U.S. Under-20s vs. Canada: Match Day Commentary

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team takes on Canada today with a place in the Under-20 World Cup on the line (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Americans come in having won their group, and having posted a pair of victories over Haiti and Costa Rica. They take on a Canada side that lost to Cuba before rallying to trounce Nicaragua and book their place in this all-important CONCACAF Under-20 Tournament quarterfinal in Puebla, Mexico.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):

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84 Responses to U.S. Under-20s vs. Canada: Match Day Commentary

  1. MikeG says:

    Puerto Rico refs….good

  2. Darwin says:

    Canada’s game plan shows a lack of confidence. Every move that they make shows that they view themselves as inferior.

  3. Monty says:

    Not again

  4. ericJ says:

    Typical US performance… sigh

  5. wilyboy says:

    What is up with Canada? They’ve suddenly got our number. They don’t get this kind of joy against any other team, and we’ve got more talent. This is not good.

  6. a says:


  7. A says:

    I’m just going to say it once and leave it alone for the rest of the game–completely one-sided officiating with level of physicality allowed already.

  8. Monty says:

    Great response. Gil has been fantastic so far.

  9. Darwin says:

    Okwuonu has been beaten badly a few times this tournament lunging after the ball. Is there not a replacement on this roster? I have not been impressed by the right back.

    • Dudester says:

      Eric Miller who is a true rb.I suspect Boyd is out there because of his athletiscim vs Canada.Wait or is Miller injured?

  10. Michael says:

    #2 for Canada has world-class hair.

  11. A says:

    Get some. Nice.

  12. Michael says:

    Gol gol gol gol gol, Estados Unidos!
    Un golazo por Willy Trapp!

  13. Dudester says:

    US really exploded on Canada, who only had one chance after scoring their goal while allowing three.

  14. Dudester says:

    Villareal has been the best player thus far for us this tournament followed by Joya, Stanko, Gil and Cuevas.

  15. Dudester says:

    Cuevas skips past 3 down the left but can’t cut it back for Gil.Stanko has looked strong in this game.

  16. Dimidri says:

    Random note-this jersey looks soo much better with white shorts and white socks (a la Arsenal) than the way the US normally does it.

  17. Dudester says:

    US now toying with the Canadian back line on that goal.Villareal makes it 4-1.Turkey here we come.

  18. Dudester says:

    Tough to see that pen shout clearly but it was pen.US dodges a bullet before going up 4-1.

  19. Riggity21 says:

    OK IVES, now that we are 3 up and looking to qualify when are we gonna see 23 for 2014 u-20? Should be an interesting piece with so much young talent in Europe that didn’t participate in the qualifying …I’m looking forward to reading one with no comments about “…if we even qualify…”

  20. Philip says:

    No penalty and 4th goal offside. No surprise with Puerto Rican refs. Didn’t Puerto Rico vote for statehood?

    • ericJ says:

      You obviously have no clue about Puerto Rican history, so it might be a good idea to stfu about it.

      • Philip says:

        Touchy subject? They did vote for statehood in your last election. Not a smart move to have them ref this game when they want to join the US.

        • ericJ says:

          Are you intentionally acting ignorant? You act the like situation in Puerto Rico is black and white or even just one sided. Rather, there are multiple groups in PR with diverging interests in regards to statehood, independence or a variation of the commonwealth system. To sit here and suggest “didnt they vote for statehood” is ignorant as it paints PR as monolithic.

          • Philip says:

            No, not intentionally ignorant, I don’t follow US politics much but do know Puerto Rico did vote for statehood. I am sure the vote wasn’t unanimous, but they did vote for it. It’s pretty obvious it is a poor decision to put these refs on, especially when they make such a bad non-call.

            • ericJ says:

              Yes because you know where the ref stands on the issue and that he will let it change how he calls the game. all those HON, ES, GUAT, MEX games shouldnt have a ref from other Central American countries…you know all the history and shit.

              Once again, it is PR politics…. not US politics in question here. For all we know he could be in favor of Independence and hate colonialism….

            • Riggity says:

              …I think it’s stupid if you actually believe that the ref is thinking “oh snap, my home country voted for statehood, I should help them out.” by doing so he does absolutely NOTHING to help himself and if it is suspected he was thinking like that during the match he would be removed from the tournament. Lol the US by in large couldn’t give two flips about this tournament and you believe this ref is giving us calls because his countrymen voted to be a state…conspiracy theories are cool, when they actually make sense…

  21. Darwin says:

    A Villarreal hattrick is looking as likely as another Canada goal.

  22. Dudester says:

    Dang that’s the Canada number six’s second laser of the tournament.

  23. Dudester says:

    A better touch from Canada’s #10 there and this game is 4-3.Please no Guatemala repeat.

  24. Philip says:

    That non-call on the PK for Canada is looming large

  25. Riggity says:

    Canada…reverting back to their national sport of hockey…

  26. A says:

    Okay I lied.


