As three FC Dallas players make final preparations for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup starting on Friday in Turkey, one member of FCD looks back fondly on his experience representing the United States in the 2007 U-20 World Cup played in Canada.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz started in net for four of the United States’ five games on the run to the quarterfinals and looking back at that team, it’s no wonder why they’re one of just two US teams to make the quarterfinals since 2003.
“When you look back and look at the team we had, we were stacked,” said Seitz. “I think it’s one of those things where a group of young guys got together and went out there with the attitude that we are as good as anyone and you can see what happened.
“Beating Brazil, Poland and tying South Korea and getting to the quarterfinals was good and I’d even go as far as saying we underachieved. It was awesome. I still look back at it with fond memories.”
As Seitz said, the 2007 team was immensely talented with current national team players like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Tony Beltran as well as MLS mainstays like Seitz, Nathan Sturgis, Robbie Rogers and Dax McCarty. Seitz’s squad achieved arguably their greatest accomplishment in the final game of the group stage defeating Brazil 2-1 in front of more than 25,000 fans in Ottawa.
“It was one of those games where we were flying high after beating Poland and we realized that we had a chance to win our group,” said Seitz. “We went out there attacking. I think Jozy got a couple and all the pieces came together. The goal that they scored was kind of awkward and then we scored late. I look back at it and still laugh because we were going against guys like [Alexandre] Pato, Jo, huge soccer names and we went out there and were definitely the better team.”
The win was an amazing moment for the United States and for Seitz who stopped 14 of Brazil’s 15 shots on goal in one of the best performances of his young career. The US went on to defeat a Uruguay team led by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in the round of 16 before falling to Austria in the quarterfinals.
With Kellyn Acosta, Danny Garcia and Richard Sanchez set to begin their own Under-20 World Cup adventure this weekend, Seitz has just one bit of advice for the FCD youngsters.
“I think for our guys, they just have to suck it all in,” said Seitz. “All of them are good enough to be out there and competing at that level, so I wish them all the best.”