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Global May 27, 2015

U.S. U-23 MNT falls to host France 3-1 in Toulon Tournament opener

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TOULON, France (Via U.S. Soccer) – Despite a strong second half, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team fell to host-France 3-1 on Wednesday in their opening group match of the 2015 Toulon Tournament.

France came out on the attack and a pair of U.S. mistakes resulted in two goals for the tournament hosts in the game’s first 11 minutes. In the 21st minute France extended its lead to three off of a Stephane Sparagna free kick.

The U.S. battled for the remaining minutes of the first half and controlled the ball on France’s side of the pitch, but could not turn possession into any chances. The U-23s carried the momentum from the end of the first half into the second and got on the board in the 65th minute when Marco Pelosi fed Jordan Morris for the USA’S first goal of the tournament.

The U-23s applied the pressure for the remaining minutes, but were unable to earn a result.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA- Fares Bahlouli, 10th minute: 
Cody Cropper made a diving save and parried the ball away, but the deflected ball was not cleared. Fares Bahlouli picked it up for France and promptly smashed it past a still-recovering Cropper and into the bottom right corner. USA 0, FRA 1

FRA- Enzo Cervelli, 11th minute: After intercepting off the kickoff following the first goal, France got the ball out to Lemar Thomas, who brought it down and got forward with pace on the left side. Thomas sent a hard shot at Cropper who dove and knocked it away. Off the rebound Enzo Cervelli jumped and headed it in to give France an early 2-0 lead. USA 0, FRA 2

FRA- Stephane Sparagna, 21st minute: A USA foul set up France with a free kick from 20 yards out, above the top corner of the box. The France captain Sparagna sent in a low, hard ball that threaded a number of players and ended in the lower right corner of the goal. USA 0, FRA 3

USA- Jordan Morris (Marc Pelosi) 65th Minute: Marc Pelosi played a square ball to Jordan Morris in the center of the park 45 yards from goal. Morris spun and burst past a pair of French defenders. With just the ‘keeper to beat, the U.S. forward calmly slipped a shot past and into the lower right corner. USA 1, FRA 3 (FINAL)

Milestone Watch:

  • Jordan Morris has now scored in back-to-back games with the U-23s and three straight for the U.S. overall counting his goal with the senior team in their 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Marc Pelosi made his first appearance in a U.S. uniform in more than two years, having recovered from a series of injuries. He earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT and tallied an assist.
  • Sam Strong earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT

Next on the Schedule:
The U-23 MNT faces the Netherlands on May 29 at Stade Perruc in Hyeres, France
Broadcast information: 11 a.m. ET BeIN SPORTS

Additional Notes:

  • This match was the first between France and the USA at the U-23 age level.
  • Benji Joya, who scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the match against France in the 2013 Toulon Tournament (when the teams met as U-20 opponents), made the start tonight as the captain.
  • Joya and Shane O’Neill are the only players on the roster that have started in all four games this year for the U-23s.
  • Jordan Morris, who earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors, recorded his third goal in 2015 with the U-23s and the fourth of his five-game career with the team.

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