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USA will face tough foes in Egypt
by Paul Kennedy, April 6th, 2009 7AM
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[SCOUTING REPORT]
The USA will aim to win its group for the fourth straight time when it faces European champion Germany, African runner-up Cameroon and Asian semifinalist South Korea in Group C at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, which will be played Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt.

All three of the USA's group matches will be played at the brand-new Mubarak Stadium in Suez.

"We have definitely been drawn into a strong group, perhaps the strongest of the tournament, but that poses a great opportunity," said U.S. coach Thomas Rongen. "Anytime you have the chance to play against teams like Germany, Cameroon and Korea Republic, it is a chance to showcase American football.  It's a very balanced group with three opponents that will give us very different styles and challenges, so every game will be an interesting challenge to prepare our team. I know our players will be excited and as I said before the last U-20 World Cup when we were drawn with Brazil, I'm excited as a coach for the challenges that playing on the world stage can bring. At this level you're going to have to play the best teams eventually so we might as well take on some of the best in the group phase."

GERMANY. Germany won the European U-19 title for the first time when it beat Italy, 3-1, on goals by Lars Bender, Richard Sukuta-Pasu and Timo Gebhart in last year's final. The Germans won despite playing more than half the game with 10 men.

Sukuta-Pasu, who starred for Germany when it finished third at the 2007 U-17 World Cup, has already made four appearances for Bayer Leverkusen's first team.

Bender and twin brother Sven are regulars for Second Division 1860 Munich.

The USA and Germany have met twice at the U-20 level. Germany beat the USA, 3-1, in 2003 and they played to a 0-0 tie two years later.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea defeated Japan, 3-0, on goals by Yu Ji-No, Cho Young-Cheol and Choi Jung-Han in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Asian Youth Championship to qualify for Egypt '09. It fell to Uzbekistan, 1-0, in the semifinals.

The USA beat South Korea, 2-0, in a first-round match marred by controversy at the 2003 World Youth Championship. The 2-0 result gave the USA first place in the group but also sent the Koreans into the round of 16. Two years ago, the USA opened against South Korea and struggled to a 1-1 tie.

CAMEROON. The Indomitable Cubs fell to Ghana, 2-0, at the 2009 CAF U-20 final in Rwanda. Brice Owona and Jacques Zoua Daogari of Cameroonian club Cotonsport combined for five goals during the tournament.

Cameroon's starting lineup against Ghana featured four European-based players: Victor Cedric Nkoum of Paris St. Germain (France), Germain Francelin Tiko Messina of Duisburg (Germany), Parfait Louis Essengue Eloumou of Genoa (Italy) and Gaitan Seumou Mbakep of Montalcino (Italy).

The only meeting between the USA and Cameroon took place in 1999 when the American prevailed, 3-1, behind two goals from Taylor Twellman and a single goal from Carlos Bocanegra.

U-20 WORLD CUP DRAW
Group A (Cairo)

Egypt
Trinidad & Tobago
Paraguay
Italy

Group B (Cairo)
Nigeria
Venezuela
Spain
Tahiti

Group C (Suez)
USA
Germany
Cameroon
South Korea

Group D (Ismailia)
Ghana
Uzbekistan
England
Uruguay

Group E (Port Said)
Brazil
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Australia

Group F (Alexandria)
United Arab Emirates
South Africa
Honduras
Hungary



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