photo by Chris Humphreys/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Locked in a scoreless affair at halftime, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team needed someone to ignite an attacking flame to defeat Panama.
Jerome Kiesewetter proved more than capable of helping in that regard.
The U.S. finished play in Group A of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying by dispatching Panama, 4-0, on Tuesday night, and it was Kiesewetter that came off the bench to help make the difference. Kiesewetter scored a goal eight minutes after checking into the match at the start of the second half, delivered an assist shortly thereafter, and drew a penalty kick later on to help the Americans improve to 3-0 in the tournament.
Kiesewetter’s sterling substitute performance earned him SBI’s U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Man of the Match award, and further adds to to his impressing showing in the qualifying campaign.
The VfB Stuttgart attacker, who started the match on the bench so as to get some rest, had arguably his best outing of the competition on Tuesday. He gave the Americans a 2-0 lead with a clinical finish in the 53rd minute, fed Jordan Morris for another insurance goal three minutes later, and was brought down in the box to set up Luis Gil’s 71st-minute tally.
Kiesewetter, 22, was not the only player to impress on an undefeated U.S. side that is high on confidence right now. Others who garnered consideration for the latest SBI honors were Morris, Gil, and Gboly Ariyibi.
What did you think about Kiesewetter’s performance vs. Panama? Agree that he was the Americans’ Man of the Match? Who else impressed you?
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