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Under-20 World Cup

Under-20 World Cup: USA vs. Cameroon (Matchday Commentary)

 USA CrestCameroonSoccerlogo

The U.S. Under-20 national team takes on Cameroon today (12:30pm, ESPN) in a match it needs to win to keep its hopes of advancing to the second round going.

The Americans dropped a 3-0 decision to Germany in their opening match, while Cameroon opened its tournament with a 2-0 win vs. South Korea. A win is even more pressing a need for the United States today after South Korea tied Germany, 1-1, earlier today.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow the match here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL– After two matches the Americans are second in the group and face last-place South Korea with a chance to secure a place in the second round. After the disappointment of the Germany game, today's victory will taste extra sweet as the U.S. team heads into Friday's match brimming with confidence.

That's all for me. Thanks for following along here. Feel free to share the rest of your post-game thoughts in the comments section below.

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FINAL– Thomas Rongen stuck with his 4-3-3 and it eventually paid off. He gets the credit today after getting the blame after the first match. Yes, Cameroon helped with its awful finishing and horrible defending, but the Americans came in and delivered in a game few could have imagined they could run away with.

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FINAL- USA 4, Cameroon 1. WOW. Who saw this coming? Cameroon's defensive organization completely fell apart and the Americans managed to torch them on the counter repeatedly. Dilly Duka stole the show, while Arguez, Taylor and Ownby scored goals. The Americans are in great shape heading into their final group match against South Korea.

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93rd Minute– Banana Yaya gets the yellow for slamming the ball. Yeah, a guy named Banana getting a yellow is funny.

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93rd Minute– Wow, Ownby nearly gets his second goal. I love this kid.

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90th Minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! And it's BRIAN OWNBY. Yes, that's right, Brian Ownby, with the breakaway and finish. Great goal and great job to silence his critics (including myself, who did say I wanted to see that). USA 4, Cameroon 1.

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89th Minute– One minute to go.

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87th Minute– Are we at the point in the match where Larrionda starts developing a rash from not giving a red card yet?

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86th Minute– Wow, Cameroon just wastes a look from in front of goal, mis-hit it with a heel. Awful shooting today from the Africans.

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84th Minute– Count me among those hoping Ownby does something in this final six minutes to take some of the heat off him. If he scores a goal or sets one up, or simply makes no mistakes, I'll gladly give the kid some credit for coming in and helping hold the lead.

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82nd Minute– Eight minutes to go. Cameroon with another wasted possession.

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81st Minute– Wow, Flores stripped, leading to a breakaway, but the shot goes into the side-netting. Ugly play, USA gets lucky again.

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79th Minute– Ownby with a yellow card for a foul. He'll miss the final group match vs. Korea. No, it's not wrong to be happy about that.

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78th Minute– I'm all for fresh legs coming into the match, but inserting Ownby and Powers into this match feels like a death wish for Rongen. Will they repay his faith in them?

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76th Minute– Jeffrey got a yellow at some point for a challenge.

This has to be the least safe 3-1 lead ever held in U.S. soccer history.

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75th Minute– Ownby played no part in the penalty, but the game has turned since the sub was made.

Dilly Duka is coming out, Dillon Powers in. Huh?

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74th Minute- GOAL CAMEROON!! Banana Yaya converts the PK. USA 3, Cameroon 1.

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73rd Minute– Brian Ownby comes into the match and just like that, Cameroon draws a penalty. WOW. Opara gets the yellow for the penalty foul.

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72nd Minute– Okay, at this rate you have to love Jorge Larrionda if you're a USA fan. Yes, there maybe a red card or two shown, but any USA match he refs turns into an instant classic.

And yes, I know this means we'll see a red card before the end of the game.

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72nd Minute– Will Shea beat a defender today? He's about 0-for-20 today. I could be off by one, but still.

WOW, Cameroon with another chance that goes high.

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70th Minute– Taylor on a breakout, but he sends it high.

Crazy game, Cameroon has thoroughly dominated possession and created more chances, but the USA is winning a blowout.

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69th Minute– Duka with a great game today and somewhere the Red Bulls are writing a nice 'Thanks for Nothing' note to MLS for not letting them sign the Rutgers midfielder.

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68th Minute– The way Cameroon plays you can rest assured there will be more goals, one way or another.

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66th Minute– Duka definitely meant to shoot that on goal, you can see on the replay that he's sizing up the keeper. WOW. What a goal and what a game.

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66th Minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! WOW, Dilly Duka with a CRAZY CHIP Goal that had to be a cross. USA 3, Cameroon 0.

