Top Stories

Zusi, McInerney score as U-23s and USMNT battle to draw

USACrest


By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. – In a match that was much closer than the last time these teams met, the U.S. Under-23 national team battled to a hard fought 1-1 draw against the U.S. national team on Tuesday evening at the Home Depot Center Complex.

Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi scored the lone goal for the senior team, which took an early lead before Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney equalized midway through the first half. Benny Feilhaber delivered the assist on Zusi's goal, his second in two scrimmages against the U-23s.

After the goal, the U-23 team settled into the match and began to put pressure on Jurgen Klinsmann's senior team. Far improved from its 4-0 defeat to the senior team last Friday, the U-23 team was able to break through in the 36th minute when McInerney headed in a Dilly Duka corner kick. With their final tune-up complete before a pair of matches in Costa Rica, the U-23s were pleased with their progress.

"We wanted to make sure that we were a little more balanced team [defensively] so when we lose the ball, we have better shape and we did much better his game," said U-23 head coach Caleb Porter. "We also continued to work on the ball circulation and possession as well as controlling the game there. I thought we could have been more lethal around goal, but those details gel later."

GAME LINEUPS 

Senior team:  Nick Rimando (Sean Johnson 45'); AJ DeLaGarza (Zach Loyd 45'), Michael Parkhurst (Jeff Parke 45'), Geoff Cameron, Heath Pearce ; Jeff Larentowicz, (Ricardo Clark 45') Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi (Brad Evans 45'), Benny Feilhaber (Teal Bunbury 45'), Brek Shea; Chris Wondolowski (CJ Sapong 45')

Under-23s:   Bill Hamid (Zac MacMath 45'); Kofi Sarkodie (Sheanon Williams 45'), Zarek Valentin (Royal-Dominique Fennell 45'), Sebastien Ibeagha (Andrew Wenger 45'), Jorge Villafana (Mike Stephens 45'); Amobi Okugo (Sebastien Lletget 45'), Jared Jeffery (Mix Diskerud 45'), Dilly Duka (Isaac Acuna 45'); Freddy Adu (Kelyn Rowe 45'), Teal Bunbury (Tony Taylor 45'), Jack McInerney (Joe Corona 45')

GAME OBSERVATIONS

Juan Agudelo once again missed the training after spraining his right ankle during Friday's scrimmage. The New York Red Bulls forward is still awaiting diagnosis of his injury after an MRI on Tuesday, but was spotted walking with aid of a boot on his right foot. Agudelo expects the boot to be taken off in a matter of days.

Teal Bunbury appeared in a central forward role for both the U-23s and the senior team. The Sporting Kansas City forward was at his best while with the U-23s, making a pair of positive runs only to see them called offside or stopped by goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Geoff Cameron went the distance for the senior squad for the second straight friendly. Playing in central defense, Cameron was composed in distributing the ball forward while also preventing numerous chances for the U-23s. 

Joe Corona was one of the highlights for the U-23 side, playing in the midfield during the scrimmage. Less than 24 hours after winning the Mexican Rookie of the Year award, Corona played on the right side of Porter's 4-3-3, and the Club Tijuana forward was dangerous in attack and frequently tested Zach Loyd

Tony Taylor once again equipped himself well during the scrimmage, creating several opportunities after coming on for the second half. Taylor's finest opportunity came after a slick pass from Andrew Wenger, who also enjoyed a solid game in the back. 

Perhaps one of the most entertaining moments of the match was midway through the second half when Seabastian Lletget battled with Jermaine Jones for a ball in the midfield. The burly Jones refused to be taken by the smaller Lletget and carried the West Ham midfielder for several yards before being dragged down for a foul.

Michael Stephens, the winner of the U-23s' "beep test" exercise, appeared at left back, a position he admitted he had not played since his time with the U.S. U-17 national team. Stephens was solid despite being targeted by C.J. Sapong

Josh Gatt is returning to Norway to re-join his club team Molde after injuring his right ankle during training on Sunday. Gatt did not participate in Tuesday's scrimmage. 

Comments

  1. It’s amazing the outcry playing this kid at right back for 45 minutes in a practice session has caused. Thank god it wasn’t a game or Porter might be looking for a job.

    Gatt has played both right wing and right back for Molde and has stated that he is comfortable either place. I saw him play right back and that attacking speed on the overlap is the most terrifying threat from an American overlapping back since Tim Chandler.

    The 4-3-3 generally need attacking fullbacks and a burner like Gatt would seem ideal.

    Besides. he is just 18-19 years old and it is way too soon to lock him into one position.

    These camps are for experiments yet judging by the outrage, one would think Porter had done the equivalent of playing Leo Messi in goal for the Champions League final

    Reply
  2. If the Olympic roster is 18 with 3 over-aged I see only 2 or 3 spots realy open unless someone drops.
    Strikers 2
    Bunbury and Boyd (Jozy will not be released for both teams so Klinsmann gets nibs.
    Wings 4
    Shea, Corona, Gyau, Taylor
    Mids 5
    Duka, Okugo, Jonson, Williams, Adu
    Defenders 3
    Chandler, Johnson again, Wenger
    Goalies 2
    Johnson, Hamid
    That’s 15 with Johnson counted twice. I see the 3 overage coming in at CB or DM.

