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U.S. U-20s move closer to sealing World Cup berth with win over Mexico

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The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is one step closer to the Under-20 World Cup, and it was the team’s┬ácaptain that provided the spark that got them there.

Erik Palmer-Brown scored the lone goal on Monday night as the U.S. toppled Mexico, 1-0, in the first match of the second stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The win puts the U.S. in the driver’s seat for a berth to South Korea ahead of their second and final group match against El Salvador.

Palmer-Brown’s winner came in the 29th minute as the U.S. found a goal via a set piece. Brooks Lennon whipped in the corner kick, finding Palmer-Brown on the back post for a free header. The Sporting KC defender’s shot was nearly headed off the line, but Mexico’s Diego Cortes could only deflect the ball right into the net as the U.S. seized the advantage midway through the first half.

The goal was the first allowed by Mexico in the tournament following consecutive shutouts of Honduras, Canada and Antigua & Barbuda.

The U.S. midfield proved the decisive force in Monday’s match with a returning Tyler Adams playing a major role. After suffering an ankle injury in the first leg, Adams returned, joining Eryk Williamson as part of a midfield duo that helped the U.S. neutralize the Mexico unit. Behind them, Palmer-Brown shined in the No. 6 spot while Justen Glad and Tommy Redding helped prevent Mexico from finding significant chances on goal.

In the second half, the U.S. proved solid, even as Mexico through numbers forward. Jonathan Lewis nearly sealed the game in stoppage time as he broke free on a Mexico corner, but the NYCFC midfielder’s shot was pushed out for a corner kick. From there, the U.S. simply killed the game, sealing a vital win that all but sends them to the world Cup.

With the win, the U.S. seizes control of the group. The picture will become a bit clearer following Wednesday’s clash between Mexico and El Salvador, but a win in Friday’s group finale would assure the U.S. a spot in the CONCACAF final as well as this summer’s U-20 World Cup.

Comments

  1. Mexico just destroyed El Salvador, all but assuring our place in the U20 World Cup. Our boys would have to lose by 6 goals to not make the top 2.

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  2. It’s amazing that despite a great win for the U-20’s some guys feel the need to show how great they are by criticizing the coaching. Look. Panama was horrible. But today, they pressed constantly. I watched the last 70 minutes and Mexico had very little going forward. it would have been great to finish the chances in the second half, but 18 year old kids tend to get excited and make mistakes. That is not the coach’s fault. I don’t think Tab should go any higher than this level until he proves some things, but come on. Give the guy credit when he deserves it. It doesn’t make you seem smarter because you can find a few things that went wrong. It makes you appear to be a miserable person to be around. Enjoy the games.

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    • Panama looked like a preseason friendly. Yes, the squad had about a week together, but that is hardly enough to form a cohesive unit. The U20s have had a lot of matches over the last year, but never with the same set of guys because of travel and club commits. The side has gotten better with each match and credit should be given to the staff for that. Now if they lose Friday and miss out they will be due some criticism. Is Tab the greatest manager, no, but most of the hate seems to come from Metrostars fans, and Gulati/JK haters because of his connections to them rather than his managing.

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      • Does anyone think that JK wasn’t talking to Tab before this game, I’m sure he had some suggestions

      • The only difference now is that he’s just like every other players’ parent on the sideline with the next great idea that the coach really should be incorporating into their game plan…

  3. Great result, appreciate the report, although I would have written this a bit differently:
    “In the second half, the U.S. proved solid, even as Mexico through numbers forward.”

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  4. After the first 20 minutes the US fully dominated the midfield and created way more chances on goal. Mexico came out fast and determined to start the second half but the the US withstood the initial pressure and then created several more quality chances. Could have been 3-0 easily. This US squad looks like they read all the bad press after the Panama game and decided to show some collective grit against a high-level opponent. I hope the ludicrous trolling above is just lazy sarcasm from morons who did not even watch this game. A USMNT victory over Mexico at ANY level is cause for some celebration, and these guys did it with some style today. Cheers, guys. Let’s go to Korea.

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    • Yes a win over Mexico at any level is absolutely a reason for celebration but this team has the ability to be so much better if they were coached better.

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      • Not sarcasm. If you think this team has played quality football then you have a low bar of what you are willing to accept. Players running away from the ball rather than showing for the ball. This team is nothing more than very athletic fast and physical players who show glimpses of good ability but appear to be coached to run fast and hard with little to no regard to tactics, possession, team movement without the ball, etc. Just because they won today and against K&N, and Haiti does not make them a good team. The players have the quality it is the coaching that is not quality.

      • Isn’t being fast and physical and running around with less technical and tactical ability and winning the American way

    • Based on what? Have you seen their earlier games? This was a FAR better team than the one that lost to Panama. They did an excellent job of shutting down Mexico. Yes, they could have won 3 or 4 to nil had they been able to pass to the right man on counters, but this was a different team than in group play and the difference seemed to be Tyler Adams.

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  5. If Mexico loses or draws we are in no matter what. Nice to have the long lay off and have El Salvador have to play two matches in 3 days. If Mexico wins 1-0 Wed. Friday’s match will be pressure packed. Not sure the tiebreak if all three teams win once 1-0.

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