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Friday, July 6, 2007

FIFA U-20: USA 2 x Brasil 1

In an excellent game, the USA defeated Brasil, 2 x 1, to win their group and advance to the round of sixteen. Tonight in Ottawa, two goals by Josimer Altidore of the New York Red Bulls in either half, along with very good play by Freddy Adu and the goalkeeper, Chris Seitz (Man of the Match in my opinion) produced a historic win over the Brasilians. Adu was instrumental in both of the goals, and played with a maturity and vision that rarely has been seen from him. In my opinion, he plays up to the quality of the competition. The MLS might not like to hear that, but on the international stage (this is his third U-20) he has done very impressive things. He is the only player to score 3 goals in one game during two different U-20 competitions.

Thanks to ESPN, who broadcast the game live in prime time, this very well-coached and organized team was showcased to the American public. What a difference between the team we sent to the Copa America and this one. I am pleased that ESPN, who had not been showing these games on their main network, decided to give us a wonderful surprise. The young Americans legitimately defeated a team with the likes of Pato, Renato Augusto, and Leandro Lima.

Brasil will have to wait for results in other games to determine their fate. They will only advance as one of the best third place teams. Brasil in third place, and the USA in first? That was not a typo. The next game for the Americans will be on Wednesday in Toronto against a yet to be named team.

For a game report by Steve Goff of the Washington Post, please click here. For video clips courtesy of 101 Great Goals, please click here.

For a tournament bracket, please click here.

Here are the stats courtesy of ESPNSoccernet:

Brazil United States
Shots (on Goal) 13(6) 9(6)
Fouls 6 12
Corner Kicks 4 5
Offsides 1 1
Time of Possession 52% 48%
Yellow Cards 2 3
Red Cards 0 0
Saves 6 6

Well done, USA, and Coach Thomas Rongen.

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