USA falls to Mexico in final of Concacaf Under-17 Men's Championship

Mexico scored on two penalty kicks and with an extraordinary header to beat the USA, 3-1, in the Concacaf U-17 Championship final on Sunday.

U.S. goalkeeper Duran Ferree of the San Diego Loyal, a late addition to the roster after an injury to Barcelona academy goalkeeper Diego Kochen, with mis-timed sliding tackles gifted Mexico penalty kicks in the 8th and 90th minutes that Stephano Carillo and Isaac Martinez converted. Ferree was ejected after getting yellow-carded on each penalty-kick foul and Martinez scored his spot kick against defender Stuart Hawkins, the USA having used all five subs by then.

Mexico had taken a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute when Luis Navarrete (photo) scored with amazing header: The Toluca academy defender dived low toward a chip from Yerar Azcarate and headed the ball backward and over closely marking Tyler Hall and into the far corner of the goal

The USA, which had 56% of the possession and outshot Mexico, 16-14, attacked in waves in its comeback attempt and made it 2-1 in the 69th minute with a Pedro Soma header from Christopher Aquino's corner kick.

Keyrol Figueroa won the corner kick with a searing shot after spinning and juking past three Mexican defenders. 

The USA's quest for an equalizer included shots by Aquino (wide), Paulo Rudisill (saved), Micah Burton (wide), Oscar Verhoeven (saved), Figueroa (wide), and two by Cruz Medina saved by goalkeeper Norberto Bedrolla. Also amid the U.S. surge: a shove and shirt tug by Jose Urias on Aquino in the penalty area that by referee Filberto Martinez neglected to whistle.

• Coach Gonzalo Segares' U.S. team reached the final with group wins group wins over Barbados (5-0), Trinidad & Tobago (3-1) and Canada (1-0) before beating the Dominican Republic (7-0) in the round of 16, host Guatemala (5-3) in the quarterfinals and Canada (2-0) in the semis.
The USA and Mexico had already qualified for the 2023 U-17 World Cup thanks to quarterfinal wins, along with Canada and Panama.
The victory marked Mexico's fifth straight Concacaf U-17 Championship title ninth overall.
The USA won its last of four U-17 regional crowns in 2011.
Mexico's Carrillo won the Golden Boot with eight goals. Figueroa's seven goals earned him the Silver Boot.
Two of Mexico's three players who were born and raised in the USA, Fidel Barajas (Charleston Battery) and Javen Romero (LAFC academy), started in the final. Goalkeeper Fernando Dalgado (Real Salt Lake academy) played in one game at the tournament, Mexico's 1-1 group stage tie with Panama.
The 2023 U-17 World Cup takes place Nov. 10-Dec. 2 in Peru.

Feb. 26 in Guatemala City
USA 1 Mexico 3. Goals: Soma 69; Carillo (pen.) 10, Navarrette 51, Martinez 90+2.
USA — Ferree; Verhoeven (Gill, 80), Hawkins, Hall, Jura (Harangi, 46); Habroune (Aquino, 63), Soma, Medina; B.Romero (Burton, 63), Figueroa, Vazquez (Rudisill, 63).
Mexico — Bedroll; Suarez, Garcia, Navarrette, J.Romero; Martinez, Alvarez (Azcarate, 46), Urias (Inda, 90+4); Lomeli (Flores, 82), Carrillo (Moxica, 74), Barajas (Arroyo, 74).
Yellow cards: USA — Ferree 8, 88; Mexico — none. Red cards: USA — Ferree 88; Mexico — none.
Referee: Filberto Martinez (El Salvador). ARs: Carlos Vargas (El Salvador), Cristian Alvarado (Guatemala). Fourth Official: Jose Ignacio Fuentes (Guatemala).
Att.: 300.

USA / Mexico
Shots: 15 / 14
Shots on Goal: 7 / 8
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 56% / 44%

U.S. scorers (7 games)
Keyrol Figueroa (Liverpool academy/England), 7 goals
Cruz Medina (San Jose Earthquakes), 3 goals
Taha Habroune (Columbus Crew academy), 3 goals
Micah Burton (Austin FC academy), 3 goals
Christopher Aquino (Tacoma Defiance), 2 goals
Ezekiel Soto (Houston Dynamo academy), 2 goals
Paulo Rudisill (LA Galaxy academy), 1 goal
Brian Romero (Charlotte FC), 1 goal
Aiden Harangi (Eintracht Frankfurt academy/Germany), 1 goal
Pedro Soma (UE Cornella academy/Spain), 1 goal


8 comments about "USA falls to Mexico in final of Concacaf Under-17 Men's Championship".
  1. R2 Dad, February 27, 2023 at 12:26 a.m.

    That was a very expensive learning curve for Ferree. Hopefully he learns from this and pays his teammates back in the future.  

  2. ARISTIDES SASTRE replied, February 27, 2023 at 8:24 a.m.

    It was ironic that he gave away those two penalties because he actually made several very good stops on difficult shots during the game.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, February 27, 2023 at 9:01 p.m.

    Agreed Ari

  4. Nate Friends, February 27, 2023 at 10:40 a.m.

    A good overall tournament for the team, despite the loss.  Impressed with a number of their players.  The great thing about timing is the staff has a chance to further recruit developing US U17 eligible prospects before the WC in Nov.

  5. humble 1, February 27, 2023 at 1:25 p.m.

    Hat's off to the boys they left it all on the pitch, they played to the last whistle of the last gsme.  The final  numbers do not tell the story in this game and it was not on the gk. The keeper did foul twice in both cases the player was thru the defensive lines - it was 1v1 -  very likely goal or goals.  He had several more 1v1 saves.  So four times defense let Mexico thru on goal.  After Mexico got 1 they sat back and stayed back.  Before the first goal they had US on the back heel.  It was a dominant performance for Mexico.  It is U17 and this is the age when separation begins because of the glass ceiling in Mexico for Mexican youth talent due to foeign players in Liga MX, still it is a bellweather for the US at this age group and there was maybe incremental improvement, but not a breakthrough.  Our Academies can and should do better.  Keep it going boys!

  6. Sean Guillory replied, February 27, 2023 at 6:17 p.m.

    Do we really care?  Mexico is always dominant at the U-17 levels and has really not turned it into anything of note at the senior level.  We just need to keep producing talent that plays in Europe.  Once our boys go to Europe their development will surpass Mexico's as they stay in the Mexican league.

  7. Santiago 1314, February 27, 2023 at 9 p.m.

    Not GK issue... He was Hung "Out to Dry" by Poor Defenders...
    1st "Foul" was caused by High Ball POOR Clearance AGAIN, and Poor Headed Back Pass by the WORST Player on USA:  #3Lf Back, who was Subbed OUT at Half. Poor kid was Soooo Rt Footed and "FORCED" to Play Left Defender... I'm sure he plays ATTACKING MID on his Club Team.!!! {Sarc for Dunn}
    2nd Foul was Breakaway as USA was Pushing Up, to try and Tie Game... Otherwise He looked like a 16 year Old GK... (And they aren't usually very Good)

  8. Santiago 1314, February 27, 2023 at 9:11 p.m.

    Team was as Good as Most of our u17 teams... Except our Defenders were better at "Playing out of the Back", than as Defenders.!!!
    Really liked #8 Soma... looks like a Casemiro Type #6
    He Really Controlled the Tempo and Direction of the Game, Evertime he was Given or Stole the Ball
    Figueroa looks Future BIG Time...
    #11 Vasquez was Not as Sharp as other Games, but you can still see His Quality.
    Good Solid, Dime-a-Dozen MLS/or LigaMX Players.
    Not Too Impressed with Mexico... No Big Deal... 
    Good Luck at World Cup

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