Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Spain (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. Under-17 national team kicks off its Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria today against Spain (2pm, ESPNU).

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.


FINAL– Share your thoughts on today's match in the comments section below.


FINAL– Spain 2, USA 1. The Americans had some good chances, but every one of them was wasted. Spain played well enough to win, an impressive display considering the Spaniards were a man down for 88 minutes.


102nd minute– McInerney gets the ball in the area, but can't find a shot and eventually loses it. Two minutes left.


101st minute– USA with another corner that fails to produce a chance. Desperation time now.


99th minute– USA keeps pressing, but no quality chances.


97th minute– SHOT GIL but it's saved. Great chance from 17 but Gil doesn't get enough on it.


96th minute– Gil has been the U.S. team's best player in the second half, but needs to get closer to goal.


95th minute– Shinsky tries to spring Chavez but they can't connect.


94th minute– Spain on the counter, looks good for a moment, but the final shot is shanked.


92nd minute– USA with a dangerous free kick on the right side of the area. It is sent into the middle, but is cleared away before an American can pounce.


89th minute– There will be 14 minutes of added time. Yes, that's the most I've ever heard of.


87th minute– Dominick Sarle comes in for Brian Duran as the final USA sub.


85th minute– Shinsky tries to dribble some Spanish defenders, but loses the ball. Not a great game for Shinsky today.


84th minute– Kevin La Cruz nearly makes it 3-1, but hits it off the right post.


83rd minute– The kick is blocked by the wall, and the rebound is blocked as well.


81st minute– The kick is cleared away, and here comes Spain. Free kick about 25 yards from goal for the Spanish.


80th minute– Real Madrid product Alvaro Morata is set to come in for Spain.


80th minute– USA corner leads to another header well wide.


78th minute– A dangerous free kick is floated in by the USA, but the Americans can't put a shot on goal.


77th minute– Marlon Duran with a yellow card after a hard tackle on Sarabia.


75th minute– Watts sends a header wide.


74th minute– Chavez gets involved and creates some dangerous moments, draws a corner.


74th minute– We are back and Spain has a long free kick saved easily.


69th minute– The lights are out again. Who knows how much stoppage time we'll have now.


66th minute– And there he is, in through one-on-one with the keeper but has his shot saved. What a great chance, and had a wide-open teammate to his left.


65th minute– Still waiting for Chavez to get involved here.


63rd minute– Borja comes out for Spain, Kevin comes in. Yes, just Kevin (okay, I believe his last name is De La Cruz).


61th minute– Better stuff from the USA so far.


59th minute– USA pressing and McInerney gets into the area before being tackled (cleanly). Shinsky can't do anything with the rebound.


55th minute– And we're back.


53rd minute– Play has been halted to fix a flood light that went out.


51st minute– The ref stops the match after a bank of lights go out.


48th minute– Gil with a great run forward, but he lays it off to Shinsky, who loses it with a bad touch.


46th minute– Two subs for the USA. Eriq Zavaleta and Victor Chavez are in for Perry Kitchen and Stefan Jerome.


46th minute– And we're back.


HALFTIME– The USA is getting nothing from the wings. Might we see Carlos Martinez as a halftime sub? He's a dynamic player who will at least threaten some defenders with his speed and shiftiness. Right now the US attack is stagnant. The back-line also looks to be reacting rather than reading, which is leaving Spain in good positions far too often. 


HALFTIME– Spain 2, USA 1. The Americans are up a man, but down a goal, and will need to play much better if they will take a point or three from this match. 


45th minute– Spain moving it around beautifully. They are fun to watch and you wonder what the score would be if they don't go down a man two minutes into the match.


44th minute– Jerome with another bad touch that turns the ball over.


43rd minute– Spain looks to be slowing down. Can the USA find an equalizer late in this half?


41st minute– Jerome showed great speed on that breakaway, and Gil did well to spring him, but he needed to do much better with the final touch.


39th minute– Edwards does well to swipe the ball away from Borja in the area. Scary moment there.


38th minute– Jerome with a breakaway but takes a bad touch and never does get a shot off. Terrible waste of a chance there.


37th minute– Spain knocking it around now, earning a corner. You really can't tell Spain is down a man.


34th minute– Duran takes it and sends a weak curler right to the keeper.


33rd minute– Stefan Jerome with a nice turn to draw a dangerous free kick about 23 yards out.


