Rowe nets brace as U.S. U-20s defeat Panama


photo by Omar Martinez/



The U.S. U-20 men's national team topped Group B in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Satuday night, defeating Panama, 2-0, on a Kelyn Rowe brace.

Rowe scored both of his goals in the game's opening 18 minutes, finishing assists from Greg Garza and Sebastian Lletget. The two goals brought Rowe's total to three in the tournament, and helped set a quarterfinals date with tournament home team Guatemala, second-place finisher of Group A

Thomas Rongen's side will play Guatemala on Wednesday, April 6 at 10pm ET with a spot in the U-20 World Cup in Colombia on the line.

Here is the U.S. team's starting lineup against Panama as well as the game's highlights:

Starting lineup: Zac MacMath; Greg Garza, Gale Agbossoumonde, Sebastien Ibeagha, Zarek Valentin; Perry Kitchen (c), Sebastian Lletget (Moises Orozco, 66), Kelyn Rowe (Moises Hernandez, 77); Eder Arreola, Conor Doyle, Bobby Wood (Omar Salgado, 36) 

Unused substitutes: Cody Cropper , Sacir Hot, Amobi Okugo, Korey Veeder 

Unavailable substitutes: Dillon Powers, Joe Gyau 



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47 Responses to Rowe nets brace as U.S. U-20s defeat Panama

  1. Rob says:

    This team plays like a team from South America, so refreshing to see a US team that puts possession and attack ahead of Defense only and counter. If we can convert a few of these kids to the senior team, we will be a team to watch. Can’t wait for the 2018 world cup cycle.

  2. Cannons says:

    and if they went there, what would BB do with them? Defense and counter.

    Maybe Rongen is the answer for the senior team. This team clearly plays better soccer than the senior team

  3. wally says:

    wow. great combination play and great ball control and finishing by kelyn rowe. I haven’t really watched these guys– anyone know if rowe has the speed/athletic chops to make an impact at the next level?

  4. ryan says:

    glad to see the ref pull out the yellow for embellishment, lord knows the sport needs more of that.

  5. Drew says:

    This team is clearly very talented, but lets wait until they play a decent team before we make any judgements.

    The full USMNT more or less controlled the game against Paraguay(although they were bad in the final third)

    Great U20 team and they weren’t even playing Gyau, but lets wait until this summer when we know more about them.

  6. Alex says:

    Ives seems to be pretty high on him, he’s had him going at #1 in next year’s draft if he signs with MLS.

  7. Aquaman says:

    Does anyone have any info on the injuries to Lletget and Wood. Wood’s didn’t look as serious, but Lletget looked pretty serious.

  8. MarkVA says:

    Agbossoumonde looks like he is a terrible distributor out of the back. a majority of the chances from the highlights were a direct result of a poor clearance or his turning the ball over.

  9. anon says:

    Which is why you don’t judge a player from highlights. If you look at these highlights, you’d think he was a master at distribution:
    link to

    Generally Agbossoumonde is a good distributor.

  10. CplDaniel says:

    I think I remember Greg Garza getting a bit of a bad rap from what I was reading online during the “Torneo de las Americas” last summer. But he looked skilled working with his teammates, but I found it difficult to tell if he was left-back or left-mid, but I guess it doesn’t matter with our transition play because we could end up on the attack in a 2-3-5 or a 3-2-5 attacking formation.

  11. CplDaniel says:

    Sorry for all the elementary school teachers out there in SBI land. I’m sure that reading that big run-on sentence in my last post would make all my old teachers cringe.

  12. Francois says:

    That wasn’t Lletget who went off, that was Eder Arreola.

  13. Monzon says:

    Rowe looks really good.
    Also, our defense was terrible. We’re really lucky they couldn’t finish. I hate to be Bob Bradley, but maybe another player should hang back a bit so they don’t have as many free runs at goal.

  14. Aquaman says:

    I will say that he has certainly looked better in this tournament than in the last games I saw him play. He was getting burned pretty badly last I saw him, but in this tournament he’s looked very solid in defense and especially coming forward.

