U.S. Under-20s vs. Ghana: SBI Live Match Commentary



The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team have a clear task. Win and they have a chance to reach the Round of 16 of the Under-20 World Cup. Lose, and the Americans go home in the group stage.

Standing in the way of yet another American Gold Cup team is Ghana, which will be looking to play the role of spoiler despite having a very slim chance of reaching the Round of 16.

U.S. head coach Tab Ramos is going with his usual first-choice centerback tandem for the first time in the World Cup, with Caleb Stanko and Shane O’Neill partnered in the middle of the American defense.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to join us here for all the action. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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

This entry was posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team, Under-20 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

153 Responses to U.S. Under-20s vs. Ghana: SBI Live Match Commentary

  1. Dinho says:

    Baffles me that Cuevas doesn’t start.

  2. SanFran415 says:

    Ghana already with the cheap tackles and flopping.

  3. byrdman says:

    They go down very very easily

  4. SanFran415 says:

    Seriously this is ridiculous.

    Stay on your d*mn feet Ghana. Pathetic.

  5. Austin says:

    Anyone have a stream?

  6. SanFran415 says:

    Awful header. Come on.

  7. TomG says:

    Team just lacks Polished finishing. Not surprising at this level. They just don’t play as many high level pro matches as their Euro counterparts. Fantastic ball by Yedlin and just awful, tight header by Mario. Team looks a bit tight overall. Passing not nearly as slick as the previous two.

  8. TomG says:

    Team just lacks polished finishing. Not surprising at this level. They just don’t play as many high level pro matches as their Euro counterparts. Fantastic ball by Yedlin and just awful, tight header by Mario. Team looks a bit tight overall. Pa$$ing not nearly as slick as the previous two.

  9. TomG says:

    Man, they look really horrible right now.

  10. Amru says:

    man Villareal (sp?) has been god awful

  11. SanFran415 says:

    Bench Mario Rodriguez. If this guy is the best striker we’re F**(&$#*(@Y $HI#J@$Y#@.

  12. Francois says:

    Rodriguez should have done much, much, much, much better! This team looks so flat right now, how are they not motivated? They’re jogging around the pitch

  13. Francois says:

    Horrible call on Yedlin…typical against us.

  14. SanFran415 says:

    This is Micky Mouse officiating.

    • TomG says:

      You can almost always at least see how the ref could have been mistaken but I can’t even imagine what he was thinking on that call.

      • SanFran415 says:

        Yeah. They’re taught to analyze the ball as well as the positioning of the players. Even if you didn’t see the contact–Yedlin clearly got the ball.

  15. TomG says:

    May have 3 goals right now if Mario could finish

  16. TomG says:

    What a save!

  17. Kodi says:

    Oh geez that was close!!

  18. Amru says:

    WOW cropper, What a save

  19. Fredo says:

    Yes! Save it! Clear!

  20. TomG says:

    Never seen anyone run by Yedlin like that. Man, that guy is fast.

  21. Brett Bates says:

    Finally Lopez with the start, I will never understand why he wasn’t starting from game 1

  22. Fredo says:

    Not aGhain?!

  23. Ben says:

    That looks to be it. aint no way this attack can muster up 2 goals in one game much less one half

  24. TomG says:

    Really not impressed with Trapp these three games.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      I like Trapp’s distribution and composure on the ball, but as exhibited by Ghana’s goal, he really lacks the defensive bite you’d like to see in a holding midfielder.

      • TomG says:

        From what I’ve seen, he never looks forward and he was just awfful on that goal. Nothing wrong with making the easy pass but if you’re missing chances to start the attack, you’re not doing a good job IMO.

      • TomG says:

        Yes, but From what I’ve seen, he never looks forward and he was just awfful on that goal. Nothing wrong with making the easy pass but if you’re missing chances to start the attack, you’re not doing a good job IMO.

      • TomG says:

        I get that, but what I’ve seen, he never looks forward and he was just awfful on that goal. Nothing wrong with making the easy pass but if you’re missing chances to start the attack, you’re not doing a good job IMO.

