Canada frustrates USA at Concacaf U-20 Men's Championship

The USA outshot the Canadians, 18-5, but gifted them an own goal and tied 2-2 on Monday at the 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship after opening Group E play with a 10-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis.

Coach Mikey Varas' team came back twice on the muddy field in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Lowell Wright squeezed through defenders Mauricio Cuevas and Brandan Craig for a shot that gave Canada a 15th minute lead against the run of play.

Shots hit wide or weakly prevented the USA from capitalizing on waves of opportunities until Jack McGlynn's wonderfully hit 23-yard shot in the 53rd minute.

The Americans made eight changes from its opener — Markus Ferkranus, Cuevas and Cade Cowell staying in the starting lineup. Their second-half pressuring following McGlynn's strike seemed to promise the go-ahead strike, but in the 69th minute, defender Michael Halliday headed a Canadian cross past into his own goal.

Cowell came up with the 72nd-minute equalizer and the Canadians earned their first point of the tournament as the USA struggled penetrate their crowded defense.

The tie guaranteed the USA's passage to the round of 16 as the top three teams of each group advance. A third-place finish, however, could make possible a quarterfinal meeting with Mexico, while a first- or second-place finish will likely keep the USA on the other side the bracket from El Tri but with host Honduras, which has knocked the USA out of the last two Olympics in the semifinals of Olympic qualifying.

The 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship serves as qualifying for both the 2013 Under-20 World Cup (four quarterfinal winners advance) and 2024 Olympics (two semifinal winners go to France).

Goals (with video):

15: Wright (0-1)
53: McGlynn (1-1)
69: own goal, Halliday (1-2)
72: Cowell (2-2)

Elsewhere: Cuba followed up on its 1-0 upset of Canada with a 6-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis to take first place in Group E ahead the Wednesday group-stage finale.

June 20 in Tegucigalpa
USA 2 Canada 2. Goals: McGlynn 53, Cowell 72; Wright 15, own goal (Halliday) 69.
USA — Brady, Cuevas, Ferkranus, Halliday, Craig, Edelman, McGlynn (Pukstas, 85), Luna, Sullivan (Clark, 66), Aaronson (Wolff, 73), Cowell.
Canada — Alexander, Knight-Lebel, Ferdinand, Franklin, Poku (Jefferson, 85), Pellegrino (Catavolo, 60), Campagna, Smith (Henry, 81), Zouhir, Wright (Assi, 46), Habibullah (Mboungue, 60).
Referee: Marco Ortiz (Mexico)

Group E Schedule:
Wednesday, June 22 USA-Cuba 8:30 p.m. ET.

4 comments about "Canada frustrates USA at Concacaf U-20 Men's Championship".
  1. Bob Ashpole, June 21, 2022 at 1:37 a.m.

    A disappointment. Not because of the score, but because the US team played poorly. It rained hard. The field was soaked. I think part of the poor performance was the coaching. They started out playing well out of the back with a diamond shape with the players close enough to support each other. Then it appearred that at instructions from the sideline the shape changed to the USSF required spread out static line which is a poor vehicle for playing out of the back. The ball was typically advanced by a long pass bypassing the midfield.

    In the attacking third they appeared to know how to penetrate in tight spaces so at least some of the players were actually playing soccer. 

    On a bright side there were a couple of promissing players on the side. Cade Cowell is a real forward who played as a real 9 until in the second half the coaches for some reason put him at right wing and placed others in the striker position--others who were not really strikers. The other player I noticed was Paxten Aaronson the younger brother of Brendon Aaronson. He has potential.

    Cowell is good enough right now that I would call him into the next senior camp to have a close look. On one play he was alone with all four opposing backs. He received the ball and turned and shot resulting in a keeper save. I believe it was in the second minute of play. I would rather use Sargent, but Cowell still should be called into camp.

  2. John Bonini replied, June 21, 2022 at 5:26 p.m.

    I've been watching Cowell for a while. He's physically imposing, has flashes of speed, and isn't afraid to attack in tight spaces. He had an admirable goal from logging a healthy amount of MLS minutes. He sometimes has a heavy touch on the ball, especially when trying to make longer or broader passes to teammates. I'm not surprised at the coach splitting time with him at forward and at the wing, the latter of which is more his role with SJ, though he agreeably should be the #9 from the start of critical U-20 matches. But I would still pick a healthy Sargent over Cowell if I have everyone available for those September friendlies.

    Paxten Aaronson probably has the highest ceiling of anyone on this roster.

    But Caden Clark needs to start once we enter the knockout round.

  3. Ted Morehouse, June 21, 2022 at 12:49 p.m.

    So make up for your frustration by playing better and beating everyone to the title.  Otherwise, you sound like the USMNT making excuses for barely tying El Salvador and losing to Costa Rica.  You don't win in soccer just by showing up and showing everyone your press clippings.  

  4. John Bonini replied, June 21, 2022 at 5:20 p.m.

    This is correct.

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