32nd minute– Right now the Spanish attacking trio of Borja, Sarabia and Muniain is simply playing better than the USA attacking trio of McInerney, Jerome and Gil.


30th minute– Did I mention Spain is a man down?


29th minute- GOAL SPAIN!!! And it's Pablo Sarabia with a beautiful blast of a finish. Borja finds him with a pass in the area and he fires it home on a sharp angle. WOW. Spain 2, USA 1.


28th minute– Earl Edwards does well to race onto a ball near the edge of the area. Borja was lurking. We keep hearing that Borja is compared to a young Fernando Torres. Haven't seen it yet.


27th minute– U.S. has possession, but only in the middle third. They need to start being sharper with the final pass.


25th minute– Saw that coming. Even though the USA has had more possession, Spain has looked dangerous when it gets into the final third. Muniain is the Spanish playmaker and he's causing problems for the US defense. He laid it off to Pablo Sarabia on the left flank and Sarabia laid off an easy pass for Borja to finish.


24th minute- GOAL SPAIN. And it's Borja with the finish. Spain 1, USA 1.


23rd minute– For those who missed it, Spain is a man down after a second-minute red card to its top defender, Sergi Gomez.


21st minute– U.S. defense has looked shaky in flashes, though Jared Watts has looked solid in central defense. He's a converted defensive midfielder who is strong on the ball and a sharp passer.


19th minute– McInerney is the star of this team and you can see why, with his speed and acceleration in the final third. Still waiting to see Luis Gil and Marlon Duran work their magic.


18th minute– A Spain goal is ruled offside. Nice build-up, but the final pass was a second late. Better stuff from the Spanish.


17th minute– Spain is content to give the Americans space on the wings, but the USA haven't been able to take advantage.


12th minute– Americans have had more of the early possession as the man advantage is evident.

Here is the USA back-line: Zachary Herald, Perry Kitchen, Jared Watts and Tyler Polak


10th minute– McInerney and Stefan Jerome are up top for the Americans, while Marlon Duran, Luis Gil, Nick Palodichuk and Alex Shinsky are in midfield.


5th minute– Spain forced to make an early sub, bringing in a defender for an attacker.


3rd minute- GOAL USA. Jack McInerney scores to gve the Americans an early lead. High ball from Marlon Duran and McInerney beats the Spanish keeper to the ball. Think Casey vs. Honduras.


2nd minute- RED CARD SPAIN. The Spaniards are a man down after a Spanish defender took down Jack McInerney on the edge of the penalty area.

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113 Responses to Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Spain (Matchday Commentary)

  1. M says:

    WTF? I just pulled this up on ESPN 360 and we’re already up 3-0.

  2. M says:

    I mean 1-0

  3. gerald says:

    we are up 1-0 McInerney in the 4th minute. Spain got a red card in the 1st minute as McInerney was taken down outside of the box on a breakaway

  4. Robert R says:

    Ok, there you are, Ives. I was worried.

  5. ian says:

    Red was deserved. Goal was scrappy like Casey’s first against Honduras. I just made a reference to Casey’s FIRST goal against Honduras…never thought that would happen.

  6. gerald says:

    Watts, Herrold, Kitchen and Polak in the back nd Edwards in goal

  7. Texar says:

    hey ives, love your site.. have you considered something like link to coveritlive.com for the live commentaries? (hint: it’s free)

  8. jig says:

    not sure how much magic we’re gonna see from Duran. He’s a solid player (good first touch, plays quickly along the ground) but from the times I’ve seen him he tends to play deeper in the midfield to cover for Gil who bursts forward often.

  9. ahm says:

    how were there not two offsides calls there???

  10. Richard says:

    looked pretty close to offside on that Spain goal, oh well….. why did this announcer say that Donovan is the USMNT captain? Do they research anything?

  11. gerald says:

    Kitchen didn’t play that well didn’t pick up the overlap

  12. gerald says:

    I think he would have been off if he passed through to Borja instead of to the wing first

  13. Mike Caramba says:


  14. Jacob A. says:

    It’s the old “wait, if you’re offsides on the first pass, aren’t you offsides on the second?” conudrum, that rarely seems to be called. If ever there was time for it to be, I’d say that was it.

