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Mexico beats USA in Concacaf U-15 Championship final
by Mike Woitalla, August 19th, 2017 2:26PM
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TAGS:  u.s. under-15 boys national team, youth, youth boys

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After convincingly winning its first four games at the Concacaf U-15 Championship, the USA fell, 2-0, to Mexico in the final on Saturday morning in Bradenton, Florida. Californian Efrain Alvarez of the LA Galaxy set up Mexico's first goal.

Jorge Garcia scored in the 57th minute of the 70-minute game, heading home a free kick delivered by Alvarez from midfield, and Ronaldo Zinedin added El Tri’s second goal two minutes into stoppage time. Mexico completed the tournament without conceding a goal.

Mexico’s Arturo Delgado was named top goalkeeper of the tournament while Garcia was named MVP. Mexico also won the Fair Play Award.

Road to the Final:
Mexico 5 Honduras 0
Mexico 4 Panama 0
Mexico 1 Jamaica 0
Mexico 3 Canada 0

USA 2 Canada 0
USA 6 Trinidad & Tobago 0
USA 4 Costa Rica 1
USA 3 Panama 0

Final
Aug. 19 in Bradenton, Fla.
Mexico 2 USA 0.
Goals: Jorge Garcia 57, Ronaldo Zinedin 72+



30 comments
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: August 20, 2017 at 4:50 p.m.
    No doubt Kumar will now claim these results are incredibly important and show that we are miles behind Mexico. Meanwhile, the games that the US won are just meaningless youth games.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 20, 2017 at 7:12 p.m.
    Was disappointed by the scoreline, but now that I've watched the game I feel really good about our talent compared to Mexico's talent at this level. US bossed the midfield and had the better attacking players. Passing and overall possession was easily in favor of the US. Mexico's wingers were very skillful and showed some craftiness on the ball, while the US had more than a couple players showing creativity and confidence on the ball. Mexico's first goal came late in the game off a set piece near midfield that was played into the box and misplayed by the keeper. Ref made a horrible decision not to play advantage on a US attack in stoppage time that very well could have led to the equalizer. Mexico scored again seconds later on a 4v1 as the US had committed everyone forward. Good game. Congrats to Mexico.
  1. Kevin White
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.
    Very good analysis of the game. I will add one more comment; while US controlled most of the game they didn't create enough chances and were very lucky not to concede during that scramble earlier in front of the goal. Nevertheless the future looks bright for US soccer.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 12:54 p.m.
    Agree, Kevin. Wish the final third had been much better. Maybe it would have been if Mexico had not been constantly hacking US players on the edge of their defensive third. There were actually two scrambles that could have easily led to goals for Mexico -- the first was an attack down the left flank (one of Mexico's only chances created on their own), and the other was the result of a mistake by one of the US center backs as he misread a ball that he thought would go out of play.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 20, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.
    Game must have looked different on TV than it did on the ground DL. Our problem was that we played 3 pooch teams and a questionable Canadian team prior to Mexico . Creativity means nothing without results when you are under pressure. Speed and strength means nothing without vision and field sense.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 20, 2017 at 10:24 p.m.
    At this age, I'd take creativity and comfort level on the ball as characteristics that are much more important than finishing. Your statement that "Creativity means nothing without results when you are under pressure," forgets that these kids are 15 years with at least a couple more years until results REALLY matter. The US was on top of that game for the vast majority of it. Mexico took advantage of a couple of mistakes to create a couple of chances, but they hardly had any useful possessions in the game. The US, on the other hand, looked to control the game until it changed completely when Mexico scored late. Of the top 5 players on the field, I would say the US had three of them. Of the top 10, six.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 12:50 a.m.
    At any level playing well is more important than match results. Match results come from playing well. Sometimes the better team loses, but not often.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
    Evaluation is subjective, usually! Outcome of the game is not. When you have 15 goals or a 14+ goal differential in a tournament of what is supposed to be the best of the best that this would carry over to the next opponent if they are the best of the best. Forget who should have won. The fact is our best could not score on their best nor could they stop them from scoring on us. If anyone here thinks winning is not important at this age step forward please. Of course these kids are developing but so are the other teams. Me seeing the game different than you Don is what makes the world go round. Opinions are opinions. However facts are facts. If it would have been even or 2-1 maybe a different story. But 2-0 is decisive in this type of competition. At least that is my opinion.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.
    I respect that, but just a couple of issues there, Fan. First, we simply disagree about the importance of the result vs. ability at this age. I'd take the more talented team over the winning team every day (maybe even in most senior team games). More times than not, the more talented team is going to win. Now, if you want to argue that Mexico was the more talented team, I would be compelled to listen, but it doesn't look like you are. To me, the US was clearly better and had many many more good possessions. Second, the fact that you put so much stock into the scoreline and not just the result is an issue for me. You are not considering how or when the goals were scored. Mexico scored their second goal on the last kick of the game on a 4v1 as the US had pushed everyone forward. It was a 1-0 game for all intents and purposes, and, according to you, that makes it "a different story." However, looking only at the score leaves all of the nuance of the game out of it. Based on your logic, the best players on the field are always the ones who score the goals or create some other sort of measurable output. The beauty of soccer, to me, is that these data points only tell a relatively small part of the story of how the game was actually played and who the best players actually were.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 11:54 a.m.
    "You Americans"? I thought you pretended to be American Kumar?
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.
    H - That view of possession is simplistic and simply wrong. Not ALL good possessions leads to a good scoring opportunity. A good possession can get out of pressure, it can get the ball in a more advantageous spot in another area of the field, it can run the defense and wear them out, it can waste time and protect a lead, it can probe the defense looking for the best time to go, it can draw the defense out of it's shell, it can provide confidence, rhythm, and flow for the team with the ball, it can demoralize the team without it, etc. etc. Your view of possession lacks a level of sophistication that it takes to watch, play, and coach soccer at a high level.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 10:35 a.m.
