JEZEK TOURNAMENT] The USA got goals from recent MLS signings Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake) and Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire) and U-17 star Haji Wright to defeat host Czech Republic, 3-2. and move into the final of the Vaclav Jezek Memorial Tournament for under-18 national teams. The U.S. performance drew praise from Czech coach Pavel Malura, saying the Americans offered competition only the best European teams could provide.
"It's amazing how American youth soccer has moved forward in the last 10 years," he said afterward in an interview with the Czech federation's Web site.
All the scoring came in the second half
with Saucedo and Fernandez teaming up to set each other up for goals in the 47th and 51st minutes. After Denis Lanka cut the deficit to 2-1 from the penalty
spot in the 71st minute, Wright, who recently moved to German club Schalke 04 as a guest player, made it 3-1 six minutes later.
The USA, which also beat Hungary, 3-1, will face Ukraine in
Saturday's final. Ukraine won Group B with a 4-1 win over Japan.
Wright had the third goal after Sebastian Elney scored twice to erase Hungary's
1-0 halftime lead in the USA's opener in the 21st edition of the International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek.
USA starters vs. Hungary -- Klinsmann; Duncan, Carter-Vickers, Pineda, Pelaez, Yueill, Swanson, Akale, Mansaray, Elney, Lindley.
starters vs. Czech Republic -- Marcinkowski, Jones, Glad, Carter-Vickers, Pelaez, Lindley, Wilson, Saucedo, Akale, Wright, Craft.