      • TomG says:

        I get that, but from what I’ve seen, he never looks forward and he was just awful on that goal. Nothing wrong with making the easy pa$$ but if you’re missing chances to start the attack, you’re not doing a good job IMO.

      • FSegaud says:

        good at distribution and composure….reminds me of another guy…Tim Ream.

  25. SanFran415 says:

    Mario Rodriguez failed the US team today.

  26. Rowsdower says:

    Well there it was.. seemed like a matter of time with the pressure Ghana has been applying.

  27. Brian S. says:

    We’ll be lucky to not be down by 3 at half

  28. Rim Job city says:

    Does Villarreal even play soccer?

  29. yank abroad says:

    We are not defending as a unit. There looks to be minimal organization. It starts with the forwards who just stand there after they lose the ball and watch. The whole launch the long ball forward and surrender possession isn’t a great strategy either. I guess it’s too much to ask 19 year old kids to have patience.

  30. TomG says:

    Head the ball Luis!!!

  31. Rowsdower says:

    I can’t stand short corners.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      When your team is made up of midgets, they think they can’t get a head on the ball…

  32. TomG says:

    Trapp kills another attack. Go forward! You have numbers and open runners!

  33. SanFran415 says:

    I don’t know if I can watch the second half. I’m serious.

    Does Villareal know there’s a game going on?

    If I’m Luis Gil I gather Yedlin and Cropper in the locker room and throw the bird at the rest of these bums. No effort. Selfish play.

  34. Andy in Atlanta says:

    This is sad…. sorry Tab and US Soccer… your reliance on guys who lack size in the attacking 3rd has doomed us to get dominated by stronger players… we look completely clueless when we can’t run by players..

    • BrianK says:

      Come on,..how can you say that? Don’t you know that having an all Latino team with an average height of 5’7 would make Paul Gardner very happy?

  35. TomG says:

    Tentative, tired looking outing by most of the squad. Not over yet, but we need to take our chances and be more composed on the ball.

  36. 2tone says:

    Villarreal has been poor all tournament long, and it’s not surprising with his poor form with LA leading to this tournament.

    Trapp has been bad with his passing.

    Gil hasn’t asserted himself, and Sorto has no pace.

    Te only way this team will muster any offensive bite in the second half is if Yedlin is pushed to winger.

    Rodriguez has talent but he needs more development.

  37. 2tone says:

    Villareal has been poor all tournament long. I think his lack of physical tools are starting be found out not only with the U-20’s, but with LA as well. I stated that he should not have been starting this game.

  38. SanFran415 says:

    Wow replay shows Ghana player just clearly offside.

    • Ben says:

      Wow, really? never seems we get the benefit from wrong offsides calls. Either it cancels our legitimate goal or our opponent gets a goal that shouldn’t have counted

      • SanFran415 says:

        Yeah they just showed it–he was a good yard offside.

        • Bean says:

          That’s a bad deal for USA, but they are not looking likely to equalize either, at this point of the match. They need to change something.

  39. Bean says:

    Why always Ghana.

  40. TomG says:

    No real other options. He’s certainly been better than Mario. He’s got some nice skills. I think he’s going to be a very nice player. I think a lot of these kids are tired.

  41. TomG says:

    What a save by Cropper.

  42. TomG says:

    Not over yet, boys! Still a lot of talent on this roster. Anything can happen.

  43. SanFran415 says:

    How many great opportunities does Mario Rodgriguez get to choke before he’s pulled? This kid can’t handle the pressure at all. Surely there’s someone on the bench that will be hungry to play.

  44. Joe from El Paso says:

    Poor effort from US all around. Men against boys…

  45. Vic says:

    Great job Ramos, no Cuevas and no Joya.

  46. SanFran415 says:


    The yellow card means nothing since we’re out if we don’t win and he’s been one of our best players and the only defender with the speed to keep up.

  47. Chicago Josh says:

    Holy poop-balls, this is so hard to watch

  48. Aaron says:

    Tab Ramos is a foolish, foolish man.

