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U.S. U-20s proud of World Cup showing despite suffering heartbreaking elimination




The dream may have been cut short just as it was getting to the good part, but the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is focusing on the positives all the same.

The U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup on Sunday, losing to Serbia, 6-5, on penalty kicks after playing to a scoreless draw. While there was instant pain and sorrow for the Americans following the match in Auckland, head coach Tab Ramos and his players all seemed to agree that the performance the U.S. put forth in the tournament was one worth being proud of.

“They played great throughout the World Cup,” said Ramos. “We were very competitive with every team and we could have won every game. I’m very happy for them and the work they did, and hopefully this is a good experience for them down the road when they have to play the games that really count for World Cup Qualifying for the senior team.”

One of the positives for the Americans was that they finished the tournament with a respectable 3-1-1 record. They defeated both Myanmar and World Cup hosts New Zealand in group play, and did just enough to top Colombia in the Round of 16.

On the flip side, an undermanned U.S. side was routed by Ukraine in the group-stage finale. There was also the heartbreaking loss to the Serbs on Sunday at North Harbour Stadium, and the fact that the Americans’ attack play sputtered in their last three matches.

The U.S. scored just once during its final 300 minutes in the World Cup, and that goal came off an opportunistic but authoritative finish from Rubio Rubin against the run of play in the 1-0 triumph over Colombia.

Injuries to Bradford Jamieson and Maki Tall played a major role in that, and are why the U.S. were unable to break down an organized Serbian defense over the weekend. Still, the Americans are looking forward, not backward.

“Now we move on and we just have to keep our heads up,” said Rubin. “We’re going to have moments like these in our careers. This is one of our setbacks and it’s the way you react to it. I think everyone came into this tournament with a positive mentality to try to win the tournament, and unfortunately we couldn’t. It was a great run, a great team effort.”

There was also, by all accounts, great team camaraderie. That is a staple characteristic of U.S. teams throughout the various age groups, but it was clear that this group of youngsters never stopped fighting for one another. Even when things got tough.

“I look at ourselves and I see us as more than a team. I see us as brothers,” said midfielder Paul Arriola. “I see all of us at the end of the (Serbia) game crying because of how bad we wanted it, not only for ourselves but for everyone else around us, everyone back home watching and supporting us, and people who flew here to support us.

“For us to be able to form a brotherhood like we did to get this far in the World Cup was amazing.”

The U.S. may have wanted more from this World Cup, especially since a beatable Mali team awaited in the next round, but reaching the quarterfinals of the competition is still an accomplishment in and of itself.

The Americans not only showed promise in New Zealand, but also gained valuable experience by playing in high level games and enduring the emotions and nerves of moments like an intense penalty kick shootout.

“We’re all 19-20 years old. This is just the beginning to setbacks and great moments in our careers,” said Rubin. “We’re going to have moments like the Colombia game where we’re very happy, and now a disappointment in the quarterfinals with a tough loss. It’s how you learn from this. We have to stay positive.

“Right now it sucks, every one has their head down. But tomorrow is a different day and we just have to stay positive and use this experience to help us down the road.”


  1. CO, thanks for pointing out to GW before I did what a fool he is making of himself with the poor attempt of humor with the Dept. of Agriculture comment . The USDA is our Developmental Academy to which Tab has a club, NJSA04.
    They were recently on probation and rated as one of the lowest Academy teams in the entire country. Tab by the way is the DOC. That is Director of Coaching, GW.

    When you say Tab has limited time with this group can I ask you how much time did the Ukraine have together? A good majority of our US players have played together since they were U14 National team players and many trained year round together in residency.
    I never mentioned anything about PKs in my post so I have no idea what you are talking about when you mention Arsenal or TJ teaching PKs.
    And to my point, this tournament is not about IDENTIFYING players. It is about developing players. We have known about Emmerson, Arriola, Marky and the majority of these guys for at least 5 years and we can track how they do with their club teams. Trust me, JK knows all about these guys.
    The Jurgen Klopp comment, I will just laugh at that one.
    I read your posts often, GW. A lot of them make sense.

