The U.S. Under-17 kicked off its quest to capture the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship on Saturday and did so in impressive fashion against Barbados.
Cruz Medina led the way for Gonzalo Segares’ squad with a hat trick while Keyrol Figueroa and Taha Harbourne also contributed goals in a 5-0 shutout victory. The Americans registered 14 shots on goal while USMNT U-17 goalkeeper Duran Ferree posted a two-save clean sheet.
Medina broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, scoring off a rebound despite missing a penalty-kick opportunity. Jireh Malcolm dove to his left to deny Medina but was unable to get in the way of his rebound finish.
The San Jose Earthquakes attacker added his second goal of the first half, this time striking home from long-range. Medina’s right-footed missile landed into top corner, giving the Americans a 2-0 advantage.
Despite Barbados’ best efforts to try and get into the match, the USMNT U-17’s capped off an opening day win with three late goals.
Keyrol Figueroa’s diving header off a Brian Romero cross extended the Americans lead to 3-0 in the 86th minute. Malcolm was left stranded in the box, watching as Figueroa was left wide open at the back post to score his first goal of the tournament.
Medina’s corner kick in the 88th minute was headed back across the Barbados box by Figueroa before Harbourne headed in the Americans’ fourth goal of the match.
The USMNT U-17’s cut through the Barbados backline for its final goal of the match as David Vazquez’s low pass from the left wing was one-timed home by Medina.
A total of 16 players featured in the victory for the Americans, who will next face Trinidad & Tobago on Monday.
Score perhaps makes the performance look better than it was. US struggled with the final ball, but wasn’t really troubled ever at the other end. Medina looked as advertised his second goal was a beauty. Always nice when the dual nats shine and Figueroa with the goal and assist off the bench, son Maynor, put the match away. Only have to finish 3rd to advance from the group so that’s pretty well locked.
You answered some questions I had. I didn’t get a chance to watch this match. I wondered how was the overall play from the US. I also saw Figueroa was @ Liverpool academy and wondered if he was a legacy player. I appreciate it. I really dislike Spellcheck!!
Cruz Medina sure seems to be the real deal. Hers to hoping he gets legitimate minutes with San Jose first team this season.