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Under-20 World Cup

Under-20 World Cup: USA vs. Spain (SBI Live Match Commentary)

USASpainLogosU20

by IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team open World Cup play today against powerhouse Spain in their opening group match in Istanbul, Turkey (2pm, ESPN2).

The Americans head into the tournament as underdogs in a group featuring Spain, France and Ghana, but a positive result today could set them up for a run at a place in the quarterfinals.

Jose Villarreal, Luis Gil and DeAndre Yedlin will lead the U.S. team against a dangerous Spanish side featuring plenty of La Liga-based firepower.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s action so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

161 comments
  • Eurosnob

    Great points about the selection of Javan Torre. No one should be surprised that a kid who started 5 college games and was subject to NCAA training restrictions would struggle against the top notch talent that professionally trains year round in the top clubs that are known for developing elite talent. But this is not just Ramos’ fault – it’s a scathing indictment to the USSF/Development Academies/College/pay-to-play system in term of how they develop youth soccer talent.

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    • Don't care

      So you think Ramos not calling in better CB’s that actually play in college is somehow not his fault? Are you sure about that? What’s your excuse for how bad Ocegueda and Cropper look? You going to blame mexican and english youth development

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      • Eurosnob

        I was talking about the entire system, not just about whether to call up one college kid vs the other. What are the chances that picking another college kid would have shut downt a player who appeared in games with Barcelona’s first team? Pretty slim. Colleges do not develop world class soccer talent – restrictions on the number of hours the players can practice, lack of coaching talent, most teams play long ball – kick and run style, etc. Youth pay-to-play clubs are generally producing players for college game and colleges generally produce MLS level players, MLS is different from pretty much every league in the world (no promotion/relegation, plus salary cap = there is little insentive to raise the level of the game since merit is not rewarded). Cropper is not really a product of English youth development system (which, by the way, also sucks). He played for Maple Grove High School in Minesotta until 2010, was at Brandenton, and with Minnesota Thunder Academy. Ocegueda, Joya, Cuevas played both in California and in Mexico – and they are stronger techically than college players. But thier experience in a professional set up is less extensive and at a lower level than let’s say Deulofeu’s experience, who has been training within Barcelona’s professional system since the age of 9. It was a mismatch to start with even with our best players who play for professional clubs, but putting college kids on the field against Spain did not help.

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      • Dont Care

        umm calling in a natural CB who actually started games in college would have been much better than Torre. It doesnt take world class players to stop world class players. The US senior team shutout spain with 4 college alumni in defense. Ramos could have called up Jalen Robinson who DC United has been trying to sign for 2 years. One year in college doesnt make an elite pro prospect suddenly garbage. Look at Yedlin, he played two years of college and is still better than any pro options we have. Your damn right world class players arent produced in college they are produced years earlier. College is a place where players can get 1st team minutes at an age when they need them against an always improving opposition. With your description of college soccer i can tell you dont watch and your analysis of it is so off base its not even worth arguing.

        Its funny you blame college soccer for a players lack of developement while with Cropper and Ocegueda you say its earlier. The double standard is hilarious. The fact remains Cropper has spent his last three years in england, same with Ocegueda in mexico, and both didnt look good. You can try to blame college soccer all you want but the problem is years before. I would say Yedlin is stronger technically than any of those you mentioned

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      • Eurosnob

        I wouldn’t read too much into one win that US had against Spain. A broken clock can show correct time twice a day, if everything falls just right. What was the score the next time the US played against Spain after their famous win? And who won the world cup next year? To be clear, I am not trying to single out college, it’s just a small part of the problem – you can shut down all college soccer programs – and the US won’t start producing world class players. The players who go to college have had years of really lousy coaching before going there. College merely contributes to the existing problems with development. Restrictions on the hours of training, which makes it very difficult to teach players to play intelligently – Porter was one of the exceptions. I think that there is place for college soccer, but it is not for the best players and the fact that we have to call up college players shows the lack of depth in our player pool.

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  • Ben

    I didnt know if you are one of the best 3rd placed teams that you go through. this could be a HUGE half for saving goal differential and getting through as a 3rd place team

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    • AcidBurn

      This. The US can lose to Spain and still make it out of the group with a win/tie or just a win as a 3rd placed team, but it will be significantly tougher if they have to run uphill against a bad goal differential. Talk about potentially blowing the tournament in one half.

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      • Ben

        Yeah, even cutting GD to -2 whether it be 4-2 or 3-1 could end up being big.

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      • AcidBurn

        GD at -4 now and counting. Yeeeeeeeesh.

        They better hope this doesn’t come back to dump them out of the tournament.

        Who am I kidding? They will get dumped if they can’t fix that D.