  15. jim b says:

    Any chance we call up Jack Mac in the run-up to the WC? Sure he’s real young but who knows what could happen. Maybe he shakes up our existing forwards, maybe he steps it up. Just a thought

  16. guwinster says:

    The center back could have stopped the goal anyways if he didn’t stop running and ask for the offsides.

  17. mike says:

    Time to end the Brandenton program?

  18. gerald says:

    That was a great goal by Sarabia

  19. ian says:

    US looks like the team playing a man down. Beautiful second goal by Spain.

  20. madmax says:

    Watts is terrible. Not only does he get beat easily, but he gives up after losing ball or mark, CB?

  21. madmax says:

    I agree.

  22. dman says:

    Why do we still continue to play a 4-3-3 we are not a 4-3-3 type of soccer team

  23. snedecor says:

    wow, incredible reaction from Spanish guys, Sarabia, Muniain and Borja are terrific players, go Spain!

  24. Allan says:

    Why do I keep reading that we need to end the Bradenton Academy? I’m not disagreeing, but why?

  25. JS says:

    Shinsky is very poor on the left wing…we don’t have anybody that can produce any service. I would hate to see the score if Spain had their full 11

  26. JS says:

    wow..Jerome…way to out think yourself…

  27. Texar says:

    jerome!!! :(
    and by the way, the defense again stops running thinking there’s an offside

  28. madmax says:

    Feel sorry for Jerome, but what a horrible touch.

  29. madmax says:

    1. Because if you’re signed by a pro club, and train there, you get less chance of making the squad.
    2. The training and competition are less at the academy.

    there are more reasons

  30. JGIB says:

    Jerome=robbie findley

  31. madmax says:

    Are the USA down a man or an soccer organization?

  32. Sean M says:

    jerome hasn’t shown up so far,Gil hasn’t really taken anybody on 1 v 1,but you can see the talent is there with his last touch and the way he has been combing. best player for the US though this half is probably Duran,he has done a good job holding the ball up. Really with we had Renken,Gyau, and Lleget though.

  33. Nick says:

    US is controlling the tempo as they should be with a man advantage, however we cant seem to get any type of movement up top. Jerome seems to like to stand around a lot while gil and Doran have no other options but spray the ball wide.

  34. Randy says:

    You guys are crazy. Of course we were not going to crush Spain, even up a man. i am impressed as hell that our boys aren’t afraid… We’re even on chances and look like we belong as an attacking team–a good mentality for a developmental experience. Lots of time left.

  35. Rob says:

    Anyone know of an English stream?

  36. madmax says:

    After the U-20 tournament both Gulati and Rongen blamed the players, although cleverly, saying the USA can’t expect to compete with top soccer nations. I hope Cabrera doesn’t do the same here.

  37. Hush says:

    Everyone in our USMNT sub-17 are plain GARBAGE!! Duran & Jerome are the only players with creativity in that team. The spaniards are showing once again to our national teams on how to dribble a ball and know how to pass it!!! I will continue to say it, only FREDDY ADU has the quality of handling the ball on the field and know what TO DO WITH IT BEFORE HE GETS THE BALL!! We need atleast 8 Marlon Duran’s on that team to have some type of creativity. What is up with all these big hair polo USMNT kids who look like tenis players??!! For God sake the USSF needs start finding the Sotos,Aimares,Gonzales,Castillos, instead of these wack ass skinny no good skilled soccer players!!

    Most players on the sub-15,17, 20, etc.. are wack!!! It only takes me 1 minute of observation and I can tell right away who has some potential in the game of soccer. Duran & Jerome, are the only players for improvement. Jerome still lacks the Freddy Adu skill,…. EXCUTING when being open!!! For Gods sake Jerome you are OpEn,.. finish it!!!

    Adu,Jozy,Davies,.. the only good young players we have with euro type skills, nobody is coming close to them in our youth system so far.

  38. jim b says:

    You aren’t seriously touting Adu are you? He’s so skilled he doesn’t even need to play! Jeez, just go back to jerking off to old Adu you tube videos and leave soccer to the adults.

  39. dman says:

    What is the formation looking like right now as I don’t know tons of these kids or where they play (positionwise)

  40. Judging Amy says:

    I’m surprised at how physically superior Spain seems to be. Although I just tuned in a few minutes ago. Was the first half similar?

  41. Judging Amy says:

    Wow thats just an awful awful miss. Poor kid. Sick footwork by Gil.

