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After 0-0 draw with Guatemala, win or draw needed for world berth.

World Cup berth is close after opening 4-1 triumph over Haiti.

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McBride retires from international competition.

Arena is hired by Red Bulls to revive flagging fortunes.

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U.S. under-20 men

Braghieri header gives Argentina 1-0 victory in friendly.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Tuesday, May 15, 2007) -- Midfielder Diego Braghieri scored early in the second half, lifting the defending world champion Argentina to a 1-0 decision over the United States in a friendly meeting of under-20 men before 3,531 at PAETEC Park tonight.

Both teams qualified for the Under-20 World Cup which will be played in Canada from June 30-July 22. The U.S., making its sixth straight appearance and 11th overall in the tournament, was drawn into Group D with South Korea, Poland and Brazil. The U.S. opens against South Korea June 30, faces Poland July 3, both at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and concludes group play against four-time under-20 titlist Brazil July 6 at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa.

The U.S. seemed to have the better scoring opportunities, outshooting Argentina 15-8 -- it was 5-5 on frame -- but couldn't solve goalkeeper Emiliano Centeno.

"In the end, we didn't convert our chances and they converted the one they had," said Thomas Rongen, who will coach the U.S. in a second under-20 world championship tournament. "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."

In the 56th minute, striker Alejandro Gomez sent a free kick from outside of the right perimeter of the penalty area onto the head of Braghieri, who timed his run perfectly and nodded the ball past keeper Chris Seitz for a 1-0 lead.

The U.S. created a good chance for an early lead when forward Robbie Rogers beat his defender down the left side and played a square ball into the middle, but midfielder Danny Szetela took one touch and sent his shot sailing over the crossbar in the fourth minute.

In the 30th minute, midfielder Facundo Coria took a ball off Szetela's foot in the middle of the field, touched forward and drilled a shot from 25 yards out, requiring Seitz to fully extend to tip the ball wide.

Striker Josmer Altidore nearly provided the Americans a lead in the 38th minute when he received a pass, beat Gabriel Mercado, carried in on goal, faked past Braghieri and ripped a left-footer that Centeno denied with the first of his five saves.

Centeno stopped Altidore early in the second half. A minute later, Rogers played a ball into the box for Altidore, who used a chest trap and went around two defenders only to shoot well high.

Staying on the attack, defender Tim Ward found Freddy Adu alone in the box, but the midfielder shot at Centeno.

In the 59th minute, Adu hit the crossbar with a free kick from 30 yards with the Argentine defense clearing the ball. The ensuing corner kick was played short to forward Johann Smith, who chipped the ball into the box for Altidore. Centeno denied Altidore's shot from point-blank range.

Rongen led the U.S. to fifth place in the 2003 U-20 world championship, then called the World Youth Championship, In 2005, the American placed 12th under coach Sigi Schmid.

The only time the U.S. did better than in 2003 was in Saudi Arabia in 1989, when the Americans, with Kasey Keller in goal, finished fourth.


Argentina 1, United States 0

Lineups: United States - Chris Seitz, Amaechi Igwe, Nathan Sturgis, Julian Valentin (Jalil Anibaba 76), Tim Ward, Freddy Adu (captain), Danny Szetela, Bryan Arguez (Rodrigo Lopez 46), Robbie Rogers (Sal Zizzo 62), Josmer Altidore, Johann Smith; Argentina - Emiliano Centeno, Gabriel Mercado, Marcelo Cardozo, Santiago Villafane, Matias Sanchez, Diego Braghieri (Jorge Sotomayor 88), Leonel Vangioni (Nicolas Dul 64), Fernando Meza, Facundo Coria (Frederico Scoppa 85), Santiago Malano (Milton Joel Caraglio 69), Alejandro Gomez (Jonotan Chavez 79).

Scoring:
Argentina - Braghieri (Gomez) 55.

Shots: United States 15, Argentina 8.
Shots on goal: United States 5, Argentina 5. Saves: United States 4, Argentina 5. Fouls: United States 12, Argentina 22. Corner kicks: United States 8, Argentina 4. Offside: United States 1, Argentina 4. Yellow card cautions: United States - Adu 60; Argentina - Sanchez 11, Gomez 69, Braghieri 84, Sotomayor 90.

Referee: Steve DePiero. Assistant referees: Amato DeLuca, Joe Fletcher. Fourth official: Richard Sanchez Attendance: 3,531 at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y. Weather: Warm, 70 degrees.

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