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SBI U.S. U-20 Man of the Match: Luca de la Torre

With just seconds remaining and his side in need of a goal, Luca de la Torre fired the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team to a must-needed point to start the Under-20 World Cup.

The U.S. midfielder provided the equalizing goal in stoppage time, leading the U.S. to a come-from-behind 3-3 draw with Ecuador in their group stage opener. The last-gasp equalizer saw the U.S. grab a point from arguably its toughest group-stage opponent while earning de la Torre honors as SBI U.S. U-20 Man of the Match.

De la Torre’s day ended in front of goal, but it began with something a bit a playmaking. After surrendering two quick goals to start the match, the U.S. was in need of a spark, and de la Torre and forward Josh Sargent provided it. After driving at the defense, de la Torre played Sargent through, leaving the young forward with just the goalkeeper to beat as the U.S. pulled a goal back.

Sargent did the work to tie the game up again but, after surrendering another goal to Ecuador, the U.S. needed one more to steal a point. De la Torre provided, pouncing on a loose ball in the box and firing into the corner, beating an Ecuador defender on the line and earning a massive draw for Tab Ramos’ side.

De la Torre’s winner earned him Man of the Match recognition, narrowly beating out Sargent for the opening honors.

Who was your U.S. U-20 Man of the Match? Which player stood out to you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Actually, I thought Lennon was deserving of MOM honors. De La Torre continually tried to penetrate through the clogged center of the field unsuccessfully with the US down 3-2. I thought it was only when Lennon got the ball wide that the US attack looked dangerous in the second half.

    I did not see the first half, but if the US LB was overrun, I will continue to wonder why John Nelson was not on the squad. He has great defensive instincts and I do not think he would have been caught of position.

  2. I think both Sargent and De La Torre deserved it, so either choice is okay with me. Anyone else notice how the US defense was much better once Zelalem went off? The concern I have had from the first time I saw him play is still there. He just doesn’t seem physical enough for a high level of play.

  3. JK’s child had two terrible moments – not only did he give up the easy 3rd goal, but he committed a stupid DOGSO foul on Ecuador’s first goal. Had it not been scored immediately after (rendering the foul non-DOGSO by advantage), JK would have gotten a red card, which, along with the PK, would have meant being down a goal and a man, and with JK2 out game #2 as well.

    • Why can’t you just say Jonathan Klinnsman or the goalkeeper?. Why dioes his father have anything to do with his play? You are right that the US is actually lucky that the goal was scored and not a penalty and a red card. But you completely ognore the fact that the left back got caught up field and the lcb was beaten quite easily, then beaten again two minutes later. You don’t mention the great save the keeper made when left hung out to dry. He gave a goal and he saved one. He needs to be better, but he is an individual, not just a player with The last coach’s (that you may not have liked) last name.

  4. I have only seen De la Torre play in U-20 games, and I have never been overly impressed. But yesterday he showed more pace than I had seen before, and a cool head throughout. Sargeant seemed very comfortable in the setting as well. Palmer-Brown is a rock.

    All in all it’s what you expect from young kids. Emotional highs and lows. Redding hasn’t learned how to use positioning to make up for a lack of pace, but he may figure it out. That was the type of heart we are used to seeing from US teams. Great come back. Now go get 2 wins and finish top of your group.


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