    This one was not one of your best outings.

    • Gibbons,

      You are missing the point.

      Here are the lineups for the Under 20 WC game, US vs Ukraine:
      USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown, 6-Kellyn Acosta; 15-Marky Delgado (10-Joel Soñora, 60), 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.) (16-Conor Donovan, 84), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 20-Jordan Allen (9-Rubio Rubin, 67); 7-Paul Arriola, 11-Bradford Jamieson IV

      UKR: 12-Bohdan Sarnavskyi SD; 2-Taras Kacharaba HU, 4-Mykyta Burda DK, 7-Yevhen Chumak DK (13-Artem Habelok SD, 80), 8-Pavlo Polehenko DK; 9-Vladyslav Kabaiev CO, 10-Artem Biesiedin MK (11-Roman Yaremchuk DK, 85), 14-Valerii Luchkevych DD, 17-Viktor Kovalenko SD (5-Yurii Tkachuk DK , 87); 18-Eduard Sobol MD, 21-Ihor Kharatin DK

      On the Ukraine lineup I added initials ( I’m too lazy to spell them out) after the players for their club. I did the same thing for the Serbia game lineup

      USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 17-Desavio Payne, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga 3-John Requejo; 15-Marky Delgado, 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 7-Paul Arriola; 13-Tommy Thompson (10-Joel Soñora, 103), 9-Rubio Rubin

      SRB: 1-Predag Rajkovic (capt.) Red Star ; 3-Nemanja Antonov OB, 4-Sasa Zdjelar (OB), 5-Milos Veljkovic(Spurs), 6-Srdan Babic(Voj) ; 8-Nemanja Maksimovic( Astana) , 9-Stanisa Mandic (Cuk), 10-Mijat Gacinovic ( Voj) (7-Ivan Saponic ( Partizan) , 68), 11-Andrija Zivkovic; (Partizan) 15-Miladin Stevanovic,( Partizan) 20-Sergej Milinkovic (Genk) (16-Marko Grujic Red Star), 111)

      Ukraine played 5 guys from Dynamo Kiev and 3 guys, including their hat trick hero Kovalenko, from Shaktar Donetsk.

      Serbia played 2 guys from Red Star, 2 from Vojvodina, 2 , on the back line, from OFK Beograd and 3 from Partizan.

      You say many of the US guys played together since the Under 14’s. Does that trump being on the same club with someone?
      Care to tell me how many US players play for the same club? I might have missed one but as far as I can tell none of the US players play for the same club.
      To my untrained eye Ukraine and the Serbs had superior talent. When you combine that with the superior understanding you get from playing together, that is very hard to beat.

  2. If we are really being honest and not looking through rose colored glasses then we can say:
    *For a team coached by an attacking player, our attack did not impress. The formation was a scared, defensive one with no balance. The basics of playing possession emphasize playing early balls, playing simple balls, the presence of simple forward options, and a commitment to win the ball back when we lose it. It also emphasizes that you play possession for longer stretches and ultimately try to break teams down with a final pass.
    We only had this in short stretches throughout the tournament except for the game against a pitiful New Zealand team.
    Outside of NZ game did we score a goal from a good combination in the final 1/3? NO. Was Rubin hopelessly left on his own up front? YES. Did we use Jordan Allen and Arriola as true wide players which utilizes their best assets? NO
    We were outplayed by Ukraine, Colombia and Serbia.Steffan and our defenders saved us from getting blown out in a few games.
    I have seen Tab’s USDA team play 20 times and watched him run at least 10 sessions. His instructions to players and teaching ability is below par for what we need at this level. He is a decent tactician and would probably do well in MLS. For this level where player development is paramount he is not the guy.