  49. Rim Job city says:

    Hard to play Spanish style soccer when you suck.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      this 1000 times over…

    • beachbum says:

      The most on target comment altho I would say ‘when you suck trying to play like Spain’

      We don’t know how we’d be if we tried to play differently in this tournament

      And NO way is it ok to play youth tournaments only to scout players…how can you scout anyone without fielding teams intent on winning? You may not win but please field the squad most likely, not the squad that best plays a style we cannot compete with

  50. fifawitz1313 says:

    Pathetic. Ramos, this is just poor. You did a terrible job preparing this team.

  51. Bry-Bry's Roommate says:

    These players surely can’t be the best we have at this level. Save for 2 or 3 of them, they’re god-awful.

  52. Andy in Atlanta says:

    I am being 100% serious when I say… I honestly think my u18 youth team from the mid 90s would have beaten this U20 team… they are simply NOT GOOD…

    • TomG says:

      Yeah, good luck with that.

    • TomG says:

      Congrats. You’ve won the crazy, hyperbolic, overreaction of the day.

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        Claim hyperbole all you want but we won the USA Cup in Blaine, we knew how to play with each other and we did not get pushed off the ball every time someone made contact with us..

        Obviously it was said with some level exaggeration but, it would not be a cakewalk, these guys are trash…

        • TomG says:

          Hahahaha! You are so clueless.

          • TomG says:

            Worry, dude, I don’t want to be nasty or start trouble, but your comments are insane.

        • travis says:

          the fact that you cited the USA Cup as a measuring stick for your teams success shows how clueless you are.

          • Andy in Atlanta says:

            Clueless huh… the USA Cup in the 90s was one of the premier youth tournaments in the world… We are talking 1995 not 2013…

            So… how about semi finalists in Dallas, Cocoa Expo… regional IV finalist…

            Clueless enough for you?

            • Andy in Atlanta says:

              youth clubs that lead the way back then… Michigan Vardar, Busch, Scott Gallagher, NHB Black, FC Delco, Dallas Texans, Mequon United, Countryside Lightning, Club Columbine, KC Legends (my club), Chicago Pegasus FC, Michigan Wolves etc…

              These with a few others I missed were the only teams that mattered…

            • travis says:

              In 1995 the USA Cup was still just a tourist tournament for teams looking to have a “fun” experience”. Im sure there might have been a few decent teams but the qualification/resume process for the USA Cup was never stringent.
              Dallas Cup semis and region IV finalists are more legit but now I doubt the veracity of your statements since your original measuring stick was USA Cup. Why dont you just list the number of pros and high D1 players who played on your club that would give the current u20 team a game.

              • Andy in Atlanta says:

                15 college players, 8 division 1, 3 pro…better? Again… I was more saying that this U20 team is soo bad… not that mine was soo good.. you guys turned it that way.

            • zztoppppp says:

              Dude you are so hardcore…

              • travis says:

                Andy you just dont understand how foolish and arrogant your statement sounded. The Sacramento Kings suck agree? It doesn’t mean that some mid level college basketball team that “plays well together” could beat the Kings.

  53. SanFran415 says:

    Tab Ramos should start looking to brush up his resume because I can’t see any way he keeps his job after this utterly pathetic display of ineptitude.

    Stanko being benched.
    Javan Torre.
    Walker Zimmerman.
    Cuevas benched.

  54. TomG says:

    Not making the simple pa$$ today. Everyone is trying to do too much.

  55. 2tone says:

    Players I stated should not be on this team:

    Danny Garcia: Limited physical ability
    Torre: just not good enough

    Players I stated should have been onthis team:

    Jordan Morris: Fast, strong, height, and techinal
    Julian Green: Currently training with Bayern Munichs first team, do I need to say more?

    • 2tone says:

      Oh and of course the obvious nonselection of Walker Zimmerman.

      Ramos may not be the right coach for the U-20’s going forward.

      Personally I would like to see the current U-18 coach(Javier Perez) moved to the U-20’s.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      I second Morris… we look inept and pwned at every moment up front..

  56. Aaron says:

    So many midfield give aways.

  57. fifawitz1313 says:

    You can tell this team is used to playing against themselves in practice. The offense doesn’t chase the ball hard and they give up on plays early. The defense is used to having time from forwards not chasing the ball and look uncomfortable when pressured quickly and give the ball away too easily. Overall, there seems to be little heart and no on the field leadership. A lot of individuals out there.