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65th Minute– Cameroon CLOSE again!!! The pressure is pouring on the USA defense.

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64th Minute– Wow, loose ball almost fell to Duka's feet, after a Shea cross was misplayed. That would have been an easy tap-in.

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63rd Minute– No, New California isn't a state that exists, so you didn't miss anything.

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63rd Minute– At what point does the USA swap in a midfielder for a forward?

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62nd Minute– Save PERK!! The shot went right at him and once again he catches it cleanly.

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61st Minute– Cameroon with a dangerous free kick at the left corner of the area. Williams with a yellow for the foul. It sure looked like he was shoved in the back before the foul.

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60th Minute– Free header JUST wide by Cameroon. That was close.

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60th Minute– Cameroon misses BY INCHES. Corner for the Africans.

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59th Minute– Shea with a blast that the Cameroon keeper save. Duka doing very well this half.

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57th Minute– Cameroon has talent and shows flashes, but lacks some organization in its attack. The U.S. team needs to stay disciplined because Cameroon will pounce on a mistake.

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55th Minute– Not a bad rebound from Taylor, who missed that clear look early but has since contributed a goal and assist.

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51st Minute– Regarding the USA's second goal, Tony Taylor scored on a feed from Duka. It was Duka who raced in on goal after catching Cameroon on the counter, he slipped the ball to Taylor, who tapped home into an open net.

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50th Minute– Jeffrey sends a clear look high. Cameroon is in trouble.

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48th Minute- USA is up 2-0 now. I'll find out what happened.

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HALFTIME– Will we see Samuel Eto'o's little brother come in for Cameroon?

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HALFTIME– What changes will Rongen consider at halftime? I have a feeling he stands pat and sees how Cameroon comes out. A shifting of the current personnel into a 4-4-2 would work to start the half.

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HALFTIME– For those of you wondering, my comment at minute 44 does qualify as a jinx of Cameroon. Sorry Cameroon.

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HALFTIME– USA 1, Cameroon 0. An ugly first half ends beautifully for the Americans, who will count themselves lucky to be leading.

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45th Minute– Opara headed one at goal that forced a save, Taylor pounces on the rebound and dishes off to a wide-open Arguez. Nice finish.

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45th Minute- GOAL USA!!!! Bryan Arguez with the finish from right in front of goal. USA 1, Cameroon 0. Taylor with the pass to set up the goal.

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45th Minute– Cameroon's head coach, Ezra Hendrickson, looks a bit concerned.  Not sure why. (No, that's not Hendrickson).

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43rd Minute– At what point does Thomas Rongen decide that he's seen enough of this 4-3-3 and switches to a 4-4-2?

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42nd Minute– Agbossoumonde with a bad giveaway that leads to a Cameroon counter, but nothing comes from it.

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37th Minute– Okay, it's early, but does anybody else see a Diskerud for Taylor sub coming?

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35th Minute– Has anybody seen Jared Jeffrey today? I mean I've seen him, but he's been pretty quiet today.

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33rd Minute– TAYLOR HIGH!!! What a chance wasted by Taylor. He had a look from 12 yards out and misses by a foot.

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32nd Minute– Not a bad ball in from Sheanon Williams. He's looked good at right back today.

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30th Minute– Shea turnover. You appreciate the willingness to take people on, but at some point he might want to think about passing the ball.

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27th Minute– Is there a better name in this tournament than Banana Yaya?

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25th Minute– Wow, dangerous cross from Cameroon that Opara does well to clear away. Americans lucky not to be down.

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23rd Minute– A little better from the USA lately, but still not enough in terms of passes strung together and steady possession.

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22nd Minute– Yellow card for Cameroon's Charley Fomen, his second of the tournament. The free kick is hit well high by Arguez.

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19th Minute– If you're Tony Taylor do you start thinking that you should have brought a lawn chair to sit in?

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17th Minute– Nice idea for a through-pass by the Americans, but just a touch late and ruled off. Cameroon isn't going to apply tons of pressure in midfield so there should be some chances for the Americans to create.

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14th Minute– Another Cameroon corner kick. That would make for a good drinking game, but we can't do drinking games for a U-20 match, that would just be wrong.

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11th Minute– Cameroon is earning corners, but the Americans are dealing with them. Cameroon with more of the ball early. Not good for the USA.

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8th Minute– Nice save by Perk. Did well not to give up a rebound on a strong shot right at him.