  42. KC says:

    Great choice to have the U17 WC in Niegria FIFA, they can’t even keep the lights on.

  43. madmax says:

    Shinski would have missed also.

  44. jim b says:

    Boy, I hope these power outages aren’t a sign of things to come for the big one in SA. Disappointing miss from Chavez there

  45. Dominghosa says:

    haha, hush should take advice from his own name

  46. madmax says:

    Good observation. You may assume that the USA is faster or as fast as Spain yet they get beat continuously with speed?

  47. Dominghosa says:

    j/k,, kind of. but was really looking for gil to have an impact and he finally does with awesome footwork and a nice find, too bad chavez couldn’t take it well enough. really trying to not write any sentences with the words “if only” and “charles renken” in them …

  48. dman says:

    69th minute- The lights are out again. Who knows how much stoppage time we’ll have now

    ….kind of sad and embarassing

    dear south africa don’t do the same

  49. Texar says:

    according to the Galavision commentators, Spain youth teams train every 4-5 weeks. So they know each other pretty good. IT really shows.

  50. jig says:

    yeah, hush, you’re way off. If Adu had “euro-type” skills, he’d probably get a game there once in a while.

  51. Dominghosa says:

    oof. will be very surprised if shinksy and herold get any more starts from here on out.

  52. ClayG says:

    Who’s the kid on the right with the high school musical haircut?

  53. madmax says:

    Chavez seems to have much more energy than Jerome had.

  54. madmax says:

    Duran looks very slow.

  55. smokefizzle13@hotmail.com says:

    Spain is shite team…….to many fake ass injuries…stopping play…….lil bastards!!!!

  56. madmax says:

    Why is Duran last man back?

  57. soccerroo says:

    Does anybody know if we lost a player? US soccer’s Match tracker shows someone got two yellows.

  58. soccerroo says:

    nevermind it was Harold nd they still are commenting on him playing and so is Ives.

  59. Dominghosa says:

    should have been 20 minutes of stoppage time .. either way it doesn’t seem like an equalizer is coming. both teams slowing down with US still not looking like it’s a man up.

  60. Dominghosa says:

    is that brian or marlon duran?

  61. jim b says:

    This is truly disappointing. We have an extra man and still can’t seem to find space through the midfield. Like our senior side, our young’uns seem to lack not only tactical disapline but most importantly an offensive fulcrum point.

    I’m also suprised to see that the spanish side seem to be more physically imposing than our boys. Where’s our size? It looks like we fielded a squad of pansies.

  62. doug says:

    Sounds like the record for stoppage time is 223 minutes

    link to answers.yahoo.com

  63. doug says:


    Mis-hit the keyboard. It’s 23 minutes.

  64. Dominghosa says:

    wow, gil should have equalized. if he wants all those clubs to still chase after him, he had to finish that.

  65. STX81 says:

    He tried it a couple of weeks ago and the Coveritlive interface went down during his commentary.

  66. John1 says:

    How many chances are they going to blow?

  67. JuliusCesar says:

    This is not a knock on our team but we just are not there yet and won’t be there for a while, not when our best playes are not playing sitting on a bench, play in college, or play in the MLS. There is just a GAP we can’t close with the rest of the world. We can do it to Central America and some Euro teams but not when the power houses play us.

  68. Tim says:

    typical American inability to score

  69. Dominghosa says:

    doesn’t matter if it was spain. you can’t lose 2-1 with a man up. oh well, they are what they all are, 17 year olds and younger. have to regroup and get second in the group.

  70. martha says:

    Yea we didnt need Gyua and Redken. If this is suppossed to be one of the best classes US produced then US program in deep doo doo.

  71. Dominghosa says:

    not just a man up, a man up in 103 minutes. wow. never would have guessed that.

    (SBI-Not really 103 minutes since the 14 minutes of stoppage time were making up for the 14 minutes spent waiting for the lights to come back. Still, 88 minutes a man up is a shame.)

  72. madmax says:

    Good effort by USA. Poor skills in front of goal hurt them. A fitting ending was McInerney taking 5 touches in front of goal, but not shooting or passing.

  73. Spectra says:

    oh suck!!! just awful. Where in the world did we find this defense. We were horrible. I don’t want to know what they’re full squad could have done to us. anyone else on here wanna talk more crap about Renken et al. leaving brandenton to go to big boy land?

