USA cruises into critical final week of Concacaf U-20 Men's Championship

It wasn't until just before the whistle at the end of the first half that the was able to break through with a goal against Nicaragua, but it cruised in the second half to a 5-0 win in the round of 16 of the Concacaf Under-20 Men's Championship.

Quinn Sullivan continued his hot streak, scoring the first and third to give him five goals in the last two games. He was also fouled in the penalty area but allowed Diego Luna, who set him up on the first goal with a darting run through the penalty area, to take the spot kick he converted to make it 2-0.

Nicaragua was playing its first game at the tournament in Honduras. It was one of four teams that advanced from pre-qualifying groups played last fall, beating U.S. Virgin Islands, Guyana and the Cayman Islands. Miguel Rodriguez was a steadying force in goal for Los Pinoleros, who stymied the mis-firing Americans in the first half.

"Credit to Nicaragua," said U.S. U-20 coach Mikey Varas. "They came out to play a brave strategy. They were pressing us, playing with a lot of energy."

He said his players did a good job of stretching Nicaragua and getting behind its backline at times.

"We just need to be a little bit more clinical  with the chances we have early on," he added.

Varas continued to rotate his squad, starting a different midfield trio for the fourth straight game. Up front, Sullivan is the only player who has started the last three games.

The USA, which outshot Nicaragua 20-6, did not receive any cautions. Four players, all starters on Saturday, picked up yellow cards in the group stage: Jack McGlynn, Tyler Wolff, Cade Cowell and Luna.

• Goals (with video):
45+2: Sullivan (1-0)
56 pen.: Luna (2-0)
65: Sullivan (3-0)
72: Own goal (4-0)
85: Neal (5-0)

• Up next: The USA faces Costa Rica on Tuesday in the quarterfinals with a berth at the 2023 Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia on the line (TV: 7 p.m. ET; FS2, TUDN).

• Elsewhere: Costa Rica beat Trinidad & Tobago, 4-1, to advance along with host Honduras (4-1 over Curacao) and Panama (1-0 over Cuba).

• The prize: The 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship serves as qualifying for both the 2023 Under-20 World Cup (four quarterfinal winners advance) and 2024 Olympics (two semifinal winners go to France).

June 25 in Tegucigalpa
USA 5 Nicaragua 0
. Goals: Sullivan 45+2, 65, Luna 56 pen., own goal 72, Neal 85.
USA --
Brady, Halliday, Ferkranus, Neal, Allen (Cuevas 57), Edelman, McGlynn (Alvarado 66), Luna (Hopkins 74), Sullivan, Wolff (Aaronson 57), Cowell (Clark 66).
Nicaragua -- M.Rodríguez, Pineda, Gutierrez (Reyes 46), O.Soto (Cacares 46), Thomas (Velasquez 67), Batiz (Ortiz 74), Kirklan (O.Rodriguez 66), Herrera, Salinas,Talavera, C.Rodríguez.

5 comments about "USA cruises into critical final week of Concacaf U-20 Men's Championship".
  1. Santiago 1314, June 26, 2022 at 9:22 a.m.

    CONcacaCrApF Field, Opponent, Ref... Just WIN BABY, WIN.!!!
    Lots of Good Individual Technique on the Ball, I Especially like the Lefty McGlynn(reminds me of Glenn Hoddle)
    Paxton 2nd Looks like "The Real Deal"(So much "Smoother" than his Brother.
    There is "Something" MISSING... I'll let you all see if you can figure it out.???

  2. Wayne Norris replied, June 26, 2022 at 9:53 a.m.

    Paxton is no Brendan......very good player but remember Brendan was key starter at same age for top of table team.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 10:37 a.m.

    Wayne, the focus here is on potential, not on statistics or how valuable a player is currently to his club (starter vs "key" starter). Talent is another way of saying potential. I agree with Santi, Paxton has a lot of potential, but so do a lot of 18 year olds that don't succeed at the next level.

    Life is not a zero-sum game. I trust that we all wish Paxton future success.

  4. Wayne Norris replied, June 26, 2022 at 1:19 p.m.

    Fully understood......and I hope for a long prosperous career for Paxton.....I just don't believe he is at Brendan's level now or even potentially. Of course many unknown variables and it will be fun to watch how each of them progress in coming years!

  5. Bob Ashpole, June 26, 2022 at 10:11 a.m.

    If I understand the competition correctly, Nicaragua, was fresh--this was their 1st match while this was the US's 4th match in 7 days! Talk about stacking the deck.

    From the way the first half was played, it appeared to me that, except for Paxton Aaronson, this was the starters. This was the best that they played so far. 

    The fatigue factor played a big part in the first half. By the end of the half Nicaragua was gased from all the running they were doing and the US side looked fresher.

    From my perspective I thought this US team looked like a step in the right direction for the 2026 cycle. I was wondering what others here thought about how this U20 side compared to a top 10 nation's U18 side. From my perspective we are closing the gap. I actually thought I saw the US coach correct a FB who had just sprinted upfield away from the CB with the ball looking for a long pass down the touch line instead of showing for near support. The coach's stock just went up in value in my mind.

    Overall the US side did a good job of breaking the high press despite Nicaragua's high energy efforts in the first half. 

    I just fast-forwarded through the 2nd half.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications