March 7, 2007

The Kids Are Alright

Last week's draw for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup should seem familiar to U.S. fans. Our boys have been drawn into Group D with Korea, Poland and Brazil. The group is identical with the senior team's group in the 2002 World Cup, save for the swap of Portuguese-speaking nations (Portugal was the foe in '02).

While the inclusion of the South American champions should pose a test for the U.S., it may work out well in the their favor. If the boys are to advance to the knockout stages (which should happen), they won't have to face Brazil until late in the tournament.

The good news for American fans is the opportunity to watch one of Longshoe's favorite players, Alexandre Pato (left), in action. The 17-year old from Internacional stole the show in December at the FIFA Club World Cup, announcing his intention to become one of the next greats from Brazil.

While the U.S. won't announce it's roster for a couple months, one safe bet is likelihood that the new stormin' Mormon, Freddy Adu, take the role of Captain America. Adu has experience playing in several FIFA youth tournaments, so his leadership will be invaluable. And here's to hoping his motivation will come from his subpar performance in the last Under-20 Championship.

For those unfamiliar with o Pato, here's a clip of him scoring an insane goal against Chile in the South American qualifiers.

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