Sunday, July 01, 2007

Awful Performance For US U-20 Team

Football is a funny game. The US Copa America Team played Argentina toe to toe for 65 minutes on Thursday night, yet lost by the lopsided score of 4 to 1. Yesterday the highly touted US Under 20 National Team was thoroughly dominated by South Korea in the U-20 World Cup Opener but managed a 1-1 draw. US Coach Thomas Rongen has a lot of work to do before the US faces Poland who shocked Brazil yesterday on Tuesday.

The injury to Bolton's Johann Smith has devastated this team, forcing Jozy Altidore to play alone up top, while receiving supporting runs from Freddy Adu, and Sal Zizzo. Michael Bradley played well for the US but seemed to lack the energy he brought to the full national team in the Gold Cup. Every 50-50 ball seemed to go the way of the Koreans, who also had plenty of opportunity to build up and sustain their attack.

From my perspective the best US players last night were Dax McCarty of FC Dallas who entered the game for goal scorer Danny Szetela in minute fifty three, and Goalkeeper of Chris Seitz of Real Salt Lake. McCarty was strong on the ball and broke up many promising Korean attacks. Seitz had a rocky start to the season with RSL eventually giving way to Nick Rimando between the Salt Lake posts, but he was outstanding and focused yesterday and he single handedly won the US a valuable point.


Sams Army said...

No doubt we need to improve, but we showed some spark towrads the end of the match and hopefully that will carry over.

Anonymous said...

The result was unjust for the Koreans, but we'll take it!

Soccer Guru said...

Adu's free kicks are outstanding but the rest of his game is subpar. His on the ball skills are below average and he mistimes his runs. I'm not sure how much more patience we can have with him.

ussoccerfan16 said...

I didn't get to see the match, but I'm disappointed by everything I've read about the United States' performance. I had high hopes for this group seeing as proffesional players make up 2/3 of this squad, as opposed to previous U-20 squads that typically only had between 8-10 pros. Obviously, the positive is that the US came away with a point. However, the negative is that it seems as if South Korea could be the weakest of the US's opponents. The Americans have to face Brazil, the consensus pre-tounrnement favorite, and first Poland, who beat Brazil in the opener 2-0, needing at least one win from these two matches. Based on the performance agaisnt South Korea, it is a very tall order to say the least. Tonight's game is one of the biggest of many of these players' lives for a couple reasons. First, from the team's perspective, it is very important to get a vitory. A loss or a tie makes the match agaisnt Brazil virtually a must-win. Seocnd, after a poor showing in the first match, players hoping to earn a shot with a European club after this tournement need to have a big game. I would really like to see some of the younger MLS players like Freddy and Altidore get a shot oversees, but they're quickly running out of time, especially if the team fails to get a result tonight. I know there are several rumors floating that Szetela is generating interest from the Turkish giant Galatasary, Parma, and a few others. It would nice to see a few guys join him on the list of players in this tournement being coveted by top European clubs.
I listened to the reaction of several players to the South Korea game on and I think Michael Bradley did a good job of putting this first result into perspective. Bradley, in his own words, basically stated that it is not always the teams that soar out of the gate in short tournements that wind up doing well, it is the teams that get stronger as the tournement progresses (think France in Germany '06 and Italy in USA '94). That's important to remember in examining this first game. In nearly every major tournement, you see teams spuuter out of the gate, find a way to adavnce, save their best soccer for the knock-out stages, and go all the way to the final. However, the US must rebound from a subpar effort in the first game to have any hope of advancing past the first round. A good result tonight is a must.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic start for the young warriors. Poland scored as quickly as the Czech's did in last year's World Cup against us.