  58. SanFran415 says:

    Tab Ramos needs to get off his *( &$°‹‚@$*()#&$°#(&@$ and FREAKING COACH FROM THE SIDELINE.


  59. baldomero123 says:

    Paul Gardner, we need your input! Didn’t we do everything as you recommended?

  60. QuakerOtis says:

    Hard to watch? Yes. But the physical mismatches aside, the most dissapointing aspect has been the mental game, or lack thereof. We are clearly too nervous, seem to lack confidence, and are not playing “our game” as a result. The team only looks to scramble forward. No thought toward ball control, calming things down, or even a simple switch here and there just to mix it up. One dimensional, panicked play. Passing and control has been poor, yet we know this team had players that can do both well at times.

  61. TomG says:

    Twellman equals tool.

    A. Many, many, many teams these days play without classic target forwards.
    B. McBean and Salgado are INNJURED!

  62. SanFran415 says:

    And now the right side of the defense is being overrun because YOU TOOK OFF YEDLIN.

  63. SanFran415 says:


    Our CB is a better finisher than the garbage we have at striker.

  64. TomG says:

    Great ball by Sorto. Clinical header by O’Neill.

  65. Slowreno says:

    Yedlin looked like he was favoring his shoulder. Come on you Nat20’s, tie this game up!

  66. SanFran415 says:

    Cuevas performance already is making Tab Ramos look like a moron.

  67. Francois says:

    We just aren’t good in the 2/3 of the midfield that matter.

  68. QuakerOtis says:

    Maybe THIS will pa$$ moderation:

    Hard to watch? Yes. But the physical mismatches aside, the most disappointing aspect has been the mental game, or lack thereof. We are clearly too nervous, seem to lack confidence, and are not playing “our game” as a result. The team only looks to scramble forward. No thought toward ball control, calming things down, or even a simple switch here and there just to mix it up. One dimensional, panicked play. Pa$$ing and control has been poor, yet we know this team had players that can do both well at times.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Not trying to spam Ives, but the a-double-“ss” thing… killin me.

      • TomG says:

        I keep doing the same thing. It’s not surprising. Our guys simply lack the high level games that many of their counterparts have. That often translates to inconsistency and some shakiness in big spots. This was a poor outing but many of their other matches they’ve show some great ball movement and technique. They’re also probably tired as they’re just not used to playing so many high level matches. They also got stuck in the group of death.

        I still like the talent here I think we will see a number of these kids go on to have very successful careers. Cuevas, Yedlin, Gil,Villareal, Joya all have bright futures if they keep developing.

  69. Rocco says:

    A friend of mine from Ghana says that their youth teams are never accurately aged. They have gone so far as to require bone density scanners to disqualify obvious offenders but that only goes so far. And that my friends is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    • SanFran415 says:

      It’s a legitimate rationale.

      There’s even been fringe talk about African countries not being allowed in non-African competitions because they either lack the infrastructure to keep track of just outright cheat.

      • Pete says:

        By fringe do you mean racist?

      • Futbol Realist says:

        Didn’t Spain and France beat Ghana? Maybe they should check the bone densities of the Spanish and French players as well…hmmm.

        Honestly, you could probably find some U-17s from the barrios of Brazil that would beat the US U-20s.

    • John kadri says:

      If you believe that what is your reason for US losing twice to Ghana at senior world cups

  70. QuakerOtis says:

    NOW he pulls Rodriguez…

  71. Amru says:

    That’s it folks. The only solace I can find is that very few of these players will end up playing senior team and that’s what really matters

  72. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Clown shoes time…

  73. Ali Dia says:

    Ramos did not exactly cover himself in glory in this tournament.

  74. Bean says:

    There’s been a couple of bright spots, and coaching is not one of them.

    Cropper, Yedlin, and the Santos players have been decent.

  75. SanFran415 says:

    Um the referee just watched a headbutt and only gave a yellow.

