USA makes history with win over Mexico in U-17 qualifying

Missouri product Josh Sargent  scored twice and assisted in the U.S. U-17 national team’s 4-2 win over Mexico that a clinches a berth for the USA in the second group stage of the Concacaf U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament in Panama. The USA had opened with a 5-0 win over Jamaica in which Sargent scored and assisted.

• The USA’s win was its first ever over Mexico in U-17 World Cup qualifying.
• The victory ended Mexico’s 25-game unbeaten streak in Concacaf U-17 Championship play.
• Mexico is two-time defending Concacaf U-17 champion and has reached the final four of the last three U-17 World Cups.

The USA, already assured of finishing first in Group C, faces winless El Salvador on Saturday. It advances to a three-team second-round group from which the top two finishers will qualify for the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India.

The Mexicans took a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute on a counterattack after Andres Perez stripped Chris Goslin of the ball in midfield and sent a through ball down the center to Roberto de la Rosa, who flew past U.S. central defender A.J. Vasquez and shot low into the net from 14 yards past onrushing keeper Justin Garces.

Sargent equalized 20 minutes later. After receiving a high pass from Blaine Ferri, Sargent flicked the ball past defender Carlos Robles before stroking the ball past keeper Andre Alcaraz.

Sargent finished his own rebound in the 40th minute to give the USA a 2-1 lead that vanished a minute before halftime when del la Rosa scored his second, a header from a Daniel Lopez cross.

But six minutes into a second half in which the USA would control most of the play -- winning one-on-one battles and intercepting passes as the Mexicans struggled to find the kind of rhythm it displayed in its 6-0 win over El Salvador -- Ferri hit a low 22-yard shot into the low left corner of Mexico’s goal for the 3-2 lead.

George Acosta, a late sub, started the counterattack in which Sargent set up Ayo Akinola, who had scored twice against Jamaica, for the USA’s fourth goal.

An own goal by Jaylin Lindsey gifted Mexico its third goal, one minute into stoppage time.

Results: Concacaf U-17 World Cup Qualifying

April 26 in Panama City
USA 4 Mexico 3.
Goals: Sargent (Ferri) 26, Sargent 40, Ferri (Carleton) 51, Akinola (Sargent) 78; de la Rosa (Perez) 6, de la Rosa (Lopez) 44, Lindsey (own goal) 92+.
USA — Garces; Gloster (Watts, 46), Vasquez, Sands, Lindsey; Ferri, Durkin, Goslin (Acosta, 80); Carleton (Weah, 75), Sargent, Akinola.
Mexico — Lopez; Vazquez, Robles, Olivas, Sandoval; Gamiz, Gutierrez (Guerrero, 78), Perez (Huerta, 60); Torres, Lopez (Alvarado, 71), De La Rosa.
Referee: Jose Kellys (Panama).

Stats Summary: USA/Mexico
Shots: 10/8
Shots on target: 6/3
Saves: 1/2
Corner Kicks: 2/5
Fouls: 15/10
Offside: 3/0
Yellow cards — Mexico (Gutierrez) 60.

44 comments about "USA makes history with win over Mexico in U-17 qualifying".
  1. Gus Keri, April 27, 2017 at 5:16 a.m.

    This was by far the best ever US performance against Mexico at all levels. they dominated the game like no other time. The future of US soccer is in good hands.

  2. don Lamb replied, April 27, 2017 at 8:58 a.m.

    Agreed that this was a fairly dominant performance, but the U20s beat Mexico fairly easily (although maybe quite as dominant) recently. And, I didn't see the game, but the 16s beat Mexico 3-0 in France. A pretty incredible string of results over the last couple of months if you consider our previous record at the youth levels against Mexico. Have I mentioned that we've been making a ton of progress when it comes to youth development in the US?

  3. stewart hayes, April 27, 2017 at 7:43 a.m.

    After a scary start they kept their heads and finished their chances well. The final goal for Mexico was unfortunate. The team did not kill the game very well so that is one of many areas they need to improve.

  4. Quarterback TD, April 27, 2017 at 8:10 a.m.

    I thought I responded to this after the game yesterday-- anyway-- the US youth program has finally arrived.. this win over a Mexico that has one of the best youth programs and won the World Cup U17 in addition with several top 3 finishes is very impressive. Don't like looking at live events on the internet but I must say the US looked like they can finally win a Men's World Cup competition. Keep it up..

