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U.S. Under-20s vs. Ghana: SBI Live Match Commentary



The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team have a clear task. Win and they have a chance to reach the Round of 16 of the Under-20 World Cup. Lose, and the Americans go home in the group stage.

Standing in the way of yet another American Gold Cup team is Ghana, which will be looking to play the role of spoiler despite having a very slim chance of reaching the Round of 16.

U.S. head coach Tab Ramos is going with his usual first-choice centerback tandem for the first time in the World Cup, with Caleb Stanko and Shane O’Neill partnered in the middle of the American defense.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to join us here for all the action. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):


  1. Bottom line…We either dont train our players well enough or these arent our best players. Im sorry but this whole aa fixation by bringing in more hispanic talent is a fail. 7 of 11 are now hispanic players. Pick the best players from whatever background and coach them well enough to handle the basics. I have never been more embarrassed of a us side.

  2. The sky is not falling. It is going to take time for the youth initiatives to work out. It will probably take another cycle for it to pay dividends.

    • What we did was trash a youth program that was starting meet expectations… see the 2007 team… they were good… what was on the field today would have been beaten 5, 6 nil to that 2007 team..

  3. The caveat there is that even though we know the reason the team struggled, it isn’t an excuse. Given an immature domestic coaching pool, perhaps international coaches should be hired for the youth national team jobs. The coaching inexperience showed in a multitude of ways ranging from player selection to tactics.

  4. I don’t believe this hurt anyone’s careers – outside of Tab Ramos.

    I think this emphasized the point that some people have made over the past few years. The player talent and pool has passed the coaching talent and pool. It is unusual to have a youth level national team coach who hasn’t coached professionally. All three other coaches in our pool had significant head coaching experience.

    The coaching pool is growing slowly – it takes a lot longer to grow a mature coaching pool than it does a mature playing pool. Most international coaches build upon the experience of their playing career and push up through the coaching ranks from there. It is just in the last 5 years or so that former MLS players with lengthy domestic and/or international careers are pushing through the coaching ranks. MLS is a critical asset in terms of enabling that base of experience and transition point to more players, but we are decades away from a ‘fully populated’ coaching pool where even most college and upper-level academy/club players had professional experience of some kind.

    I would add Walker Zimmerman to the list of players whose careers were helped (unfortunately in abstentia). Add McBean to that list probably – although he wouldn’t have been available anyway due to injury. McBean could have really aide the possession game as both an target and outlet for combination play.

  5. What a disgraceful showing by the USA in this tournament. Ramos needs to go, this program is going nowhere. An utter humiliation for US soccer.

  6. The 4 CONCACAF teams are not doing themselves any favors in this tournament. While the US were drawn into a tough group, last in group with 1 point is poor.

    Cuba is last in group, El Salvador may qualify as a third and Mexico has had 2 poor results as well.

  7. Ramos should be canned for not bringing any central defenders. Yes, we at times looked more comfortable on the ball, but you can’t win a match giving up 4 goals. disgusting results in all honesty

  8. We heard so much about developing players but the best way to do that is have players that play in their NATURAL POSITIONS. Tab clearly swung and missed in this cometiton Ives said it best if we lost three games but showed quality we could be proud. But the one player that showed this quality most consistantly is sitting on the bench. In no way shape or form we should be having players at the U20 level playing in positions they are not familler with. If players can play in their natural positions in pressure moments like this talent will develop better. Overall Ramos failed.

  9. Well players that haven’t hurt their future USMNT aspitations:






    Players that have hurt themselves in this tournament:








    Intriguing prospect but needs plenty of refining: Rodriguez

    And that folks is what youth tournaments should be used for. Separating the men from the boys.

    • Generally agree with your list but I wouldn’t say they hurt themselves as much as they missed an opportunity to shine on the big stage. If these guys play well with their club teams, that is all that will really matter. Scouts won’t really care about 3 off games in Turkey.

    • This was more like the ‘Group of death and one wet spaghetti noodle.’

      Very disappointing. USA is regressing at the youth level. Funny because the teams have transitioned from college based player teams to professional rosters. Something is amiss.

  10. There’s been a couple of bright spots, and coaching is not one of them.

    Cropper, Yedlin, and the Santos players have been decent.

  11. That’s it folks. The only solace I can find is that very few of these players will end up playing senior team and that’s what really matters

  12. A friend of mine from Ghana says that their youth teams are never accurately aged. They have gone so far as to require bone density scanners to disqualify obvious offenders but that only goes so far. And that my friends is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    • It’s a legitimate rationale.

      There’s even been fringe talk about African countries not being allowed in non-African competitions because they either lack the infrastructure to keep track of just outright cheat.

      • Didn’t Spain and France beat Ghana? Maybe they should check the bone densities of the Spanish and French players as well…hmmm.

