By Joe Madero
The US Youth Soccer ODP Boys adidas ’89 All Stars (All Stars) took control of their match with Schalke 04 from the opening whistle. Playing effectively out of the back, through the midfield, the All Stars got an early blast on goal by Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, NJ) that went just wide, but was a warning of what was to come.
The All Stars looked sharp and confident throughout the first half, making repeated forays into the Schalke penalty area, resulting in several corner kicks. In the 26th minute, midfielder Giuseppe Carontenuto (Scottsdale, AZ) found Perica Merosevic (Rockford, IL) lurking in the penalty area, and Perica rifled a shot past a stunned keeper for the All Stars first goal.
Two minutes later Mersoevic took a ball to the end line and crossed for a waiting Brett King (Residency Player from Wilmington, NC) who made no mistake on the tap-in to increase the All Stars lead to 2:0 before going into halftime.
Both King and Merosevic scored their second goal of the tour, and Merosovic added his second assist.
The second half was a game of defensive strategy for all the All Stars, especially the back line of Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, FL), Steven Morales (Farmingdale, NY) and John Tardy (Staten Island, NY), with help from keeper Matt Walker (Grand Blanc, MI). The midfield held firm as the All Stars came away with a convincing 2:0 win against a physically strong 1988 group of Schalke 04 players.
Tomorrow the group will travel to Mechelen, Belgium to tour the RSC Anderlecht training facilities and soccer school. In addition to the tour, the boys will also train with the Anderlercht squad.
Joe will be submitting his notes from the 2004 US Youth Soccer ODP Boys '89 adidas All Star European Tour, to read more about the trip click here. For more on US Youth Soccer ODP click here.