USA-Qatar: U-20 Men's World Cup Player Ratings

May 30 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
USA 1 Qatar 0. Goals: Weah 76.
Att.: 3,651.

The USA has reached the knockout stage of the U-20 World Cup for a third straight time thanks to Thursday's 1-0 win over Qatar on a goal from Tim Weah. Coach Tab Ramos' team started out much less impressively than in its first two games, a 2-1 loss to Ukraine and 2-0 win over Nigeria, but improved immensely when Ulysses Llanez entered the game in the 62nd minute. The USA will face France or Mali in the round of 16 on Tuesday, and will be without Chris Durkin and Alex Mendez, who will serve suspensions for picking up their second yellow cards of the tournament.

(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)


David Ochoa took over in goal for Brady Scott, who started the USA's first two games. In the 11th minute, Ochoa stormed out of his penalty to intercept a dangerous through ball. He securely handled long-range shots and denied Hashim Ali from close-range with a foot save late in the first half and a golden chance for the Qataris. Ochoa boldly and effectively came out to handle crosses, including late in stoppage time when a high free kick offered Qatar its last chance to equalize.

Player (Club) U-20 caps/goals (age)
8 David Ochoa
(Real Salt Lake) 5/0 (18)


Chris Richards for a third straight game marshaled the U.S. defense and with central partner Aboubacar Keita broke down several Qatar attacks, although Keita needed to be bailed out by Ochoa when he coughed up the ball in the 37th minute. Richards and Keita passed wisely during buildups while midfielders shed their markers. Mark McKenzie's tentative play denied the USA the offensive boost that it had gotten from Sergino Dest, whom McKenzie had replaced, and struggled at times against Yusuf Abdurisag. McKenzie picked up a yellow when he was beaten in the 14th minute. Left back Chris Gloster continued to be one of the USA's most dependable players, nearly unbeatable, but he too got into the attack less frequently.

Player (Club) U-20 caps/goals (age)
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union) 12/3 (20)
7 Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER) 11/0 (19)
5 Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew) 5/0 (19)
6 Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER) 14/0 (18)


One of Chris Durkin's poor passes created an early chance for Qatar and defensively he failed to unsettle the Qatar midfield as he had the Nigerians. And he committed an asinine yellow-card offense. Alex Mendez as well got a costly caution for a foolish act and failed to convert a penalty kick that would have made it 2-0. Mendez's 40-yard free kick late in the first half required a save from goalkeeper Shehab Mamdouh, but his second-half free kicks from the edge of the penalty area went high. Mendez did, however, pounce on a loose ball to assist on Tim Weah's goal and delivered a brilliant through ball for a Weah breakaway that Shehab Mamdouh stopped. Brandon Servania toiled defensively but his impact on offense was limited to the penalty kick awarded when fouled by Ahmed Alminhali.

Player (Club) U-20 caps/goals (age)
5 Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER) 18/8 (18)
4 Chris Durkin (D.C. United) 4/0 (19)
5 Brandon Servania (FC Dallas) 11/3 (20)


Konrad De La Fuente was ineffective on the right wing. Center forward Sebastian Soto on his two chances hit the side-netting, after Shehab Mamdouh bobbled Tim Weah's sharp low cross, and shot straight into the keeper's chest. When the USA needed him to keep possession, Soto dribbled into crowds of Qataris instead looking for and combining with his teammates. Weah nutmegged Ahmed Suhail before his excellent strike for the gamewinner.

Player (Club) U-20 caps/goals (age)
4 Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP) 4/1 (17)
4 Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER) 8/4 (18)
6 Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA) 2/0 (19)


Within a couple minutes of replacing De La Fuente in the 62nd minute, Ulysses Llanez beat left back Homan Ahmed and sent in a dangerous low pass that Mamdouh batted away and was fouled 19 yards out for a free kick the Mendez hit too high. Llanez's foray down the right wing helped set up the goal, and he passed the ball to Servania, who was fouled for the penalty kick. Richard Ledezma hit the crossbar with a 17-yard shot in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Player (Club) U-20 caps/goals (age)
7 Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER) 12/7 (18)
nr Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED) 5/0 18
nr Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union) 12/0 (19)

THE FOOLISH YELLOW CARDS. In the 72nd minute, with the ball out of bounds, Chris Durkin shoved Yusuf Abdurisag to the ground to retrieve the ball for a U.S. free kick in midfield near the sideline. Alex Mendez, who escaped a retaliation caution earlier in the game, got his yellow card for planting his cleats on Ahmed Suhail's foot in the 78th minute. Not only was this 10 yards outside the Qatari penalty area, Suhail was already going down after fouled by Sebastian Soto. It was the second yellow for both Durkin and Mendez, who will be suspended for the round of 16. (The yellow-card slate isn't cleaned until after the quarterfinals.)

