U.S. U-20s fall to Colombia for second loss in Toulon Tournament

Djibril Sidibe, Daniel Cuevas Granados

By DAN KARELL

On the heels of a disappointing but understandable loss to a bigger, faster, and stronger France team, the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team were on the losing end of the scoreline yet again, falling to Colombia Under-20, 2-1, on Thursday in the Toulon Tournament.

The loss likely keeps the U.S. out of the potential championship game, but they have more to be worried about, including the defensive woes that were not fixed from Tuesday to Thursday.

Tab Ramos’ side got the board just six minutes into the match when midfielder Will Trapp headed home off a corner kick. But despite a change in goalkeeper, the U.S. couldn’t hold on to the lead, allowing Colombia to equalize four minutes after halftime as Jherson Vergara finished past U.S. goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh.

Just five minutes later in the 49th minute, Colombia would take the lead for good, when Felipe Aguilar finished from close range, beating the U.S. defense for position in the six yard box and giving his side a 2-1 lead.

What did you think of the result? Are you worried about being outplayed by France and Colombia? What positives do you take from this result?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, International Soccer, South American Soccer, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-20 National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to U.S. U-20s fall to Colombia for second loss in Toulon Tournament

  1. Chris Dos says:

    Are you worried about being outplayed by France and Colombia? yes, from the youth levels to the Senior MNT, we are being outplayed. The world is moving forward, what are they doing right? what are we doing wrong? Mexico mean time, beat Nigeria at ease, playing nice attractive soccer.

    • Josh D says:

      African sides have also consistently over performed in youth competitions, only to look extremely poor at the men’s team. Youth isn’t a meter of what you can expect in ten years time. Just look at our u20 side for ten years ago and where half of them are now.

      What I look for at the youth level is individual technical talent. And in that regard we have improved greatly.

    • T-lover says:

      Ives how was the U-20 team outplayed? they boss the first half, and the second half was due to bad defending. The game was even throughout the game. Also taking into account some off these players won’t make the final roster, and the fact the France game was played against u-21 players, I think these game had more positives then negatives.

      • bryan says:

        they did not boss anything about the first half. they played ok, but up 1-0 Colombia was controlling the game and dictating everything.

    • Socom 2 says:

      Who cares about mexico. I didnt even know they played but seeing your screen name, typical mexican that self promotes because nobody cares

      US gets to play against Belgium and Germany while mexico cant even play in their own country and plays teams like nigeria

      US needs technical players. Unfortunately these technical players are all 16-19 years old. The next cycle of kids will be a better style of soccer

      • Socom 2 says:

        well cancel my second sentence, i was thinking international friendlies but i still mean what i said

      • Socom 2 is mad says:

        Calm down kid.

      • Socom 2 is mad says:

        Also lol @ “US gets to play against Belgium and Germany while mexico cant even play in their own country and plays teams like nigeria”

        Why should Mexico schedule friendlies vs Belgium/Germany when they can play other elite teams in Confederations Cup?

        THINK.

      • Mike R says:

        Not a Mexico fan…
        And yes we do need more technical players but they aren’t coming ” next cycle” we’ve been saying that forever.

        US needs to hire real coaches maybe some Dutch ones and not just hiring former US players.

        Tab was one of the few technical players but as the saying goes
        Those we can’t do coach and those who can can’t coach

        • Chris says:

          Stop talking about Dutch coaches. We need American coaches, teaching American style, playing American soccer. If you think we are going to beat Europeans at European style soccer… well just look how we are playing now at the men’s level. We have a unique style of soccer which we need to develop and stop holding the Dutch style in such high esteem.

          Is the Ajax system of player development good, of course it is. But we need American players/coaches who understand our player development system and more importantly who understand soccer culture of America.

