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U.S. men

Adu earns first cap, subbing for injured Johnson in 0-0 draw with Canada.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Sunday, January 22, 2006) -- Heralded Freddy Adu made his first appearance for the United States men, coming in as a late reserve in a 0-0 draw with Canada before 6,077 at Torero Stadium tonight.

The circumstances of Adu's debut, however, were not pleasant. He replaced injured striker Eddie Johnson in the 81st minute after the second-half substitute, coming back from an injured toe and then a stress fracture in his right foot, suffered a right-calf contusion. He had not played since a September Major League Soccer game with FC Dallas.

An MRI exam did not find anything serious.

While Adu's chances are slim of making the U.S. squad that will play in this summer's World Cup in Germany, Johnson was being hoped for a strong contribution after scoring seven goals in qualifying. Johnson had eight goals in his first eight games for the U.S. and now has 10 caps.

Adu became the youngest player to take the field for the U.S. men at the age of 16 years, 234 days. Previously, the youngest was Mike Slivinski, who was at the age of 16 years, 318 days when he appeared against Jamaica on September 14, 1991.

With the lack of goals for either side, the story line turned to two players -- Adu and goalkeeper Matt Reis -- who collected their first caps.

Reis was solid in his first appearance, though he didn't have that much to do, making two saves while becoming the eighth keeper in U.S. history to earn a shutout in his first international appearance.

Adu touched the ball a handful of times with his first touch probably the most memorable. Collecting the ball near the top left corner of the penalty area, Adu tried to beat defender Adam Braz. After touching the ball past Braz, there was some contact as Adu fell to the ground trying to slip by the defender.

The crowd roared in the hopes of a penalty, but Mexican referee Benito Archundia showed the youngster a yellow card for diving.

"I was very excited, I wasn't nervous," said Adu, who previously represented the U.S. at the under-17 and under-20 levels in world championships. "I just got out there and played my game. The guys have been awesome to me the last three weeks (in training camp). I got out there and just tried to help the team out. We didn't pull out the win, but it's a good first step. We know where we stand now and are going to go back and work hard to try to get ready for Norway (next Sunday)."

The U.S. outshot Canada 10-9, but neither team really tested the opposing goalkeeper as each side only put two shots on net.

Canada looked dangerous from the opening whistle and, in the second minute, Dwayne De Rosario raced down the left flank and served a cross to the far post where fellow forward Rob Friend was able to get free and put a header on target. Reis was positioned well for the save.

Canada continued to control the match early and earned a free kick from 30 yards out on the left flank in the 15th minute. Sandro Grande drilled a cross into the box where his midfield mate Marco Reda was able to win a header, but sent it over the crossbar.

A minute later, Reis came out of the penalty area to clear a through ball intended for Friend. The Americans quickly counterattacked for their first opportunity as forward Josh Wolff pushed up the right flank and curled a cross that striker Brian Ching headed wide left.

The U.S.'s best opportunity came just before halftime. Midfielder Landon Donovan sent a corner kick that was cleared directly to Frankie Hejduk, about 25 yards out. The starting American right back unleashed a shot toward the lower right corner, forcing Canadian keeper Greg Sutton into a sprawling save. The rebound went to Sutton's left to Donovan who quickly crossed the ball to the far post where Twellman headed it over the bar.

Ching and Wolff sent a pair of tame shots wide in the second half, while Johnson put a shot on goal that Sutton fumbled out for a corner kick.

Canada's best attempt came in the 64th minute when De Rosario worked free on the left flank and then broke in on goal, but Reis stopped his shot. Moments later, De Rosario fed midfielder Patrice Bernier in the box, but the shot went high.

"I thought it was a pretty even game," said U.S. manager Bruce Arena, who is preparing his team for a second World Cup since he took over in 1998. "I thought the Canadian team played quite well and they made it difficult on us all night. You have to give them a lot of credit. There were a few chances for both (sides) and no one was obviously able to capitalize, but I think a draw was a fair result."

Defender Heath Pearce picked up his first start with the U.S. men in his second appearance, while midfielder Chris Rolfe also made his second appearance as a replacement for Wolff in the 73rd minute. Both players had earned their first cap in the 2005 finale, a 1-1 draw at Scotland November 12 in Glasgow.

Chris Klein, usually a right midfielder, replaced Hejduk at right back to start the second half.

The U.S. takes on Norway next Sunday at The Home Depot Center at 5 p.m. (ET), a game that will be broadcast by ESPN2 and Telemundo.


United States 0, Canada 0

Lineups: United States - Matt Reis, Heath Pearce, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Pope (captain), Frankie Hejduk (Chris Klein 46), Ben Olsen (Kerry Zavagnin 46), Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Josh Wolff (Chris Rolfe 73), Brian Ching, Taylor Twellman (Eddie Johnson 56, Freddy Adu, 81). Canada - Greg Sutton, Adam Braz, Ante Jazic, Gabriel Gervais, Marco Reda, Adrian Serioux (Stephen Ademolu 84), Marco Reda, Sandro Grande (Will Johnson 70), Patrick Bernier, Atiba Hutchinson, Rob Friend, Dwayne De Rosario (captain).

Scoring: None.

Shots: United States 10, Canada 9. Saves: United States 2, Canada 2. Corner kicks: United States 6. Canada 4. Fouls: United States 11, Canada 17. Offside: United States 3, Canada 3 Yellow card cautions: United States - Adu 85; Canada - Berneir 90.

Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico). Assistant referees: Jose Ramirez (Mexico), Pedro Rebollar (Mexico). Fourth official: Kevin Stott (United States). Attendance: 6,077 at Torero Stadium in San Diego. Weather: Warm, 65 degrees

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