  5. Woody Woodpecker replied, April 27, 2017 at 12:37 p.m.

    First off, its never a finished product its continuous and ongoing process. Quality is elusive. Although I'm not a huge JK fan, let's give some credit where is due. And yes, I get it grunts pull it, leadership directs it, we're only as good as the people who surrounding on the pitch and in the workplace.

  6. don Lamb, April 27, 2017 at 9:05 a.m.

    For all of the hand wringing about us choosing players that are only athletic or that our best athletes don't play soccer, one of the takeaways from this match was the difference in class that our players had compared to Mexico's in terms of athleticism. It reminded me of seeing our 23s against Colombia last year, or watching another US youth team against France a few years ago. However, our superiority seemed to be just as much about skill and technical ability on the ball than simply athleticism.

  7. K Michael replied, April 27, 2017 at 10:05 a.m.

    Yep, Don, and these kids aren't just athletic, they are SOCCER athletic; lean, strong, with good burst, lateral movement, and balance. Couple that with a decent first touch, and we're finally getting somewhere. And the younger age groups even more so!

  8. Woody Woodpecker, April 27, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

    Great foundations laid in place from Mr. Jurgen Klinsman? These things don't happen over nigth, this is the fruition of previous leadership vision, goals and planning.....fact.

  9. don Lamb replied, April 27, 2017 at 10:48 a.m.

    I think it's the hundreds of people who are working on a much more micro level, but I do think that Klinsmann was a net positive when it comes to the growth of the game in the US.

  10. K Michael, April 27, 2017 at 10:01 a.m.

    With all due respect, Klinsmann had very little to do with this...This is the very predictable result of a generation now in their teens and younger who grew up watching the world’s best on TV; wearing their favorite players’ jerseys; playing in their yard; the school fields; trying different moves; having a ball on their feet since age four; with parents who understand the sport and its rules; with coaches who have actually played at higher levels; who train in an Academy system that is rapidly evolving (but nowhere near its potential, yet) into a world-class residency-driven model with similarities to those found in South America/Europe. Certainly we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but growth is logarithmic (not linear), and coupled with the sheer numbers of kids who play regularly, 2026 can’t get here fast enough! Granted, just pulling numbers from the air, it probably takes three times the player pool in the US to develop a pro-caliber player as it does in Latin America and Europe, but once that ratio gets tighter, we win the Cup, guaranteed.

  11. Quarterback TD replied, April 27, 2017 at 10:36 a.m.

    Michael, thanks for setting the record straight-- people like to give too much credit to the generals and not the grunt fighters.. kids put in a lot of work as well as parents and youth coaches put in a lot of money and time commitments to have someone simple say some German asshole is responsible. I am happy with this victory but will not be satisfied till US wins..

  12. Goal Goal, April 27, 2017 at 10:55 a.m.

    I was impressed with the win. The US did dominate and the counter attacking was great.

    Just one observations for this Mexico team. Very poor passing at critical moments. I have never seen a team from Mexico at any age make such errant passes throughout the game. They gave the ball up to easily.

  13. don Lamb replied, April 27, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.

    The recent U20 game with Mexico was pretty similar in that Mexico could not handle our pressure at all. The difference between that game and this one is that our attacking talent is much better with the 17s than the 20s, so we created a lot more chances than in the game a couple months ago. Both were dominant performances that highlighted Mexico's inability to create any sort of consistency going forward because of our high press out of the 433.

  14. beautiful game, April 27, 2017 at 11:22 a.m.

    Very impressive performance...execution was spot on.

  15. R2 Dad, April 27, 2017 at 11:26 a.m.

    Good performance from the US--beating Mexico is always important for the program. But this is the first hurdle in a race--there are still about a half-dozen more matches that will require better focus, more patience and more creativity in the final 3rd. You'd have to say the African nations are heavy favorites at this point. It's too soon to forecast, since injuries and officiating can always turn the tide. I thought Akinola decision-making around the box could improve, and the back line communication process needs work as evidenced by the OG late-on. Well-played and something to build on.

  16. Rusty Welch, April 27, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    First U-17 game I've seen since watching Pulisic on the U-20's, and it was very encouraging. Sargent, Carleton and Akinola looked like the best players on the pitch. Some very good passing, movement and control from our lads, and considering that these kids are 15/16 years old, very heartening. If they keep working hard at it, we will see them on the senior circuit in 3-5 years. Coupled with Pulisic's continuous improvement, Hyndman picking up, Miazga getting some time - the future keeps looking better and better for U.S. soccer. I am very excited to watch these players develop, and hope that Hackworth can keep them on the right path.
    If you told me 10 years ago (or even 5) that our U-17 team would look this good in beating Mexico (in Panama), I'm not sure I would have believed it.