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6th Minute– Brek Shea with an early turnover to negate a potential USA breakaway. Shea needs to be more careful with the ball. He's prone to turning the ball over a bit too much.

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3rd Minute– Ike Opara did away with the Mohawk. I suppose most would after that first loss.

Announcer points out that referee Jorge Larrionda once gave five penalties in one match. Is anyone really surprised by that?

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1st Minute– And we're off.

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PRE-GAME– Nice shades being worn by the Cameroon head coach. I always wondered what happened to the leader of the Riffs.

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PRE-GAME– Yes, the Cameroon striker Etienne Eto'o, No. 15, is the younger brother of Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o. He starts out on the bench for Cameroon.

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PRE-GAME– The game is set to begin and yes, we're seeing a 4-3-3 from the USA again.

Dillon Powers, Kyle Davies, Brian Ownby, Gerson Mayen and Mikkel Diskerud are on the bench after starting the first match. None of those are real surprises save for Diskerud.

———————

PRE-GAME– Here is the USA starting lineup:

——-Shea———–Cruz———–Taylor——–

———————-Jeffrey————————-

————–Duka———-Arguez——————

Flores—-Opara—–Agbossoumonde—-Williams

————————Perk————————–

Kyle Davies is on the bench and available for today's match. Mikkel Diskerud is available but on the bench today.

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228 comments
  • Rastafari

    (SBI-None of us know for sure, only Duka knows, but when i watched the replay in HD slow mo, I saw Duka looking at the keeper, who was off his line, so maybe, just maybe, he meant to do that.)

    Posted by: JSmiley | September 29, 2009 at 02:52 PM

    I have to agree.. that was not a fluke.. he lined it up and made the best of it.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Haha, Ives knows what he’s talking about. I just personally think that when he looked up, he was looking to figure out where to place the cross and then didn’t get the right part of the boot on it so that it floated straight instead of swinging out. But like Ives says, who knows for sure.

    I’m definitely glad Ownby scored, and it was excellent placement, but he’s horrifyingly slow and the chance he flubbed after the goal was similarly horrifying. I for one am glad he’s not playing in the third game.

    I don’t get the hate for the announcer. He was right. That was the weirdest, least dominant 4-1 game I’ve seen in a long time. What was weird was that it easily could have been 6-1, but we got a ton of chances without playing a great game. There were good periods of pressure in the second half but it still wasn’t usually the result of impressive buildups. On the other end, Cameroon pressured heavily and was unlucky to not to score more – but was also slightly lucky on the arguably weak penalty. All in all a weird game that’s hard to learn too much from except that the US still has a lot of trouble passing and needs to be smarter about decisions all over the field. Hopefully the kids will gain confidence from this and go into the last match in a good frame of mind.

    (SBI-My only real issues with the announce was him pronouncing Houston (Hooston) and saying Ike Opara was from Wake Forest, in Durham, New California.)

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Oh, and not to belabor my point on the Duka goal, but the look on his face after the goal seemed to be more of an “I got lucky” grin than a “Just like I drew it up and I kick ass” look.

    (SBI-It could also have been a “I can’t believe that worked” look.)

    Like

  • madmax

    Great early pressure from Duka, Taylor, Arguez, and Cruz, so much better than last game. I hope Diskerud can fit in there in front of Jeffrey. Korea has great team speed but seem shaky at the back.

    The criticism of Ownby and Powers is misconstrued, as the clear culprit is Rongen for starting them against Germany. I believe most comments are intended for Rongen in the end and not the two youngsters.

    Like

  • Brett

    It is weird to see a 4-1 match where the winning team holds less possession than the losing team.

    But I’ll take it 8 days a week, no doubt.

    We’ll still need a result against Korea to go through. They’ll need the 3 points to make it, but it will only take a point to stamp our ticket. GO USA!

    Like

  • r.benjamin

    that might be the worst looking 4-1 ever. wow.

    Some nice play here and there. Duka seems to look the best. Shea looks to have the potential but just can’t quite put it together. Taylor was involved on the score sheet but his blaring misses and other play makes me think isnt there someone else on the bench? I feel the same about Ownby. Opara is super raw and made some poor mistakes but you can see what the hype is about. What’s up with Mikkel? Would seem his pedigree would point to a lot of minutes.

    Like

  • JSmiley

    I think possession is a highly overrated statistic. What you do with the ball is far more important than how long you dink it around at midfield.

    I for one enjoy hearing the El Tree fans saying “but we had more possession” when the US posts a 2-0 win. Never get tired of it.

