U.S. Youth National Teams

U.S. U-20 national team beats Miami FC, 3-1, to end last camp before qualifying


photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The U.S. U-20 national team ended its final camp before World Cup qualifying on Wednesday morning, and it did so in impressive fashion.

Playing against Miami FC, Gale Agbossoumonde, Kelyn Rowe and Omar Salgado scored in each of the game's three 20-minute periods to help the Americans to a 3-1 win. The United States had the majority of the chances and looked the better side for much of the match.

Miami's lone goal came near the death of the second period when goalkeeper Zac MacMath spilled a free kick shot, allowing an attacker to knock in the rebound. 

That was one of few bad plays for the United States, which saw impressive performances from Rowe, Agbossoumonde, Joe Gyau, Perry Kitchen and Amobi Okugo.

"I thought it was a pretty solid ending (to the camp)," said Zarek Valentin, who played in the first two periods. "I think it's a little rough playing in two 20 (minute periods) because it's hard to get into a full rhythm, but I think overall you can see real good spurts of what our team has to offer. It's a really good group."

Agbossoumonde, who played stout defensively in his 60-minute performance, was the one to open the scoring, hitting a half-volley against his former team following a corner kick in the first period.

The Americans made it 2-0 in the second period when Moises Orozco split Miami's defense with a good through ball down the center that allowed Rowe to hit a powerful shot passed Brian Sylvestre, who played for the Miami team despite being on the U.S. U-20 roster.

"Our style is a little different than the long ball," said Agbossoumonde, who is leaving for a two-week trial with Swedish club Djurgarden on Jan. 15. "We really don't play long ball. We try to play through the middle, and I thought that we did a pretty good job of it. I thought Kelyn did a pretty good job."

Having surrendered a late goal in the second period, Miami responded with its third when Omar Salgado knocked in a rebound after a shot was deflected by a defender.

The 3-1 victory signaled the end of the first camp of 2011 and the last one before head coach Thomas Rongen has to decide on his roster for World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Guatemala in April.

"I've got some tough choices to make quite frankly," said Rongen. "This is maybe the deepest pool that I have had – this is now my fourth time around to try and qualify for the World Cup – in all positions, for that matter."

USA starters in first period (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Zarek Valentin, Gale Agbossoumonde, Perry Kitchen, Moises Hernandez; Moises Orozco, Amobi Okugo, Joe Gyau, Kelyn Rowe, Omar Salgado; Conor Doyle.

USA starters in second period (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Zarek Valentin, Gale Agbossoumonde, Perry Kitchen, Greg Garza; Moises Orozco, Amobi Okugo, Joe Gyau, Kelyn Rowe, Omar Salgado; Conor Doyle.

USA starters in third period (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Korey Veeder, Gale Agbossoumonde, Sebastien Ibeagha, Greg Garza; Dillon Powers, Perry Kitchen, Conor Doyle, Kelyn Rowe, Joe Gyau; Omar Salgado.


What do you think of the U.S. U-20 national team's 3-1 win against Miami FC? Who do you think should be on the World Cup qualifying team? How eager are you awaiting for April to come?

Share your thoughts below.

  • adub

    Thomas Rongen definitley has some tough choices, and lets just say his track record doesnt exactly give me much optimism…

    who gets left off the team?

    i hope kelyn rowe and fabian huerzler make it! i would say everyone else is a lock but i dont know much about veeder? is he a lock?


  • Eric

    Okugo has had a busy offseason. I’m hoping this will pay off in his play for the Union this year. He was a great pick up this time last year in the draft!


  • WK

    i’m nearly as excited for this summer as last. U-20 WC & Gold Cup makes for a lot of int’l soccer.


  • dallas-44@live.com

    hey the guys they were playing against are also Americans. (keep saying the american, U-20 are more like it.) I love reading this site when they talk about the U-20. Its funny I watch both games against Miami Fc and did not see what this guys is talking about. I saw few good chances. The main reason they look ok is because of them being fitter. so lets not get carry away with how great this group is. average at best.


  • GW

    “Thomas Rongen definitley has some tough choices, and lets just say his track record doesnt exactly give me much optimism ”

    So does Rongen get any credit for assembling this great bunch of players or are you still going to keep blaming him for Subotic?


  • Dakota Sillyman

    Your babble is both incoherent and ridden with false information. For example; he U-20’s have only played Miami F.C. once. Second off Miami F.C. isn’t exactly a terrible team, but alas I digress Haters are going to hate. Go ahead Hater, Hate.


  • Cyrus

    Some of the European players already went back. Others went back after the game today, and some are still there and will be playing in the match tonight at 8 against Haiti, including Molano.


  • robert daniels

    I have to agree with Dallas on this one. Though this is the deepest American u20 team ever compared to other u20 national team set ups probably right above average.


  • jim in Atlanta

    Where in the world did he watch this game? Online, TV, live, where?

    (SBI-The SBI team was there. Franco, Mike Nastri and I were in attendance. We’ll have interviews with Gale Agbossoumonde, Zarek Valentin, Zac MacMath and Thomas Rongen up soon.)


  • robert

    I do not see how you can refer to the team the U-20 played as Miami FC. Miami FC only has 5 players signed and they were not playing 5 on 5. Only 1 of the players that played is under contract for theupcoming season.


  • Dakota Sillyman

    Have you watched previous U-20 World Cups, our U-20 team often beats traditional powers like Brazil. It’s not to much of a stretch to say this team may actually have a decent chance at winning it.


  • Juan from L.A.

    I strongly believe there should be another camp to start molding this team. Rongen only mistake was to try out too many players AND THEN start molding them. If that’s the case that this is the last camp then the team will not play like the team and mark my words Mexico will beat us AGAIN and everyone will be like what happen.


  • DC Josh

    Interesting that Rongen played a 4-2-3-1. I thought he always played in a 4-3-3 system. I have to agree that this is the best group of U-20’s we’ve ever had. It would be a disappointment if they don’t go very deep in the tourney. I hope Lletget, Rowe, and Huerzeler all make the squad.


  • DC Josh

    I can’t imagine that there won’t be at least one week before qualifying begins in April. The best thing is most of these players are in a pro system, so they will be match fit.


  • dallas

    Im not a hater, I just watched the same game and don’t not see what these guys saw. Yes I was at the game and I thought a few players looked good. Gale Agbossoumonde, Moises Orozco, Amobi Okugo and conor doyle looked good. I think Perry Kitchen and joe Gyau are very overrated. playing next to gale helps Kitchen’s game a lot and Gyan is only effective when taken players on. he does not make good runs off the ball.


  • GW

    If Lletget could have helped WestHam don’t you think they would have called him up by now?


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