Top Stories

U-20 USMNT books place in Dallas Cup final with dramatic win vs. Fluminense

RubioRubinUSU20sCelebrates1-FluDallasCup (DallasCup)


Against the odds, Tab Ramos and his U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team are on the verge of something special.

Despite playing win ten men for nearly all of the second half and extra time, a Rubio Rubin penalty kick goal lifted the U.S. U-20s over Fluminense, 3-2, on Friday evening, to earn a place in the final of the Gordon Jago Super Group at the Dallas Cup. The U.S. will face Argentine giants River Plate, who the U.S. beat, 3-2, in their opening game.

The U.S. got off to a perfect start with two goals in the first 18 minutes of the match against their Brazilian opposition. First, Rubin scored from a pass by Zach Pfeffer in the 14th minute and four minutes later, 6-foot-5 inch forward Ben Spencer headed home a free kick from Romain Gall to give the U.S. the big lead.

However, Fluminense cut the deficit in half just before the halftime whistle and then four minutes into the second half, 16-year-old defender Erik Palmer-Brown was sent off for a second yellow card infraction. The U.S. held on to the lead all the way into stoppage time but Fluminense tied the score in the third minute of added time.

Into extra time the match went, and the U.S. nearly went ahead when RSL Homegrown signing Jordan Allen sent a curling ball that hit the far post and went to safety. The U.S. were finally able to go ahead when Fluminense conceded a penalty in the second ten minutes of extra time, also reducing their side to ten men.

Rubio stepped up and scored to send the U.S. to the final on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl against River Plate.

The U.S. were without Paul Arriola and Kellyn Acosta for the match against Fluminense as both were recalled to their club teams.

USMNT Starting XI: Santiago Castano; Shaquell Moore, Matt Miazga, Michael Amick, John Requejo, Erik Palmer-Brown, Lynden Gooch, Romain Gall, Rubio Rubin, Ben Spencer, Zach Pfeffer.


What do you think of this result? Proud of the U-20s performance? Think they can win the final?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Why would posts about cancellations due to rain or storms be up 24 hours in advance? And I’m pretty sure they’ll play if it’s just rain.

  2. Final River Plate vs. US National U20 tomorrow Sunday 4/20/14 at 6pm, Cotton Bowl?
    Any posts regarding cancellations due to rain/storms?
    Sorry, but DC Website not that easy to get all facts from.
    Thank you.

  3. with the obvious massive grain of salt given his age, rubin seems like the real deal. excited to see his game progress in the dutch league

  4. The ref was atrocious.
    He fell in love with his whistle, and “grossly” affected the
    quality and almost the outcome of the match.

    OBTW, If you are a TW Cable customer the games are televised on their sports channel

  5. US soccer fans have problems. Mainly, emotional problems that prevent them from accepting the value of a given result/tournament, and adjusting their excitement accordingly.

    It goes in both directions, and it is exhausting to witness on various threads.

    • I went to the game and I was very impressed by the level of play. They out possessed FFC by a large margin when the numbers on the field were even and were amazingly organized when down a man. Had to take my hat off to them, they far exceeded what I expected.

      • Rad. Love that you showed up– you have some star spangled blood. Good on you. I watched the replay and I was impressed by the mentality at 10 men very much.

  6. First off these are kids. Are they the future of USMNT maybe maybe not, perhaps there is a kid in some country who is a US citizen who is currently unknown or does not want to commit that will knock somebody off. These kids regardless of who they play get few chances to put on the red white and blue. Should they blow away these teams who knows before the tourney it is all a guess, especially when they have only played together for a few weeks. Be excited for them, let them enjoy the moment and try to learn about their inndividual talent instead of being negative.

      • History of developing Top Players, especially River Plate: Falcao, Angel, Crespo, Diaz, Francescoli, Salas, Alexis Sanchez, Higuain, Pasarella, Yepes etc…

      • Spot on there Scott D93.
        River Plate, and Boca Juniors, are the heart and soul of the Argentine soccer factory.

      • Why? Let’s build better soccer factories. Looks like we already are on the path, no? We built MLS for a reason (well, many reasons)… but one was so that we don’t have to borrow the resources of other countries, particularly not poor ones that can’t even keep their own top talents Why consider it an honor to ship kids to a country where most everybody with talent is looking to leave?

        Can you really visualize a top American coming through the Boca academy? If he’s that good, why not Europe? Why not here?

  7. Good to see the youngsters showing some resilience. I know (some) people have dismissed the U-20 team’s victories in this tournament–“let me know when we beat Germany or Spain’s U-20 team”, etc.

    But isn’t learning to beat skilled but generally inferior teams a pretty important skill for US players to learn? Especially since that’s like 95% of the job description in World Cup qualifying/Gold Cup preliminary rounds/Olympic qualifying tournaments?

    • It’s more impressive to beat club teams, since their players play together on a daily basis and know each other much better than nat’l teams, which only get together a few times a year. Also, at this age, nat’l teams rarely have their best players, especially teams like Spain and Argentina. Their best players are usually busy playing for big clubs. So yes, these are impressive results.

      • Not really ,
        The US has a Residense program were the all Live together and play many tornaments around the globe together all year around and everybody saw how hard the U20 had to work to beat a U17 Team .

      • Have you looked at the roster? this team is made up of players playing professionally not in the residence program…the residence program is u17, this is u20…..

        we don’t have to get overly excited but it is good to see the positive results….teams have to learn how to win as well….

      • youre wrong… Arriola and Acosta left the U-20 team Thursday back to their pro teams and did not play against Fluminense.
        Matt Miazga joined the U-20 team late last week after Red Bulls didn’t release him for the opening match. Gall, Rubin, Spencer and Gooch play in Europe and this talented mid Luis Felipe plays in Brazil.. 16yr old Palmer Brown is a U-17 player who is a special guest player under coach Ramos only for this tournament…. etc, etc, etc…

        It is hard to do one camp in January then prepare in 10 days to beat top Brazilian and Argentinian teams…

        Give credit where credit is due…

      • Fluminense’s team never really played together before Dallas Cup, practiced twice together before catching the flight, and they are considered to be the Team B and C at Fluminense’s training facility. Team A was the champion of Rio’s First Round State Championship and could not fly to Dallas and they had most of their players 17-18 years old…just for the record!

  8. Against all odds? Something special?
    Have we come to expect so little from our players that we’re supposed to be excited by this?

      • Only problem is that he’s very small. Kind of the Anti-Gooch in that sense. Not sure if he is fast or not. He could be an Adu type: skilled but too small to play centrally.

      • I’ve seen him play… excellent footwok, can score with both feet, hard to tell what foot he favors the most… he’s listed at 5’8″ (2 more inches by his 21st birthday is not unreasonable, Messi is 5’6″). Gooch looks a bit stocky but is not as thick/muscular as Aguero… the kid is fast, a true footballer.

        He can literally kick Jozy out of the senior club team… Gooch aint that far off… 🙂

Leave a Comment