U.S. U-17s jump to a fast start in World Cup by dominating Czech Republic

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

The United States Under-17 team got off to a fast start in their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic Sunday night in Torreon, Mexico.

Goals from midfielders Alejandro Guido, Esteban Rodriguez and forward Alfred Koroma were the difference as the Americans opened group play with a win for the first time since 2005. Battling triple-digit heat and the hostile locals, who supported the Europeans, the Americans were convincing in their victory.

Guido opened the scoring in just the fifth minute of play after a Czech turnover in midfielder. The San Diego native then launched an audacious left-footed strike from distance that was too much for the Czech goalkeeper to handle. The Czechs had their best opportunity in the 38th minute, when goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made a series of close range saves that preserved the Americans lead going into the half. 

The Americans doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when forward Paul Arriola found Rodriguez on the edge of the 6-yard box. Rodriguez easily buried the strike to make it 2-0. 

Koroma, a late substitute, added a third goal after a tremendous individual effort in the 89th minute that put the exclamation point on the Americans' performance. Following the match, head coach Wilmer Cabrera was all smiles about the play of his young team.

"They played the game, made themselves feel comfortable, and got the result by playing well," Cabrera said. "That's important and that's going to give us confidence to continue improving throughout the tournament. The Czech Republic is a great team and that’s why we played the game very seriously, very hard. We never tried to change our script."

The United States will now take on Uzbekistan on Wednesday. The Uzbeks fell to New Zealand, 4-1, in their group opener on Sunday. A victory over Uzbekistan would allow the United States to secure passage to the second round. 

Here are highlights from the match:

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Impressed with the U-17s? What did you think of the result? Like the squad's chances of a deep tournament run?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-17 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to U.S. U-17s jump to a fast start in World Cup by dominating Czech Republic

  1. Bford says:

    Is anyone showing these matches in the USA?

  2. Mark says:

    ESPN U

  3. Spectra says:

    Wow 3 great goals

  4. Aaron in StL says:

    Koroma’s goal was absolutely sick. Lot of technical skill in this group from what I saw yesterday. Looks like our young guys are heading in the right direction

  5. pete says:

    the matches are usually on espn3.com. i watched the majority of the match with my friend and we were both thoroughly impressed with some of the talent on this team. some of these kids are legit and i am very excited to watch them continue to progress. the kid Koroma who scored the last goal came on as a sub, but he looked really good for the little amount of time that he was on the pitch! GO USA!

  6. DrewROC says:

    ESPN3.com should have them all

  7. Dr.MonkeyArmy says:

    I watched the match. The individual efforts on the three goals was outstanding. Additionally, Pelosi smacked the crossbar from distance. For me the player who really stood out was the American keeper. His positioning was great as was his athleticism. What really stood out, however, was his distribution. Several times he booted the ball down field and found open players deep in the opposing half. He is somebody to keep on eye on.

  8. Wade says:

    Galavision had the game yesterday. Also has the game on Wednesday @ 4 pm.

  9. jonk says:

    It’s amazing how much better these guys look when they aren’t playing on some sandlot field in Jamaica like they were in the CONCACAF tourney.

  10. bob says:

    June 22, 2011 U.S. Under-17 Men vs. Uzbekistan 4 p.m. ET Estadio Corona
    Torreon Galavision/ESPN3 (live) ESPNU (delay)

    June 25, 2011 U.S. Under-17 Men vs. New Zealand 7 p.m. ET Estadio Hidalgo
    Pachuca ESPNU/ESPN3 (live), Galavision (delay)

  11. marco says:

    ESPN 3

  12. Alex says:

    Amazing, the difference between the levels of hope for our program on this thread, and the one after the Panama loss… Football fans sure are a fickle bunch.

  13. marco says:

    No matter how this team finishes Cabrera has them playing great confident football, how refreshing. If you have ever watched the Rongen youth teams you will see the difference from minute one. These young men have skill and show it.

    Congratulations coach and team.

  14. marco says:

    Are you discounting or forgetting what Wrongen did for the past ten years?