  15. Aquaman says:

    I didn’t feel like that was our best choice back line. I know most of the same starters from the Suriname game were back there, but I did not like the Ibeagha-Boss pairing. Kitchen was moved into midfield, but I think he played very well in back with Boss and the rest. At this point I would prefer him in the back instead of Ibeagha and Amobi back in the midfield (though I have seen some critical assesments of his play in the first game too).

  16. Mario in QT says:

    Amen to that. I thought the Canaleros would score a couple in the second half…thank God they couldn’t finish. Shaky defense, we’ll see what they do against the home team Guatemala on Tuesday. They need to fix that defense or we may pay for it.

  17. DCUPedro says:

    Remember people saying this stuff about the u-20 team in 07. How they couldn’t wait for these guys to be on the senior team. Of Szetela, Adu, Altidore, and company — one is in legal problems and out of the game, one is in the Turkish second division, one consistently disappoints US fans who are now looking for his replacement, and the guy from that squad that is a consistent USMNT player for us and a world cup vet is a guy who everyone seems to hate because he isn’t flashy enough: Michael Bradley!

    When will fans learn that a possession, attacking style is not a tactical choice of a manager but instead a reality imposed by the difference in quality on the field?

  18. DCUPedro says:

    Maybe Rogen is the answer for the senior team? Did you just type that with a straight face or was that sarcasm? I can’t tell.

    It is easy to play “beautiful” possession/attack offer when the gap between skill is as great as it is between us and our CONCACAF opponents at the youth level.

    We don’t fail to possess the ball against Argentina because Bob Bradley won’t let us. We fail to possess the ball because Argentina has better players. Is there a single player in the USMNT pool that would play for a top ten team? No. And Bob Bradley can’t do anything about the fact that those guys can and will get bossed by better players.

  19. Northzax says:

    Kitchen was only in midfield because Okungo didn’t play to avoid a second yellow. Same reason Gyau was dropped.

  20. dk says:


    Your last paragraph is one of the more insightful that I’ve ever read on here

  21. abc says:

    “When will fans learn that a possession, attacking style is not a tactical choice of a manager but instead a reality imposed by the difference in quality on the field?”

    Sadly, probably never. Apparently the reason we don’t play like Barcelona is because of Bunker Bob!

  22. abc says:

    Jesus don’t scare us like that by not knowing the names of the players. That was indeed Arreola and not Lletget. If you don’t know, don’t guess.

  23. abc says:

    I was there, it wasn’t undeserved. He wasn’t fast enough to handle the Colombian/Mexican forwards. Maybe he has improved (can you really improve speed that much?) but most likely it’s that he was facing Suriname and Panama instead.

  24. anon says:

    Perhaps he was hurt or wasn’t in game shape back then? That might account for lost speed.

  25. Francois says:

    I don’t know what game most of you saw. Panama’s best chance was off of a miss-hit cross that nearly went in. The only reason they had a few chances was because we completely let our foot off of the pedal. We stopped playing seriously after the 40th minute for some inexplicable reason. Rongen better get these kids to play for a full 90 and not let up.

  26. marden08 says:

    DCU Pedro’s last paragraph is the most concise description that I have seen of why the national team plays the way it does. For the forseeable future the strength of our team will be speed and physical strength.No more new smurfs. We will not be a possession team and we will not be an all out attacking team but I think that we are getting better in both categories except against the top tier teams.

  27. Nomas says:

    I’m worried because clearly they still make mistakes in the backline. Teams like Panama will let you pass but once in the WC, they will pay for them harshly

  28. Rob says:

    Except when the senior team play an aggressive attacking style we have been getting results. We play like a team creating a turtle shell for 45 mins, go down a goal, then press and usually score a goal or two. I’m sorry some fans hate to admit that their coach may not get it, but last World Cup, the Argentina game, etc we played well when we attacked the other team, not sit back and wait to counter.

    I am also love when a fan can talk down everyone on an entire team, then talk up a single player, ie M. Bradley.

    Finally, this team looks much better then the 07 team, which I didn’t talk up at all.

  29. Rob says:

    Nice straw man argument. No rational person thinks we will play like a Spain, Brazil, or Barca. So funny, let’s find an extreme to may a point…

    I would take Mexico, Uraguay, and even Chile (whose players area about the same skill level). It just sad that we put our players down, when they are playing with decent clubs in Europe, and MLS (07 would never have said that about MLS).

