MICHAEL ADUBATO - Saturday, June 30, 2007
The US U20 team opened the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 against a very feisty South Korea and were fortunate to come away with a point up in Canada, courtesy of a Danny Szetela strike and a handful of impressive saves from Chris Seitz.
With the South Koreans dominating possession and putting the US under constant pressure, it was the Americans who broke the deadlock in the 16th minute.
Against the run of play, Sal Zizzo drove down the line and sent a pass into the area that found Freddy Adu, who in turn slid the ball in front of goal for the on-rushing Szetela. The New Jersey native made no mistake and headed into the back of the net, giving Thomas Rongen's team the early lead.
After impressive back-to-back saves within a ten-minute span by the US #1, the Koreans finally broke down the American defense and beat the Real Salt Lake keeper in the 38th minute.
Young Sung Shim played Young Rok Shin into the box and the youngster was able to slot past Seitz to even the score.
Captain Adu and his team were kept on their back heels for much of the second half but were able to soak up the pressure and preserve the point, mainly through the heroics of their 6'4" man between the sticks.
The United States' second game of group play will be against Poland on Tuesday in Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Poland, who came out as surprise winners against Brazil in their opener, lead Group D followed by a two-way tie for second place, with the South Americans picking up the rear.