        Honestly, you could probably find some U-17s from the barrios of Brazil that would beat the US U-20s.

  13. Maybe THIS will pa$$ moderation:

    Hard to watch? Yes. But the physical mismatches aside, the most disappointing aspect has been the mental game, or lack thereof. We are clearly too nervous, seem to lack confidence, and are not playing “our game” as a result. The team only looks to scramble forward. No thought toward ball control, calming things down, or even a simple switch here and there just to mix it up. One dimensional, panicked play. Pa$$ing and control has been poor, yet we know this team had players that can do both well at times.

      • I keep doing the same thing. It’s not surprising. Our guys simply lack the high level games that many of their counterparts have. That often translates to inconsistency and some shakiness in big spots. This was a poor outing but many of their other matches they’ve show some great ball movement and technique. They’re also probably tired as they’re just not used to playing so many high level matches. They also got stuck in the group of death.

        I still like the talent here I think we will see a number of these kids go on to have very successful careers. Cuevas, Yedlin, Gil,Villareal, Joya all have bright futures if they keep developing.

  14. Twellman equals tool.

    A. Many, many, many teams these days play without classic target forwards.

    B. McBean and Salgado are INNJURED!

  15. Hard to watch? Yes. But the physical mismatches aside, the most dissapointing aspect has been the mental game, or lack thereof. We are clearly too nervous, seem to lack confidence, and are not playing “our game” as a result. The team only looks to scramble forward. No thought toward ball control, calming things down, or even a simple switch here and there just to mix it up. One dimensional, panicked play. Passing and control has been poor, yet we know this team had players that can do both well at times.

  16. Tab Ramos needs to get off his *( &$°‹‚@$*()#&$°#(&@$ and FREAKING COACH FROM THE SIDELINE.


  17. You can tell this team is used to playing against themselves in practice. The offense doesn’t chase the ball hard and they give up on plays early. The defense is used to having time from forwards not chasing the ball and look uncomfortable when pressured quickly and give the ball away too easily. Overall, there seems to be little heart and no on the field leadership. A lot of individuals out there.

  18. Players I stated should not be on this team:

    Danny Garcia: Limited physical ability

    Torre: just not good enough

    Players I stated should have been onthis team:

    Jordan Morris: Fast, strong, height, and techinal

    Julian Green: Currently training with Bayern Munichs first team, do I need to say more?

    • Oh and of course the obvious nonselection of Walker Zimmerman.

      Ramos may not be the right coach for the U-20’s going forward.

      Personally I would like to see the current U-18 coach(Javier Perez) moved to the U-20’s.

  19. Tab Ramos should start looking to brush up his resume because I can’t see any way he keeps his job after this utterly pathetic display of ineptitude.

    Stanko being benched.

    Javan Torre.

    Walker Zimmerman.

    Cuevas benched.

  20. I am being 100% serious when I say… I honestly think my u18 youth team from the mid 90s would have beaten this U20 team… they are simply NOT GOOD…

      • Claim hyperbole all you want but we won the USA Cup in Blaine, we knew how to play with each other and we did not get pushed off the ball every time someone made contact with us..

        Obviously it was said with some level exaggeration but, it would not be a cakewalk, these guys are trash…

      • the fact that you cited the USA Cup as a measuring stick for your teams success shows how clueless you are.

      • Clueless huh… the USA Cup in the 90s was one of the premier youth tournaments in the world… We are talking 1995 not 2013…

        So… how about semi finalists in Dallas, Cocoa Expo… regional IV finalist…

        Clueless enough for you?

      • youth clubs that lead the way back then… Michigan Vardar, Busch, Scott Gallagher, NHB Black, FC Delco, Dallas Texans, Mequon United, Countryside Lightning, Club Columbine, KC Legends (my club), Chicago Pegasus FC, Michigan Wolves etc…

        These with a few others I missed were the only teams that mattered…

      • In 1995 the USA Cup was still just a tourist tournament for teams looking to have a “fun” experience”. Im sure there might have been a few decent teams but the qualification/resume process for the USA Cup was never stringent.

        Dallas Cup semis and region IV finalists are more legit but now I doubt the veracity of your statements since your original measuring stick was USA Cup. Why dont you just list the number of pros and high D1 players who played on your club that would give the current u20 team a game.

      • 15 college players, 8 division 1, 3 pro…better? Again… I was more saying that this U20 team is soo bad… not that mine was soo good.. you guys turned it that way.

      • Andy you just dont understand how foolish and arrogant your statement sounded. The Sacramento Kings suck agree? It doesn’t mean that some mid level college basketball team that “plays well together” could beat the Kings.

  21. These players surely can’t be the best we have at this level. Save for 2 or 3 of them, they’re god-awful.


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