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U.S. U-19s top Ukraine to reach Slovakia Cup final

160425 U19MNT v GeorgiaThe U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team will soon be playing for some silverware, and it can thank an own goal for that.

The U.S. defeated Ukraine, 2-1, on Tuesday to book a spot in the Slovakia Cup final, and the decisive tally came on a first-half own goal. Captain and midfielder Weston McKennie opened the scoring for the young Americans in the 27th minute, but the game-winner came six minutes later when a Ukraine player hit the ball over his own goal line.

Ukraine pulled one just before halftime, but never found an equalizer in a game that was comprised of two 40-minute halves.

The U.S., which is coached by Brad Friedel, is now 2-0 in the competition after grabbing a 5-1 win over Georgia on Monday.

The Americans still have to play their final group stage match against Slovakia on April 28 before competing for the tournament crown one day later vs. Russia.

Here is the U.S. lineup that played in the 2-1 win vs. Ukraine:

Starting lineup: Will Pulisic; Alexis Velela (Marlon Fossey, 40), Hector Montalvo, Danny Barbir, Hugo Arellano; Weston McKennie, Ander Egiluz (Pierre Da Silva, 40); Luca De La Torre, Nelson Hunsinger (Ernesto Espinoza, 61), Isaiah Young (Colby Agu, 76); Brandon Vazquez (Joe Gallardo, 80+2)

Subs Not Used: Nabilai Kibunguchy, Benny Diaz

Not Dressed: Eric Calvillo, Ben Hale, Sebastien Des Pres

What do you think of the the young Americans’ 2-1 win vs. Ukraine? Impressed with their passage to the tournament final? Like the job Friedel is doing as coach?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ander Egiluz is a highly rated Athletic youngster and Athletic has arguably one of the best academies in the world. Interesting to see him on the roster.

  2. This is good, one, two or maybe even three make there way in to senior team level. These age groups are probably the most important

  3. Interesting, looks like Will Pulisic is the cousin of Christian and he is going to join Dortmund next season. I did not know about any of that.

  4. Does anyone else usually see a disconnect with how our U teams play and when they get to U-23/ full NT? It always seems our U teams are competitive with the top teams, even beating them on a consistent basis and then poof, nothing…

    • Well most kids that age in the US enter into the college system where they barely play and don’t feel much pressure to compete for the PT they do get relative to their age-cohorts in other nations. Their growth is retarded while their age-cohorts’ growth is accelerated and the fat is cut. This is getting better over time as evidenced by the success in our Quarterfinalist U20WC team’s stars getting first team minutes for big european clubs in numbers we have not seen before.

      • Hopefully between the proposed changes to the NCAA Soccer schedule (split season), the growth of MLS Academies, and European clubs appearing to sign more young US youth players the apparent regression in form/results between the U17/20 age brackets and the U-23 will diminish.
        However the greatest hurdle won’t be overcome until MLS Teams actually put an Emphasis on getting our young players real game experience we’ll continue to lag behind many of the more established soccer countries.
        Look at Liga MX…..a number of years ago the MFL put in a rule which required teams to have a certain number of players on their 1st team roster that were under 23 yrs old. A second rule required that each team was required to field U-23 players a certain number of minutes each season.

    • These non-Fifa youth tournaments are a little like full Nat friendlies in that you don’t know what kind of teams the other squads are bringing. It might be an A squad or it might be the C or D squad. Also, sometimes the teams may not even be the same age groups, some might be U18s or U20s it depends on what Regional or world tournaments are coming up (not sure if that’s the case this time).

      Our youth teams at FIFA tournaments are only slightly better, the U20s and U17s have each only reached the Semis once (’89 & ’99), although they do make it to the quarters more often than the full nats. Also, Nigeria has dominated youth football for a while, and although their national team is decent they’ve never made it past the round of 16 at the world cup.

    • This same age group went 0-3 and didn’t score a goal in Feb. at a tournament, with a very different lineup, and lost their last group game today 3-1 to Slovakia.


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