  74. MVK says:

    that breakway that Jerome failed to even get a shot on 1st half was the worse, he had enough time to make a sandwich

  75. notsogood says:

    Terrible effort in the last 15 minutes.

    In the dying moments, one of our guys dribbles past a couple guys on the endline. Harold just stood at the top of the box next to his marker. Didnt even think about making a run into the wide open middle of the box until after the ball was played. He makes that run a few seconds earlier and coulda had a free look from 8 yards out.

    Do you want to win, or are you happy with a sweet weave?

  76. osorio says:

    US was playing spain not Malawi. We are not Spain. We did well just missed three breakways. Overall it is a vast improvement over the U20’s

  77. While everyone is moaning about the result.

    I did see something different about these kids. They showed some technical ability in tight spaces. There were a few players that were able to slalom through the Spanish midfield. I can’t say I have ever seen an American players like this.

    Yes, we lost and they should have finished their chances. yet, this is the first group of players that seemed comfortable and confident with the ball.

    I would not write them off. At this age, it is not always the result that counts, it is what you see them do with a ball. There were some good things being done with the ball.

    Let’s hope they pull it together for the rest of the tournament.

  78. Hokie?_Futbol says:

    Dear lord you are an idiot. Still buyin the Freddy Adu talk? Want to talk about players with european potential? Donovan (only 27) Dempsey (only 26) Torres Holden Rodgers Davies Altidore just to name a few. With this U-17 team McInery, Edwards, Jerome, Gil and Duran will all get shots (not to mention the guys that already have). I bet Edwards and Gil go first. And you can tell if a guy is gonna be a star when you see them once? You do realize that people have to develop and that takes time. Freddy Adu peaked early and then got outgrown. He’s going to get pushed off the ball for the rest of his career. Dempsey didn’t get many looks until Furman.

  79. cencalifutbol says:

    the defense was terrible and the offense was like me drinking to much whiskey and getting with a chick, couldnt finish. i vote packwood gets ome pt, he plays for birmingham city correct? replace shinksi and i thought watts looked terrible

  80. chg says:

    What about Group A?


    That may be the toughest group I’ve ever seen at any level.

    The US still has six points if they play decent against Malawi, and UAE, but they could have put themselves in position to win it with decent finishing today.

    Mexico could be done after losing to Switzerland, and with Brazil and Japan waiting. Costa Rica is in the weakest group, but they merely tied New Zealand, so they might not be able to take advantage.

  81. SAY says:

    My thoughts after watching the game. I’m glad this team over the U20s had a lot of decent dribblers and players with a GOOD first touch.

    EDWARDS-Not much to do, and Spanish goals were too good to stop. Didn’t help from an unorganized back 4. Hopefully he’s the next coming of Tim Howard…kind of had the same mannerisms as Howard.
    WATTS-Isn’t he one of the taller backs? I wasn’t impressed.
    POLAK-great getting forward..he should move into the midfield because Shinsky was Shitty. Polak was strong on the ball as well, why cant we be as consistent as Polak was at delivering free kicks
    KITCHEN-no comment..didnt show up in first half
    DURAN-wonderful first touch, great long ball passing..As Cesc Fabregas says..it’s all about the first touch.
    HEROLD-is this kid supposed to be fast? He looked like he wasnt even trying. He was VERY weak on the ball and weak and trying to push guys off the ball and played VERY predictable balls out of the back
    JEROME-All I can say is….he missed a breakaway thats what he will be remembered for.
    SHINSKY-honestly got lucky sometimes when the ball ricocheted off players legs when he was dribbling forward. Very whimpy on the ball and did he ever actually cross the ball? or a decent cross? Just a weak player in terms of strength.
    MCINERNEY-Honestly did some nice things, but didn’t take his chances..he needed to shoot more often.
    GIL-really played some wonderful passes to put his attackers in goal scoring chances. Just lacked quality on his last two chances in front of goal.
    PALODICHUK-This kid was very strong on the ball which I liked a lot and seemed very competitive compared to some other players.

    SARLE-got to the end line a couple times and helped the team win some free kicks..thats it
    ZAVALETA-no comment
    CHAVEZ-i hate hate when forwards double check if they are offsides when they have the ball…it’s called killer instinct…keep going full speed!!!! Chaved didnt have the killer insinct and showed in his final touch.