    Guess we should tell all those wonderful teams, taking pity on those American lads, that our players are just not good enough to be starting games.

  30. Rob says:

    Damn I still haven’t learned not to post on a cell phone, sorry for the mistakes.

  31. Rob says:

    If you have ESPN 3 you can watch the game….

  32. jig says:

    why? who cares? does it make that much of a difference?

  33. spencer says:

    Actually you can chose to play an attacking style. Its called you get rid of one of the defensive mids. We have played some great attacking soccer too bad its after we are down 1 or 2-0. If you believe all we can is play defense than you think we have a crappy team. We can play pretty nice soccer, its just up to the coach to allow us to play it. When we get Holden back he is the perfect player to allow it.

  34. Clover362 says:

    Ok so I think Dempsey, Donavan, and Howard would make a lot of national teams (maybe not Brazil and Spain but definetly England). The US has some very good players but we do not have the depth of the top teams. The other problem is that our players usually lack high Soccer IQ because they are not watching the game being played at a high level until they are teenagers if then. This manifests itself in how our guys position themselves, seriously ever notice how Altidore will recieve the ball and no one will be showing for him? Also ever notice that when a US attack does not go through Donavan there is no quick passing or threatening runs?

  35. Thorpinski says:

    The X factor in the Argentina game was Messi. It took 3 to 4 players to try and slow him down. Without Messi i think the game would have been more evenly matched. Messi is such a force he changes everything.

  36. Thorpinski says:

    Agbossoumonde is a man playing with boys. I have not seen anyone going back to the Milk Cup with his overall ability. His balls skills are good enough that he could probably play DM.

    The rap on him is that he has a temper and you have to worry that he might be red carded at any monment. I think his play drops a bit when he’s not challenged and looks bored.

  37. Thorpinski says:

    4-0 2-0 and they have not really been challenged. They appear to be playing just hard enough to win. This team when fully staffed and focused against top competition will take their game to another level. This team is scary good when hitting on all cylinders

  38. Jblast99 says:

    Really. We will play with 2 defenders at the back? Risky move…

  39. paul says:

    Yes. Lletget is a top propspect

  40. abc says:

    I don’t even know how to process this comment… would it make that much of a difference if Findley got injured instead of Dempsey?

  41. timmer says:

    I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that the left back/mid serves a better ball than Bornstein. C’mon man!

  42. Jay says:

    Yeah I fully agree with Rob. Look at the last two friendly matches. Even though it was a draw with Argentina and lost to Paraguay, the Paraguay game was the game USA had a lot more control.

    USA has the quality of players to play decent attacking soccer. I would say USA is equal to a mid level South American team, Paraguay being a good example. When a team like Paraguay plays Argentina do they sit around and bunker down the entire first half? No.

    Sure they aren’t going to play free flowing Barca style soccer either, but they’ll still press on defense rather than sitting back deep and try and mount some sort of attack. Plus sitting back and defending really doesn’t play to the strengths of Dempsey or Donovan at all.

  43. Jay says:

    I’m going to guess they stopped playing because it was 2-0 against a clearly inferior opponent in what was basically a meaningless game and there’s no reason to risk injury or yellow/red cards.

  44. DC Josh says:

    Kelyn Rowe’s second goal was very Ronaldoish (Fat Ronaldo).

    I love Rongen’s 4-3-3 system. Can he succeed Bradley after 2014?

  45. Paul C says:

    The build up and finish on that second goal was quality!

  46. Mike Caramba says:

    Rongen the senior coach? No way. Perhaps he’s better at the youth level than I give him credit for (when it comes to training, assembling teams, finding players), but his in-game management is poor, in my opinion.

    Say what you will about Bob Bradley (and I might agree with some of it) — at least he’s capable of changing a game when his team is playing poorly. I don’t think Rongen has that move in his arsenal.

  47. Mike Caramba says:

    Saying “attacking style is not a tactical choice” is just as silly as saying “Bob Bradley is the reason we were outpossessed by Argentina.”