    • Gibbons

      Talk about rose colored glasses:I’d say your expectations are not entirely realistic.

      “I have seen Tab’s USDA team play 20 times and watched him run at least 10 sessions. His instructions to players and teaching ability is below par for what we need at this level. He is a decent tactician and would probably do well in MLS. For this level where player development is paramount he is not the guy.”

      You were expecting maybe Jurgen Klopp to coach the Under 20’s?

      I haven’t seen Tab coach as much as you say you have so help me out here.
      What is a USDA team? Department of Agriculture?. Tell those 20 games you saw, how many times were the same starting eleven available? What is it that “we need at this level”?

      “We were outplayed by Ukraine, Colombia and Serbia.Steffan and our defenders saved us from getting blown out in a few games.”

      All three teams had, man for man, better players than the US.

      And you don’t seem to acknowledge that those guys have a coaching staff too. The US were not playing against a bunch of traffic cones.

      The US usually has good keepers. Defense tends to be easier to organize than a coherent attack. The Under 20 national teams I’ve seen that have a really coherent attack usually do so because they have a couple of really talented attacking players not so much because they are a well-oiled, well coached attacking machine like Barca for example. That is hard enough to organize with the senior team let alone with the Under 20 team which usually has fewer games than the senior team does.

      Like most national team coaches Tab really has limited time with these kids in comparison to their coaches at their clubs. I’m assuming TJ and Arsenal for example, taught Arriola and GZ respectively the basics on how to take a penalty.
      Maybe you are right that Tab is an incompetent coach. I don’t know.

      What I do know is that during the qualifying and build up games to this tournament and in the tournament itself, Tab often did not have his best players yet put together a team good enough and together enough to advance this far.

      More to the point, the whole point of this team is to identifying potential candidates for the senior team and on that score I’d say this group is quite promising.

      • I usually agree with you on most of your posts but no need to be an a&& to him/her about this. A simple google search will find that it is the US Soccer Development Academy.

        I don’t expect a Jurgen Klopp but there has to be better coaches than him in the youth ranks. Just because he played at a high level doesn’t mean he is a good manager. And Klopp isn’t a good example since he manages full club teams not youth national teams.

  3. Wait… so these kids [played 120 minutes, and all anyone got from the game was a F-ing penalty kick criticism or defense?

    I couldn’t see the game because I am on vacation… but, in no particular order, I would like to know the following:
    1. did they get physically man-handled like the colombia game? If so did Tab talk about the physicality at all?

    2. who stepped in for Mr. Red card… and did he do a good job?

    3. did zelalem lose the ball whenever he touched it?

    4. was there some cohesive passing, but they couldn’t break-through a parked Serbian Bus?
    Or were they just losing a physical grudge match?

    etc. these are under 20s… who the f**k cares about PKs… seriously.

    • Serbia were overall the better team. They were physically bigger and stronger; it kind of looked like an Under 23 team vs the Under 20’s.

      Serbia were quite compact and played a smart game.
      Still, the US were not overmatched. A tie was a fair result. Both sides created chances that they really should have put away.

      Hyndman was curiously absent for most of the game and Zelalem, when he got the ball, often had little if any opportunity to make a positive pass. I got the odd feeling that the Serbian coaching staff actually knew that EH and GZ were the guys to shut down and rotated their markers accordingly. I’d like to see a replay to confirm that.
      I’d say the Serbians had more possession but that the US gave a very gutty performance and kept coming back, taking possession and kept trying to create scoring opportunities. Arriola and Thompson for me stood out for their game long aggression and persistence. They were dangerous and very unlucky.

      Serbia should have won this game in 90.
      However, the US could also have won this game in regulation. If that sounds like the US vs Belgium game in the World Cup, well this game was much closer.