    Not much room to squeeze in, unless injury, poor form, or not released (Tim Chandler)the most likely here.

    Reply
  3. There just isnt the talent or skills available in this player pool to play the quick possession oriented, high pressure style that Porter wants. This is gonna blow up in his face. I see three losses and out for this olympic team.

    Reply
  4. Agudela left the HDC Saturday afternoon on crutches. FYI, the whole team left between 12-1PM on Saturday with the afternoon off.

    Reply
  5. “Josh Gatt is returning to Norway to re-join his club team Molde after injuring his right ankle during training on Sunday. Gatt did not participate in Tuesday’s scrimmage.”

    I haven’t seen Gatt play but suspect he’ll not be back on the U-23s soon.

    Reply
  6. He picked up a knock and was held out of the games. I would give you a reference at the US Soccer site for this, BUT it’s down. Seems to be down a whole lot.

    Reply
  7. Just out of curiosity, but has anyone else noticed that Beckerman hasn’t featured in either of these scrimmages? Something wrong with him? Can’t imagine Klinsmann not giving one of his favorites a run unless he’s getting over something.

    Reply
  8. I see one enormous difference between the two: confidence. They seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, and McInerney is on the wrong end.

    Reply
  9. If you read the article, you’ll remember that it explicitly states Bunbury played for both teams. Your second question is interesting. Our full strength U 23 team is pretty impressive, with Altidore, Shea, Agudelo, Hamid all eligible, and probably more I’m forgetting.

    Reply
  10. It sounds as if Porter is already doing a good job molding and teaching this U 23 team. It looks as if he’s going to be a smart choice as coach…

    Reply
  11. According to the line-ups above Teal Bunbury played for the Sr team in the 1st half and the U23’s in the 2nd half. Is that typo or did he really just flip teams at half.

    I wonder how the full U23 ‘A’ team would fair against the Sr ‘B/C’ team? Assuming U23 squad gets any/all players eligible to play U23.

    How about Brian Ching for one of the overage slots on the Olympic roster (if fully fit and healthy)? I assume Montreal would have to give him a release for national team duty… I’m sure he’d like to find a way to make them regret sleeting him in the expansion draft.

    Reply
  12. Well, he certainly isn’t lighting up the stat-sheets. That much I concede.

    However, he has ability that you can’t teach. I believe the rest will come in time.

    Reply
  13. Riiiight. And since the 23’s held them to a draw in a scrimmage the pups should all get the start against Italy, right?

    Reply
  14. As only having his MLS match performances as a baseline, I’ve been unimpressed thus far, but readily admit that there is much about him I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if many “haters” share the same position.

    Reply
  15. sounds like from Porter’s quote that the defense was more solid because they did not press as high or as much. I could be wrong, but I gather that tactics, not personnel, have more to with the stiffer D.

    Reply
  16. Alot of people hate on McInerney but that kid is one of the only young players in our pool I’ve seen have that natural flair, similar to a Dempsey.

    If he continues to work on his game, can withstand the physical punishment from defenders, I still think he can be special.

    Reply
  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9MkfWJp-0o

    wow what i seen at lasted game in the first have the u23 gave the men national team a run for there money, great skills by dilly duka in the attacking center mid position, good vision on the ball,u should have seen jones try and battle Dilly, and all the other fans that were there seen and watched plenty, i wonder why ives left him out!, is there something that need to be hidden from the public, but anyway adu and Corona were others that looked pretty well too.

    Reply
  18. Yeah, I was wondering if they’ve used this format before. I really like the idea of it. Helps test young players while building continuity in the system.

    Reply
  19. It’s good to hear that the younger squad was more competitive in the second match. I’m also glad to hear the Cameron is getting a good look as well as Pearce. By the way, have these scrimmages between the senior team and the rookies always been played?

    Reply
  20. i was impressed, he played in the center mid the first half, good vision and touch. benny f. is great, i could see him battling for a center mid spot, calm on the touch and could control the game….i felt that AJ had a great half when he did participate.

    as far as the u-23 goes, i was impressed by dilly, taylor, and corona, corona is something special when he has the ball. he played a cheeky lob to mix who missed, but his touch is better than most players on the team. taylor has quick feet when he is on the ball, just needs to have more of an eye for goal. duka, is awesome, fast and is always looking to make that through ball, small but he’s tough when he’s on the ball

    Reply
  21. Due to his ankle injury Gatt is done with the U-23 camp, he has already gone back to Molde.

    Looks like the defense was more solid without him at RB, hopefully Porter sees this and uses him as a winger instead.

    Reply
  22. Will always regret that DC traded the pick they would have used to get Jack McInerney. DC seemed interested in him, but ultimately made a trade that brought in Troy Perkins.

    Reply

Leave a Comment