USA loses U-20 qualifying opener to 10-man Panama

The USA’s qualifying campaign for the 2017 U-20 World Cup started poorly when it fell, 1-0, to Panama, which was reduced to 10 players with a red card in the 18th minute.

Panama’s Justin Simons was ejected for a foul that injured Tyler Adams, giving the USA a man-advantage for 72 minutes, but Los Caneleros took a 37th minute lead with a shot by Leandro Ávila that deflected off defender Marlon Fossey and beat goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann.

Jeremy Ebobisse hit the crossbar with a header in the 48th minute and Panama, runner-up to Mexico at the 2015 Concacaf U-20 Championship, held on for the win while out-shooting the USA 10 to nine.

The game was the first of the USA’s three matches in Group B, from which the top two finishers advance to the second phase. Coach Tab Ramos’ team faces Haiti, a 5-1 winner over St. Kitts and Nevis, on Tuesday.

Panama also beat the USA in group play two years in a different format. The 12-team tournament consisted two groups of six with the group winners qualifying for the World Cup and the second- and third-place teams advancing to single-game playoffs to determine the other two teams that would advance.

The USA finished in its group two years ago and will need to finish in the top two in Costa Rica to stay alive. The second phase this time involves two groups of three teams with the top two in each group qualifying for the world championship in South Korea.

Feb. 18 in Tibas, Costa Rica
USA 0 Panama 1
Goal: L.Avila (Córdoba) 37.
USA -- Klinsmann; Fossey, Redding (Williamson, 69), Glad, Acosta; Lennon, Palmer-Brown, De La Torre (Craft, 69), Saucedo; Ebobisse, Adams (Sabbi, 31)
Panama -- Taylor; Vergara (Gutiérrez, 93+), Rivera, Ramos, Andrade; Simons, R.Avila, Tejada, L.Avila (Hinestroza, 79); Martínez (Jaen, 72), Córdoba.

Stats: USA/Panama
Shots: 9/10
Shots on Goal: 2/2
Saves: 1/2
Corner Kicks: 6/5
Fouls: 22/16
Offside: 2/1

Misconduct Summary:
PAN - Justin Simons (ejection) 18
USA - Luca de la Torre (caution) 41
PAN - Cristian Martínez (caution) 46+
USA - Sebastian Saucedo (caution) 74

7 comments about "USA loses U-20 qualifying opener to 10-man Panama".
  1. Ric Fonseca, February 20, 2017 at 1:35 p.m.

    Saw the game hoping to see a more spirited fight from the US, however, all I saw was a bunch of guys trying to keep the ball away from the Canaleros, poor marking, midfield almost non-existent, etc. So I went to the store instead and caught the last ten painful minutes. So if the US doesn't tighten up and play with cojones, it will be hasta la vista baby and even the "color commentators" were fit to be tied and seemed to be "calling out" the Gruinguitos to play better - not that Panama played any better, but the announcers kept on making hay of several of the Canaleros playing for US based community colleges and even playing for an MLS team or two.

  2. Goal Goal, February 20, 2017 at 3:35 p.m.

    Oh are you supposed to attack the goal. Damn, new concept. Ric these guys at this age are over the hill so to speak. If these Youth national team coaches, 16,15,14 etc see a midfielder make a move with the ball other than launch it to someone they are pulled from the game and many times the team itself. Creativity is non existent.

    Hang in there Ric its got to bet better.

  3. Quarterback TD, February 20, 2017 at 8:18 p.m.

    We use to do better than this when we had only college and High School players. Our team is better than Panama but they need to stop trying to pass every ball and take shots. Too many passes..

  4. Christopher Tallmadge, February 20, 2017 at 9:14 p.m.


  5. frank schoon, February 22, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

    Guys, I didn't watch the game, but from what I've read from your wasn't good. No cojones, afraid to express oneself with the ball at midfield because you might be removed, trying to pass every ball....Geez, these criticisms sounds familiar from 40 years ago. "Afraid to express oneself with the ball at midfield"is a reflection of the coaching, which I don't understand for Ramos who himself is Latino and I consider him as one of the better technical American players like Hugo Perez in the annals of American soccer. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Where is the freedom of expression with the ball? What I want to hear from the criticisms for a change is, "Oh, our center half or our striker plays with the ball too much, too fancy, shows off a little too much, or he holds on to the ball a little too much, or he is enjoying himself too much, but he is good at taking on players";or the coach might pull his hair out every time this kids gets the ball because he is a little over expressiveness, too many moves. GUYS! this is what I want to hear for that tells me , FINALLY, were doing it right with development of players. It is the Ballhogs, the expressive players that when they mature will become the better players or stars. But unfortunate we don't, for we have nothing but programmed players with no creativity and that has not changed for the past 50years or so.Everywhere in South America the latino players , show a bravado, an ego, with the ball, but in America they are neutered.
    This is why I continually say that how soccer is run here is a joke. As you compare American soccer from 50years ago up to now we produced nothing but programmed players, and haven't even produced a player that just stands out on the field either because he was born with talent but also developed well...NONE what so ever. And realize we have so many more kids playing today as compared to 50years ago and have so many licensed coaches that if we placed all these license that have been issued together it could probably read the moon. Yeah, guys we are so organized now as to compared to than, but we still BLAH! or rather what we call in Holland " Grey Mice" that lack any expressiveness with the ball or stand out.
    Trying to pass every ball is a sign of fear, and no confidence. This tells me that the coach expressive a fear of not losing the ball and these kids up to now have been developed by programmed coaches who themselves ,as players, were not creative and probably played as a defender. This is another problem of coaching and developing players and that more defenders tend to become coaches than offensive players which is a result also makes the player less individualistic. Remember Nene Cubicles a World Stare was denied by a B-license here ,years ago. That was bad mistake for it would be players like him that these young talented need to have and look up to and learn from

  6. frank schoon replied, February 22, 2017 at 10:34 a.m.

    Sorry I meant Nene Cubillas ...this automatic spell check is a pain in the you know what

  7. frank schoon, February 22, 2017 at 10:40 a.m.

    Guys! We beat Haiti , 4-1...Sorry guys , all take it all back what I said...No , just joking!!!!

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