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

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

Under-20 World Cup

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

USA CrestSouthKoreaLogo 

The U.S. Under-20 national team has its fate in its own hands. A win or a tie today vs. South Korea (12:45pm, ESPN2) in its final Under-20 World Cup group match will put the Americans into the second round of the tournament. A loss would leave seriously jeopardize the U.S. team's chances of advancing.

The Americans will be coming in with confidence after a stunning 4-1 victory against Cameroon in its last group match. South Korea comes in off a 1-1 tie vs. Germany.

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

Enjoy the action (Commentary after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for me. Please feel free to share your thoughts (and anger and disappointment) on today's match in the comments section below. Thanks for following along.

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FINAL– South Korea 3, USA 0. An awful, awful performance and now the Americans need a series of things to take place in the remaining games of the first round in order to sneak into the second round. As bad as they looked, does anybody want them in the second round? 

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91st minute– USA needs to try and find  goal here in order to have a better shot at the second round. Four minutes of stoppage time remain.

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88th minute– USA fans can look on the bright side. The Under-17 World Cup is coming soon and the US team in that age group is much more highly regarded (and I wonder if it could have done a better job in the U-20 tournament). Okay, I'm kidding. A little.

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86th minute– Still 3-0. Americans holding onto third place in the group right now.

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80th minute– Thomas Rongen is sure to hear a lot criticism for the team's performance in this tournament, as he should, but you have to wonder whether the talent just isn't there in this cycle. Would a different formation and lineup have made the difference? I'm not so sure after watching these guys play.

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78th minute– Yellow card for Brek Shea for a two-footed challenge. That would be a red card on some days. WOW.

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76th minute– Yellow for Davies, after pulling down a Korean attacker after being stripped. This game has turned Gold Cup Final ugly.

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75th minute– GOAL KOREA!!! And it's 3-0. This is over and the tourney just may be over for the USA.

Germany leads Cameroon 3-0 though, so USA is still poised for third place in the group if it can keep the scoreline 3-0.

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74th minute– PENALTY to Korea and Opara gets a second yellow card.

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72nd minute– Kyle Davies for Jared Jeffrey. Davies moves to left back and Flores pushes forward into a left wing role.

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71st minute– Duka with a poor shot after a nice move.

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70th minute– Korea comes close after ripping the US defense apart again with a nice pass.

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68th minute– It looks as though Rosetti thought he had already booked Opara, when he had booked Agbossoumonde earlier in the match. At least he corrected that mistake.

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66th minute– Korea draws a foul in the arc and Opara gets a yellow after originally being shown a red. Flores with the original foul. Not sure how Opara gets a yellow when it was Flores who committed the foul. Dangerous free kick for Korea.

Opara misses the next match, if there is one.

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64th minute– A better sequence from the USA, but they can't find a shot on frame.

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63rd minute– Shea with a shank of a shot.

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62nd minute– Diskerud is in for Arguez, and Williams stays on the field.

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60th minute– Diskerud is coming on.

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59th minute– Cruz shot BLOCKED.

How does Korea win so many balls in the air against a defense as big as the U.S. team's?

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58th minute– Williams beaten again, badly, but the Korea cross can't find a shooter. Rongen needs to get Williams off the field.

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57th minute– Another US turnover. This looks hopeless.

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55th minute– Korea's defensive organization is impressive. They stay compact and every player is adept at being able to close down his opponent.

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54th minute– More possession for the USA this half, but still no real good chances being created.

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52nd minute– South Korea subs in a striker for a right back, and we just might see Korea push hard for a third goal.

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51st minute– Flores gets down the flank but his cross is blocked. Still waiting for a good cross in for the USA.

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50th minute– Korea with another attacking surge, but it is ended by a bad shot. U.S. midfield still being outplayed.

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48th minute– The corner leads to nothing, but Korea did get a shot. Amazing how many corners have led to shots for South Korea.

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48th minute– Arguez gets stripped and them commits a foul, earning a yellow card.

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47th minute– Cruz with a cross easily caught.

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46th minute– We're back.

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HALFTIME– Peri Marosevic comes in for Tony Taylor. That's the only sub for the USA. 

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HALFTIME– In the group's other match, Germany is leading Cameroon 1-0. Cameroon was issued a red card just before halftime so it looks like a good bet that the Americans can hold onto third place in the group if it can keep the score 2-0 or score a goal. 

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HALFTIME– What moves could Rongen make? He could take Peri Marosevic out of the Witness Protection Program, or wherever he's been hiding the FC Dallas striker. Diskerud has to come into this match. Who comes out? Cruz and Shea are the leading candidates. Williams has been horrid today so you shouldn't rule out a sub involving him. 