  82. alex says:

    What you meant as wack ass, you meant to say WHITE, right? Because thats all I got out of your whole speiel is that until we get more ” ethnic” we won’t have a good team. Well genius, all the kids in this country grow up under the same soccer circmstances you can’t by pass one kid cause his last name is SMITH and the other is Martinez, thats racist and its wrong and its exactly what we don’t need.

  83. SAY says:

    I’m also excited to see a Latin coach the U17s as well…also getting the hispanics into the US National team system at a younger age is great. We can only benefit from this as the latin creativity is something that the USA has never been able to compete with against our Southern neighbors.

    Also I was disturbed by what their coach said according to his FIFA.com interview:
    Wilmer Cabrera, USA coach
    I hope we can play to the same level in our remaining matches.

    —“I hope we can play to the same level”….no coach…u never want to play at the same level…u always want to be BETTER than your last game..also we need to actually finish our quality chances!!!

  84. Lieutenant in Sam's Army says:

    watching Luis Gil makin spanish defenders look silly with his ball control gives me goosebumps.. i really hope he goes to Arsenal or wherever and impresses.. he looks like he’s got it in him and if he keeps it up, we may finally see someone on the MNT level that has that creativity on the ball that we’ve been looking for

  85. osorio says:

    luis gil gave the ball away %80 of the time but nutmegs a guy so everyone raves. Too heads down.

  86. mike says:

    we need to stop letting the egos of the bradenton coaches get in the way of producing and playing our talent.. No excuses for not including renken and gyau in this roster.

  87. Dominghosa says:

    just watched the highlights of UAE and Malawi. From the looks of it, a second-place showing for the US isn’t a given. You really must watch the UAE-malawi highlights on fifa.com. WOW. !Que golazos!
    UAE’s first was a 40-plus yard free kick screamer to the upper 90 of the goal. And though Malawi’s goal was deservedly called back because of offside, the kid took it very, very well, never even let it touch the ground. took one beautiful touch before the cross hit the grass and his second touch put the ball into the net.
    must-watch stuff. it’ll be fun to see the US play these two teams.

  88. wow says:

    the future of american soccer… beat by 10 men

  89. madmax says:

    It was nice to see the young men on the field and try to separate the pregame hype from reality. For me McInerney, Jerome, and Duran were severely over hyped. McInerney seemed to lose interest if the ball was not near him. Jerome could not get to any of the long balls played in as the Spain defenders beat him there every time. And Duran, just too small and slow for DM. Perhaps Watts should have been DM as twice he forgot he was the last defender.

  90. buckmark1 says:

    is it just me or does every US team have a lack of finishers. it was incredible how many chances were wasted by an inability to finish. it is the same at every level.

  91. plug713 says:

    What I saw was a case of men vs boys. These European kids are all in a much tougher, more professional training environment than their US counterparts. Bradenton simply can’t reproduce the intensity of a truely professional training session. The Spaniards were on their heels for about 15 minutes after the US goal was scored, then they settled down and cut the US defense to shreds while controlling midfield play. Once again, the US was forced to lob long balls forward and hope for the best. Time to re-think Bradenton and get our best kids affiliated with pro teams in MLS or abroad.

  92. DL says:

    In response to your comment about Duran, during the game I thought it was interesting how it seemed that Cabrera’s definition of a holding mid and Bradley’s differ. Bradley wants a true defensive force who will act as essentially a 3rd CB ala Clark/Edu. Cabrera seems to have a very Spanish/Hispanic view on the position where the holding mid sits at the top of the formation and directs traffic for the attack ala Gringo Torres or to a much higher level Xavi. JMO but I think that Duran was more a holding mid than a defensive MF in this system.

  93. DL says:

    Agreed. Some of the Spanish kids are pushing for spots on the big roster with teams like Barca, Real Madrid and others in the Spanish leagues. Bradenton is good for identifying talent but can not simulate the training of being in a European youth system.

  94. madmax says:

    Watched the first half again. DL, you’re right, Duran played OK in the deep position. But Cabrera should never leave him alone back there defending, which happened on a US free kick.

    In my second viewing, after going up a goal and up a man, the USA played long ball for fifteen minutes. Watts stopped playing to look at linesman while Spain scored. He also whiffed on clearance before second goal.

    These are all nice players, just not a threat to win or go deep as many have predicted.