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      • Ben

        I looked at 2009 u-20 and 3 pts with a -3 got costa rica through, so we may not be finished yet.

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  • SanFran415

    We have a kid who started 5 college games in one season guarding the best U-20 player in the world? Blahhhhhh.

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  • Don't care

    Not bringing in Zimmerman is such a dumb move. Torre shouldn’t even be on the team let alone starting. I could name 5 college CB’s better than him that could be on this team.

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    • SanFran415

      James Harrison has been fined 50K for the hit on Garcia.

      – Roger Goodell

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      • Riggity

        Lmao, as a Steeler fan I’m on the floor…too bad he’s a Bengal now. That’s funny

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  • SanFran415

    lol villareal so lucky he wasn’t carded for that

    learning the dark arts already

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  • zztoppppp

    I hope in the next game we see Cuevas instead of Garcia and Lopez instead of Trapp. Thankfully O’Neill will be back as well.

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  • Larry

    Centerbacks are dodgy, but the midfield is leaving the defense exposed. They push forward, force a high line and leave the centerbacks totally exposed.

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    • M

      Pelosi and Brooks, too. It shows we are starting to get some quality players but are still years away from having quality in large numbers.

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  • SanFran415

    Glad Spain relaxed enough for us to steal one–definitely going to need that for GD.

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      • SanFran415

        Yup. Spain was playing passback with their keeper for pretty much the entire second half. Their coach clearly told them to conserve energy. Whenever they decided to cross midfield they torched us.

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      • SanFran415

        Yup. Spain was playing p@ssback with their keeper for pretty much the entire second half. Their coach clearly told them to conserve energy. Whenever they decided to cross midfield they torched us.

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  • TomG

    Gil is able to compete because he is a seasoned pro already, just like his Spanish counterparts. Until our lower leagues, academies and reserve systems get cranked up and properly integrated, it will be tough for us to compete in these tourneys

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      • Don't care

        Yedlins different. Hes in the Dempsey, Holden, Cherundolo, Boca, Guzan, Cameron, Davies category of players who won’t be good because they didn’t turn pro early. You know because there is only one route to be a good player and only TomG knows it

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  • Adam

    Yedlin has been a ton better in the second half…pretty much everything they have got going forward has been down the right on his side.

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  • QuakerOtis

    Takeaways:

    1. We’re still not Spain, but we have Luis Gil.

    2. Cropper has a lot of, um, developing left to do.

    3. Tab Ramos is successfully implementing a nice attacking style, but we lack the defensive personnel (at this level) to make that work well.

    4. We had a nice spell of possession in the first half… just before we crashed back down to earth.

    In all, nothing new from this match. I would have loved at least one goal, but we looked decent — even pretty good — before the wheels came off at the back, but oh well.

    At least the goal gives us a (long) shot at hanging around the tournament.

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    • Travis

      Tab definitely should have called in Zimmerman. Would have been a better game. Its to bad JAB didn’t play with us, would have been a big help.

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    • Larry

      It’s not just the defensive personnel. There was lack of a holding/defensive midfielder, and the attacking players have a lot sharper at transitioning from attack to defense – reacting quicker at pressing the ball when losing possession.

      In any case, playing a high line against Spain at any level is asking for trouble, unless the team can press cohesively and quickly. I don’t think any of the US attacking players are well drilled in that at the club level.

      The funny thing was that the US dealt with Spain’s pressure rather well – perhaps because the defensive/holding midfielder was playing centerback.

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  • zztoppppp

    I hate to sound like another American hyping up a prospect way too early, but does anyone foresee Yedlin or Gil impressing enough to attract some European suitors? I would prefer to see them stay in MLS for the time being to be groomed, but they both have loads of potential.

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    • SanFran415

      Arsenal offered Gil a contract but he wanted to develop at home before going abroad.

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      • zztoppppp

        Oh wow, I was unaware of that. It may be old news, but it is refreshing to hear because I think out of this group he has the most star potential, followed by Yedlin, Hernandez and Villareal.

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    • M

      Gil has handled his career pretty well so far, from Bradenton to RSL. Also a lot of credit to Jason Kriess sp? And his staff for Gil’s development

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  • the original jb

    I caught the 2nd half and was actually fairly impressed with our attacking players. I assume Spains u-20 is the best or at least a favorite to win the tourney, and it appeared that skill and possession wise we were fairly even with them. The spine of our defense looked physically overmatched and tactically overwhelmed. So if plugging in 2 or 3 solid defenders allows us to compete with the best, it could bode well for the US.

    Like

  • Ricardo

    Someone check out what the US mens teams(( u17, U 20 and U23) have done under Gulati’s watch.

    I blame him for bringing in inept coaches

    Like

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