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Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team Wins NTC Invitational

USMNT U-20, 2014 U.S. Soccer NTC Invitational, StubHub Center stadium

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite settling for a scoreless draw in their third and final tournament game, the Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team did just enough to bring home some hardware.

The U.S. and Australia played to a 0-0 draw on Friday at the StubHub Center, but the result earned the U.S. the National Training Center Invitational championship trophy. Both sides finished the tournament with seven points from three games, but the Americans eked out their Oceanic counterparts on goal differential. Prior to Friday’s contest, the U.S. knocked off Chile and Bermuda 2-1 and 4-0, respectively.

Despite the lack of goals, the game proved to be anything but a dull contest. The U.S. struck the crossbar four times, including three times alone from forward Lynden Gooch in the 26th, 36th and 77th minutes. The U.S. finished the match with 15 total shots and five on target.

Meanwhile, Australia did its best to test U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who picked up a pair of saves on the day, including a leaping stop in the 31st minute.

Steffen and the U.S. did just enough to earn the tournament’s championship and will now begin preparations for 2015 Under-20 World Cup Qualifying – which begins in January – by coming together for several foreign-based camps before the end of this year.

What do you think of the team’s performance? Who stood out to you from the NTC Invitational team?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Central America is having its qualifying round robin tournament right now in El Salvador…after three rounds…Panama is dominating has 9 of 9 points beating out Costa Rica and Honduras already and trouncing Belize…Ismael Diaz is leading the goal scoring sheet and this Panama is the same base of the one that qualified for the U-17 World Cup, of which we fail to do so…some of those players like Shaquell, Requejo and and Donovan are part of that generation…

    Reply
    • Oh you mean the qualifying where Flores sat on the bench? The US lost to Honduras and sat its best player on the bench. Thanks Richie. I am sorry but this U20 is way better than its 17 counterpart.

      Reply
    • Hopefully. He’s a very small guy and most guys that size don’t translate well to the BPL unless they are supremely fast and/or supremely skilled (and I’m not sure about his speed), so it will be interesting to see if he will break through this season. He seems to be very strong for a little guy, so maybe size won’t be such an issue. Thompson seems to have the classic attributes for wing play so it’s easier to project him. Gooch is kind of a unique cat.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the insights. I’m not sure my post deserved your thoughtful response, as I was merely making a silly joke based on the shared (nick)name with the very big Oguchi Onyewu. But I’m glad you responded in the way you did.

      • Well, Messi is pretty small and in the BPL you have had Michael Owen and Jermaine Defoe who are around 5’6″. That’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure there are many more.

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