U.S. U-18s boys finish fifth at Nordic Cup

The U.S. U-18 boys national team beat Finland, 2-1, to take fifth place at the 2015 Open Nordic Cup in Sweden. Coach Javier Perez’s team, fielding 15- and 16-year-olds, lost to Sweden (2-1) and Iceland (2-0), and beat the Faroe Islands (2-0) in group play.

In the placement game against the Finns, the Colorado Rush’s Griffin Dorsey put the USA ahead in the first half with a header off a cross from Northern California product Jonathan Gonzalez, who plays for Mexico’s Monterrey. Richmond United’s Nick Taitague scored the USA’s second,  set up by Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution).

Georgia United’s Andrew Carleton scored on a penalty kick for the USA’s only goal in the loss against host Sweden.

The trip marked the first gathering of the U-18s’ new cycle.

Aug. 9 in Forshaga, Sweden
USA 2 Finland 1. Goals: Dorsey (Gonzalez) 33, Taitague (Rennicks) 56; Voutilainen (Eremenko)  80+3.
USA -- Lopez; Avila (Stretch, 72), Vom Steeg, Stanley; Zarris (Taitague, 40), Paniagua (Carranza, 73), Gonzalez, Jones; Dorsey (Rennicks, 52), Del Rosario (Torres, 60), Carleton (Harris, 73).
Finland --  Toyras; Mattila,  Rahikka (Eremenko, 40), Leppala (Voutilainen, 72), Mantynen (Heinolainen, 28); Montola, (Mohamed, 59), Hyokyvirta, Vesiaho; Louko (Jokelainen, 48), Stavitski.

Aug. 7 in Karlstad, Sweden
Sweden 2 USA 1. Goals: Bergqvist (Asoro) 52, Anderson 50; Carleton (pen.) 35.
Sweden -- Stenmark (Erdogdu, 64), Ornblom, Andersson, Rafael (Krusnell, 36); Svanberg (Isak, 60), Garza (Lagerfeldt, 40), Colley (Ahmedhodzic, 74), Bellman (Petersson, 59); Olsson (Asoro, 40), Bergqvist.
USA -- Lopez; Avila, Vom Steeg, Stanley; Jones, 8- Gonzalez, Torres (Aguilera, Jr., 63), Dorsey (Taitague, 63); Carleton, Zarris (Carranza, 76), Rennicks (Del Rosario, 63).

Photo courtesy U.S. Soccer.

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