USA falls in its U-17 World Cup opener to Nigeria

The USA opened its U-17 World Cup campaign with a 2-0 loss to defending champion Nigeria on Saturday in Santiago, Chile.

The USA had a promising start to the game with Christian Pulisic orchestrating from the left side, but well before the first half hit the halfway point, Nigeria, a record four-time winner of the U-17 World Cup, found its stride and dominated for the rest of the game.

The Golden Eaglets outshot the Americans 19-5 while the USA failed to force a save from Nigeria goalkeeper Akpan Udoh.

Coach Richie Williams' team did survive the onslaught until the 50th minute, when defender Austin Trusty botched his attempt to clear a cross from John Lazarus, setting up a close-range blast into the net from Chukwudi Agor.

Eleven minutes later, Agor headed an up-the-middle U.S. goal kick to Victor Osimhen, who shook off a challenge from U.S. captain Hugo Arellano before stroking the ball past U.S. keeper Will Pulisic.

Trusty, the only field player added to the squad that Williams used at the qualifying tournament in March, was ejected in the 87th minute.

A clear title favorite based on history and Saturday's performance, Nigeria was denied a bigger win by U.S. keeper Pulisic, giving the USA a silver lining of not entering its final two Group A games with a worse goal differential. The top two finishers and best four third-place finishers of the six groups earn second-round passage.

In the other Group A opener, host Chile settled for a 1-1 tie with Croatia, the USA's next opponent Tuesday (4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2 and NBC Universo).

Oct. 17 in Santiago
Nigeria 2 USA 0. Goals: Agor 50, Osimhen (Agor) 61.
Nigeria -- Udoh; Lazarus, Enogela, Zakari, Bamgboye (Chukwueze, 81); Osimhen (Okwonkwo, 90+3), Nwakali, Agor (Michael, 61), Ikwu; Anumudu, Ebere.
USA -- Pulisic; Olosunde (Adams, 67), Trusty, Arellano, Nelson; Zendejas, Calvillo, Perez; Wright (de la Torre, 64), Gallardo (da Silva, 83), Pulisic.
Red card: Trusty (USA) 87.
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)

22 comments about "USA falls in its U-17 World Cup opener to Nigeria ".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 18, 2015 at 6:23 a.m.

    i want...

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, October 18, 2015 at 6:39 a.m.

    I want...I Want...I WANT MY MONEY BACK.!!!....This is what we get after Years of Residency Training.!?!?!?...A "Over Coached" De-Void of Creativity, Passionless, Bunch of Robots... (except for maybe Perez)...I don't care if it was (as the announcers were Speculating) against the Nigerian u19 team...They Looked like they were playing to "3rd Day" "REVELATION"

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, October 18, 2015 at 6:46 a.m.

    "Revelation"....My life has led me down the road that's so uncertain...Now I am left alone and I am broken...Trying to find my way...Trying to find the faith that's gone...This time I know that you are holding all the answers...I'm tired of losing hope and taking chances...On roads that never seemTo be the ones that bring me home...Give me a Revelation...Show me what to do....'Cause I've been trying to find my way...I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE...Tell me should I stay here...Or do I need to move...Give me a Revelation...I've got nothing without you...My life has led me down this path that's ever winding....Through every twist and turn, I'm always finding....THAT I AM LOST AGAIN...TELL ME WHEN THIS ROAD WILL EVER END....

  4. Greg Milton, October 19, 2015 at 9:20 a.m.

    Yes..what you saw is inept play making and exactly what JK looks fwd to inherit and the reason why your n others comments about him are rooted in fantasy. The current crop of players are not anything to brag about. And is more anecdotal evidence, which is already mountainous, that the US system, having groomed psuedo athletic/coached up kids, get punked by the poor kids are truly playing to get their families out of poverty...and also bc they love soccer with an intensity that soccer Mom's and the clubs ruin with the pay to play. There are hundreds of kids who are not selected for the very flaws that make them awesome players. Richie looks to be an open minded coach but I think there is a silent mandate that the kids have to be pucked from the odp group and I am sorry odp is not true sample of the talent pick lame apples, you will get lame results...

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 10:05 a.m.

