Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Dreadful Americans escape with tie in Under-20 World Cup opener
by Ridge Mahoney, July 2nd, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  under-20 world cup

MOST COMMENTED

Just how fortunate did U.S. under-20 coach Thomas Rongen consider his team to be after tying South Korea, 1-1, in its Group D opener Saturday?

Very fortunate.

"We are happy with tonight's result, but we're not happy with the way we played," said Rongen of a match South Korea controlled for long stretches. "Quite frankly, we are lucky to have come away with a draw against very good Korean squad. They are fast and strong and to be honest we didn't do our part to match up with them tonight."

The quick, eager South Koreans forced numerous turnovers and threatened the U.S. goal with quick combinations through the middle, long balls over the top and the occasional cross from the flank. To play well at a high pace requires cohesion and coordination, as well as clean touches, and South Korea proved to be superior in most departments over the 90 minutes.

The occasional U.S. threats came from sudden bursts, not clever buildups. South Korea's midfield pressure exploited an American team prone to lazy first touches and aimless clearances. Jozy Altidore overpowered his defenders a few times only to be whistled for fouls, but wasn't sharp enough to cope with tight, relentless marking. Twice he clashed with defenders at the edge of the penalty area and appeared to have been fouled from behind but didn't get the calls.

After Danny Szetela charged out of midfield to head home a driven ball from Sal Zizzo that had been touched on by Freddy Adu in the 16th minute, South Korea cranked up the tempo a notch or two and the U.S. scrambled to keep up.

Giveaways marred the U.S. efforts in the defensive and neutral thirds. The Americans struggled to supply the three-man front line of Robbie Rogers, Altidore and Zizzo, as Adu filled the playmaker's role backed by Szetela and Michael Bradley. In the back, Nathan Sturgis set a wrong tone in the opening minutes with a horrendous giveaway that only a strong block from Julian Valentin prevented from turning into a goal. A shanked shot by Young Sung Shim from close range produced a good save from Chris Seitz.

Seven minutes before halftime, Shim broke free again and slotted a through ball that sent Young Rok Shin clear to score the equalizer.
Bradley and left back Tim Ward were competent enough on the ball, and Adu got forward when his first touch didn't let him down. Yet when possession was lost, they and their teammates couldn't cope with the South Koreans passing and interchanging of positions except by fouling. The U.S. committed 26 fouls to 12 for its opponents, and was outshot, 13-7.

Shin hit the crossbar early in the second half to further rattle the U.S. nerves, and Seitz saved the game by charging out to block a shot by Sang Ho Lee, then scrambling back on his feet to harass Lee's followup shot, which hit the side netting.

Adu curled a couple of free kicks that caused the South Koreans some problems, and with 20 minutes left he glided past two opponents to center a ball that Zizzo couldn't meet solidly.

Next up for the Americans, on Tuesday, is Poland, which upset Brazil, 1-0, in its first game despite playing the last 63 minutes a man down. The Poles may be slower than the South Koreans but they won't be any easier.

GAME SUMMARY:
June 30 in Montreal
USA 1 South Korea 1. Goals: Szetela 16, Young Rok Shin 38.
USA -- Seitz, Ward, Sturgis, Valentin, Beltran, Szetela (McCarty, 52), Rogers, Adu, Bradley, Altidore, Zizzo
South Korea -- Jin Hyeon Kim, Chul, Kwang, Sung Yueng Ki, Dong (Jin Hyung Song, 70), Sang, Young Sung Shim (Hyun Seung Lee, 84), Joo Ho Park, Chung, Young Rok Shin (Tae Goon Ha, 59), Seung.
Yellow cards: USA -- Rogers 18, Szetela 27; South Korea -- Sang 56, Chul 78.
Referee: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador).
Att.: 55,800.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Roster: U.S. U-18 girls head to Australia    
Coach Jaime Frias has named a 20-player roster for the U.S. U-18 women national team's training ...
MLS Closeup: Galaxy gives 'Made in LA' new meaning    
The LA Galaxy was the first MLS team to sign a Homegrown player and first MLS ...
MLS: NYCFC makes Sands its first Homegrown player    
James Sands became the seventh member of the U.S. under-17 national team to turn pro when ...
Confederations Cup: Germany relishes Chile showdown    
Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion, and Chile, the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa Centenario ...
U.S. Abroad: European season starts early    
The new European season starts early for three Americans who will be competing in the Europa ...
MLS Closeup: Vieira aims to change NYC Derby fortunes    
New York City FC is above the Red Bulls in the standings this season but decidedly ...
MLS Today: Orlando City earns point on last touch of game    
Scott Sutter's first MLS goal on the last touch of the game gave Orlando City a ...
What They're Saying: Tyler Adams    
"Having the opportunity to walk across that stage with all the friends that I started elementary ...
What They're Saying: Juan Carlos Osorio    
"Evidently I went too far, specifically with one of their assistants. We always understood and respected ...
Video Pick: Portugal's Bruma booms a brilliant volley    
Portugal struck only once in its 3-1 loss to Spain at the U-21 European Championship but ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives