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U.S. Under-20 Team Beats El Salvador

Times Staff Writer

The U.S. Under-20 national team qualified for the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates in March by defeating El Salvador, 1-0, on Friday at Charleston, S.C.

The only goal of the game came in the 85th minute when a corner kick by D.C. United winger Bobby Convey was inadvertently headed into his own net by Salvadoran defender Alexander Escobar.

The U.S. played all but the first 19 minutes a man down after D.C. United forward Santino Quaranta was red-carded by Mexican referee Armando Archundia for kicking Escobar from behind. Thomas Rongen, the U.S. coach, was ejected in the 87th minute, apparently for dissent.

Earlier, Canada and Haiti played to a 1-1 tie. The Canadians can join the U.S. in the March 25-April 16 world championship if they defeat or tie the U.S. on Sunday or if El Salvador beats or ties Haiti that same day.

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Friedel Surgery

U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel will have surgery next week to remove damaged cartilage from his left knee and is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.

“Hopefully, he will miss just a couple of games,” said Graeme Souness, Friedel’s coach at Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League.

McDermott Quits

Marcia McDermott, who coached the Carolina Courage to the championship of the Women’s United Soccer Assn. this season and was WUSA’s only female coach during the league’s first two seasons, resigned to pursue other interests.

Under McDermott, the Courage finished in last place in the eight-team league in 2001 but rebounded to win the title a year later. Her overall record was 20-17-7.

Champions League

Defending champion Real Madrid of Spain was given an interesting challenge when the draw was held to put the final 16 teams in the European Champions League into four groups of four for second-round play.

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Real Madrid, a nine-time European champion, will face AC Milan, the second-most successful team in the competition’s history and one of this season’s favorites, German champion Borussia Dortmund and Russian longshot Lokomotiv Moscow in the home-and-home, round-robin series that begins Nov. 26 and lasts until March 19.

The full draw:

Group A: Inter Milan (Italy), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Barcelona (Spain) and Newcastle United (England).

Group B: Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands), AS Roma (Italy), Arsenal (England) and Valencia (Spain).

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Group C: Borussia Dortmund (Germany), AC Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain) and Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia).

Group D: Juventus (Italy), Basel (Switzerland), Manchester United (England) and Deportivo La Coruna (Spain).

Earthquake Theft

Three masked and armed robbers stole $60,000 in cash and 3,000 tickets worth $30,000 from a stadium box office in Pescara, Italy, late Thursday, escaping with funds that had been raised through soccer to help the victims of last month’s earthquake in the region that killed 29 people, including 26 children.

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The Italian soccer federation condemned the crime, calling it “a shameful act against solidarity in sport.” Italy’s national team is scheduled to play Turkey at the stadium Wednesday.


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