[CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA qualified for the 2013 Under-20 World Cup with a 4-2 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Under-20
Championship Tuesday night in Puebla, Mexico.
The Americans came back from a goal down with four goals in 25 minutes -- two from Jose Villarreal and one each from Luis Gil and Wil Trapp -- to dispose of the Canadians.
The win qualified the USA for the U-20 World Cup finals for the 13th time. This year's tournament will take place from June 21-July 13 in Turkey.
"I have to give the players so much credit for today," said U.S. coach Tab Ramos, who will return to the Under-20 World Cup 30 years after he played in the finals himself. "Not only are they playing a very difficult game that has a lot of pressure, but at the same time they found themselves behind. I enjoyed seeing the satisfaction on the players' faces when they accomplished something big. I'm glad to be a part of today's result."
Two unconvincing wins left in doubt the capacity of the Americans to handle a pressure-packed match like Tuesday's quarterfinal.
The game's start did nothing to change that notion as Ben Fisk burned Boyd Okwuonu only for U.S. keeper Cody Cropper to punch away his blast in the 20th minute. But Canada went ahead five minutes later when Wil Trapp failed to close down Dylan Carreiro, allowing the Canadian midfielder to line up a shot that beat Cropper to the far post with room to spare.
But the U.S. reaction was almost immediate as Daniel Cuevas, the star of the 2-1 win over Haiti, found Gil in the area, and the Real Salt Lake midfielder eluded Daniel Stanese and slotted the ball past goalie Maxime Crepeau.
The turning point came in the 33rd minute when Canadian defender Doniel Henry, who plays for Toronto FC, was injured and had to leave the game. His replacement, Manjrekar James, and Stanese were no match in the middle against the U.S. attack.
In the 40th minute, the USA went ahead when Juan Pablo Ocegueda found Mario Rodriguez on the left wing, and Rodriguez blew past James and fed Villarreal, who had broken in alone from the right side and easily beat Crepeau. And right before halftime, the USA made it 3-1 when Crepeau could only punch Gil's corner kick to Trapp outside the area and the Columbus Crew rookie's volley deflected off Mauro Eustaquio and caromed past the helpless Crepeau.
To start the second half, the USA toyed with the Canadians, stringing nine passes together before Villarreal slotted the ball past Crepeau for a 4-1 lead. The USA lost the ball on the counterattack, but Cuevas won the ball to start a sequence that went Cuevas to Ocegueda to Trapp to Gil to Villarreal to Gil to Villarreal to Benji Joya and back to Villarreal.
But Ramos' boys have never made things easy for themselves, and Samuel Piette -- like Henry a holdover from Canada's 2012 U-23 team -- reduced the margin to 4-2 with a half-volley from 25 yards in the 64th minute.
Both teams later had chances, but the closest either team came in stoppage time when U.S. sub Danny Garcia hit the crossbar. Canada finished with nine players on the field after Jon Dollery had to be helped from the field after taking a ball to his face and James was red-carded for head-butting Joya.
WHAT'S NEXT. The USA will face Cuba, winner of Tuesday's other quarterfinal with a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Costa Rica, on Friday in the semifinals (TV: Fox Soccer, Univision Deportes, 6 p.m. ET) and then play in one of Sunday's placement games.
Four players won't be staying in Puebla. Gil will rejoin Real Salt Lake for its MLS opener, while Cropper, captain Caleb Stanko and Jerome Kiesewetter will return to their European clubs. Midfielder Mikey Lopez, who played well against Costa Rica but picked up his second yellow card of the tournament and was consequently suspended for Tuesday's match, will be available for selection against Cuba.
The two games, which mean nothing except regional pride, will give Ramos a chance to further evaluate his players before the Under-20 World Cup.
Several candidates for the Under-20 World Cup team were unavailable because of club commitments (John Anthony Brooks) or injuries (Walker Zimmerman, Omar Salgado and Victor Pineda). Ramos will need to evaluate his options at right back and perhaps consider DeAndre Yedlin, who had a strong preseason campaign for the Seattle Sounders. Broken legs will rob the USA of two sure-fire starters: Birmingham City's Will Packwood and Liverpool U-21 Marc Pelosi.
Feb. 26 in Puebla
USA 4 Canada 2. Goals: Gil 29, Villarreal 40, 54, Trapp 45; Carreiro 23, Piette 64.
