Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Italy (Matchday Commentary)

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Italy (Matchday Commentary)

Under-17 World Cup

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Italy (Matchday Commentary)

USA CrestItalianNationalTeamLogo

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team will look to extend its winning streak to three games today when it takes on Italy in the second round of the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (10pm, ESPN360.com).

The Americans defeated Malawi and United Arab Emirates to reach this stage, and now face a strong Italian team that rolled to the second round.

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:

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FINAL– That's all for now. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on today's match in the comments section below.

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FINAL– Things could be worse. Argentina just gave up two goals in the final two minutes to drop a 3-2 loss to Colombia in another second round match.

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FINAL– The Americans showed some promise, and certainly some skill, but as a group, it was a flawed squad lacking both at forward and in central defense. We'll never know how the additions of Joseph Gyau, Charlie Renken and Sebastian Lletget would have impacted this team, but I can't imagine their presence would have hurt the squad.

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FINAL– The U.S. team's biggest weakness this tournament was forward play, and it showed today more than ever. Not just because of the chances the American forwards missed, but because of the clear difference in quality shown by Italian forwards.

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FINAL– Italy 2, USA 1. The Italians were the better team and deserved to go through. The Americans had their chances, but they squandered them and blew a chance to win despite being outclassed.

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94th minute– McInerney gets a yellow, not sure for what.

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93rd minute– Zavaleta with a RED CARD. He takes down an Italian attacker and gets a deserved red.

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92nd minute– Sarle with a ball into the area, but nobody can get onto it. Americans pushing hard, throwing everything forward.

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91st minute– Three minutes of stoppage time to go.

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90th minute– Sarle earns another corner.

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89th minute– SAVE Italy. Gil with the shot, and now USA has a corner.

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86th minute– Agudelo with nice moves to get into the area, but his cross is picked off. Agudelo looking good.

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85th minute– WOW, Chavez with a great chance from close range and bounces it off the turf. Terrible waste of a chance. Nice play by Sarle to set that up.

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84th minute– Juan Agudelo comes on for Zachary Herold. Last USA sub.

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82nd minute– Sarle earns a free kick near midfield. Carraro comes out for Italy, replaced by Benedetti. Italy with another defensive sub.

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81st minute– Sarles hits side-netting with a weak and low cross attempt.

Victor Chavez is coming on for Alex Shinsky.

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80th minute– Gil with a beautiful move to create some space, but the ball goes wide to Sarle, who shanks a cross.

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79th minute– Americans with ten minutes to make something happen.

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78th minute– Italy earn a corner after a nice build-up leads to a deflected shot.

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74th minute– Much better stuff from Gil in the second half, but his teammates aren't taking advantage of his play.

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71st minute– Open look from 18 for Carraro but he skies it. USA get lucky there.

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70th minute– Italy look content to hold on to this lead. At what point will Cabrera throw in another attacker?

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69th minute– Gil's free kick into the area can't find a head. Not a bad ball in, but nobody gets there.

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68th minute– Italy's Devitis gets a yellow. He'll miss the next match if Italy wins.

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66th minute– Iemmello comes out, Alessandro Scialpi comes in.

Stefan Jerome is out, Dominick Sarle comes in.

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65th minute– Duran with a foul. He gets his money's worth when he commits fouls. He's a 5-foot-4 pitbull in central midfield, sort of a young Latino Richie Williams.

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64th minute– Italy comes close, but a dangerous cross can't be reached by Beretta.

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63rd minute– Whatever was plaguing Jerome in the first half is troubling McInerney now because he just looks lost.

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61st minute– Italy with a sub. No, it wasn't either forward.

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59th minute– SAVE EDWARDS!! He stops a Beretta shot after Beretta stripped Watts and broke in free on goal.

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58th minute– Iemmello, a Fiorentina player, got some space at the arc and just blasted it after taking a nice touch to create some space for the shot.

How will the USA respond?

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56th minute- GOAL ITALY!!! What a goal. Pietro Iemmello with the finish from 22 yards out. Italy 2, USA 1.

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54th minute– Jerome has looked like a completely different player this half. Americans as a group are playing with more confidence.

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53rd minute– Gil with an attempted bicycle kick that nearly catches the keeper off his line. Great cross from Jerome to find McInerney before that.

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52nd minute– Americans showing more life and it pays off with a goal. What a start to this half.