    Greg, JK was brougt in to FIX this...And the while he has a Limited Time to work with National Team or the Olympic Team...He has these Players "Locked" up in Bradenton EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR for the Last 2 years...Is this his idea of Development.???...Or is this part of his Master Plan, to Instill "More Learning" THROUGH MORE LOSING"

  6. BJ Genovese, October 19, 2015 at 9:33 a.m.

    Most national team kids are not picked from ODP. Still agree though. Its a coaching identification problem that starts with US soccer scouting.

  7. Soccer Madness replied, October 19, 2015 at 9:40 a.m.

    They are mostly and exclusively picked from DA system. Same difference. We dont have the right scouts nor do we have the right coaches for the job. That is clear. We go from beating Brazil 2 years ago to losing to a Nigeria Team (no matter what age they are) that is not a favorite for this tournament. This was defenitely a game that USA needed to win. I dont thingk Nigeria will beat other 2 teams, who are both favorites over Nigeria.

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, October 21, 2015 at 10:57 a.m.

    Nigeria is ALWAYS "A Favorite" in this Age Group...Witness their 5-1 Drubbing of Host Chile...They just don't have a Good System of Birth Year Registration...It evens out once All players Mature Physically...

  9. Soccer Madness, October 19, 2015 at 9:43 a.m.

    Hey, but going U12 and U13 for DA will fix everything!! Dont worry. Now that the DA will target an even younger group to play either a boring 1-2 touch posession game or/and a "dont lose your shape defensively" and "Just Play Simple!" type of game we will develop even better players!! I am being sarcastic.

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 10:12 a.m.

    Oh, and Don't forget the famous "PLAY THE WAY YOUR FACING"...Breed that "SPECIALITY" Out of them...Way to go Richie...

  11. BJ Genovese replied, October 19, 2015 at 7:54 p.m.

    Yeah, I think its called "sterile possesion". ... I picked up on a great reference in a piece today that taked about the USSDA and tossed out a great term that unfortunately describes to a tee our current situation. It was said that USSDA implements "best practices" which is a something that is used in most large corporations or government programs that describes "programmed planning" Really its a system put in place to cover somebodies ass when they do a shitty job. Is this already starting to sound familiar??? Its because it is... and it translates to what you are seeing on the pitch.

  12. Joe Linzner, October 19, 2015 at 10:10 a.m.

    some clear observations and Amen

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 10:19 a.m.

    Yes, Joe, Pastor Santiago says Amen to that...

  14. Pasco Struhs, October 19, 2015 at 11:12 a.m.

    What is DA?

  15. Soccer Madness, October 19, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

    Development Academy

  16. Pasco Struhs, October 19, 2015 at 11:46 a.m.

    @ Sooccer Madness - So you think the DA programs are flawed in their training philosophies?

  17. Soccer Madness replied, October 19, 2015 at noon

    Yes. Isnt it obvious?

  18. Alan Cahill, October 19, 2015 at 1 p.m.

    ON a positive note, the keeper made some fantastic saves....the one position the USA has produced and will continue to produce at a consistently high level...

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 1:41 p.m.

    But the Center Backs were ATROCIOUS...Worst I have seen on Any USA team...2 of them will be out next game...Hopefully we will get Better

  20. BJ Genovese replied, October 19, 2015 at 8:02 p.m.

    Good point, and why is that exactly? Why cant we produce other positions, yet for some reason the one totally unique position on the pitch that requires no creativity. Only black and white dimensions. The USA is great at.

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 10:50 p.m.

    Well, it starts with a Coaching Philosophy that has gotten away from Original USSF (Dettmar Cramer-German) of "Steal and Chase"...What made Beckenbauer so Revolutionary was that as a Defender, When he would Steal the Ball from the Opposing Team; He would then "Take Off" on a Run TOWARDS THE OPPONENTS GOAL POSTS...Who was chasing Him.???...Nobody (Forwards are Lazy or The Worst Defender on the team)...Now the Midfielder of the Opposing team has to make a Choice; Stay with "their" player or pick-up the "Overlapping" Player...This Starts a "Dominoe Effect" that Theoretically ends in 2v1 on the Center Back or Outside Defender...But it all "Starts" with a Defender Running Out of the Back...Seen that Much from USA; or any other Defenses Lately.???...Say since AC Milan Supposedly Started the Trend Towards "Flat Four"..???

  22. aaron dutch, October 21, 2015 at 12:05 p.m.

    great article on the U17's....

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