SIX POINTS. In 16 U-20 World Cup appearances, the USA has for the sixth time won two of its three group-stage games: 2019, 2015, 2007, 2005, 2003 and 1999. It marks the 11th time the USA has advanced to the knockout stage, including quarterfinal appearances in the last two U-20 World Cups, 2017 and 2015.

May 30 Bielsko-Biala
USA 1 Qatar 0. Goals: Weah 76.
USA -- Ochoa; McKenzie, Richards, Keita, Gloster (Real, 90+2); Servania (Ledezma, 84), Durkin, Mendez; De La Fuente (Llanez, 63), Soto, Weah.
Qatar -- Shehab Mamdouh; Homam Ahmed (Ahmed Alminhali, 74), Ali Malolah, Bahaa Mamdouh, Ahmed Suhail; Andri Syahputra, Khaled Mohammed, Abdulla Nasser (Abdulrasheed Umaru, 79), Hashim Ali, Mohammed Waad (Nasser Alyazidi, 85); Yusuf Abdurisag.
Yellow cards: USA -- McKenzie 14, Servania 31, Durkin 72, Mendez 79; Qatar -- Ali Malolah 44, Homam Ahmed (caution) 48, Mohammed Waad (caution) 66, Ahmed Alminhali (caution) 84. Red cards: none.
Referee: Abdelkader Zitouni (Tahiti).
Att.: 3,651.

Shots: 17/12
Shots on target: 9/7
Saves: 7/8
Corner Kicks: 5/1
Fouls: 12/19
Offside: 0/1
Possession: 52%/48%

13 comments about "USA-Qatar: U-20 Men's World Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, May 30, 2019 at 11:42 p.m.

    I tried watching for a while but the soccer was very ugly. The quality of play by both teams was horrible. Perhaps the US play was dragged down by Qatar's, but I haven't watched the other games to know. Qatar was also shameful in their blantant cheating and professional fouls. 

  2. Wooden Ships replied, May 31, 2019 at 12:38 a.m.

    I didn’t get to see it Bob, but when I saw the final score I was surprised. Weah, missing another one on one with a Keeper hopefully isn’t a foreshadowing of a long line of US players who struggle to score. The two suspensions are youthful and probably costly in our next match. I think we go against France. 

  3. R2 Dad replied, May 31, 2019 at 12:51 a.m.

    Not surprising then the worst teams as far as Fair Play Points were Ecuador, Tahiti, Honduras and Qatar. FIFA has decided to rank FPP, but then not describe how those points are calculated. Judfging from the table, Groups B and D were the most contentious, with Tahiti and Honduras so bad they didn't bring their competitors down to their level.
    Note to USSF--do not schedule friendlies with these 4 teams until their Fair Play improves considerably. As I recall, Zelalem was hacked by the Ecuador team and was out 9 months as a result.

  4. frank schoon replied, May 31, 2019 at 6:31 a.m.

    I was planning to watch the game later this morning  , but after reading you guys comments that doesn’t sound very encouraging....we’ll see.  I’m not so interesting in viewing the game as much as how certain individuals handle themselves in situations.
     Hey, btw. Did you get to see Atlanta play past Wednesday against Minnesota... Nagbe looked smooth out there,but more important is the left wing Pereira, beautiful.... De Boer has got him playing the wing like how we grew up watching wings play.  Great moves, and he is a left footed player playing on the left wing, that ‘s refreshing. The game can be seen on ESPN+

  5. Ginger Peeler, May 31, 2019 at 8:19 a.m.

    Yeah, where their last game was an absolute joy to watch, this one was almost diametrically opposed. As if they thought it was going to be easy and quickly learned otherwise.  When Mendez took the penalty kick, I figured Ramos was letting him do it to shore up his confidence after he’d sent several free kicks sailing over the top of the net.  Nope. His penalty kick was just as bad! Then, Durkin’s shove of the opposing player to the ground (this taking place OFF the field!!!) was one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen in ages. My daughter’s coaches used to preach to the girls that such behavior could result in their being removed from play for one or more games and that it was an incredibly selfish move because they were taking themselves out of play when the team was counting on them. They become unreliable. Several times, the tv gave us a split screen view with USA/Qatar at the bottom left and Nigeria/Ukraine at top right. The USA/Qatar view was noticeably smaller than the other game. Not sure why our game was smaller...I imagine they mentioned it, but I was watching on Universo and it’s been 60 years since I took Spanish. Over the past several years my basic cable company hasn’t changed, but they’ve moved some of the stations that used to show soccer to more expensive extra-fee packages. 

