Top Stories

U.S. U-17s fall to Mexico in penalty kicks in CONCACAF final

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team was just moments away from winning the CONCACAF U-17 Championships. A late equalizer and the ensuing penalty kicks saw ended that dream, as the team’s biggest rival completed a late-game push to end the U.S. team’s perfect run through the tournament in Sunday’s finale.

Mexico scored a 90th minute equalizer to push the score to 1-1 before winning, 5-4, in penalty kicks on Sunday to claim the crown as CONCACAF’s champions. The result ends the U.S. U-17s’ perfect run through the tournament after beginning the competition with five-straight wins.

After holding strong for 90-plus minutes, the U.S. defense buckled late, allowing a Mexico equalizer and forcing penalty kicks. The two sides both made their first three shots from the spot with both goalkeepers getting their hands on the third shot as they trickled in. On the fourth attempt for the U.S., Akil Watts sent his shot over the bar, opening the door for Mexico. U.S. defender James Sands made his side’s fifth shot from the spot before Roberto de la Rosa Gonzalez fired home for Mexico, sealing the win.

Following an entertaining, but scoreless, first half, the U.S. finally broke through in the 63rd minute thanks to a Mexico blunder.

Just moments after coming into the game, Weah won a header on a mis-hit from Mexico goalkeeper Cesar Lopez de Alba, pushing the ball to Carleton. With the Mexico goalkeeper in no man’s land and in little rush to get back, Carleton turned and fired with his back to goal, sliding a shot to the far post to give the U.S. 1-0 lead.

The goal came just moments after a heavy Mexico push, and El Tri was unfortunate to see a goal disallowed early in the second half.

Both sides combined to create several chances in the first half, but the best look came from El Tri. A shot from Mexico forward de la Rosa Gonzalez forced a big save from Justin Garces, as the U.S. goalkeeper dove to get his fingertips to the shot.

As the second half continued following Carleton’s goal, Mexico continued to press, but was repeatedly repelled by the U.S. defense, a unit that allowed just six goals throughout the six-game tournament. However, the equalizer eventually came as Carlos Robles headed Mexico’s equalizer in stoppage time.

Now, both teams look towards this fall’s World Cup, which is set for Oct. 6-28 in India.


  1. The US outscored their opposition 20-6 while Mexico outscored their competition 21-6
    The USA beat Mexico 4.3 then tied 1-1. All on neutral ground.

    In truth, not much separated these two teams. 5-4 on PKs which is pretty much a coin flip decision.

    They may meet again in Oct. for the U-17 WC finals. That would be fun.

  2. The only reason we lost is because they were better at putting the ball in the goal. If not for that we would’ve won.

    • Sorry amigo, but 1-1 is a tie. They were only better at putting the ball in the goal from 12 yards away with no defenders, but that is not actually soccer. In this tournament, the US was 1-0-1 against Mexico. In the last four youth encounters, the US is 3-0-1. Suck on that.

  3. I loved watching these guys and I can’t understand why Hackworth had them sit back most of the game and the bunker after they got the goal. Why not try to to keep possession of the ball and still defend strongly.

  4. Probably a fair result to end in a draw, the US had more of the run of play during the first 60 minutes, but Mexico had a couple dangerous counters that certainly could have turned into goals. US had plenty of chances as well that on other nights in the tourney they put away, whether nerves or they finally ran out of gas.

  5. Justin garces is very bad on penalties, need to
    improve a lot and why Watts kicked one of the
    penalties? Should have put durkin or Reynolds

  6. Hey, their only loss in the tournament came on a late equalizer and then penalty kicks. In fact, they won all but one, no draws. We would seem to be at least equal now at the youth level with Mexico..This is an excellent achievement and significant progress in just a few years. This should be celebrated.

  7. 3 on 1 counter that ended up a shot hitting the upright should have sealed it. Mexico was pushing but US was soaking up the pressure, not getting that second goal setup the comeback.

  8. Stopped looking at the 87th minute…felt it coming. They were playing scared defense, belting the ball out of their half and waiting for the next Mexico wave. When are we going to stop playing the underdog. Carlton was holding some possession in front and he was removed. Its a shame.

  9. That’s what happens when you shell up for the last 20 minutes of the match. When are soccer coaches going to learn?

    • If they were “shelled up” why are there more Mexican than US players in the box on the goal?

      Not to mention the 3 on 1 counterattack that they totally botched that should’ve been an easy goal. They were way too slow and indecisive on it and in the end it cost them?


Leave a Comment