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Under-20 World Cup

U.S. U-20s top Honduras in penalty kicks to win first CONCACAF U-20 Championship

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For the first time ever, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned the title of CONCACAF’s best.

The U.S. U-20s toppled Honduras, 5-4, in penalty kicks following a scoreless draw, winning Sunday’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship final. The win is the first U-20 championship in U.S. Soccer history.

Following a physical 90 minutes, the U.S. made all five of their penalty kicks with Brooks Lennon starting the run.  Coy Craft, Emmaniel Sabbi and Luca de La Torres soon followed before Honduras finally slipped up as Rembrandt Flores skied his shot over the bar. Danny Acosta buried his shot from the spot, sealing the championship for the U.S.

The game was not without its losses for the U.S., who saw two stars leave the match due to injury while another was forced to play on through a leg issue. Midfielder Eryk Williamson was the first to depart with a hamstring injury  in the 26th minute. Then, just moments in the second half, Justen Glad was removed after taking a shot to the knee late in the first half. Out of substitutes late in the match, captain Erik Palmer-Brown suffered a knee injury of his own but was forced to play on due to the lack of available reinforcements.

Although the first half was a bit quiet, the U.S. had the better of the chances. The best came via set pieces, one of which saw a corner kick pushed up and over the bar. Moments later, Brooks Lennon’s free kick was parried away by the Honduras goalkeeper.

As the game wore on, though, Honduras began to find a groove. After initially relying on the counter for a majority of their attacking push, Honduras began to turn up the pressure, causing several U.S. mistakes. Erik Palmer-Brown helped quell several fires as Honduras created chances as the second half wore on.

They would fail to break through, though, as the match moved to penalty kicks. The U.S. proved flawless, smashing all five of their spot kicks to seal the win.

The U.S. now looks towards this summer’s World Cup, which is set to begin May 20 in South Korea.

8 comments
  • antonnynoronha

    The result was even better than we could imagine, but the team needs a lot more to achieve a good result in the world championship, I hope that options like Justin vom steeg, matt olosunde, antonee robinson, marco farfan, paxton pomykal, gedion zelalem, mukwelle Akale, jackson yueill, cam lindley, kyle scott, josh perez, pierre da silva, haji wright and weston mckennie are observed so that some players who were in the team in costa rica do not go to South Korea, such as: Herrera, Lewis, Craft and others. in fact only fossey, glad, adams, palmer brown, de la torre are incontestable in my opinion

    Like

    • Ravishing Rick Rude

      His goal was phenomenal but his passing was very inconsistent. His first touch is worse than zardes so he still needs improvement compared to some of the European contingent.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I scored three goals in one game

    After the Panama game I think Tab did a very good job with an extreme lack of depth on this squad. Like someone said above, if some players are available this could be a very good team

    Like

  • Dennis

    Does anyone know why Jon Nelson was not on this squad? He was arguably the best player on Friedel’s US U-19 team last year, and he is a left-footed left back, a position nearly every team struggles to fill.

    He is still in High School, so maybe that played into it. Still, he has been nothing but outstanding in every US Youth national team he has played on.

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    • Johnnyrazor

      He was called into the final camp and did not make the squad. You have to remember youth tournaments are only allowed 18 field players. Most of the players who made the squad play on U23 teams in Europe, MLS with a few in USL or NCAA. With other European players likely available for the WC such as Carter Vickers and Olosunde and possibly Tillman, Nelson has a very difficult road to make the squad. Being US based though he should have a chance to impress in any camps that are held.

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    • Boob Bradley

      He most likely didnt make the squad because Acosta was one of our best players in the tournament at left back. His backup even played well when he didnt start one game. Too much depth.

      Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        There is also Marcelo Borges who was injured and couldn’t play in the tournament.

        Like

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