  95. madmax says:

    You are right, most US attackers when one on one with the goalie try to push the ball forward past the goalie, ‘the three yard touch’. While more skilled attackers come right up to the goalie have him reach then touch wide. The direct forward approach seems to be what is taught in the USA.

  96. gmonsoon43 says:

    And a thing to remember when evaluating Gil is that he is 15, basically all the other players in this tournament are 17.

  97. danny says:

    Are you kidding? What game were you watching?

  98. J mann says:

    I can’t wait till the MLS gets a good academy system rollin.

  99. Dennis says:

    I just watched the game and I was surprised at how well the US did. After reading the comments here, I was dismayed at the negativity spewed in some of the comments about a bunch of teenagers. You know who you are, get a life and stop trashing kids who are playing much better than most kids their age anywhere.

    Spain’s goals came on counter-attacks, the second was a thing of beauty. The US kept possession for long stretches and had at least 2 1(or 2)vK opportunities that were wasted. I did not see the statistics, but the US clearly took many more shots than Spain, unfortunately, the result would not come. Before the game, I would have never expected that the game would be one of the US attacking a bunkered Spain who played only to counter-attack. (I can recall only 2 instances where Spain went forward in numbers with possession, they mostly kept numbers back.) Of course, the obvious early foul reduced Spain to 10 and that they were able to adjust tactically very quickly is suggest they are tactically aware and adaptible. No suprise the have won so many games and are a tournament favorite.

    Spain had at least two very talented players (Borja and Sarapia)who were very good with the ball at their feet and the cheeky shot from nearly half-way was a clear indication they can finish given half a chance.

    Overall it was a very good game against an extremely talented Spain. I just bet that a few of the US players would love to take some of those shots over.

    Ratings: Spain 7 USA 5 Comments 3(mostly for negativity, some for being just plain dumb)

  100. jpc says:

    I thought they played fairly well, except for the left side. They had chances that they should’ve put away,

    Shinsky and Pollak are absolutely terrible, I saw Pollak when they were 14 against Brazil and he was terrible then too, I guess their struggling for LB’s, just like the full national team.

    Shinsky just shows how much they miss the kids who didn’t come to the WC. I doubt he completed 50% of his passes, most barely reached the target. How about Carlos Martinez?

    Duran is very good, its just too bad the players that would be ideal to mix w/ him their are not at the WC (Renken in particular)

  101. Jim Pollock says:


    While we were outlplayed from about the 20th minute on, I can’t get over what I think should have been a straight red at 100:30. Don’t get be wrong, If the US is’t playing, Spain is my favorite (I’m a card carrying FCB member, as are my two daughters). However, national pride comes into play in international competition!!! Do you, or any of your readers, think the referee just didn’t want to put Spain down one more man with 3:30 left? I think the Spanish kid already had one yellow…So even a yellow would have taken him out???

    Look at the replay and see how blatently he extnded his leg, from behind, to wipe the US player out. I think its incredibly obvious. The ref was only 15 yrads away from the play at, the most… How could he have missed it?

    Also, to the US soccer federation, when you’re a man up and your oppononent has used their first subsititution in the first half… the second time the lights go off… it is time to get indignent about the delays!!!

    Having said all of that, congats Espania! Even at the U-17 level you guys are playing unbelievably beautiful futobl!!!!

  102. SAY says:

    Polak wasn’t horrible…He actually served in good corner kicks and free kicks with his left foot. He gave the boys at least 3-5 chances to score…..I agree Shinsky was horrible since he didn’t really connect with his other teammates and never got in a good cross and he was just so weak when he played and relatively pushed off the ball easy!!

    I think most people would say Duran played 2nd best next to Luis Gil. I think what made Duran stand out was mainly his first touch and his several good and accurate switch of field plays.

  103. Jim Pollock says:

    Reading through the comments, I havw to agree with Dennis!!! Our kids played extremely well against a bunch of Spanish kids who have been signed by and are training with some of the best clubs in the world. If our kids are lucky, at 17 they just stopped playing for a non-nothing Dad at 3-5 years ago!!!!!!!!

    By the way, I like that that Polak kid!!! Pushing up like that he reminds me of Danny Alvez!!!

    Plus, if he spelled his name right, he’d be all set!!!