  76. 2tone says:

    Well players that haven’t hurt their future USMNT aspitations:


    Players that have hurt themselves in this tournament:


    Intriguing prospect but needs plenty of refining: Rodriguez

    And that folks is what youth tournaments should be used for. Separating the men from the boys.

    • TomG says:

      Generally agree with your list but I wouldn’t say they hurt themselves as much as they missed an opportunity to shine on the big stage. If these guys play well with their club teams, that is all that will really matter. Scouts won’t really care about 3 off games in Turkey.

    • BrianK says:

      This was more like the ‘Group of death and one wet spaghetti noodle.’

      Very disappointing. USA is regressing at the youth level. Funny because the teams have transitioned from college based player teams to professional rosters. Something is amiss.

  77. Vince says:

    We heard so much about developing players but the best way to do that is have players that play in their NATURAL POSITIONS. Tab clearly swung and missed in this cometiton Ives said it best if we lost three games but showed quality we could be proud. But the one player that showed this quality most consistantly is sitting on the bench. In no way shape or form we should be having players at the U20 level playing in positions they are not familler with. If players can play in their natural positions in pressure moments like this talent will develop better. Overall Ramos failed.

  78. luke in texas says:

    Ramos should be canned for not bringing any central defenders. Yes, we at times looked more comfortable on the ball, but you can’t win a match giving up 4 goals. disgusting results in all honesty

  79. Mike R says:

    Yea this homegrown initiative is really paying off……

  80. MidWest Ref says:

    The 4 CONCACAF teams are not doing themselves any favors in this tournament. While the US were drawn into a tough group, last in group with 1 point is poor.

    Cuba is last in group, El Salvador may qualify as a third and Mexico has had 2 poor results as well.

  81. Mat says:

    What a disgraceful showing by the USA in this tournament. Ramos needs to go, this program is going nowhere. An utter humiliation for US soccer.

  82. Alex says:

    Wow embarassing!

  83. Alex G says:

    We should we use to it nowadays Mat

  84. Eric S says:

    I don’t believe this hurt anyone’s careers – outside of Tab Ramos.

    I think this emphasized the point that some people have made over the past few years. The player talent and pool has passed the coaching talent and pool. It is unusual to have a youth level national team coach who hasn’t coached professionally. All three other coaches in our pool had significant head coaching experience.

    The coaching pool is growing slowly – it takes a lot longer to grow a mature coaching pool than it does a mature playing pool. Most international coaches build upon the experience of their playing career and push up through the coaching ranks from there. It is just in the last 5 years or so that former MLS players with lengthy domestic and/or international careers are pushing through the coaching ranks. MLS is a critical asset in terms of enabling that base of experience and transition point to more players, but we are decades away from a ‘fully populated’ coaching pool where even most college and upper-level academy/club players had professional experience of some kind.

    I would add Walker Zimmerman to the list of players whose careers were helped (unfortunately in abstentia). Add McBean to that list probably – although he wouldn’t have been available anyway due to injury. McBean could have really aide the possession game as both an target and outlet for combination play.

  85. Eric S says:

    The caveat there is that even though we know the reason the team struggled, it isn’t an excuse. Given an immature domestic coaching pool, perhaps international coaches should be hired for the youth national team jobs. The coaching inexperience showed in a multitude of ways ranging from player selection to tactics.

  86. Derrick says:

    The sky is not falling. It is going to take time for the youth initiatives to work out. It will probably take another cycle for it to pay dividends.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      What we did was trash a youth program that was starting meet expectations… see the 2007 team… they were good… what was on the field today would have been beaten 5, 6 nil to that 2007 team..

      • Derrick says:

        To blame this on youth programs that started a year or two ago is just not fair at all.

  87. Alex says:

    Villareal didnt show up for this tourney…

  88. Josh says:

    Bottom line…We either dont train our players well enough or these arent our best players. Im sorry but this whole aa fixation by bringing in more hispanic talent is a fail. 7 of 11 are now hispanic players. Pick the best players from whatever background and coach them well enough to handle the basics. I have never been more embarrassed of a us side.

  89. Vic says:

    A month ago I would have rated Ramos a 9 as a coach and Klinnsmann a 5. Now I would rate Ramos a 5 and Klinnsmann an 8.