Mistakes plague U.S. U-17s in 2-1 defeat to Uzbekistan


Photo by ISIphotos.com


The United States run for glory at the U-17 World Cup hit a major bump in the road on Wednesday.

Wilmer Cabrera's boys were unable to mount a comeback against Uzbekistan, falling 2-1 against the Central Asian nation. For the second match in a row, second half substitute Alfred Koroma was able to score on his first touch of the ball, but it was not enough for the young Americans. 

A costly giveaway by defender Zach Carroll in the 12th minute of play allowed Bobir Davlatov to put the Uzbeks up early. Koroma was able to equalize for the Americans after being inserted into the game at halftime, but as the game wore on, the match became an increasingly physical affair.

The Americans had difficulties dealing with this and the Uzbeks soon found the winner from captain Abbosbek Makhstaliev after a dubious penalty was called on Carroll. The Americans pushed forward as the match wore on, but were unable to find the decisive goal.

With the loss and the Czech Republic's victory over New Zealand all of the teams in Group D can potentially place anywhere from first place to last. The United States takes on New Zealand at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca on Saturday with a win clinching the Americans a place in the knock out stages. 

Highlights below:

  • swoopy

    The boys did not play well. But to call that penalty dubious is being very, very kind to the ref.


  • Scott

    This game was hard to watch. The US was bad and the Uzbeks who had the lead for the majority of the game keep forgetting that the sport of soccer is supposed to played while standing on your feet rather than rolling on the grass. Seriously, Charlie Davies would have been proud of some of their antics. The ref was conned time and again… maybe MLS should hire him.


  • jpc

    Agreed, the US team was just pathetic though. Couldn’t pass to guys 10 feet away, every trap bounced in the air, they just didn’t seem to want to be there. Maybe that’s b/c they’ve never heard of Uzbekistan, or just their young and lost focus… Hopefully next game will be better… Karoma needs to start, he’s playing real good


  • jonk

    Tough game to watch. I felt like I was watching the U20 loss to Guatemala all over again. The US team was just really sloppy and lazy on the ball. The penalty was a joke, but they still should have been able to overcome that to at least draw.


  • centrejack

    If I hadn’t seen UZB in corner with the scoreline I would have thought we were playing the Azzuri. The diving was disgraceful… I believe in gamesmanship and the US always difficulty not playing naive, but naivete this time fell equally on the officials. There should have been an early card for diving and that would have put an end to it. At least the boys will learn from it and be wiser in the future. Lets just hope they can win against the Kiwis and get out of the group.


  • Judging Amy

    Where’s all the smug “These kids should teach the full Nats how to finish” from the Czech game? What, now that they lose the U-17s aren’t so tough?


  • patriot71

    Just out of curiousity, what were the commentators comments and thoughts regarding the penalty? Any of you Spanish speakers that can help me out?


  • Dennis

    These are young players, I think it was good that they lost in the group phase so they understand that they must take every opponent seriously. I hope it will result in them playing the good soccer they showed they are capable of in qualifying and against the Czechs.

    The US U-20s lost in the knock-out phase of qualifying and failed to qualify even though they were a really talented team.

    This should present several teachable moments to Cabrera and his staff. It is really hard to get teenagers’ attention when they are flying high from success, a bit of humility can make them more receptive to instruction.


  • swoopy

    As for the team itself, the U.S. system-wide needs to go to school on how to control the ball — from the air and on the ground, first touches look like the Sounders.

    The English guy doing the ESPN3 call was terrible. Can’t speak for the Spanish.


  • abc

    Is it just me or was this game almost like a combination of the worst aspects of the U20 loss to Guatemala and the MNT loss to Panama?
    Really unimpressive all around after the previous game.
    Hopefully it’s like the loss to Panama in that it’s just a meaningless group stage game and they get through.


  • kwall

    It was the FIFA feed. the announcer was hired by FIFA so he is not going to say anything about the referee even if he thought it — he would lose his job.

    Ridiculous officiating. The bad officiating is going to turn people off the sport!


  • Modibo

    Seems like the U-17s took a page out of the senior team GC playbook: come out strong the first game, collapse in the second. Will they look better in the final match like the seniors, though?


  • Thorpinski

    A bit overly judgmental Amy? They still have another game at least and while they didn’t have a great game they still played a nice brand of soccer in defeat.


  • Judging Amy

    Clever. I wasn’t criticizing the u-17s. More a commentary on overhyping and hyperbole. The u-17s are just kids. Inconsistency is not uncommon at that level. They seem to have some genuine talent.

    I disagree on them playing a nice game yesterday though.


  • vivalosburros

    Though the u17s did not play well, the ref completely changed the course of this game. There was a definite penalty shout for the US just before he called the pk for Uzbekistan. After that it anything the US did was a foul. If Mario Rodriguez so much as touched anyone the ref called a foul. Such onesidedness makes it very difficult to play. I actually think that the boys did a pretty good job of keeping their heads. This was something that they had a lot of problems with in qualifying, but I never really saw them overly complaining or losing their composure. Hopefully they come out and play better against New Zealand.


  • Carl

    The ref was from Russia, like Uzbekistan a former Soviet state. Couldn’t they have found someone with no ties to either country?


  • Mike Caramba

    Did anyone seriously suggest the U-17s should teach the full Nats how to finish? I’m sure people were just excited to see the youngsters score three goals in a game (which the full Nats haven’t done in a while). Don’t see the harm in that.


  • Goalscorer24

    Penalty was not deserved. He was not even at an angle where he was really threatening goal, and our player barely touched him. But U17’s are at best inconsistent.


  • NC Jeff

    Probably, it was just a really unfortunate draw … Russia’s in UEFA, while Uzbekistan’s in AFC.

    However, beat New Zealand, and they win the group.


  • baldomero123

    At Galavision a commentator said “no pasa nada”, which means “nothing happened.”


  • Judging Amy

    “Did anyone seriously suggest the U-17s should teach the full Nats how to finish?”



  • Mike Caramba

    My comment was unclear (or maybe it wasn’t). I meant did anyone make that suggestion in earnest.

    Clearly I’m not going to defend anyone that actually thinks the seniors could learn something from a group of teenagers.


  • marco

    On one Uzbek goal a defender missed kicked the clearance straight up. Three defenders watched the striker take it down and turn. If you’re not going to challenge the ball in the air at least stand close enough so the player can’t turn.


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