  15. Spanirico says:

    Arriola really impressed me and one if not the youngest players on the team; great individually on the assist for the second goal and on the sideline nutmegging w/his back on the defender and almost scoring. He outplayed one of the czech republics midfielder is supposed to be signing w/chelsea at the end of this tournament.

  16. James says:

    Not so amazing – Bradley is not a good coach. Cabrera is. Taking a team and playing them to their strengths is better coaching than taking a team and playing them to your tactical plan. Though Bradley’s adjustments yesterday were surprising I still think he needs to go.

  17. Good Jeremy says:

    lol @ the Mexican crowd being pro-Czech to spite the US.

    I wonder which they would rather raise their family in if given the choice.

  18. fischy says:

    Cabrera has a chance to make a name for himself this time around.

    I do find it curious that he uses Koroma as a sub. His speed and skill on the ball is devastating off the bench, but he seems too good to be used that little. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a bib splash with a pro signing after the tournament. I would be surprised if he goes to MLS, but withDCU in prime lottery position, I do have my hopes.

  19. NC Jeff says:

    In 3 years, they’ll be 19 or 20 and the WC in Brazil will be going on. Any chance of these guys will be ready by then?

  20. Good Jeremy says:

    Two left footers from distance. Don’t often see that in one game.

  21. John H. says:

    +1

  22. Al_OC says:

    What’s cool was how the US was booed since the US flag was brought on the field, but by the end of the game, I could hear more cheers than booes.

    Also, when Koroma scored, he was high-fiving some people in the crowd; a nice move to win over the crowd.

  23. spencer says:

    Way too early to tell. We see a lot of guys flame out after being so called the next big thing. We also get guys who weren’t suppose to do much who become big. It just depends on how they continue to grow and develop. Also getting on the right Pro team is very important.

  24. kimo says:

    CLEARLY, these guys are playing “the right” way; However, everyone needs to temper their enthusiasm. U17 results mean very little in terms of translating to Natl team success.

  25. Mario in QT says:

    I really like how they handled the ball. Guido was the standout for me but then the whole team played at a level that you rarely see in that age group (USA that is). They played the ball well out of the back, showed great compusure in midfield for 17 year olds. The accuracy and speed of their passing was also impressive. Dont want to lose sight of the fact that it was one game and at this level it may have just been a good day but I am certainly glad to see the progress. We need to see more games to draw a conclusion for 2014 but it is a possibility.

    By the way, I have a feeling that Cabrera will rotate the players. He has what seem to be very good ones on the bench.

  26. Just a point says:

    probably the czech-republic

  27. fischy says:

    +1

    I hear Prague is beautiful this time of year.

  28. fischy says:

    I did find the Mexican crowd funny with their “Ole” cheer right from the opening kick as the Czechs passed it around.

    After that, the anti-US thing just got old and tired. NIce to see the Mexican-born Guido shut ‘em up.

  29. Shark says:

    He is American born…his parents are Mexican born…

  30. buff111 says:

    These kids did something almost USA teams never do and that is finish. Americans have always been terrible in the finishing third, maybe, just maybe, these kids are going to turn the corner on that.

  31. Alex says:

    Well, after we lost to Panama, people were asking where the next batch of talent would come from, I think in reference to the poor display in the U17 qualifying tournament. They were preparing us all for an incredible dearth of talent in the next 10 or 15 years. I’m referring to those comments, not any directed towards Bradley or current national team players.

  32. Alex says:

    I think it may be too early for some of these guys. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of our current U20′s in Brazil, though. Guys like Gyau, Gatt, Boss. If they start/continue getting decent club minutes and performing well, we should start seeing them with the full team.

  33. Dillon says:

    Yeah for sure the Czech Republic. Lovely country with great people.

  34. Alex says:

    I agree to a point. We usually get 2 or 3 guys who eventually play for the full team out of these U 17 teams. Maybe 4 or 5 if we’re lucky. However, it’s very refreshing to see the team playing the “right way,” like you said, because it means that the couple of guys who do prove to be the real deal are that much better.

  35. Boys-2-Men says:

    great effort plus real nice finishing. US team shooting from outside is a novelty we hadn’t seen much before. Arriola was my man of the match among a lot of good performances. Macintosh should start ahead of Piña in goal.

