U.S. U-20 Men compete, but can’t keep pace with Spain in 4-1 World Cup-opening loss
Betrayed by constant defensive breakdowns, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team lost to Spain 4-1 in its opening match of the 2013 U-20 World Cup on Friday at Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.
Despite controlling the majority of possession for stretches, the U.S. was unable to stymie a dynamic and impressive Spanish attack that did well to capitalize on its opportunities. Spain strikers Jese and Gerard Deulofeu each tallied twice for Spain, scoring all four goals just past the hour mark.
Luis Gil impressed throughout the match by controlling the midfield and spraying effective passes to his teammates, and provided the U.S. their lone but deserved goal with an exquisite left-footed strike in the 77th minute.
The U-20 MNT resumes Group A play against France on Monday, June 24, at Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. local (11 a.m. ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes.
France defeated Ghana 3-1 in the other match in Group A.
Spain tallied early with a goal in the fifth minute, serving a ball over the top of the USA back line to Deulofeu. The forward then crossed the ball across the front of the net where Real Madrid striker Jese played it off the volley from the penalty spot.
The U.S. came back with a couple chances of their own early on, but didn’t find the back of the net. The most impressive came from a pass by Gil that deflected off a Spain defender just outside the penalty area and found a wide open Alonso Hernandez, but he pushed his shot just wide.
Deulofeu added a goal to his assist in the 42nd minute with a bending shot from 18 yards out that turned toward the far post and out of the reach of goalkeeper Cody Cropper.
Just two minutes later, Javier Manquillo dribbled down the right side and cut back towards the goal as the U.S. defender went sliding by. Manquillo flicked it to a trailing Jese who only needed one touch to score his second goal of the game.
In the second half, a perfectly timed pass by Jose Campana coupled with a beautiful diagonal run and touch by Deulofeu added to the Spain lead. Cropper came out of the box but could cut off the pass, ending up nearly 20 yards away from the goal.
Gil provided the lone goal when he received the ball at the top of the box, cut back right and unleashed a left-footed shot that found the upper right side of the net where Daniel Sotres had no chance of stopping it.
Javan Torre earned the start at center back alongside captain Caleb Stanko as Shane O’Neill served his red-card suspension from the title game of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Mexico. O’Neill was missed, as a hesitant, unfocused Torre was culpable on more than one of Spain’s goals.
Eight starters in the U-20 MNT lineup against Spain have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The U.S. U-20s are now 18-25-6 all-time in FIFA World Youth Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup competition.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Spain
Date: June 21, 2013
Competition: 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup; Group A
Venue: Ali Sami Yen Arena; Istanbul, Turkey
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Weather: 75 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ESP 3 1 4
ESP – Jese (Gerard Deulofeu) 5th minute
ESP – Gerard Deulofeu 42
ESP – Jese (Javier Manquillo) 44
ESP – Gerard Deulofeu (Jose Campana) 61
USA – Luis Gil (Wil Trapp) 77
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Caleb Stanko (capt.), 14-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya, 6-Wil Trapp; 17-Danny Garcia (20-Daniel Cuevas, 56), 10-Luis Gil, 11-Jose Villarreal (15-Mikey Lopez, 72); 19-Alonso Hernandez (9-Mario Rodriguez, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Victor Pineda, 12-Kendall McIntosh, 13-Eric Miller, 16-Kellyn Acosta, 18-Oscar Sorto, 21-Zack Steffen
Unavailable (red card suspension): 5-Shane O’Neill
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
ESP: 1-Daniel Sotres; 2-Javier Manquillo, 4-Derik (12-Diego Llorente, 74), 5-Israel Puerto, 6-Jose Campana (capt.) (7-Ruben, 70), 8-Suso, 10-Jese (9-Paco Alcacer, 76), 11-Juan Bernat, 15-Saul, 16-Oliver, 17-Gerard Deulofeu
Subs Not Used: 3-Jose Luis Gaya, 13-Adrian Ortola, 14-Ager Aketxe, 18-Denis Suarez, 19-Jairo, 20-Jonatan Otto, 21-Ruben Yañez
Head Coach: Julen Lopetegui
Stats Summary: USA / ESP
Shots: 11 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 9
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 17 / 11
Offside: 5 / 4
ESP – Javier Manquillo (caution) 20th minute
ESP – Israel Puerto (caution) 52
USA – Jose Villarreal (caution) 64
USA – Juan Pablo Ocegueda (caution) 87
USA – Mikey Lopez (caution) 90+2
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Man of the Match: Luis Gil