  27. Darwin says:

    Can we send Okwuonu home after this game too?

  28. sly says:

    The touch of these U20 guys on both sides seems to have significantly jumped since the U17 tourny I saw awhile back.

    I hope we don’t lose our athleticism and motor but I like the way the development is looking. And to think we’re missing Atleast 6 sure fire starters.

    On a side note I knew Villarreal was good but definitely not this good. Same with Gil and Joya.

  29. Creige says:

    Daniel Garcia reminds me of a young Donovan. This guy needs a USMNT camp.

  30. Dudester says:

    No wonder Rodriguez can’t get a game for Kaiserlautern’s youth team in the German 4th division.His technique and ball skills are very average if not horrible.If he wants to be anything more than a mediocre 9 he’s going to have to improve both as he won’t be able to rely on his size and strength at the senior level.

    • fischy says:

      No wonder you stuck doing your soccer analysis in comments on a Yank blog. Your punctuation is almost nonexistent and you’re barely articulate. Not to mention the quality of your analysis. If you’re going to be a quality commenter, you’re going to have to work hard on both your sentence structure and the content of your remarks.

      • Jeb says:

        ad hom. lame.

      • Dudester says:

        Fair enough about my grammar.English is not my first language and I try to do my best.Regarding the analisys, where are u stuck doing yours? I don’t see you on tv commenting on US soccer matches.If you have a gripe with my comments of Rodriguez’s game don’t attack the poster.

        • fischy says:

          Why not attack the poster? Honestly, I don’t get the internet. People think it’s OK to say the most awful things about someone in “real life” because they’re hiding behind some internet moniker — but, G-d forbid you point out what a jerk they’re being. Then, you’re making a personal attack! Why don’t you read what you wrote about Rodriguez? Here’s a rule of thumb — if you wouldn’t like reading a comment like that about your brother, maybe you should have found a less offensive way to make your point?.

          Also, if you were watching the game — Rodriguez had a wonderful run down the side, and threaded a spectacular pass through the defense to VIllareal for the second goal. It was the best effort by any American in the game. So, I’d say his technique and ball skills aren’t horrible.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            the second half of this comment should’ve been your response to Dudester’s first comment. +1

          • Dudester says:

            Because I didn’t make a personal attack on Rodriguez.I just critiqued his game.In which case you attack the argument not the poster.The fact is Rodriguez is stuck on the u-19 squad at Lautern let alone the u21 or reserve squad.I was trying to state my op why this is so.If Ramos wanted a hold up target fwd he should’ve called McBean.

      • chris thebassplayer says:

        My dreams our shattered.

  31. fischy says:

    Can someone explain headbutts to me? If I’m pi$$ed at someone the last thing I’m gonna want to hit him with is my head.

    • Darwin says:

      You’ve clearly never punched someone in the face. It hurts your hand more than your head.

      • MikeG says:

        last fight I got in I hit a guy so hard on the side of his head (he turned away at the last possible moment) I did not feel a thing. After the neighbors separated us (My headlock was turning him purple) this guy was holding the side of his head in pain…I felt no pain until I settled down..then BAAAAM a surge of pain and realized my hand was broke (x-rays confirmed). Good times in Germany.

        • Riggity says:

          Nooo way, your head is your money maker and if you get lonely you always have the other hand. PROTECT YOUR BRAIN and throw them bows

  32. A says:

    So happy we made it out of that with no injuries.

    I’m starting to build an expectation with CONCACAF matches of at least one of our guys going down injured from some nonsense.

    Great win. Dominated them.

    • Dudester says:

      I wouldn’t say we dominated them.Def not the entire game.We were lucky they didn’t get the pen or we would’ve been in trouble.

  33. Dudester says:

    Is it me or is Franz Beckenbauer the best box to box player of all time and therefore the greatest of all time?

    • pancholama says:

      They didn’t call him the “Kaiser” for nuthin’.
      World Cup semi-final, Mexico 1970 – v. Italy. He played a good chunk of the game, and overtime x 2, with his dislocated arm wrapped up and taped to his body. ANd was still a huge factor in the game.
      He was a man.

    • beachbum says:

      was my favorite player for many years, classic sweeper for many of his playing days but he roamed forward and attacked so well

      Who comes to mind for me as true box to box midfielders that I’ve seen from the past? Matthaus , Robson, Keane, Silva.

      Wouldn’t call Cruyff a box to boxer, but he played that way even tho deployed up top typically, but he roamed everywhere and defended well, total footballer extreme

      • Dudester says:

        I would add Neeskens to that list.Most recently Vieira and Gerrad, in their primes they were the best in the world in that position.BTW who is Silva?

