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Daniel Cuevas strikes just in time
by Mike Woitalla, June 24th, 2013 8:28PM

TAGS:  under-20 world cup


[USA-FRANCE REPORT CARD] A much-improved backline performance and a late goal from sub Daniel Cuevas earned the USA a 1-1 tie with France on Monday. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players in their tie against France.

Shane O’Neill, who missed the 4-1 opening loss to Spain because of a red card in qualifying, replaced Caleb Stanko in central defense. Coach Tab Ramos’ only other change was starting attacker Mario Rodriguez in place of Danny Garcia, who suffered a concussion against Spain.

Rodriguez drew fouls for a penalty kick -- an unsuccessful effort by Luis Gil -- and the free kick that led to Cuevas’ strike in the 85th minute, seven minutes after he entered the game.

Central defender Javan Torre’s foul on Dimitri Foulquier resulted in the penalty kick that gave France a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute.  But goalkeeper Cody Cropper thwarted a breakaway by Yaya Sanogo that could have given the Bleuets a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute.

Many of the USA’s most promising forays were sparked on the right flank by back DeAndre Yedlin.

Deep-lying midfielders Benji Joya and Wil Trap helped keep in check Paul Pogba -- the Juventus midfielder who has already played for France’s full national team in World Cup qualifying.

6 Cody Cropper (Southampton/ENG)
7 DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
6 Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids)
4 Javan Torre (UCLA)
6 Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara/MEX)
5 Benji Joya (Santos/MEX)
6 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
5 Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy)
5 Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake)
6 Mario Rodriguez (Kaiserslautern/GER)
4 Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey/MEX)
5 Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
7 Daniel Cuevas (Santos/MEX)
nr Mikey Lopez (Sporting KC)

(1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.
    A brave performance by all against a very big and imposing French team. Soccer was not as good as against Spain, but the results were deserved and what mattered at this point. Although its hard to rate the individual players, I don't think anyone deserved higher than a 6 nor lower than a 5. We were physically overmatched at every position.Somehow, our boys gave enough effort to overcome and earn a draw with what I think is the strongest team in the tournament.

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.
    At least three of these kids should be on US world cup roster. Creativity, guts and speed.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at noon
    Allan, interesting comment. What 3 and who defenitely does not deserve to be there??

  1. Robert Heinrich
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.
    Yedlin was our most dangerous player by far. Luis Gil was disappointing to me, but a letdown after a good performance not surprising for a young player I suppose. I'm still waiting to see what Ramos saw in Alonso Hernandez. Maybe next game. Torre is giving his all, but another critical error almost spoils a hard-working defensive effort. I'd expect teams to keep trying to attack him.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.
    Guys, let's not get carried away...yes, great effort by the US but the French were "garbage!" Yes, you heard me right! Their attitudes got the best of them coming out like a bunch of "Hollywood" Stars! We "tied" guys...drew the match! Against Spain we got beaten! We have "1" point. Now, should the US come out v Ghana and somehow pull out a victory then we can start to get excited. NOW...WAY TO GO EL SALVADOR...THEY PUT THE CONCACAF ON THE WORLD MAP AT THE U-20 LEVEL! Way to go "Salvatruchas!"

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 5:07 p.m.
    Hey Luis...isn't "Cuevas" some sort of drink???:) Everytime I hear his name it brings a smile...! Cuevas!

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
    There is no one on the team who should be on the men's team now. There is a huge difference between adults and kids. I can see only Yedlin with a potential to make the USMNT relatively soon since we're so weak at right back.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 8:39 p.m. can see the difference between most if not all of the worlds U-20's in Turkey and the United States. The maturity level is massive not only because of the cultural environments these other countries derive from but from the Professional footballing environments. The USSDA is not structured for battle! If there is no prize and consequence a players "full" maxim will not be reached. The MLS Head Coaches recognize this. THEY DON'T BELIEVE THAT, FOR THE MOST PART, AMERICAN ACADEMY PLAYERS CAN STEP UP INTO THE FIRST TEAM...AND THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. The NASL and USL the same...THE USSDA CURRENTLY provides the NCAA and from there we all know the's all very simple...look at the other nations...look at their features, speed and strength. SOCCER ON THE YOUTH LEVEL INCLUDING THE USSDA IS SIMPLY RECREATIONAL...OR HIGH LEVEL REC TO SAY THE LEAST!

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: June 25, 2013 at 9:10 p.m.
    I'll tell you this much, our 1980 U-20's were much stronger, faster, quicker than today's U-20's. We finished 2nd in the CONCACAF to Mexico with El Salvador, Honduras and Canada trailing us. FYI, El Salvador at that time were 2nd power of the CONCACAF next to Mexico. Many of us around maybe 10 out of the 20 man roster were signed by NASL clubs which only 3-4 Americans were eligible. David, "our squad" were young men...hard as nails. That was 30+ years ago...the level of play on the youth level either has stayed the same or digressed! You know what? Soccer America Magazine has stayed the same also...the information it provides regarding the "Standard" in American soccer is false!!! WE ARE WATCHING THE TRUTH OF OUR YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM LIVE!!! Unless there are "better players" not being chosen!!! ALL THE THIS TOURNAMENT THAT TOURNAMENT, CAMPS,USSDA...ETC., ETC., IS THE STATE OF AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER. A DISNEY ADVENTURE!!! IT'S NOT WAR!!! FOOTBALL!

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: June 26, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
    ...and very hard if not impossible to "truly" GRADE or RATE a player from the TV or Video. ONE NEEDS TO BE "LIVE" in the stands. You might not see a player at all on your screen because he has an assignment to "mark" the opposition's most dangerous player man v man while completely marking him "out of the game!" Wouldn't the "Defensive" effort and role constitute a "high rating?" "Yeah, but he never touched the ball?" Yeah but neither did the most dangerous "forward" in the tournament! However, our RATER might be in Turkey, thus, could be accurate.

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