U.S. U-20s rebound with win over Haiti

After opening its U-20 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 loss to Panama, the USA rebounded well, beating Haiti, 4-1, in its second Group B game of the Concacaf U-20 Championship.

Brooks Lennon, a RSL-Arizona product who spent the last year and a half with Liverpool’s youth teams before returning to Real Salt Lake, hit a hat trick for Coach Tab Ramos’ team.

The USA finishes first-round group play on Friday against St. Kitts & Nevis, which lost 4-0 to Panama on Tuesday and 5-1 to Haiti in its opener on Saturday.

The Americans, with a plus-2 goal difference compared to Haiti’s plus-1, and facing a weaker final group game opponent, are well poised to reach the second round. Four teams from the two three-team, second-round groups will qualify for the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

Haiti took a 16th minute when Kenley Dede, shedding marker Marlon Fossey, volleyed acrobatically into net from nine yards.

The USA equalized with a Lennon penalty kick in the 29th minute after a foul on Jonathan Lewis.

Luca De la Torre gave the USA the lead in the 52nd minute with a low 13-yard shot after Haiti keeper Isaac Rouaud stranded himself trying to swat away a corner kick.

Lennon wrapped up the scoring with goals in the 53rd and 58th minute. The first came after Lewis stripped a Haitian defender and fed Jeremy Ebobisse to relay the ball to Lennon. He finished the rebound off Rouaud’s block of a De la Torre shot for his third of the game.

Ramos made two changes from his starting lineup against Panama, Eryk Williamson for injured Tyler Adams and Jonathan Lewis for Sebastian Saucedo, who was subbed in with 19 minutes left.

Feb. 21 in San Jose, Costa Rica
Goals: Lennon (pen.) 29, 53, 58; De la Torre 52; Dede 16.
USA -- Klinsmann, Fossey, Redding, Glad, Acosta, Williamson, Palmer-Brown (Gutjahr, 68), De la Torre, Lennon (Craft, 81), Ebobisse, Lewis (Saucedo 71).
Haiti -- Rouaud, Jerome, Georges, Sprangers (Damus, 61), Chevreuil (Pierre, 85), Dede, Pierre, Noel (Louima, 61), Campoy, Guillaume, Desire.
Red card: Haiti (Georges) 82.
Referee: Valdin Legister (Jamaica)
Att.: 170.

Stats: USA/Haiti
Shots: 16/12
Shots on Goal: 6/3
Saves: 2/2
Corner Kicks: 4/4
Fouls: 21/23
Offside: 6/1

Misconduct Summary:
Haiti -- Georges (caution) 39, Georges (caution) 82, Georges (ejection) 82, Pierre (caution) 91+.

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