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HALFTIME– South Korea 2, USA 0. The Koreans are dominating possession and the American defense has committed blunders at the wrong time. As for the U.S. attack? It's been non-existent. 

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45th Minute– USA can't wait for the halftime whistle. South Korea is moving the ball around with ease.

Rongen needs to make some changes. Williams looks lost today and the three-man midfield is being thoroughly dominated by South Korea.

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43rd Minute– The U.S. defense has been exposed here. Korea is in complete control.

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42nd Minute– Korea is knocking it around with easy, squeezing the life out of this game as the Americans fail to apply any real pressure.

GOAL KOREA!!! Williams is beaten by Bo Kyung Kim and South Korea is up 2-0.

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40th Minute– Taylor needs to stop going to ground so easily. Rosetti is a slightly better ref than the college refs Taylor is probably used to.

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39th Minute- A better sequence from the USA, but Cruz's cross is too weak and the Korean keeper smothers it.

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36th Minute– Shea has a high work rate, but he's also a turnover machine. At what point does Rongen make a change?

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35th Minute– Koreans dominating possession.

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32nd Minute– Ref Rosetti has more successful tackles than any U.S. player so far.

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30th Minute– Another Korea corner.

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29th Minute– Agbossoumonde with a yellow for a high boot. His first of the tournament.

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27th Minute– Not to single him out, but Brek Shea has yet to do much with the ball, which is shockin considering how much of the ball he's had in this tournament.

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25th Minute– A closer look at the goal shows the corner actually hitting Williams in the back. Agbossoumonde fails to clear it, leaving the ball for Korea to finish.

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23rd Minute- GOAL SOUTH KOREA!!!!! Another corner that isn't cleared, this time the Americans are punished. South Korea 1, USA 0.

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22nd Minute– The way Korea is playing I'd say the Americans might be better off playing four midfielders. The lack of pressure from Korean defenders would make it easy to break their defense down, but they can't string passes together with the current group.

Another Korea corner.

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21st Minute– WOW, Korea hits a point-blank shot off the underside of the crossbar, bounces down and out. The shot was blocked by Brian Perk onto the crossbar, before bouncing down and landing in Perk's hands.

Arguez follows with a shot from distance that forces a save.

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20th Minute– Korea corner.

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19th Minute– Early indications are that the Korean forwards don't really have the speed to separate from the American centerbacks. It will take a pretty sharp passing sequence to break down the U.S. defense (Korea has already done it once).

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17th Minute– The U.S. team's strength and tenacity will create some chances at some point, but right now they're struggling to create.

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15th Minute– Koreans look content to knock the ball around in midfield. Do they know they need a win today?

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14th Minute– Opara called for a foul. He's on a yellow so a yellow today would mean he misses the next match, assuming the USA advances.

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12th Minute– Arguez heads the corner away. Korea looks decent early on. Americans still haven't gotten going.

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11th Minute– Korea corner kick.

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10th Minute– Korea's 17 with a good shot from distance, forcing a save from Perk, who was in good position to catch it.

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9th Minute– Not a ton of pressure from the Koreans. Can the USA take advantage and knock the ball around? Still waiting for a good sequences of passes.

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7th Minute– Koreans unlock the U.S. defense, but a centering pass finds nobody and the Americans avoid some danger.

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6th Minute– Cruz tries a shot from distance but it goes wide. Nice pass from Duka to spring him down the right wing.

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5th Minute– Koreans showing some nice poise on the ball early, knocking it around from the back. Americans have yet to have any real possession.

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3rd Minute– If we were doing a drinking game, and we're not since this is a U-20 tournament, passes by U.S. centerbacks that don't reach anybody would be one.

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1st Minute– And we're off.

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PRE-GAME– Hey, it's Mikkel Diskerud's birthday today. Maybe he can get a goal off the bench as a present.

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PRE-GAME– Roberto Rosetti is the referee, the Italian ref is one of the best in the world so that's a good sign.

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PRE-GAME– And we hear that familiar South Korean chant. Brings back great memories of the 2002 World Cup.

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PRE-GAME– LA Galaxy fans will remember South Korea head coach Hong Myung Bo, a former Galaxy defender.

Hey, a Fernando Clavijo sighting in the stands.

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PRE-GAME– There had been some concern about Tony Taylor's hamstring but he's ready to go. No Mikkel Diskerud for a second straight match, but you would imagine he will see some time in the second half.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA's starting lineup:

———Shea———–Taylor————-Cruz——–

——————Duka————Jeffrey—————

————————–Arguez————————-

Flores——Agbossoumonde—Opara——–Williams

————————–Perk—————————-

If that lineup looks familiar, it should. It's the same starting XI that beat Cameroon.

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