Tab Ramos' team plays low, wins high at Concacaf U-20 Championship

Granted, the competition hasn't been stiff so far, but the USA has been lighting it up in qualifying play for the next U-20 World Cup. After Wednesday's 6-0 win over Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Coach Tab Ramos' team has outscored its first four Group A opponents, 32-2.

After the USA's game on Friday against Suriname, the USA enters a three-team classification group from which the top two finishers qualify for the 2019 U-20 World Cup. (Suriname has a 3-1-0 Group A record with a plus-13 goal difference while the 4-0-0 USA has a plus-30 goal difference.)

Saint Vincent managed to hold off the USA's attack much longer than its previous three foes. In its wins over Trinidad & Tobago (6-1), The U.S. Virgin Islands (13-0) and Puerto Rico (7-1), the USA got on the board within six minutes. It wasn't until the 46th minute that Juan Pablo Torres gave the USA a 1-0 lead over St. Vincent. The 17-year-old Ulysses Llanez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal in the 59th minute. Brandon Servania wrapped up the scoring in the 90th minute after a hat trick from Anthony Fontana.

Ramos has rotated lineups during this marathon tournament in which the USA may end up playing eight games -- all 19 field players have started at least two games -- but the performances have been consistent and impressive. The athleticism of its opponents posed few problems for the USA's attack, which found paths to the goal through the middle and down the flanks. Patiently figuring out how to dissect packed defenses.

When the USA attacked down the wings, it wasn't with hopeful balls lofted into "the mixer," but with much harder to defend crisp low passes.

The USA has played cohesively, cleverly and crafty. After it dispenses of Suriname, we'll see how the USA fares against the region's more formidable foes.

Nov. 7 in Bradenton, Fla.
USA 6 Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 0. Goals: Torres 46, Llanez 59, Fontana (Isaac Angking) 66, 81, 86, Servania 90.
USA -- Scott; Gloster, Rogers, Lindsey, Perez, Fontana, Torres, Amaya, Angking (Akinola, 68), Rennicks (Pomykal, 77), Llanez (Servania, 77).
VIN -- Chance (John, 48+); Craigg, Charles, Delpesche, Ryan (Wilson, 58); Spring, Quashie; Johnson, Francis, Fraser; Johnson (Hamblet, 67).
Yellow cards: USA -- Akinola 75; VIN -- Johnson 75.
Referee: Pierre-luc Lauziere (Canada)
Att.: 130

USA Scorers
(After four Concacaf U-20 Championship games)
6 Ulysses Llanez
4 Anthony Fontana
3 Ayo Akinola, Alex Mendez, Paxton Pomykal, Justin Rennicks.
2 Mark McKenzie, Brandon Servania, own goals.
1 Griffin Dorsey, Manny Perez, Brandon Servania, Juan Pablo Torres.

U.S. U-20 men's national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2)
Brady Scott (FC Cologne II/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)
David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake academy; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7)
Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting KC; Charlotte, N.C.)
Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.)
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.)
Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.)
Manny Perez (N.C. State; Garner, N.C.)
Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy academy; Lompac, Calif.)
Sam Rogers (Sounders FC 2; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (6)
Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
Juan Pablo Torres (Lokeren/BEL; Lilburn, Ga.)
Alex Mendez (SC Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas.)
Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union; Newark, Del.)
Isaac Angking (New England Revolution; Providence, R.I.)
FORWARDS (5)
Justin Rennicks (Indiana Univ.; Hamilton, Mass.)
*Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.)
Griffin Dorsey (Indiana Univ.; Evergreen, Colo.)
Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC; Detroit, Mich.)
Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.)
* Llanez, formerly of the LA Galaxy academy, sign with Wolfsburg (Germany) when he turns 18 in 2019.

8 comments about "Tab Ramos' team plays low, wins high at Concacaf U-20 Championship".
  1. Bob Ashpole, November 8, 2018 at 6:32 a.m.

    So why is the news media not speculating about Tab Ramos being the next USSF coach? If we are in a "rebuilding cycle" identifying and working with young relatively inexperienced players, then Tab's experience with the USSF MNT program is a lot better than if he was a head coach in MLS. International teams and competitions are not much like club teams and league competitions.

    Of course the U20 competition is different than at the senior team level. Tab, however, has plenty of senior team experience as both player and assistant, so it would be unreasonable to ignore him because he is currently coaching the U20s.

    Ramos has been with program for a long time. Does he have to be 80 years old before he gets a chance at running the senior team program? 

  2. Ginger Peeler replied, November 8, 2018 at 7:57 a.m.

    Bob, I was wondering exactly the same thing. Why not Tab?

  3. R2 Dad replied, November 8, 2018 at 11:23 p.m.

    C'mon, this is the Nats we're talking about. We have to run through all the older MLS coaches first. Pecking order, doncha know.

  4. Nick Gabris, November 8, 2018 at 11:46 a.m.

    T. Ramos for USMNT!!!!!

  5. Nick Gabris replied, November 8, 2018 at 11:52 a.m.

    T. Ramos for USMNT coach!!

  6. Chris Christodoulou, November 8, 2018 at 1:05 p.m.

    Why not Tab???!!!

  7. James Madison, November 8, 2018 at 3:39 p.m.

    Historically it's been "Lompoc," not "Lompac."

  8. Right Winger, November 8, 2018 at 10:39 p.m.

    I said this back before JK was let go.  Tab Ramos should be the MNT Coach.  It is his right to refuse the offer but if it has not been offered US Soccer is making a gigantic mistake.

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