U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team opens Toulon Tournament with 4-1 loss to host France’s U-21 MNT
TOULON, France – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team opened Group A play of the 41st edition of the Under-21 Toulon Tournament with a 4-1 loss to host France at Stade Léo Lagrange.
Benji Joya scored the USA’s lone goal in the second half as U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos is using this event to prepare for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Next up for the U-20s is a match with Colombia at 5:30 p.m. local (11:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday, May 30, at Stade des Costieres in Nimes, France. Earlier on Tuesday, Colombia posted a 1-0 victory against Korea Republic.
Games at the Toulon Tournament feature two 40-minute halves instead of the standard 45.
France controlled the first half by earning the game’s first five shots and a bevy of corner kick opportunities. It wasn’t until the 30th minute before the U.S. flirted with a goal as midfielder Wil Trapp stepped up from about 24 yards out and pushed his low shot just wide left of the frame.
At the tail end of the first half, France struck twice as Alexandre Coeff scored a backheel goal off of a Valentin Eysseric free kick for a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute. In the 40th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper initially appeared to have done enough to stop a long-distance strike from Gianelli Imbula Wanga, but the ball trickled over the goal line to give France a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Joya got the U.S. on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute as he drove his free kick past France’s wall and into the right side of the net.
France pulled away when substitute Stephane Bahoken responded only one minute after he entered the match, whipping his right-footed shot past Cropper for a 3-1 cushion in the 77th minute. Rachid Ghezzal capped off the scoring in the third minute of stoppage time.
- Tab Ramos’ side opened the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation with forward Alonso Hernandez starting up top in his U-20 MNT debut.
- The starting lineup featured seven former Development Academy players and five players who started against Mexico in the final of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship earlier this year.
- Jeffrey Payeras made his first U-20 MNT appearance with the start. Payeras had previously participated in a three-day camp for the U-20 Guatemala national team, but never logged an international match with that side.
- Midfielder Alfred Koroma played in his first U-20 game since the U.S. took fourth place in the 2012 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland in late July of last year.
- Daniel Cuevas started for the first time since the USA’s 2-0 victory against Cuba in the semifinals of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The Santos Laguna forward left with a torn meniscus late in that game.
- The U-20s moved to 4-3-1 overall in international play this year.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. France
Date: May 28, 2013
Competition: Tournoi Espoirs de Toulon (Toulon Tournament); Group A
Venue: Stade Léo Lagrange; Toulon, France
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 58 degrees, showers
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
FRA 2 2 4
FRA – Alexandre Coeff (Valentin Eysseric) 38th minute
FRA – Gianelli Imbula Wanga 40
USA – Benji Joya 72
FRA – Stephane Bahoken 77
FRA – Rachid Ghezzal (Jordan Ferri) 90+3
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-Eric Miller, 18-Jeffrey Payeras, 21-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya (capt.), 6-Wil Trapp; 19-Alfred Koroma (16-Jordan Morris, 61), 10-Collin Martin (20-Danny Garcia, 61), 11-Daniel Cuevas (13-Dillon Serna, 70); 9-Alonso Hernandez
Subs Not Used: 4-Caleb Stanko, 7-Victor Pineda, 12-Kendall McIntosh, 15-Kellyn Acosta, 24-Marlon Hairston
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
FRA: 1-Zacharie Boucher; 6-Alexandre Coeff (capt.), 2-Djibril Sidibe, 18-Makan Traore, 21-Gael Viena; 10-Nampalys Mendy, 12-Gianelli Imbula Wanga (4-Remi Mulumba, 65), 11-Neeskens Kebano (8-Jordan Ferri, 56), 13-Valentin Eysseric (14-Rachid Ghezzal, 47); 7-Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba (19-Stephane Bahoken, 76), 17-Kevin Mayi
Subs Not Used: 3-Layvin Kurzawa, 5-Loick Landre, 9-Benjamin Jeannot, 15-Gregoire Puel, 16-Abdoulaye Diallo, 19-Stephane Bahoken, 20-Lindsay Rose
Head Coach: Willy Sagnol
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 4 / 17
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 11 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1