Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite settling for a scoreless draw in their third and final tournament game, the Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team did just enough to bring home some hardware.
The U.S. and Australia played to a 0-0 draw on Friday at the StubHub Center, but the result earned the U.S. the National Training Center Invitational championship trophy. Both sides finished the tournament with seven points from three games, but the Americans eked out their Oceanic counterparts on goal differential. Prior to Friday’s contest, the U.S. knocked off Chile and Bermuda 2-1 and 4-0, respectively.
Despite the lack of goals, the game proved to be anything but a dull contest. The U.S. struck the crossbar four times, including three times alone from forward Lynden Gooch in the 26th, 36th and 77th minutes. The U.S. finished the match with 15 total shots and five on target.
Meanwhile, Australia did its best to test U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who picked up a pair of saves on the day, including a leaping stop in the 31st minute.
Steffen and the U.S. did just enough to earn the tournament’s championship and will now begin preparations for 2015 Under-20 World Cup Qualifying – which begins in January – by coming together for several foreign-based camps before the end of this year.
What do you think of the team’s performance? Who stood out to you from the NTC Invitational team?
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