    Like

  • r.benjamin

    Duka meant it. He’s eyeing it. Right after seeing 3 defenders on 1 fwd and a slightly open goal.

    i enjoy the non partisan broadcast. Makes for honest commentary..and a better feel for where this team stands. I think.

    Like

  • RK

    The other day, the announcer let us know that someone played at UCLA, the University College of Los Angeles.

    Like

  • Jay

    Great win, but Wrongen is still a fool. No Mix? The subs didn’t make sense, is he taking lessons from Bradley? I guess. We need to give Hiddnik a blank check after 2010 and let him bring in all the coaches for our youth system.

    Like

  • Matt in SF

    Quote: 74th Minute- GOAL CAMEROON!! Banana Yaya converts the PK. USA 3, Cameroon 1.

    ^^ Going forward, I think all goals scored against the U.S. should only be by hilariously-named fruits and vegetables.

    Like

  • JP

    Every game has its own plot, doesn’t it?

    The scoreline would indicate our dominance, which really did not happen. Nevertheless, what a difference one match makes at this age group!

    Like

  • madmax

    smiley, “I think possession is a highly overrated statistic.”

    At the present time, the best side in football also has the most possession.

    Like

  • madmax

    Ghana 2-0 over England, early 2nd period. Both Nigeria and England have yet to earn a point. If FIFA can’t get the best players to come they should drop the title ‘World Cup”.

    Like

  • madmax

    Ghana looks very good, Freddy might not make this side. England RB named Tripper, guess what he does best?

    Like

  • Brett

    How is possession “highly overrated”.

    It is 3rd (or 2nd depending on your point of view) on the list of most important statistics, right behind “Goals For” and “Goals Against”.

    The team with the most possession doesn’t always win, but keeping the ball is as central to the game as it gets. A team that can’t hold possession plays an ugly, uninteresting game of football that owes more to bounces of the ball than skill or ability. A team that holds possession plays what we call “the beautiful game”.

    People wonder why the USA hasn’t won the “respect” of the world with their regional trophies and International Knockout victories… It is because the USA has yet to focus a team on “playing beautiful”. Determination and fitness are both great qualities, but I LONG for a day when I can watch an American team control the ball the way a Spain, France, Germany, Brazil, or Argentina (the good version) do.

    Like

  • celangto3

    Great GOAL!!!!! and assist by Taylor finally the kid can start seen action. To bad he was no able to put that first one in but DONT WORRY KID!!!! IT HAPPEN EVEN TO THE GREATEST SOCCER PLAYES IN THE WORLD.

    JOAMIQ stop haiting on a teenager!!! if he is not in, we dont have forwards..Fullback “no way” WAITING FOR A DAMN SERVICE FROM THE MID. HE MIGHT BE DRAGGING FROM WAINTING FOR A GOOD PASS!!!!!!! IF HE GET LOOSE THERE IS NO MATCH. HE GAVE A ASSIST AND A GOAL WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!! Mistakes happend, that how soccer goes, if you dont take chances you dont get resolt eventually but he put a spake in the game and the rest of the team got the sence of what a team suppost to attack an opponent. So dont hange the kid!!! HE IS FANTANTIC!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  • cjbrown

    google reporting a spike in interest in “Dilly Duka” as a search term. By comparison “Khloe Kardashian wedding photos” is at No. 26, with the top 40 dominated by Samoa tsunami-related searches.

    dilly duka

    #43 of 100 most popular searches in the past hour.

    Hotness:Spicy

    google.com/trends

    Like

  • Rob

    I did not realize that they used time of possession as a statistic when determining ranking. 🙂 How can you say that it is the second or third most important statistic. How about shots on goal or saves, etc. etc. etc. being more important that time of possession. Passing the ball back and forth between the midfield and defense without being able to move the ball forward – is not beautiful to me. But everyone can have their own opinion on this.

    Like

  • Patrick

    Good game for the young boys!

    All the goals were sweet.

    Step it up Espn2. Stop with the F’ing debt relief commercials and make sure we see 90 minutes.

    Missing that gorgeous 2nd goal was a crime!

    On to Korea.

    Like

  • Marty

    Dilly meant it. He is uber-technical and would not miss in such a manner. I have played with him and know he has the cheek to pull it off. He has great vision, and from the outset his eyes and hips showed his true intention was toward goal. Either way, a spectacular shot. Could have used him more in the first game for sure.

    And will we ever see Peri Merosevic instead of Ownby?

    Like

  • celangto3

    Hey Taylor just pass Duka in google search jajaja Its great!!!! great kids, have fun and ejoy

    Like

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