      The US really were limited by all the missing players.
      Jamieson and that Dallas FC guy were clearly missed because while their replacements did well, the shortened bench severely limited Tab’s substitution options.
      That is where the red card really hurt.
      In the circumstances Tab and his staff did a very nice job with what they had
      In the end the US did well to take it to penalties.

  4. I liked this group of players and am proud of what they did.

    That said, the lack of dangerous opportunities was dissapointing. A lot of times It seemed like a lack of numbers and runners in the box. That’s not on the players.

    It also seemed like a very young, physically less mature group. Maybe that’s fine as an investment in the future. But I think we should go to tournaments to win them.

    • You’re looking at it. It’s decent but unspectacular. The guy is clearly “learning on the job” (something we have little patience for in this country these days). He had a couple of very good moments, and a couple of WTF? moments (ie the Ukraine debacle).

      Going out on PK’s to Serbia in the QF’s is nothing to be ashamed of. We could’ve won in regulation, but then again, so could Serbia.

      I think losing Maki Tall early really hampered some of the strategies he might have liked to use in these later-stage games. We became one-dimensional and couldn’t do much with hold-up play.

      I’m not 100% sold on Ramos, either, but it’s not like Jose Mourinho is lining up to coach U-20 sides. Ramos did enough to keep his job, and as long as he is improving, I say let him have the opportunity.

  5. To put things into perspective, on the 2007 U20 team that last went to the quarterfinals (Jozy was the baby of the squad at 17, like CCV): 6 were in university/college vs just the 2 goalies from this year’s squad. Additionally, only 2 are regular USMNT players (Bradley, Altidore). Another 2 are borderline USMNT (McCarty, Beltran). 9 or so more still playing (Wallace, Zizzo, Perk, Akpan, Seitz, Sturgis, Szetela, Rogers, Adu). 9 are retired or semi-pro. Nothing is guaranteed. Btw, Zimmerman is the idiot who made the comment that JK uses what he considered to be “fake Americans” (mainly because he was no longer good enough to sniff the team).

  6. To put things into perspective, this is a list of players on the 2007 U20 team that last went to the quarterfinals (Jozy was the baby of the squad at 17, like CCV):

    1 GK Chris Seitz (aged 20)
    2 DF Tim Ward (aged 20)
    3 MF Bryan Arguez (aged 18)
    4 DF Amaechi Igwe (aged 19)
    5 DF Nathan Sturgis (aged 19)
    6 MF Michael Bradley (aged 19)
    7 MF Danny Szetela (aged 20)
    8 MF Robbie Rogers (aged 20)
    9 FW Preston Zimmerman (aged 18)
    10 MF Dax McCarty (aged 20)
    11 MF Freddy Adu (aged 18)
    12 FW Jozy Altidore (aged 17)
    13 DF Ofori Sarkodie (aged 19)
    14 DF Anthony Wallace (aged 18)
    15 MF Sal Zizzo (aged 20)
    16 DF Julian Valentin (aged 20)
    17 FW Gabriel Ferrari (aged 18)
    18 GK Brian Perk (aged 17)
    19 MF Tony Beltran (aged 19)
    20 FW Andre Akpan (aged 19)
    21 GK Steve Sandbo (aged 20)

    6 were in university/college vs just the 2 goalies from this year’s squad. Additionally, only 2 are regular USMNT players (Bradley, Altidore). Another 2 are borderline USMNT (McCarty, Beltran). 9 or so more still playing (Wallace, Zizzo, Perk, Akpan, Seitz, Sturgis, Szetela, Rogers, Adu). 9 are retired or semi-pro. Nothing is guaranteed. Btw, Zimmerman is the idiot who made the comment that JK uses what he considered to be “fake Americans” (mainly because he was no longer good enough to sniff the team).

    • Props to you Edmundo. Even though I haven’t reached a conclusion yet, here, this kind of data is great. Thanks!

    • None whatsoever. The Mali keeper has done everything Steffen has done in spades. Steffen has raised his stock considerably, but there’s no case for him in beyond second-best.