    Cabrera left me perplexed by waiting so long to use his substitutes. With Dunn, Arriola, Guido and Mario Rodriguez tongues hanging out Cabrera almost let the Czechs get back in the game and risked getting them injured. I saw this team get humbled by Turkey and Brasil in the Nike Friendlies earlier this year but they sure looked very composed for the most part. Well done, should coast passed the Uzbeks and the Kiwis without much of problem if they play like that.

  36. Matt says:

    Is it me, or are our youth teams consistently performing very well at these World Cups? Not that the men’s team result was ultimately disappointing in South Africa (a bit – but not much), but there seems to be a big drop off in form from young teenager to professional. Hopefully the more we focus on good players cutting their teeth within structured professional clubs (i.e. Agudelo – Red Bulls)rather than Universities, our youth results will become similar to our senior results.

  37. Eurosnob says:

    You meant poor display by Rongen’s team in the U21 qualification tournament, right? The U17 Cabrera’s team actually won the Concacaf qualificaiton tournament – Mexico did not participate as they are hosting the final stage.

  38. Eurosnob says:

    Also, a good showing in front of the scouts at the U17 cup could open some options with professional teams in Europe that did not exist for some of the players prior to the tournament. If a young player ends up with the right team, it could help his development tremendously.

  39. Benjamin says:

    These youth tournaments can be kind of deceiving. When the U.S. U-20s were playing in the World Cup in Canada, a lot of people thought Adu and Szetela were absolute can’t miss guys; now, neither one can even get a sniff of the National Team, and I think Szetela may still be out of soccer.

    There are so many variables to consider: What will happen physically as the kid gets older? How will he handle the pressures of being a professional athlete? At one point, some people thought Adu was just behind Messi in terms of future success. So, you never can really tell until these guys start developing at the pro level.

  40. abc says:

    U20 not U21.

    Rongen did a good job, the team lost to Guatemala, who were hosting the tournament. It’s one loss. And many of our better players were not there because they were with their club teams in Europe. That’s already an improvement from the past, I’d rather have players so good they’re at decent European clubs than qualify for the U20 World Cup with mediocre players.

  41. thomas mcbooglebones says:

    Well thats funny to hear about adu, because i was under the impression that he is currently with the national team for a major tournament. Cant get a sniff..smh

  42. Thorpinski says:

    I think Cabrera like the combination of Rodriquez and Arriola veres Rodriguez and Korma.

    Koroma is still very unrefined and doesn’t possess the over-all skill of Rodriquez, Oliver or Arriola

  43. Thorpinski says:

    as spencer said way too earlier plus there is a boat load of talent from the last group ahead of them. We will see Gyau, Renken, Brooks. Lletget, Gil and Hurzeller befoe any of these guys.

    Mobi Fehr, Guido and Acosta all look like pros in the making.

    Fehr may be heading to Fulham after the WC

  44. that guy says:

    Too bad no one from the U.S. media actually went to this tournament, it would be nice to place some importane on it but us journalists don’t even go to Mexico

  45. rory says:

    yeah, he should have said “doesn’t deserve a sniff” instead of “can’t get a sniff”

  46. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Agreed, Guido was great on the ball, deserves a looksy by some pro teams.

    Arriola also, very crafty and speed to burn.

    McIntosh in goal was composed and handled everything at him very cleanly.

    Dunn in the middle is a Bradley Jr. clone, great destroyer and tidy on the ball.

    Both CB’s especially Fehr, very good on the ball.

    The two Rodriguez’ disappointed me. Esteban in the middle had a poor game, (other than the goal). Mario, the forward, is better than he played.

    The team struggled to move the ball upfield on the wings, causing a lot of congestion in the middle, both Pelosi and Guido playing like Dempsey and Donovan and diving into the middle…lets see if Cabrera can get that sorted out before the knock-out phase.

  47. Eurosnob says:

    So it was U20 after all! Failing to qualify from Concacaf is a poor display and it cost Rongen his job. But I agree that we should not overreact to the loss to a host country by a youth team. There’s a lot of raw talent on that team.