    Nope I don't feel the best players on the field are the ones who score the goals. Is the guy who scored the goal the key or the guy who got the ball to him at the right time by taking on two defenders opening up the opportunity. I will vote for the play maker every time. To me it doesn't make any difference when Mexico scored what makes the difference is that we didn't score and we didn't prevent them from scoring. Looking good in a game where there is no competition means nothing. Scoring 15 goals against non-competitive teams tells me something is lacking when you cant score one against a good team.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.
    Okay, great. So you like "play makers." I would say that the US easily had more play makers on the field than Mexico did. The scoreline didn't reflect it after that 70 minutes, but if they played 10 times, I would bet that the US would have the better record. Put a different way, I would feel confident that the US would come on top the next time these teams played. You haven't mentioned anything about the actual players, and that is where the evaluation should be at this age. And, neither of their goals showed any sort of play making ability whatsoever, so, again, to base everything off of the result misses out on what is important at this stage of development. I will say it again -- of the top players ("play makers," if you wish) on the field, the US had more of them than Mexico.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.
    Did you watch the game, H? Or are you just being a jackass? Your comments suggest the latter.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 7:46 a.m.
    That's what I thought. Next time, if you want to be taken seriously, actually watch the game that is the point of discussion.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 2:07 p.m.
    I am not going to evaluate the kids. I am not going to individually evaluate the kids. They put their hearts into it and I am sure they did the best they could. I said it going into this tournament that this team was a political football. This is the age you get out of shoulda, woulda, coulda. Reasons or results. What is it going to be? We didn't get the job done. Did we have the talent to do so? I said in the beginning there was much talent left behind for whatever reason. The coach makes that decision. When the US plays Mexico in soccer you can't get away from the score. Can you?
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.
    The keeper whiffed on a punch. 1 bad decision in 70 minutes. OK, he doesn't get the golden gloves for the tourney, but you have to look at the positives from the match, the tourney. U-15s don't have consistency yet, you don't get clinical finishers at every age group, every year. "Results" matter, but I don't think Reasons = Excuses. If you play well on the day and lose, these things happen. Big picture: How many of these players are moving on to U17? Who are the next 3 players at each position that are stacked up, waiting for the next camp? No one likes losing to Mexico, but I never want to become like El Tri fans--so fixated on results, ready to fire anyone who is in the hot seat that day. There is a miserable desperation in that I don't want to embrace.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 21, 2017 at 2:59 p.m.
    Can I get away from the score? At 15 years old? Yes, very easily. Nobody cares about a U15 concacaf championship. The only thing that matters at this point is the ability of the individual players.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 7:31 a.m.
    Trust me Mexico isn't at home saying our players are better developed than the US. They are saying we won the championship. There comes a time when development=results. You think maybe just maybe we may have a problem with the coaching identifying players and their capabilities. When you are playing weak competition it makes no difference. When you are playing the better competition it does.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 7:52 a.m.
    Relative to Mexico, I'd say our coaching and player identification are just fine seeing as how everyone of our youth teams is more talented than theirs. Let them celebrate their silly u15 title. I'm not sure how we compare to the rest of the world, but we'll find out in due time.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 9:28 a.m.
    H - I dare you to make an argument that Mexico has more talent from U19 down. I'll start. Pulisic. Okay, your turn. (Keep in mind that it won't be too far down your list until you get to names like Lara and Alvarez -- guys who were developed in the US)
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 10:56 a.m.
    So the best Mexican prospect was developed in the United States of America? Gotcha. Sargent.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 2:15 p.m.
    Edwin Lara played for De Anza, a DA club, before he went to Pachuca. On that Top 60 list you cited from the Guardian, the US had one player (Taitague) while Mexico had two. However, Lara was developed mostly in the US while the other "Mexican" on the list is Paolo Medina of Real Madrid who moved to Spain from Mexico when he was three. So remind me why we want to copy Mexico again? I'd rather copy somewhere where they actually develop great players.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 5:24 p.m.
    If he ended up in the DA and with an MLS academy, wouldn't that suggest that we are scouting those other clubs?
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 7:03 p.m.
    Plus even now DA only goes down to U12 so every player developed outside of DA before that. And, in any event, you've said that organized football before age 16 is a waste and that everyone should just play in the street.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 10:01 a.m.
    U15 is the discussion, isn't it?
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 11:55 a.m.
    I don't think anyone is questioning that we have developed some fine talent. We certainly have. But consistency is the key. You are going to win some and lose some but winning the big one seems to evade us at many levels.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.
    That's the thing about development. It takes a long time. The youth generations that are so promising (much more promising than those before them) are still a few years away from full maturity. I'll say it again: 2022 will be interesting, 2026 should be full of expectation. The players we are developing today are better and there are many many more of them than the players that came up in previous generations. If we had to pick a tipping point where this trend really starts to stand out, it would be somewhere around the current U20s and going down from there.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: August 22, 2017 at 5:25 p.m.
    I'm glad you have started to see the trend, H.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: August 23, 2017 at 12:37 p.m.
    Looks like the poster formerly known as Kumar and H Savage has been deleted. Again.

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