  7. Are we really being critical about the efforts during the penalty kicks? You guys are miserable. It’s a high pressure situation – it really could have gone either way.

    All and all I think a quarter finals exit was a fair result for this team. Serbia did not thoroughly outplay us, but they created better chances and it was a fair result. Given the talent lack of offense was disappointing – but conversely what a fantastic CB pairing of CCV and Miazaga. 3/5 clean sheets at the youth level is extremely impressive.

    • Serbia was also bigger and won probably 80% of the headers. The tournament is over and these guys may never play together again, so it doesn’t really matter..

  8. There’s a reason why the best penalty-takers in world soccer (Gerrard, Lampard, Baines, even Donovan) pick a spot and smash it, and there’s a reason why players such as Ronaldo have issues scoring sometimes with that stutter-step move.

    You’re 20 years old. Pick a spot and hit it. If the keepers saves it, he saves it. The Serbs did that – Steffen made some great saves but couldn’t do it all.

    As a penalty taker, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor. A well-hit, pacy shot from 12 yards cannot be stopped, period, without a serious amount of luck.

      • so glad someone said this… so true, he’s good because he can rip a hard shot with his eyes closed from a stand still. like Bruce Lee’s one inch punch, lol honestly, albeit Balo is better, i feel Jozy has a similar skill set (categorical) to him. Jozy similarly has a very powerful shot.

      • I say pick a side before you shoot and unload. As my former coaches used to say, hit it power, on the frame and no one will blame you if the goalie gets lucky.

      • i can’t quite remember off the top of my head but weren’t all but one on frame? CCV skied it and Sonora was cruelly on frame lol. everyone else either scored or did a weird walk up/fake and just hit it weakly.

        but again, i do, for the record, agree; pick a spot and smash should be (is?) the preferred coaching method. (if i were a coach i’d penalize players that walked/stuttered/etc with laps around the field, haha- “just go kick the ball, son!! what are you twerking for??!!”)

    • In fairness the US did nail 4 of the original 5 so it wasn’t like the barf-fest that was the PK shootout at the last Women’s World Cup. That said, I can’t understand why any national level team for any country doesn’t do better at PK’s. Everybody should be able to pick a spot and blast it there.

    • During the broadcast, Keith Costigan made a point about a discussion he had with Ruud Gullitt about penalties after A.E.T. Gullitt said that after 120 minutes, your legs are jelly and if you try and get “cute” and pick a spot more times than not you will not convert.
      Gullitt said after a long game, just blast it.
      I know Ruud has been a bust as a coach/manager, but he was a great player and has some good advice to still convey. When you think about the misses in that game, it seems like the guys who tried to pick a spot missed or were saved more times than not.

      • Felix,

        I’ve seen just as many shootouts where guys trying to just blast it sent the ball into Row Zero.

        There is no one answer and it is easy for everyone to just sit at their computers and say they shoulda done this or that. You guys don’t have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

        It is not as if you are talking about hardened MLS, EPL , BL, La LIGA or Serie A pros here. And yet I’ve seen those guys, allegedly far harder, tougher and more experienced than these kids, miss their penalties just as badly, if not worse. Just go back and watch England in a Euro or World Cup penalty shoot out sometime if you think the US kids are bad.

        The best way is to avoid the shoot out entirely and score in regulation time..

      • It has been scientifically proven that when you are fatigued and/or stressed, you decision making degenerates. Ramos could have very well told them a bunch of things about what to do and how to do it and when they got up there to take the kick, they might have forgotten everything they were told. It happens.

      • +1
        Look at the list of players who have missed high-stakes, high-pressure penalties and it has little to do with quality.

        David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Andriy Shevchenko, Roberto Baggio, Cristiano Ronaldo. Many were in cup finals.

        Whle I hardly regard the book “Soccernomics” as the “bible” of statistical soccer, they do devote almost an entire chapter to penalty strategy. The conclusion they reach is that the “best” takers readily admit they have no idea what they are going to do right up until the moment they strike the ball.