USA -- Cropper, Okwuonu, Ocegueda, Stanko, O'Neill; Trapp, Joya; Gil (Garcia 74), Cuevas, Rodriguez (Allen 90); Villarreal (Serna 84).
Canada -- Crepeau; Dollery, Henry (James 33), Stanese, Lapenna; Eustaquio (Vukovic 76); Piette, Riggi (Aleman 46), Fisk, Carreiro; Clarke.
Referee: Javier Santos (Puerto Rico).
Nice to see some offense and its great to see that American doggedness responding to adversity when down.
Mr. Kennedy, was the "All Latino Front Line a Bust, on this night"??
The next 2 games mean nothing?? Wouldnt it determine how you get seeded for the World Cup??? I think it means how much talent you have down the line when your best 4-5 players arent there. Don't you think?? Because if some USA players have commitments to take care of, certainly a team like Mexico has as many or more that will not be there for their commitments as well. I don't think they are thinking of losing or not seeing the importance of coming out on top.
The USSF Academy should be producing more than enough players to get them to the final regardless of who can not be there, correct??
Well done...congrats to Tab & the boys! On to Turkey!!
They USA looked pretty good attacking wise with creativity. We are starting to play the style that fits our player pool. It's about time!!
we still need to work on our skill and technical ability. A lot of simple passes are being missed. That Cuevas kid is exciting to see. the attacking players should assume he will cross the ball, because a natural ability to get around their defense. there was about 4 crosses that the forwards gave up on because they thought he was not going to beat the defender. good job usa.
just because i like the mexico national team more than the US one, does not make me less of an american, maybe in the sport yes but in real life im american first. if mexico and the US were to go to war, ill be the first to tell you im an US citizen. in sports its different. look at the germans half of them are from poland and the french have half of africa. so if US has "hispanic" players. who cares.
Luis, most of your comments have some merit. You seem to have knowledge of the game. Personally I would give them (your comments) more respect if you simply left out the words Latino, Hispanic, Mexican.... and stay with the game and individuals, without "tiles". Gordon, lighten up. You seem to "know" Luis. May I suggest you two meet at Starbucks.... or a boxing ring and resolve your issues elsewhere.:)
Carlos - some merit to your post but I do disagree about pulling for one's own national team.........John, I would enjoy that boxing match very much but, as an American and supporter of the USMNT and WNT (which Luis never mentions because it does not fit his race-baiting agenda) I cannot sit by and let this infection spread his deceitful and racist lies without at least doing some small thing and trust me when I tell you this guy knows NOTHING about the game - he was a basketball player and is a daddy coach that has picked up some of the terminology - please don't be fooled.
John, Point taken. My initial comment in this post was in reference to a past column written by Paul Kennedy that said " The Latino Front Line, on this Night was a Bust" following USA vs Haiti game last week. You tell me, was this necessary on this Soccer America Writer's behalf??
NO! It was not necessary. However two wrongs don't make a right. Many discussions on these sites start out useful, fun, and even informative. Then somebody brings up race and it all falls apart. There is an immediate loss of credibility to say nothing derogatory comments. Those of us with "foreign" last names can help by not giving ammunition to the ignorant as well as the "hopefully" few that still believe true Americans are named Smith and Jones
The difference between this team and the USMNT is that this team has skill, and with that skill they can dribble and penetrate, and pass off to the open man. We did not see much of these skills in the two previous games and some were beginning to point fingers at the Hispanic domination in the selection of this team. I hope these players continue to play like they did (like our team should be playing), and prove themselves.
By the way, Gordon Hayes you don't have to tell us who or what Luis, Ric, or someone else is like. We can make our own judgements if we have to.
This forum is for your views on the sport not on others!
John as I mentioned, never trust Luis - this is what the SA writer ACTUALLY wrote...."The all-Latino front five -- a first for a national team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust."....he always leaves out the part that makes it totally different so he can fit it into his racist agenda (that and the fact he is uneducated and does not know how to use quotations and cares nothing for the truth).
Raveen....agree, as I watched these games.
The one thing that kept coming to mind was that there is hope for the the senior team. It has been VERY slow coming. Maybe, just maybe it finally arriving.
John, I agree about race - leave it out of everywhere! And to be clear, I don't care what your last name is or any one's nor what ethnicity our USMNT is I just want them to win even when they are playing Mexico or Greece (where my heritage). What I do care about is race-baiting and ethnic divide created by unqualified people like Ric and Luis.