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52nd minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! Nick Palodichuk heads it home off a McInerney corner. WE ARE TIED. It's 1-1.

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51st minute– USA free kick inside the area. Just inside the box, straight at goal. McInerney's kick is blocked by the wall, and the rebound is cleared for a corner.

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50th minute– Jerome dribbled in at the Italy defense and sets up McInerney with an open look at the goal, but he hits it off the crossbar. The Italy keeper may have gotten fingers onto the shot, but McInerney still needs to put that on goal.

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49th minute– McINERNEY OFF THE CROSSBAR!!! What a missed chance on an open look. WOW.

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48th minute– Some shaky passing early on for the USA.

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46th minute– No subs.

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46th minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– What needs to change for the USA? Luis Gil needs to pick his head up and play. He's sulking a bit too much and he's too important to the U.S. attack to let himself disappear out of this game. Wilmer Cabrera needs to make a sub up top because Stefan Jerome just hasn't been effective. He's got speed, but his touch has been awful and he's never looked close to threatening Italy's tough defenders.

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HALFTIME– Italy 1, USA 0. The score is close, but the game isn't that close. Italy took control after USA's missed PK, and the American attack has been sporadic, while the defense has looked very shaky.

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45th minute– Promising build-up for the USA leads to a corner. Gil's corner is headed by McInerney but not on goal. Still a better sequence for USA to earn that corner.

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43rd minute– Americans are still just down 1-0, but haven't shown much life since the first ten minutes.  The game isn't over, but the U.S. team is playing like a beaten team.

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40th minute– Italy with a long free kick.

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39th minute– Italy's defenders and forwards are a different class. The difference is glaring, but considering the pedigrees I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise.

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38th minute– Beretta is ruled offside on another would-be goal. Great finish and it looked like a bad call.

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37th minute– Okay, it needs to be said. Every time a promising USA attack gets to Jerome, he kills it.

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36th minute– USA need to keep some possession. Italy looks to be a bit fatigued right now.

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34th minute– Americans started the match so well, but it's been a different story since the PK miss. Italy's defense is rock solid and the attack moves the ball around so smoothly that it just feels like more goals are inevitable.

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32nd minute– Italy is turning this into target practice as they grow confident and the Americans start to tighten up and make mistakes.

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29th minute– Beretta is an AC Milan player, and showed great class on that goal, making the run onto the header and holding off Watts to make the finish.

Italy CLOSE AGAIN! They miss a great chance.

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28th minute- GOAL ITALY!!!! Beretta with the finish off a flick header. He beats Watts to the ball and finishes it off. Italy 1, USA 0.

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28th minute– Apparently Jason Bateman is Italy's manager (okay, maybe not, but he looks like him).

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27th minute– Wow, Edwards overruns a ball back to him and watches it bounce over his head, but he recovers and grabs it.

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26th minute– Italy starting to apply serious pressure, controlling possession now.

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24th minute– Great move by Gil to start a breakout, he sends it to Jerome, who then sends a way-too-hard pass back across the area. Stalls the attack. Jerome's passing touch leaves much to be desired.

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22nd minute– Italy's keeper Bardi is on the books with Livorno for those wondering.

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20th minute– Americans are passing the ball well today, much sharper than past performances.

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18th minute- SAVED PK!!! McInerney's shot is saved. great diving save. McInerney hit it hard, but it was too close to the keeper, who saved with a decent dive.

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16th minute– PENALTY!! Italy called for a handball in the area. Bad luck for the Italian defender, but it was a handball on a bad bounced pass.

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15th minute– Italy with some good possession. You can certainly appreciate their skill on the ball, from front to back.

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12th minute– SAVE ITALY! Jack McInerney with a great blast from about 30 yards out, USA corner.

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10th minute– Jared Watts with a key intervention to stop an Italy attack near the area.

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10th minute– USA with a corner. It doesn't lead to much as Italy counters.

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9th minute– Italy with its own long free kick play, but the volley at the end goes well over.

Active start for both teams.

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8th minute– USA's free kick results in an offside call, good job by Italy's back-line to step up.

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6th Minute– Federico Mannini with a yellow for Italy, fouled Gil. USA with a long free kick.

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5th Minute– Federico Carraro of Fiorentina with a shot near goal, but sends it wide. Dangerous look for the Italians.

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4th Minute– USA with some good attacking flashes early on.

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3rd Minute– We're under way and it's scoreless.

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