by GIANFRANCO PANIZO
With qualification to the Under-20 World Cup already in the bag, and having just come off a thrilling penalty kick victory against Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinals, the U.S. Under-20 national team fielded a mostly-reserve side against Costa Rica in the final and paid dearly for it.
Thomas Rongen and the U-20 U.S. national team fell, 3-0, to Costa Rica on Sunday. Goals from Diego Estrada, Josue Martinez and Allen Guevara crowned Los Ticos as CONCACAF U-20 champions.
The loss denied the U.S. team its first U-20 CONCACAF Championship, but the team accomplished what it set out to do: qualify for the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The other three World Cup representatives from CONCACAF are Costa Rica, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.
The current U.S. Under-20 squad doesn't have the name recognition of past teams, but it impressed throughout the tournament with the likes of Dilly Duka, Brian Perk, Daniel Cruz and Peri Marosevic standing out. With Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu possibilities to represent the United States in September's Under-20 World Cup, the U.S. team could be a force once again.
What did you think of the U.S. team's performance in the tournament? Who do you think was the best U.S. player? Who do you see playing a vital role for the U.S. once the U-20 World Cup rolls around?
Share your thoughts below.
Rongen was very fortunate not to be sent home like Mexico. Rongen is way past his prime.
Maybe it’s your analysis which is off and not so much my typing. I was comparing the situation the players are in, not the individual players skill level.
I’m definately not new to sport, I’ve been following it for 25 years. C. Ronaldo was a highly coveted player when he transfered to Man U in 03/04. He truly became a superstar after his performance in Euro 2004 where he helped take Portugal to the championship game.
I don’t know what tournament you were watching in 2007, but Pato & Jo played incredible in the U-20 World Cup (the rest of the team failed to pick up the slack). And it was his dominance in the Brazilian domestic league that initially had European clubs interested in him, the 06 CWC was just a little icing on the cake.
So please explain to me how the U-20 world cup hampered his development? He still had yet to prove he could hack it at a club like AC Milan prior to that point, just as Freddy and Jose have yet to do with their clubs.
papa bear- as for developing, im referring to them developing their career… they will earn the experience and the exposure through this tourny… this is not something we need to bring players who’ve been capped by the nats squad… they are already establish (as in known and exposed)…
winning is not as impt to me in youth tournys as developing our player pool and exposing as many players as possible… of course i want Rongen to produce a solid competitive team but i do not want to call in 2 players who have not been a part of this cycle and who have played and will continue to play for the Seniors…