Defending world champion Argentina beat the United States, 1-0, in a tuneup game for the Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday night at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y. Diego Braghieri
scored on a header off an Alejandro Gomez
free kick for the game's only goal in the 55th minute.
The USA created numerous scoring opportunities, outshooting Argentina, 15-8, but goalkeeper Emiliano Centeno
was outstanding for Argentina. Centeno's best
save was on a point-blank shot by Jozy Altidore
only four minutes after Braghieri's goal.
"In the end, we didn't convert our chances and they
converted the one they had," said U.S. under-20 coach Thomas Rongen
. "I can't be prouder of the mentality of the team, though. We put the reigning world
champions on their heels. It's a great lesson to be learned at this point, that the little things make a difference. I'm not happy about the loss, don't get me wrong, but at the same time there are
a lot of building blocks and positive things we can work on."
Rongen fielded what should be virtually his first team at this summer's Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Missing against
Argentina were European-based players Michael Bradley
(Heerenveen) and Gabriel Ferrari
Argentina will travel to Canada as one of the favorites. All but one of its U-20 stars will play in Canada. Lionel Messi
, star of Argentina's 2005 team, will
skip this year's tournament for the Copa America. U-20 coach Hugo Tocalli will take Sergio Aguero
(Atletico Madrid), French-born Gonzalo Higuain
(Real Madrid) and 2007 Libertadores Cup standout Mauro Zarate
(Velez Sarsfield) to Canada. They all were unavailable for the
game in Rochester. U-20 GAME SUMMARY: May 15 in Rochester, N.Y.
USA 0 Argentina 1.
Goal: Braghieri 55. USA --
Seitz, Igwe, Sturgis, Valentin (Anibaba, 76), Ward, Adu, Szetela,
Arguez (Lopez, 46), Rogers (Zizzo, 62), Altidore, Smith. Argentina --
Centeno, Mercado, Cardozo, Villafane, Sanchez, Braghieri (Sotomayor, 88), Vangioni
(Dul, 64), Meza, Coria (Scoppa, 85), Malano (Caraglio, 69), Gomez (Chavez, 79). Referee:
Steve DePiero (Canada). Att.: