Under-20 World Cup: Confident USA moves into first place

The USA built on the momentum of its dramatic 3-3 tie with Ecuador in its opening game by beating Senegal, 1-0, to put it in the Group F lead at the Under-20 World Cup. The hero: 17-year-old Josh Sargent, who had the winner on a well-constructed goal, his third in two games, in the 34th minute.

Possession: 49% / 51%.
Shots: 8 / 15.
Saves: 2 / 2.
Fouls: 18 / 16.

The USA made two changes from the team that started against Ecuador -- Philadelphia Union midfielder Derrick Jones, who had come on for the injured Gedion Zelalem in the first half of the opener, and Tottenham center back Cameron Carter-Vickers, who was held out of Monday as he recovered from a knee injury.

Carter-Vickers, a starter two years at the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, made a huge difference for the USA, whose defensive failings cost it on all three goals against Ecuador, as he steadied the backline and cut out just about everything Senegal threw at the USA.

Under-20 World Cup: Scoreboard

In the first half, the USA got great work from its two central midfielders in front of Jones: Tyler Adams, who was outstanding in Concacaf qualifying and stepped in for departed Dax McCarty as a starter on the New York Red Bulls, and Eryk Williamson, who sat out his spring semester at the University of Maryland to play with the U-20s.

Adams was the best player on the field in the first half, setting up Williamson for a chance, creating one of himself and having the key touch on the Sargent goal, all in the space of five minutes.

Adams took a pass from right back Aaron Herrera and played it ahead to free De la Torre, who found Sargent coming to the ball. Sargent, who only weeks earlier was playing for the U.S. U-17s in their qualifying campaign, turned and fired a shot from 15 years past Senegalese keeper Mouhamed M'Baye.

The goal completed a hat trick of goals by Sargent: his first with his right foot, the second on a header and the third with his left foot.

In the second half, Senegal pressed for the equalizer but was undone by poor finishing. Sub Habib Gueye had an open header in the 84th minute that he could not put on target. For the game, Senegal only managed to put two of its 15 shots on target.

The USA, which faces Saudi Arabia in its final Group F game on Sunday, can finish no worse than third in its group and will have to collapse not to finish among the top four third-place teams that will join the group winners and runners-up in the round of 16.

ELSEWHERE. Five teams have six points after two games and are through to the next round: South Korea, Venezuela, Zambia, South American champion Uruguay and European champion France.

Among the winless teams are Argentina, Portugal and Germany, which have won nine U-20 championships between them.

May 25 in Incheon
USA 1 Senegal 0. Goal: Sargent 34.
USA -- Klinsmann, Herrera, Carter-Vickers, Palmer-Brown, Acosta, Lennon, Jones, Williamson (Glad 84), Adams, De la Torre (Kunga 90), Sargent (Ebobisse 90+4).
Senegal -- Mouhamed Mbaye, Diouf, Ndecky, Diagne (Ly 86), Diarra, Niane, Badji (Habib 79), Ibrahima Ndiaye, Diatta, Kane.
Yellow Cards: USA Herrera -- 7; Senegal -- Kane 60, Diarra 86, Ibrahima Ndiaye 88.
Referee: Andres Cunha (Uruguay).
Att.: 5,864.

23 comments about "Under-20 World Cup: Confident USA moves into first place".
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now, May 25, 2017 at 11:01 a.m.

    Solid performance, Senegal had a few half chances late but overall we looked pretty comfortable. Hopefully take care of business against Saudi Arabia, win the group and get ready for the knockout stages. Anyone know where Sargent is headed when he turns 18?

  2. don Lamb replied, May 25, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    He supposedly already has a deal with Werder Bremen.

  3. Rusty Welch, May 25, 2017 at 11:16 a.m.

    SKC has his aquisition rights, he spent a week training w/PSV Eindhoven in Oct. '16, but a lot of people think he'll go to Schalke (who he trained w/after January camp).
    Considering all the possibles who aren't with this team, Tab Ramos has them playing fairly well. Still a lot to clean up, but the team looks good - that goal sequence was top-rate.
    What's really fun is seeing so many talented kids coming up from the U-17's to the U-20's - and wondering if Klinsmann (Sr.) is going to get any credit for helping the youth program. Pulisic doing so well I'm sure is inspiring the next wave of youth in this country as well - fun to watch them developing against great competition.

  4. Quarterback TD, May 25, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    Excellent win.. I knew US style of organize play would cause problems for Senegal. The second round will be where we will have most difficulty as teams starts to get adjusted and settle down into a more passing and possession build up play. The US coming off a late CONCACAF and year round play on pro clubs are more ready than any other team in this tournament and just need to keep the momentum and poised.
    Not sure how Saudi defeated Ecuador but I am sure it was a one off. Regardless Saudi maybe very technical as they only lost 2-1 against Senegal and they are building confidence so we need to just play a defensive game and shoot on goal on open opportunities. This group is still wide open for all teams to be knocked out so winning on Sunday is critical.

  5. Goal Goal, May 25, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    Our kids played well. Can't remember who said Senegal would be a push over. They weren't.

    Concerning Sargent. He is tops with a good future ahead of him. The fact is there are many, many more out here on the youth scene who have the same potential and if given the chance would show. However our coaching system at the national level at the younger ages is suspect. They limit the creativity of the players. Scott-Gallagher the club in St. Louis where Sargent plays is top notch, with top level coaching and club management who nurtures this type of player. Coaching staff there is about two steps above our national team coaching at the younger ages.

  6. George Miller, May 25, 2017 at 12:03 p.m.

    Sargent should be called into senior national team camp. He may not be ready
    but the experience will show him and coaches what development is needed OR
    like Pulisic he may be ready now. He certainly holds the ball and creates better than Jozy. Aaron Johansen and similar have all washed out. lets see what he can do at the top level

  7. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 25, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

    Too early for that I think - he still plays in DA. Let's let him get his club career started first. Even Pulisic didn't get called in until he had made appearance for the Dortmund first team.

  8. Paul Berry replied, May 25, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.

    Jozy does a lot more than you think. Sargent is playing against 18 or 19 year-olds, if Bobby Wood was doing that he would be a world-beater.

  9. frank schoon, May 25, 2017 at 12:44 p.m.

    Glad they won for I like to see the US go in to the next round and play better competition. This game ,technically speaking, was a horror show, tons of bad passes, way too many 50/50 duels left and right, tells you how badly played this game really was on both sides, lots of mindless running, reminiscent of high school soccer. Those coaches who think that athletic ability, speed and size(Senegal) is a deal breaker in soccer don't understand that soccer is played between the ears along with good ball handling skills in small spaces (which neither team exhibits). The only player on the US team that showed composure was the 17year old Sargent, the rest of the US team does not impress me,for their style of a play is a mini-version of MLS . One of the problems with African soccer is it lacks discipline,composure and cohesion, and tactical know how. Note, of all the African players playing in Europe you won't find one nice goal getter, just like in Japan or China. In China ,players feel very uncomfortable shooting at goal for if they miss badly it means losing face. There wasn't much technique displayed and what I mean by that is "real game technique" not display of tricky moves, cute passes or being able to juggle a thousand times. I'm talking about functional technique, the ability for example, to position yourself to receive the ball and place it in manner that allows you more than one option or direction , employing the minimum amount of touches or quickest manner, passing the ball with the right speed to a moving player, for example.
    I'm going to watch the game again after getting eye strain watching this garbage...

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, May 25, 2017 at 1:10 p.m.

    All I saw so far was the highlight clip above, in which the USA looked good of course. I will have to watch the game. We cannot really know how well they are playing without knowing what Tab was emphasizing. My guess is he wanted to tighten the defense in anticipation that Senegal would play an athletic, energetic style. Protecting a one goal lead (without bunkering) is a good experience.

  11. frank schoon replied, May 25, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

    BOB, good luck watching it. It was to me a free for all. At least the U20 mexico-usa game, there was some semblance soccer at least that one can discuss over but this game ...was hopeless. It has nothing to do with hunkering down, that is fine with me but I'm talking just soccer and it has nothing to do with what Tab was emphasizing which is tactical which is fine but there is a lot more going which has nothing to do with tactics but more of a technical nature.

  12. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 25, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

    You should just copy and paste this game recap for every game. We know already - everyone on every team is terrible and stupid. Even Messi is a "very limited player". We get it.

  13. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 25, 2017 at 1:24 p.m.

    Oh actually this recap from Frank was a little different because it also included a bunch of racial stereotypes. Awesome.

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, May 25, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.

    FPGN to believe that requires a rather uninformed view of the geography of Africa based on US cultural prejudices.

  15. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 25, 2017 at 2:31 p.m.

    Bob, what do you mean? I'm not sure what Frank is talking about when he says there are no good African goal scorers. I'm thinking more of his claim that Asian players won't shoot because shooting and missing means "losing face". That's silly and frankly pretty offensive.

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, May 25, 2017 at 4:21 p.m.

    What I mean is your assumption that a comment about Africa or African refers to a race. In the US our culture treats Black Americans as one race and as Africans. From a scientific or social science perspective, it is not true. Europeans and Africans are probably more aware of the diversity in Africa. We also don't recognize the diversity in the other continents either.

  17. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 26, 2017 at 9:48 a.m.

    Referring in generic terms to "Africans" and saying they aren't good goal scorers for cultural reasons (which Frank did) is offensive, whether you call it racial or not. I understand not everyone on the continent of Africa is black. In any event, making broad and frankly silly assertions based on race or nationality is uncalled for and takes what would otherwise another pointless piece of "analysis" from Frank and makes it offensive as well.

  18. ROBERT BOND, May 25, 2017 at 1:54 p.m.

    uhhhh....Aubemeyang not a goal getter?

  19. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 25, 2017 at 2:34 p.m.

    Drogba, Eto'o, Weah

  20. frank schoon replied, May 25, 2017 at 4:12 p.m.

    Robert, considering there are so many African players playing in Europe currently who are picked for their speed,size and technical dexterity that you can only name one who is currently playing, and that is my point. Just look how what south america produces for comparatively for goal getters. There will always be an individual that will come out of Africa sooner or later but as many people that play soccer in Africa goal getters are usually not found there in the world of soccer.

  21. Bob Ashpole, May 25, 2017 at 4:31 p.m.

    Eusebio. One of the great players of all time, he played for Portugal but was African. Frank's right, these are exceptions and, as far as I know, the African greats were all developed in Europe.

  22. frank schoon replied, May 25, 2017 at 5:15 p.m.

    Bob, Eusebio one of the greatest who grew up in Mozambique, a colony of Portugal, had much of a European influence in his development . I remember in WC'66 he took shot on goal that was so hard that experts stated if a goalie had stopped it with his chest, he would have gotten killed. Did you know he played in the US in his last days for Rochester. Bob, it best not to bother with this nitwit for he has absolutely no idea about soccer as he shows his knowledge about race and Africa. It is funny but Arie Haan who played with Cruyff on the famous Ajax team and '74 Dutch he coached in China for some years and learned this fact about their culture and other aspects. Read the book on Gus Hiddink when he coached Korea in the World Cup , what he had to go through in that culture in order to coach the Korean team. Before he came the younger players were not allowed to tell older players instructions on the field while playing.
    It was a phenomenal cultural transformation that he created in the Korean culture. He stated to them if Korea is going to play top level soccer they needed understand the western ways better and not stick to old traditional. Hiddink is highly respected in Korean. They have Korean tour
    busses in Holland that drive by his house.

  23. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 26, 2017 at 9:51 a.m.

    Frank please stop with the false and offensive stereotyping. Even worse than your ignorant Africa comment is your claim that Asian players are hesitant to shoot on goal because they will lose face. It's one thing to post the same tired "analysis" after every game about how every player and team is horrible but it's another to make offensive remarks in the process. You are wrong and should apologize.

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