        However, I do think that there is something to be said for simply advising your non-first-choice takers to simply smash the ball on target. Make the keeper beat you. We didn’t do that. Our first taker (Rubin) turned in a dogsh*t penalty, and it set the tone for a doomed shootout.

        But who really cares? Even Germany (renowned for never losing shootouts) went out to Mali. It’s a crapshoot no matter what. And with nervous youngsters, it gets even worse.

        I doubt I will waste much energy thinking about how heavily our youth teams practice penalties. It’s coin toss, and I’d rather see them go for it regulation.

  9. Great run by the boys. I do agree with Andy. You could almost tell by the way players approached the ball if it was going in or not. Some of the guys were “kicking rocks” on their ways up tp get the ball before taking the pk. I would say however that there is no science to taking a penalty.

  10. Some of the worst penaly taking I have seen… I realize the US was outmannded with injuries to attacking players but there was no excuse for not beating Serbia in penalties when you had the best GK in the tourney… Our guys were clearly not coached how to approach penalties… You hit hard and under the crossbar… do not miss the frame and to not try to outsmart the keeper…

    It was a wet surface…slick ball etc… drive that ball low and hard, make the other guy come up with a save… Steffen did for us..

    We shoudl be playing Mali if we were more composed.

    • Worst penalty taking? They made 4 of the first 5. I’ve seen plenty worse than that. When you get down to the 7th, 8th, 9th guys, these are guys who are generally not good at taking penalties and it showed. Their guys missed too. It just isn’t as easy as you think. Especially when you’re 18/19 and this is the biggest game you’ve ever played in. “Do not miss the frame” – I guess they didn’t know that.

      • I am critizing the coaching… When you get to the 7th, 8th, 9th guys you tell them… pick a spot 2-3 ft inside the post… drill it right to that spot with the laces…

        They should have been coached what to do… we all saw CCVs kick… he put if over the bar by 10 ft…

        that was on Ramos and his staff… give the kid more instruction beyond, good luck, go make it…

        and for the record… I missed like 2 penalties my entire collegiate career and took 20+… Pick a side, hit is 70+ MPH about 1 ft off the ground… they wont stop it even if they guess most of the time…

      • With all due respect (and I also took penalties during my playing days), comparing what you and I did to a world cup quarterfinal is like when people complain about NBA players missing free throws because they can hit 10 in a row shooting in the gym. It’s not the same thing.

        We don’t know what the coaches told them to do. If Ramos said that all the coaches told them was “good luck, go make it” then you’re right. But I’m assuming that wasn’t the case. The reason those guys shoot 8th, 9th etc is because they aren’t that good at that particular skill.

      • +1 (oddly enough).

        and to Andy: in theory your point makes sense but using that theory to say that it was “Some of the worst penaly taking [you] have seen” is exaggerating. the facts are clear, of the first 10 PKs 80% were made… that’s a pretty good rate. that’s also what was hoped for and coached etc, you have your 5 guys you can count on, after that, it’s a crapshoot and no coaching will truly fix that 100%. by default, since there’s a hierarchy, there has to be players that aren’t good at them(bell curve theory more or less), especially after 120′. no team will ever field a team of 18 PHENOMENAL PK takers… at least not from coaching.

        that said, i get your point and anytime a team has a couple bad PKs it’s easy to say that (as GW later states, lol). but over all the PKs went as usual. The guys who are good at them made them, the others were a coin flip; but that doesn’t prove bad coaching…

      • Once your team has reached the knockout round, I cannot conceive of any coach with any experience or at least a lick of sense not having his team practice penalty kicks. I can’t believe that an experienced former pro like Tab Ramos could be that totally clueless. There have been so many examples of top professionals, even great players missing penalty kicks (yesterday someone mentioned Roberto Baggio in the final of the 1994 WC as a good example–he hit it about 10 rows up and he was a player of the year), that to say it was the coaching is ridiculous. It was the pressure.