        • beachbum says:

          my personal favorite, Mauro Silva. More of a defensive mid but also very capable on the left flank. The WC in the USA he dominated and I was fortunate to see a couple of Brazil’s games in which he studded out

          hard to argue with Beckenbauer, I agree, but fun bringing up all of these other players. Tardelli is another that comes to mind

      • Dudester says:

        None of those players can compare to The kaiser though.

  34. 2tone says:

    Fans asked for goals and they got it. The US was pretty much in control the whole game. A few nervy moments, but hey can’t complain after that performance.

  35. pancholama says:

    And about tonight’s game:
    I can’t help but think of it as Tab’s revenge, Book 2.
    In the 94 WC, Ramos was on fire in the game v. Brazil, and was dominating, really dominating the midfield and energizing a comeback from the US in the first half – right before halftime he received a roundhouse elbow to the face that practically took him out of the game and left him twisted on the sidelines writhing in pain.
    In the 1995 Copa America, in Buenos Aires, a Tab Ramos led US team beat Argentina and made the final of the Copa America – that was Tab’s revenge Book 1.
    But tonight’s victory really belongs to this new crop of talented youngsters who now have realized their dream of making the U20 World Cup.
    The 2007 U20 WC was played in Canada and it was a coming out party for Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Danny Szetela, Al Zizzo et al. At least 2 of those guys are now regulars on the full USMNT. Maybe only a handful of these guys will have their current skills and passion for the game translate to the next level – but without the U20 World Cup to fuel that passion, it would be much harder for them to carry on to the next level.
    This was a huge win – and a huge character lesson as they rallied back from an early 1 goal deficit and really put the game away with 4 goals.
    Awesome! Strong work gentlemen – a well deserved win!
    Onward and upward.
    One game at a time. Carry on, carry on!!!

    • Zeus says:

      Yes, I’m picking out the one error in a quality analysis, but Ramos didn’t “practically get taken out of the game.” He did get taken out. He had a depressed skull fracture from that elbow which is an incredibly scary injury. It was nearly a career-ender and he missed several months (~8?) of soccer afterwards.

      • pancholama says:

        I recall the game quite well. I agree he [Ramos] was taken out of the game – I think Fernando Clavijo came in for him at half time. And though Clavijo was a skilled “touch” player, and decent playmaking midfielder – he didn’t have their creative flair that Ramos did, and thus the US possession play and attacking threats fizzled in the second half.
        When I said practically, I meant it literally. As in, “effectively,” or as in “for all intents and purposes.”
        What matters is that our boys did good last night in Puebla, and that Tab was there to lead them.
        Good things, good things.

  36. Al says:

    Um, can Tab Ramos coach our senior team for the rest of the Hex?

    • A says:

      Making Tab the senior coach won’t give him way better players than the other teams. I don’t think you understand how much better our U20 team is than the other U20 teams. We have a number of starters who actually get substantial minutes for their age for top MLS clubs. Our keeper is on an EPL first team. Cuevas and Joya are both near first team minutes for one of Mexico’s top teams.

      • fischy says:

        That’s hyperbole of the first rank. Cropper plays for Southampton’s reserves. While Gil is probably the most advanced player we’ve had since Adu and Rodgers’ team, the last U20s had some talent: Kitchen, MacMath, Lletget, Garza, Valentin, Okugo, Rowe, Salgado and Gyau. There were a few players who were already claiming MLS lineup spots or on the verge of entering the league and getting minutes. Plus, we also had some players who were close to first-team minutes for first-rate European teams. Is this year’s side better? Probably better in the attack, but also probably weaker in defense.

        • A says:

          There’s no hyperbole.

          Cropper is on Southampton’s first team roster. That’s fact. I never said he started. I said he is on their first team and that’s fact.

    • fischy says:

      Not yet, but he’ll get there.

  37. tw says:

    The kids are alright! I look forward to following Gil and Villareal this season in MLS as I think both players will get a chance to get major minutes. MLS followers tend to get caught up in what DPs are getting signed, and why the salary cap isn’t higher, but this is where the real benefit of MLS can be found – 16-19 year old prospects getting major minutes in a professional environment before moving to Europe. We throw enough kids out there on the field, and we’ll start producing some world class prospects. Look at where Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are today.

  38. THomas says:

    This is the team that JK wants…they’re just 7 years too young. Think he’ll be around to see this wave of talent make it to the senior level? The technical ability, as a whole, is far superior to anything we’ve ever seen.

    • Riggity says:

      You must have missed the u20’s in Canada with Adu, Altidore, Bradley etc, that team would smoke this team. Luckily there are a good number of players who haven’t participated in qualifying that can play in Turkey

  39. vic says:

    This is all part of Klinnsmann’s vision good passing Latin American players with skill. Klinnsmann
    Talked about it Ramos actually did it.

  40. Riggity says:

    Everyone propping up Ramos for beating Canada and ripping JK for our last match just needs to stop, your embarrassing yourself by allowing your emotions to cloud your judgement. …they beat a fricken u-20 team FROM CANADA. Get a clue