  6. beautiful game, May 31, 2019 at 10:16 a.m.

    What was so impressive about the squad against Qatar, NOTHING. Perhaps a few moments of execution, but on a whole a mediocre performance. IMHO, the mental metal to this game was missing, probably because the pre-game talk was about not losing and advancing which is a terrible message to players. Ramos should thank Qatari #9 for total incompetence and overrall team poor execution.

  7. Nick Gabris, May 31, 2019 at 12:49 p.m.

    Intensity was not there as in the last game. Too many unnecessary give aways, but I think the team will bounce back, too many talented players not to. Good Luck!

  8. Bryan Holland, May 31, 2019 at 2:58 p.m.

    In the first half, it looked like the Americans thought it was enough to just show up. It didn't seem like anyone other than the backline had an appetite to defend. There was much more of a spark in the second half and they created many chances but just didn't execute. I thought Qatar was well-coached and they did a solid job of taking the Americans out of their game. The Ulysses Llanez substitution made a positive impact and proved to be the difference. His commitment to dribble at opponents, his pace and ability to get in behind really opened things up for the United States. Bummer that Durkin and Mendez got caught up in the Qatari antics and hopefully, they will learn from it as both are great players. 

  9. beautiful game replied, May 31, 2019 at 4:58 p.m.

    Qatar well coached? Give me a break. Too many players kept possesion and when pressed coughed up the ball. Qatar showed no purpose and simplicity of moving the ball. 

  10. Bryan Holland replied, June 1, 2019 at 4:59 a.m.

    (Beautiful game) I sat directly behind the Qatari bench and I noticed how in the first half Qatar worked hard to dominate possession in the first half, beating the Americans at their own game, and took them out of the game. They played a physical style, loaded with antics and nonsense which distracted the Americans enough to take them out of their game, examples: Durkin and Mendez.

    Qatar has nothing to play for yet dominated most aspects of the game. So yes, I would say the Qatari coaching Staff schemed a perfect game plan for the USA. Sorry you didn’t like my post but in the Stadium it was obvious Qatar executed a solid game plan for the United States. 

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, June 1, 2019 at 11:14 a.m.

    I agree with BG. Too much drama, not enough soccer in the Qatar game plan. That would be fine for a Hollywood director, but not a U20 soccer coach.

  12. Sam Bellin, May 31, 2019 at 5:56 p.m.

    The U.S. did not play well and it was dreadful to watch -- the game seem to be stopped more than it was being played.  A lot of that due to Qatar's "interpretation" of the rules of soccer which serve mostly to prevent "the Beautiful Game" from ever breaking out.
    U.S. team did look very sluggish, especially with sloppy touches and slow speed of passing.  Possible reasons:  1) WE needed more fresh legs from the start, especially on the front line;  2) Pomykal in the middle directing the attack and Dest's consistent forward running are the most important ingredients of our attack and both were missing;  3) CONCACAF Region is so weak right now that our players are not properly prepared for international play.  This one can certainly be debated -- I'm just putting it out there.
    Lastly, how about starting Ledezma along with Pomykal and Servania in the MF, and also starting Llanez and using De la Fuente as the spark off the bench against France?

  13. Gary Levitt, June 5, 2019 at 9 a.m.

    In a word, perserverance. IMO, the U.S., over the 90+ minutes, was not the better team.  The U.S. really lost their way and their quality in the second half before the water break, and the same goes for France post- water break.  Ecuador will come with the same or more physicality than France so we wil see how the U.S. deals with balls in the air, 50/50 and second ball winning.  Getttng to the semis would be fantastic but I am looking at this player pool to see what players can possibly step up into the first team.  Tab Ramos is the right manager for this team.  Let's hope that the Federation can keep him intact for years to come.

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