  17. Woody Woodpecker replied, April 27, 2017 at 12:33 p.m.

    The benefactor of this and the future will be the MLS. I'm so sick and tired of having to defend this league. In time, and bet the farm on it, MLS will be one of the best leagues in this world. Its coming.... trust me. FYI. great win for Dallas FC to win the Dallas super cup another first.... more to come.

  18. Nick Daverese, April 27, 2017 at 4:08 p.m.

    Always nice to beat our biggest rival in any age group. To the American players muy bien!!!

  19. Nick Daverese, April 27, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

    Woody winning the Dallas Super group is a good sign of big progress. I put a team in some years ago and we did play well. We did not win it. Only game we lost was to the eventual super cup winner.

  20. Craig Cummings, April 27, 2017 at 10:03 p.m.

    I could not find this game on my cable network. I have over 400 channels, what network is showing these games?

  21. R2 Dad replied, April 27, 2017 at 10:28 p.m.

    there was a link posted earlier:

  22. Rusty Welch replied, April 28, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

    Univision Deportes

  23. K Michael, April 28, 2017 at 11 a.m.

    Headline 2026: USA First World Cup Finals Appearance; downed 2-1 by Argentina.

    Comment Section, J Kumar:
    "See, the USA sucks, we can't develop players, blah, blah, blah...."

    Headline 2030: USA Champs !!! First time Cup Winners thrash France 3-0

    Comment Section, J Kumar:
    "Should have won it in 2026; pikers! Plus, only 48.5% possession, blah, blah, blah..."

  24. don Lamb replied, April 28, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.

    lol. What a fraud that guy is... Remember, he will have gone through about 1000 names by then so it surely won't be J Kumar though.

  25. Quarterback TD replied, April 28, 2017 at 3:52 p.m.

    J Kumar is 100% right on a lot of items he touched on. The fact that people are saying US totally dominated is totally untrue. Yes we dominated Mexican but it was an uphill battle. Remember Mexico had 3 quality goals against US that shows some US weakness in the back but that can be expected in any U17 game. Also I am suspect that a lot of folks did not look at this game in its entirety and instead looked at recaps. Anyway regardless this team is totally ready to win the U17 World Cup..

  26. don Lamb replied, April 28, 2017 at 3:58 p.m.

    I watched it in it's entirety twice. Man for man, the US dominated the match. One massive mistake by Vasquez gave Mexico an early goal. An own goal in stoppage time gave their third. On the whole, though, total domination as just about every US player was better than the Mexican player across from him.

  27. Quarterback TD replied, April 28, 2017 at 4:15 p.m.

    No one says the US did not dominate. To be honest whether we dominated 100% or 35% does not matter to me.. what matter to me is we defeated a team that is regarded as a superpower at U17 soccer. From what I saw is we played a quality U17 Mexico team from a world class youth program and won. Mexico is not a lightweight and I am sure if we play them today the results can be different. I said it before and I will say it again-- I expect US to win the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017. We have everything and has done everything to make it possible.

  28. don Lamb replied, April 28, 2017 at 9:50 p.m.

    Dude, if Sargeant was not available for that game then Akinola plays up top and Weah starts on the wing instead of coming in as a sub -- and they would have rolled Mexico all the same. They were just straight up better all over the field. And it's been that way for at least 180 straight minutes of play between these two youth squads.

  29. don Lamb replied, April 29, 2017 at 8:25 a.m.

    Domination is also when all of one teams players are better than all of the other teams players. Mexico got dominated.

  30. Craig Cummings, April 29, 2017 at 12:29 a.m.

    Thank you R D Dad. I hope to catch the next game.

  31. frank schoon, April 29, 2017 at 11:04 a.m.

