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Five things we learned about U.S. U-17s
by Paul Kennedy, June 19th, 2011 11:17PM

TAGS:  u-17 world cup


[UNDER-17 WORLD CUP] The USA opened play at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup in Torreon, Mexico, Sunday with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic thanks to superb goals from midfielders Alejandro Guido and Esteban Rodriguez and late sub Alfred Koroma. Here are five things we learned about the U.S. U-17s ...

No Oliver, no problem. Whatever the reasons for his exit from the Bradenton residency program and removal from the under-17 national team program, Andrew Oliver's departure left a big hole in the U.S. attack. After all, Oliver led the USA in scoring en route to its 2011 Concacaf championship. But without him, the USA did just fine, getting three superb goals.

First goal settled nerves. U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera was impressed how his young players handled first-game jitters. "They played the game, made themselves feel comfortable, and got the result by playing well," he said. "That’s important and that’s going to give us confidence to continue improving throughout the tournament." Guido got the USA going when he picked off a Czech pass outside the area and blasted a left-footed shot from more than 20 yards out.

Arriola excellent in first start. Paul Arriola went to Montego Bay for the Concacaf qualifying tournament, but he didn't play a minute. Against the Czech Republic, he was a threat up front and set up the second U.S. goal early in the second half when he beat a Czech defender in the penalty area and cut the ball back to Rodriguez.

Koroma is supersub. Koroma started on the U.S. team that beat El Salvador, 3-2, to clinch its 14th straight berth in the finals but didn't start the opener against the Czechs. In and out of residency since he was 13, the Sierra Leone-born striker certainly impressed scouts with a great individual goal taken shortly after he entered the game.

McIntosh's save of the tournament candidate. It was only the first game, but goalie Kendall McIntosh made a save that merits consideration for goal of the tournament. Lukas Julis was wide open in front of the goal and his shot was about to score the line when McIntosh dived to his right and palmed the ball away. McIntosh only won the starting job after No. 1 Fernando Pina was red carded in the El Salvador qualifying game but looked confident against the Czechs.

June 19 in Torreon
USA 3 Czech Rep. 0. Goals: Guido 5, E.Rodriguez 52, Koroma 89.
USA -- McIntosh, Acosta, Fehr, Carroll, Amon, E.Rodriguez, Dunn, Guido (Salkicic, 75), Pelosi, M.Rodriguez (Koroma, 87), Arriola (Melo, 90)
Czech Rep. -- Zima, Karafiat, Filip, Lueftner, Sterba, Nerad (Stratil, 54), Cermak,  Salasovic (Travnik, 72),  Masek (Kadula, 61), Julis, Svoboda.
Yellow Card: USA -- Salkicic 86.
Referee: Diego Abal (Argentina).
Att.: 15,083.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: June 20, 2011 at 9:26 a.m.
    My first look at the U17's. I was very impressed. Excellent team, fluid movement and ball control. They played with flair and style. It was fun watching them. I don't know the level of the Czech team, but USA was far and away superior. Great job.
  1. Will Lozier
    commented on: June 20, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
    Paul, do you mean "save" of the tournament?
  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: June 20, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
    Koroma... another African immigrant that lies about his age (they all do it) taking away a spot from a real U17 player. The birth date dishonesty is why some counties (Africa) are able to compete well at U17 but not as they get older.
  1. Joe Shoulders
    commented on: June 20, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
    U-17's were impressive! I enjoyed watching them
  1. Chris Ogle
    commented on: June 20, 2011 at 10:43 p.m.
    After watching some of the Germany-Ecuador game and some of the Brazil-Denmark game I'm convinced that this U17 tournament will be an exciting and entertaining display of attacking football.This has to be the most skillful German national team of any age group that I've ever seen which is a welcome change from the German teams of the past who wrote the book on the conservative, defensive style of play that used to be so dominant in Europe.It's always a pleasure to watch the sport as it was meant to be played no matter what the age group. I can't wait to see the Spanish team because if they're anywhere near as good as the U21 squad we're in for a treat. Spain's performances against Ukraine and Czechoslovakia were fantastic,from a distance I could of swore I was watching Barcelona.
  1. Karl Ortmertl
    commented on: June 21, 2011 at 1:22 a.m.
    Wilmer Cabrera is a terrific coach. The U-17's always play an effective and entertaining brand of football. With such a foundation, it's been a pity to watch the likes of Rongen and Bradley bring these same players down to earth with a thud. As important as it is for the youngsters to have a great coach, wouldn't it be nice to see this brand of soccer with the men's team?

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