    Jim Pollock, Danvers MA

  104. imho says:

    I saw an offside on the first pass there

  105. madmax says:

    Brent Latham at ESPNsoccernet, has some tough ratings on the players. I agree with most, but would step up all of them one point. I’m not sure whether Brent was predicting a great tournament from the USA, if so that may account for the tough love.

  106. madmax says:

    Mex 1 Bra 0
    Mexico with a deserved lead in second half. Both forwards make good runs off the ball, didn’t see that from US strikers. Brasil back comes off near post to interfere with his own goalie, who spills it out for El Tri goal.

  107. Pancho Miguel MoralesdeConejo says:

    I liked Polak also, he was the best of the back line. McInrney reminds me of the big kid in AYSO who gets all the time at forward. Duran played well, Gil showed flashes. Absolutely NO wing play, I dont’ think there was a single decent cross played, …not that we would have won any headers.

    Basically this was like the Confeds Cup in reverse, Spain gave us the wings, we just couldn’t do anything with them.

    Did not agree with Cabrera in pulling 2 at half-time, though Kitchen may have been an injury? He should have let them start go 15 hard minutes before being subbed out. You up against 10, you shoul be playing side to side…everything was up the gut, where they were packing it in, the last 10 minutes when they went wide (mainly right with Herrod making the runs) they found a lot of space and had more than a couple of decent chances.

    Just not our night, 3 wide open looks/breakaways and zero to show for it.

  108. SAY says:

    The only time we got good crosses were from Polak’s corners. He was very consistent with them.

    There was a lot of wing play actually…but sadly a lot of it was on Shinsky’s left side which completely SUCKED he just dribbled too much and never got a good cross off.

    Gil played nice through balls a couple time while on the wing.

  109. Hush says:

    What the hell are you talking about?? What I said was,.. these wack ass players look like polo type tenis players!! What does “white” have to do with it?!! If I wanted to say white kid, I would have said it, white kids!

    By pass smith cause his name is Martinez?? Are you serious?? Are you playing the rush limbaugh white card too??!!LOL There is nothing racial about me saying bring the Gonzales players to the U.S!! You need calm the hell down little man. The fact is that Hispanic Americans players are more technical with their feet than most of our players on the USMNT.. besides Adu,Torres,Benny,Davies,castillo, there is nobody else with foot work skills!! PURE FACT!!! My argument is we have all these wack ass players with no passing abilities. Our team lacks of what to do with the ball before they get it!!

    Mostly the “Gonzales” are known for these type of skills in the soccer world. Watch the mexican league and watch our boys play there and see for yourself what I’m talking about, otherwise go post somewhere else with your racial crap….

    oh, is it racist that I said “the Gonzales” are better when it comes down to the tecnhical part of soccer?!!…Pleeease!!

  110. Hush says:

    Donovan??LOL Dempsey??LOL What are you talking about??? Are you seriously retarded?!! Did you read my post??? TECNICAL SKILLLSSS!!!!!! You incompetent person!! REad before you reply!! Freddy Adu,Torres,Castillo,Davies,benny, are only a few players on our team that know what to do with the ball before they get it!! Do you understand Futbol lingo??? Dude, get the hell out of here with that Dempsey & Donovan being great tecnical players. They are our best players, but not tecnhically when it comes down to footwork!!!

    ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not, he is above the names mention. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument!!

  111. Hush says:

    Did you read my post? Read before you reply!! Freddy Adu,Torres,Castillo,Davies,benny, are only a few players on our team that know what to do with the ball before they get it!! Do you understand Futbol lingo???… get out of here with that Dempsey & Donovan being great tecnical players. They are our best players, but not tecnhically when it comes down to footwork!!!

    ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument here.

    Scary how many people here know nothing about the game!

    Spain players: Athletico madrid,Barca,Real M,Villareal,Betis,sevilla,osasuna,etc…

    Our players: Youth Academies.

    This is no exucuse for not bing able to pass the ball half way down the field with 11 players against 10!! Techinical footwork abilities is why we moslty lost,.. you can’t teach that! Besides Gil & Duran nobody had any serious soccer skills. 15,16,17, is too old to lack those skills! I expected to lose, but not when we are up by 1 man and one goal. Our players need to be more technical.

  112. Hush says:

    Read carefully before you reply. Do you understand Futbol lingo? ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not, he is above the names mention. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument!!

    You sir no nothing about the game. Go praise you MB poster instead!