    Well. guys , I just finished watching the first half and so far the better "SOCCER PLAYING ' team without a doubt is Mexico. It is not even an issue. The Mexicans actually play soccer, they pass the ball around ,try build up even under pressure by the American who did a good job pressing up high. It took the US about 8min before the US team actually strung 2 consecutive passes together. The mexican team creates triangles off the ball, team moving together upwards, and consecutively go beyond just stringing even more than two passes together, which the US has difficulty doing. The first goal scored by Mexico was nice like the US goal. The second goal by Mexico was beautifully set up and finished , the build up the movement of the whole Mexican team with the beautiful cross was sofar the best goal. The second US goal was just a comedy errors from a dead ball situation with some good hustle by #9 to finish. The Astro turf is a joke for it caused the ball to bounce to high. I see throw ins to players come on the bounce instead of to the feet. Too many were bad. As far as grading the first, Mexico is the better as far playing soccer. The US does not have the fluidity of play which is a characteristic of US soccer and relies more on opportunism. Although the better soccer playing team doesn't necessarily wins the game but as fare as development goes the Mexican player are at least better developed in the aspect playing 'soccer"

  32. Bob Ashpole replied, April 29, 2017 at 5:23 p.m.

    Frank, my thoughts in reading the earlier debate was that a high press 433 coupled with a direct attack is not a good development system as the team gets little experience playing through the middle third. It is a good plan for winning youth matches (especially against opponents trying to learn to play a more indirect style), but I wonder if the U17 residency program used that tactic all the time?

  33. frank schoon replied, April 29, 2017 at 7:44 p.m.

    Bob, that is a very good question. I think this is the plan for the US teams when they play better "soccer playing" teams to place high pressure and do whatever to break the rhythm of the opponents. And of course this type of play is much easier to carry out then try to build up an attack from the back which the Mexicans tried even under great pressure. And notice under this pressure the Mexicans didn't end up blasting the ball long, which the US would have done. The Mexicans kept to their game style, trying to go through the middle third employing indirect passes. The US in a sense won the battle but lost he war. The Mexican coach has nothing to be ashamed of but I would recommend for them to work on picking up the opponents better as soon as they cross the midfield line. I find that the US is more dangerous when they don't have the ball meaning they are more effective when they can steal the ball via an opponent's mistake and counter for we just don't have that ball finesse like building up from the back, creating nice short passes, with the flowing from player to player on attack. We just don't have that ability like the Mexicans display when they have the ball. In sum Mexico is more dangerous with the ball and the US more dangerous when they don't have the ball . If you look at how Pulisic plays he is a perfect example of a player who is more dangerous without the ball and become dangerous in running into open space to receive the ball.
    Yes, I don't see any change in the way the US plays their game, it is very opportunistic, lacking the good ball possession and favor a more run and gun approach. These developmental academies ,if they are serious, should stress ball possession, building up from the back, indirect passing, etc. but I'm not seeing that. The Mexican team as a result are the moral winners for they stuck to their guns in trying to play a more sophisticated type of game.

  34. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 8:33 a.m.

    Bob - No experience playing through the middle third?? That is exactly what this team does. They do not play the direct style that you suggest. The 88% pass completion rate should be evidence of that. The build up to goals 2 and 3 are further evidence. Frank - The academies VERY MUCH do stress ball possession and retention. Calling the Mexican team the "moral winners" of that game is absolutely trifling as they were thoroughly outclassed.

  35. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 8:42 a.m.

    Frank - Your description of the game is WAY off, which is probably most evident in your description of the US' second goal. It was not the result of "a comedy errors from a dead ball situation with some good hustle." In fact, Sargeant's impressive strength and skill were the end result of a 10-pass sequence that probed throughout Mexico's defensive third. This ball circulation was not uncommon for the US, and is was certainly better than Mexico. which showed little in terms of being able to be dangerous with their possession.

  36. Bob Ashpole replied, April 30, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.

    Don it is a truism that every time (that a team wins the ball high up the field and directly attacks on the counter) is a lost opportunity to practice the build up play leading to entering the final third. That is a drawback of a successful high press as far as player development is concerned. If the opponent occasionally breaks the high press, that provides some opportunities to build in the middle third.

  37. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

    Bob - The US built out of the back a ton. Goal kicks and keeper distributions were all short. They got plenty of reps in the game, and it is clear that they have trained extensively how they want to do this. Vasques is as smooth on the ball as any CB I've seen at that age, and Sands is adequate. And Goslin and Lindsey were attacking down the flanks all game long.

  38. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 7:02 p.m.

    J - I'm sure you weren't laughing that hard while the US has thrashed Mexico in the last three youth team meetings. Probably crying and trying to figure out how you were going to reconcile this inconceivability. We have more than a couple data points over the last couple of months (U20 game, U17 game, U16 game, GA Cup) that suggests that we are producing players who are AT LEAST as good as Mexico's.

  39. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 8:07 p.m.

