USA-Mexico, the Rematches: U.S. U-17s win Round 1

The USA and Mexico will face off twice in two games, both friendly games that serve as rematches of regional championship games played earlier in the year.

The big one will take place Friday night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, where the USA will host Mexico in the first game for both teams since the Gold Cup final won by El Tri, 1-0.

Almost 3,750 miles away at the Sportpark Marsdijk in Assen, Netherlands, the USA and Mexico met in another rematch on Thursday. The USA beat Mexico, 2-1, to gain revenge for the loss by the same score in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Men's Championship that served as qualifying for the U-17 World Cup later in the year in Brazil.

The match was the first for both teams in a four-team under-17 tournament that also includes Denmark and the host Netherlands, the reigning European champion.

An 88th-minute goal from FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi secured the comeback win. Borussia Dortmund's Gio Reyna set up the goal with a pass to sub Ethan Dobbeleare that split three defenders. Dobbeleare, a newcomer to the U-17s from the Sounders Academy, then fed Pepi for the winner.

Reyna had tied the score in the 69th minute with his seventh goal with the U-17s.

Two starters -- Colorado Rapids right back Sebastian Anderson and FC Dallas academy center back Nico Carrera -- made their U-17 international debuts along with German-based Noah Jones and Dobbelaere off the bench.

Both Carrera and Pepi had played for Mexico's U-17s earlier in the cycle.

Next up: The USA faces the Netherlands on Saturday. It will be a preview of their meeting at the U-17 finals in Brazil. The Dutch are considered to have one of their best youth teams in history with such players as Ajax youngsters Ryan Gravenberch and Brian Brobbey.

Sept. 6 in Assen, Netherlands
USA 2 Mexico 1. Goals: Reyna 69, Pepi 88; B.Gonzalez 56.
USA -- Las; Anderson, Carrera, Hernandez, Bello; Saldana, Kayo (Jasson, 65), Busio; Ocampo-Chavez (Dobbelaere, 72), Pepi (Jones, 89), Reyna.
Mexico -- Garcia, Ruiz, Guzman, J.Gomez, R.Martinez, Pizzuto, E.Martinez (Puente), Luna (Avila), L.Martinez (J.Gonzalez), Munoz (Wilke), B.Gonzalez (El-Mesmari).
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