John, I respect your point of view and you are probably right. I just have a hard time not voicing my opinions as soon as they pop in my head. If you look at my psots they always begin on subject and have nothing to do with race but Gordon is sure enough to come in and attack me and now Ric. He "NEVER" posts anything himself in reference to any of these columns. Not once. When an SA writer makes a comment like that, I am just posting what evryone is thinking. I think he Mr. Kennedy and SA should know that those type of comments are seen as ignorant by most of us. I will take your reccommendation Ric y salads.
Can you imagine a commentator saying " On this night the mostly black team was a bust" ?? when refering to a USA basketball National Team?? Or how about " On this night the the all black guards were a bust" ?? Let's see how it sounds in football. "On this night the African American Quarterback was a bust". " On this night the all Black coaching staff were a bust". Now let's see how it sounds in basketball when refering to white people. "On this night the all White low post was a bust". What do you think Gordon? If you don't see anythimng wrong with the "all Hispanic Bust" comment then all of these are ok with you, correct? Let me guess, you will not address this, you will instead rant about my morals.
Now add the middle part that Gordon saids completely makes it different. It is getting to be normal and ok in our media to make these type of refernces to one race that would be completely unacceptable and heavily scrutinized if refered to another.
Great win for Tab's team. It was nice to see how they responded to adversity, and what I really liked, was the variety of ways they attacked. The US had tremendous success attacking the flanks (Cuevas was particularly impressive), which I think is the best way to attack the modern flat four defenses that pack the box. The Canadian team seemed pretty good, though the loss of their captain clearly hurt them, and they should have been awarded a penalty (which probably should've been mentioned in the article) when they were only down 3-1 (and I think we actually scored the 4th goal on the counter after the missed penalty, so that was a pretty significant part of the game). As for the Hispanic/racist controversy, boys, just give it a rest. I'm guessing most people who are on this blog care less about the ethnicity of the players and more about the quality of the play, so I (for one) would appreciate comments related to how people play and what they can do better (since those are things that matter and can improve), rather than their race or ethnicity. Yes, there are still racists out there, and standing up to them helps move society in the right direction, but everything does not need to have a racial element, so we should give people the benefit of the doubt where ever possible and try to work positively to improve things. Calling people names or insulting people's knowledge of the game are not positive contributions.
Well said Kent, a true gentleman.
This was a great match for the US & a great win, What separates this team from the senior team is the ability to play as a collective on the pitch, which is where the senior team falls apart, Klinnsman should invest his time in this group of boys/young men rather than the group that he has currently worked with for the past 1 1/2 yrs. Also why does the US have the WORST commentators on the PLANET!!!!! Christopher Sullivan needs to be replaced, I can't the mans BS!!!!!
Watch it in Spanish. It's definitely more exiting.
Of course, white guys that did not play in the 'barrios' don't know soccer......go Chivas!
Let's see some examples.1."The all-black quarterback -- a first for an NFL Team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 2. "The all-black back court -- a first for a national team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 3."The all-white starting five-- a first for a national team in a long time in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 4.The all-white front court -- a first for a national team in a long time in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust. 5.The all-black swimming team-- a first for a national team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 6.The all-black golf team -- a first for a national team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 7.The all-White running backs -- a first for an NFL team in a long time in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust." 8. "The Black President -- a first for USA -- was, in this term, a bust. 9. "The all-White baseball team -- a first for a national team in many years -- was, on this night, a bust.
I dont know about you but the part "I conveniently left out" doesn't really make it any better with these examples. Hey College Grad, did i use the quotations correctly this time?? LOL>
Luis and Gordon, I actually enjoy some of your histrionics still......makes me laugh! I could "cut and paste" your recommendations to me Luis regarding embracing my heritage blah blah, just like Gordon regarding your "race baiting", but to what direct benefit? People know what they read and will either sign-on to your agenda or not. Just because you try to down-play all that you have posted in the past alluding to racism, victimhood & conspiracy, does not mean all people will let it go! (hence Gordon) You should realize you have been no better than the writers you constantly nit-pick about. I wonder, would you accept all the National team players being referred to by one name (a la Brazil) with no ties to any ethnic origin?? I would, because it means nothing anyway.....least of which is the argument on style in reference to where a person's ancestry comes from. Small minds, think in small details. Go USA!! AO in Denver!!
and by style, I mean style of playing soccer......ball goes into goal net, pretty much at the same rate across the globe irregardless....