    You and Frank have been shown to make things up or misinterpret facts on a consistent basis. Two recent examples are Frank's recount of the US' second goal against Mexico, which was as far from what he described as possible, and your failure to comprehend the facts about the FCD team that beat Real Madrid. I'm definitely not worried about you or Frank "kicking my ass;" especially when the overall debate about the success or lack thereof in terms of developing players in the US is obviously leaning to the side that I have been promoting for months as you have been declaring that youth development in the US is completely broken or nonexistent.

  40. don Lamb replied, April 30, 2017 at 9:33 p.m.

    Also, J - You do know that Frank is the guy who says that Lionel Messi is not one of the top 10 players of all time, right? ...

  41. don Lamb replied, May 1, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

    Oh, word. Thanks for that. Now I just know that you have been trolling the entire time. cheers!

  42. frank schoon, April 29, 2017 at 12:49 p.m.

    Just saw the second half. The mexican team did not play as well as in the first half. The US played about the same. In a nutshell the mexicans are poor on defense, for that is how the 3rd and 4th goal against them came about. Everyone mentions #9 for the US but I also like #11for the US and #10 and #7for Mexico. I hear quite a few talk about our athleticism and strength of the US ,well that does not interpret into necessarily good soccer playing for our game is much to be desired. As I stated before ,it is the Mexicans that try to at least play soccer , they try to set themselves up on attack , pass short, create triangles, move up as team, but lack in the defense department, for they don't pressure up high and gives US space like in the U20 game. If you want to beat the US than play tight high pressure, for US players are not good in small spaces for we lack the technical skill and poise for that. If I was the Mexican coach , I would not feel bad for they for his team is much further along in "playing soccer" as seen in their poise, movement with the ball, creating triangular positions off the ball positions, fluidity of movement, all of which the US team lacks. Unfortunately the best team doesn't necessarily wins but when looking at U17 players who are still developing then I would say Mexico is doing a better job of it. There was no domination by the US team as some say for how can you dominate when there is so much ball loss and lack of possession. This game simply put came down to that of Mexico needs to improve and work on defense better, but "playing soccer' they are ahead of us.

  43. frank schoon, April 30, 2017 at 9:06 a.m.

    J, Bob, let me say this first about playing high pressure soccer, it is not a style but a tactic you employ to throw off you opponents rhythm by reducing their space and time with the ball. The Mexican team can play high pressure too as a defense which they did at times. So when developing players it is not a question or choice between playing high pressure soccer or play "real soccer" employing possession and building up from the back.You can do BOTH! But when you're dealing with youth soccer, high pressure soccer can more easily effects a team's rhythm because the players are still not" fully" developed. And this is why the US chose the right tactic and successfully so. But if you look at their goals made, it does it really reflect in how they play. For example the first US goal had nothing to with a nice built up of attack but strictly an ordinary long ball downfield that #9 with a nice move took advantage of and scored. In other words the goal ,and style of soccer the US played is a disconnect. But look at the second goal scored by Mexico which really is a culmination of how soccer should be played. It is the best goal (not the goal itself) I've seen in all the tournaments so far ,a culmination the end result ,reflecting the style of soccer Mexico plays, which is build up from the back
    crossing over midfield,the whole teams moving up
    on offense , an accurate cross coming in from the wing
    and accurately placed in the goal. The other goal scored by the US was a 3v1 situation when the Mexican team was desperate to score near the end of the game.
    The shot outside the penalty area by the US which led to a goal was poor defense on the Mexican team, there was no one there in front of the box. The last Mexican goal was likewise due to a good build up, the whole team moved up on attack and finished scoring. So if you look at the US goals scored can you really contribute or connect their goals to how they play. NO!
    but you can say that about the Mexican team for their goals were all connected to the build up, possession ,overall team movement which resulted in goals. And that is why the Mexican coach should be happy how their youth are developing. So now you have to ask what are these Soccer Academies really teaching ? Is it improving the player or are they creating a style of soccer the US should play which ball possession, building up an attack from the back, creating good ball movement through midfield. Obviously it is the former which is sad, it should be both. As you look at the game, it is like any other american game..It is opportunistic, lack of ball possession ,too many bad passes, leading to 50/50 duels. Nothing new there.
    It took the US team 8 minutes before they strung 2 consecutive passes, where as the Mexicans have no problem doing that.... The fans are happy we won but real soccer "insiders' know better..this is not good, and I would certainly question the Soccer Academies what their role is, besides big money

  44. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 30, 2017 at 10:12 a.m.

    Blah, blah, blah. This could have been pre-written by you before the game since you were going to post it regardless of the result.

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