  48. Rick says:

    I love how Guido the Mexican-American is so proud to play for the USA.

  49. Paul Thomas says:

    The university system is appalling. NCAA rules stunt the practice time of athletes in a (frankly misguided) sop to the notion that they will actually learn in the classroom (hint to the NCAA: if they’re going to be pro-level athletes, they don’t have time to).

    I guess it’s an okay way of sorting out the handfuls of diamonds in the rough, but nobody who’s an identifiable prospect at age 18 should ever be going to a university instead of signing with a professional development program.

  50. Paul Thomas says:

    Be nice if more Mexican-American fans would be proud to ROOT for the USA… if that happens, there might actually be a merely “unfriendly” crowd at USA-Mexico matches here, as opposed to an openly hostile one…

  51. Good Jeremy says:

    Check the immigration/migration ratio of each country and get back to me. Bonus points if you can restate what you said earlier with a straight face.

  52. Good Jeremy says:

    immigration/emigration ratio*

  53. JCC says:

    Another thing is that some countries take the youth tournaments more seriously than others. Euro teams don’t seem to care all that much, except for the Euro U-21 tournament. If you were to base future success solely on youth tournaments one would think Europe was a soccer backwater. Then you get countries out of South America and Africa that take the tournaments very seriously, which is probably the reason you see the majority of the champions coming from these two regions at the youth level.

  54. Alex says:

    No, I meant the U17 qualifying. They won, but unconvincingly so.

  55. Primoone says:

    Cabrera is the same bafoon that told gyau and Renken to go F-themselves for leaving the comfy confines of Bradenton and signing with Hoffenhiem. We need more a**holes like that developing our youth.

  56. Hush says:

    There’s a lot of Mexican-Americans that root strongly for the U.S. Unfortunetly you never hear a lot in media about it because no ibe cares. It’s much easier to hear the negative than ghe positive. Also I’ve seen people from Latin America come on SBI to support the U.S and comment on a game, and what I’ve seen is a backlash on how bad English grammar they have and what not knowing that some Latinos use English as their second language… So can u blame some of them for not? There’s a lot of hypocrites on this site, not saying your one of them, but there’s a quite of them on here.

    All the fans that were booing in Mexico against the U.S is just fine! They don’t live here or care to come here, so we shouldn’t care who they choose to cheer for. It’s not like everyone here gets mad when we play Poland and they root against us. And we all know there is a strong polish community in the Midwest, but no one brings them up everytime their cheering against us at soldier field yelling diragutory words. I know a bit of polish. I think we are a bit hypocritical.

    Viva Los Yankees!!

  57. abc says:

    I have met tons of Mexican-American fans who root for the USA.

  58. marco says:

    I agree, Cabrera looked like Rongen in that case. Perhaps Sunil and USSF want to make the Academy the exclusive side, and those that leave are trashed, not a good idea. Gyau was the 20′s best player, so much for the academy.

  59. Alex says:

    We also have our U17 nat’l team in residency, which is pretty unique. They practice together all the time, which is much different than assembling players from disparate clubs for a one-off tournament. Our U17 national team is basically a traveling club team.

  60. Joe Hamilton says:

    I lived in Mexico for three years. There was and I’m sure continues to be a lot of hostility towards the USA in Mexico. The Mexicans are still angry over the Mexican American War in 1846. In every major city there is a Avenida Ninos y Heroes which is in honor of Mexican military school cadets killed defending Mexico City when Winfield Scott’s army captured it. They have a large museum dedicated to the war ,where they had on display the actual map made by Captain Robert E. Lee (of Civil War fame) of Mexico’s City’s defenses. So I wasn’t surprised they were exceptionally hostile towards the US U17 team booing them very loudly whenever they had the ball. The 2 Mexican Americans who scored replied in the best way possible.

  61. Goalscorer24 says:

    Good start, but consistency is key. Usually there can be wild fluctuations from game to game at the U17 level. So hopefully the US can keep it up.

  62. marco says:

    One disturbing aspect of the game was the booing of Mexican American players by the Mexican fans. Guido was very diplomatic after the match saying he understood the rivalry. Loyalty only travels in one direction for too many.