Chris, what am I down playing exactly?? Selection of players has changed for the better but we have still have a long way to go. My opinions on it are honest as time goes. Hopefully they will be more positive next year. All depends on the circumstances then. I do not intend to be better than the writers I criticize. I just point out stuff I beleive based on what is written, just like you or any other person here. When it turns to shit is when your buddy Gordon zeros in on me with his same exact same rant. I think he just learned how to use the copy/paste function on his computer. Ball does go into the net, I dont know if at same rate but some of us prefer to see it played a certain way for added exitement to the game. You know kind of like basketball. Would you want to see a basketball game without dunks, alley oops, no look passes, crossovers, reverse layups, spin moves, etc. ?? Baskets go in at the same rate as well with simple fundamental play but who wants to watch that?? Maybe just a few people.
What you more recently have been downplaying is your over and over again rants about how you attribute not enough hispanics/latinos chosen for the National programs to racism and conspiracy! That is truthful about you, and Gordon calls you on it indirectly, as in, where is your proof. I don't care to constantly read Gordon's rebuttals to you over and over again, just like I don't care to hear your same agenda pitch, that if their were more latinos out there, how wonderful everything would be. Nobody believes it is neither that easy, nor likely your favorite ethnic composition of players are magically going to start conquering the world soccer stage. As to your basketball analogy, depending on your age, you may remember the days pre-ESPN, where it was common for pro basketball game scores to average in the 120 point totals. Jerry West for example won the scoring title in 1970 averaging 30+ ppg, on a team that averaged 114 ppg, which was only good enough for 7th highest of 17 teams. Now, what do the teams average today with all their dunks, ally oops and individual one v one.s etc.? Point is, scoring rate is not reflected by what you call a more exciting style, and in fact, the result is very often less scoring. What matters is results, not a beloved style of game that some have, while others care about success first. So you're wrong on that one too. Besides, your basketball move list is mostly self-serving, just like today's narcissistic "facebook" culture.
That's not downplaying brother. Selection has changed. So not my same concern. Why would I keep bringing up something that is improving?? That initial conversation happened quite some time ago but he wont let it go. He is just pissed off. If you notice I havent really talked about that in quite some time but maybe you cant let go of it either. Never said scoring rate was reflected by style in basketball. My analogy, back then with basketball was cultural, that's it. Black people, "In General" (key word), have shown more passion for this sport than anyone else in USA. Therefore, the most creative and exiting players. Therefore, eventually the most dominant. "In General". Scoring has gone down in basketball because of rule changes as well, like the 3 second rule. If you watch Olympics you will see even lower scoring due to different rules, as in college. You will see even lower scores because nobody can match USA's athleticism or creativity so they slow the game down to tke them out of rhythm because that is the only way to have a chance. That can be translated to soccer. Our player pool for USA soccer is not to bunker but to attack. That is my opinion. Our overall culture is a creative one that plays with style and flare. That's what we want to see, that's what we idolize, that's what we want to mimic. IN GENERAL. Mark my words. When USA gets its first bonafide World Class Soccer Star, he will be a goal scorer, dribbler, creative player and soccer will then be #1 sport in USA by a long shot. We will finally actually fill more seats than Mexico or El Salvador when we play each other. You have been to many games. Who is usually the minority in our very own country? Now ask yourself why? Mark my words. Wont be long now. For a person like you maybe its all about the W, no matter how achieved. I can respect that. But for the majority, and especially in USA its about the style, the flare, the exiting plays. ESPN top 10 baby. You know that. Your old school. Thats cool. But for soccer to take off in USA thats what needs to happen. Your not that old to understand that.
To add to that. Who absolutely dominates soccer in general?? Brazil does. They have the most exported players that are usually the best players on those teams. Why?? Because they play with that flare, style, skill, balls that everybody wants to see. If USA had 1 Ronaldinho soccer would be instantly #1 in USA. Brazil soccer very comparable to USA basketball. I know you will say what have they done lately?? They have been, are and will continue to always be a W.C. Finalist contender. They have won 5 of them, more thn anyone. They export the most and their best players to Europe and yet still beat them at World Club Cup quite often. No matter how much anyone hates them they want to beat them and watch them play.