    • I think you are being unfairly harsh. I’ve seen experienced researchers get inexplicably tongue-tied when giving important talks at major meetings.

      When I coached a U-18 team, in a play-off game, our most skilled player and one who could strike the ball hard and place it where ever he wanted with great accuracy took the first kick and put it nearly 5 yards over the top. When I asked him about it later, he shook his head and said “I just got scared”.

      That was in a game with a lot less on the line than what these players faced. Human emotion being what it is, terror can strike anyone and deny the ability to perform what are usually easy routine tasks.

      There are things that can be done to desensitize people to stressful situations, but …

      It is hard for me to criticize teenagers for what amounts to a second of under performance after a very strong overall effort.

      • I wont disagree about emotion… I think half of the fear though is kids not knowing where to go and worrying about making the wrong choice… the coach should have said… go to the keepers left (generally the toughest direction for a right handed keeper because his dominant hand is the top hand on the dive and has less reach than the bottom hand) hit it has hard as you can right to a spot that you pick out while walking up to the spot to place the ball…I usually tell players aim for the seam on the back and side netting.

      • “A significant drop-off in success as pressure grows, with success rates dropping from 80 per cent for the first kicks per team to a low of 63 per cent for the fourth kicks.” your article proves my point 🙂 what would be the projection for the 7th, 8th and 9th place kickers if the 4th drops to 63%?

      • Again, I don’t think we know what the coaches told them (maybe they told the media afterwards and I missed it) but plenty of experienced PK takers have skied important penalties. Baggio in the 1994 WC final is a prime example. No doubt Baggio knew what to do and had the ability to do it but no one executes 100% of the time.

      • Missing the goal completely is oddly enough less of a sin to me. That’s defensible, you’re trying to kick it hard and you just don’t catch it right.

        The stutter step crap on the other hand is directly within the coaches instructional discretion.

      • +4 million haha,

        i always hated the extra run up crap. this is where i DO agree with my fellow Atlantan, Andy; just run (not walk) up and kick it hard etc. the walk up doesn’t trick a GK it just gives him more time and more body language to assess and pick a side. a quickly taken PK is better because it gives the GK less time to react, before they know it the kick’s been scored.

      • Weren’t the misses over the top? What coach says or player thinks “hit over the top”? This was about nerves, not coaching technique.

    • @ andy-I’m sorry but I’m going to have to call BS on your 20+ penalties in your collegiate career. My math says you would be taking at least 5 a year and this assumes you were taking them for your team as a freshmen. If your team was earning 5+ a year this would mean your team was loaded with attacking talent and I’m doubtful a freshmen would be first in the pecking order for pks on a team with such attacking prowess.

  11. Not bad considering the United States had a couple of players (zelalem-payne) join up with the team right before the tournament started, along with dealing with key injuries. Cant wait for the next cycle with Pulisic,
    MA, Josh Perez, and Sebastion Elney!

      • And Zelalem. However, I doubt either will be playing with the team. at 20 years old. They might be trying to break into the full team in 2 years (maybe with the U23). Keep in mind Green is age-eligible (but cup-tied) and Morris is 2/3 months too old.

      • If CCV is still wasting his time at this tournament at the next turn, we should all consider suicide.

        Let’s just admit the obvious – Cameron Carter-Vickers is a freak. Not just a physical freak, but a very intelligent player who knows exactly where he is supposed to be. Very few players play in multiple U-20 WC’s. I would be depressed to learn he is one of them. His last tour of duty at the non-senior level should be the Olympics. This is not some Julian Green/Mark Pelosi character. He is a tangible asset that any scout with a brain is salivating over.

    • Won’t Haji Wright also be in that age category? He’s has done well on national youth teams and shows a lot of potential.


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