          • bryan says:

            this isn’t even true. people need to stop saying we need coaches from certain places. no, what we need is a good coach who can help us create our style.

            you seem to think we have some kind of identity and that only American coaches can teach it. that is ridiculously dumb. Italy created how we used to play under Bob, I’m pretty sure an Italian coach could teach us how to play that way too.

            i think what you mean is we need a coach who understands American soccer, inside and out, and right now, only a few foreign coaches can say they do. and to be honest, Klinsmann is one of them.

          • CHATO says:

            what exactly is the ‘American’ style of soccer if you don’t mind me asking? Send the ball downfield 40 yards and hope someone can track it down for a possible shot on goal?

      • Anthony says:

        let’s be honest, you are probably watching every single Mexico game and supporting the other team.

    • Mike R says:

      I’m worried because we usually do ok in Mickey Mouse tournaments like Toulon and Milk cup before crashing out early in real tournaments..

      Now we suck in Mickey Mouse tournaments also.

      We are regressing. Look at all those homegrown players contributing big time to their clubs…oh yea none.

      • Rob Jones says:

        I wouldn’t say Toulon is a mickey mouse tournament, it’s the most prestigious international youth tournament next to the Olympic football competition and the U-20/U-17 World Cups. Invitation only…

      • Air Jordanz says:

        You mean those HGPs like Luis Gil, Shane O’Neill and Jose Villarreal who all start for their MLS squads?

        • Mike R says:

          Luis Gil is not homegrown he was drafted I believe and he is ok nothing more Villareal is not a starter yet and I don’t know who oneil is.

          That three ok players since this homegrown thing started 3 years ago. Any special players would have been discovered by now.

    • Micah says:

      I thought the mexico and Nigeria game is just starting.

  2. k says:

    what is the problem with the youth teams? we either play well and lose or we play horribly and lose. why don’t we have rhythm>

  3. al says:

    so what the only time the U.S plays good is against mexico? mexico is the only one that plays good outside of concacaf.

    • Anthony says:

      because the US cares about Mexico more than anything while Mexico cares more about the countries outside of CONCACAF. While the US celebrated winning friendlies against Mexico they were getting bronze and silver medals in Copa America, upgraded their youth academies and started to win youth tournaments everywhere and won the olympic soccer tournament, something only three countries in the Americas have achieved (Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico)

      • Rob Jones says:

        Agreed…

      • Vic says:

        If MLS could get the same type of lucrative contracts from American Spanish language channels that MFL gets then we could also have world class academies that include residencies.

  4. Socom 2 says:

    We have plenty of kids right now that are in consideration for the U-20 team that havent featured in the qualifying or this tournament.

  5. Jeff says:

    The US team played well for different stretches of the game. The match commentator did mention at one point the difference between one of the Colombian player’s composure and one of the US youth being that the former has clearly benefitted from having 2 years of professional experience under his belt and the latter was obviously just in college.
    This illustrates a couple of takeaways to keep track of. One is that with more US youth starting their careers early thanks to the academy system, etc, the US will benefit in the near-medium term. The second is that the US is developing technically gifted players, but they need to learn the “dark arts” of the game, especially to compete in these tournaments.
    And that is the reason why these tournaments, even the u17, are so important. Players not only learn how to handle the pressure, but there is an art to playing these things against plucky and experienced players.
    Finally, people need to stop making mention of African teams doing well at these levels and then dissapointing at senior levels as a way of devaluing these tournaments. Ghana, one of the best youth-level performers of late, would have made the semis of the last WC had Suarez not handled the ball on the goalline. African teams have made it further than any Concacaf team in a WC in recent times (1930 doesn’t count) and make up a much higher percentage of elite European squads. That they haven’t won a WC should not be a measure of the value of these tournaments, when they clearly serve as a “shopping venue” for scouts and can be excellent experiences when these players move on to more demanding competitions.

    • Pete from Queens says:

      Correction.

      Ghana would have made the semis if they wouldn’t have missed the PK.

  6. John says:

    That wasn’t even Colombia’s A team. The U.S. should just give up on soccer.

    • Rob Jones says:

      It’s all garbage from top to bottom, although the ladies dominate but nobody really cares about women’s soccer but actual women and the most diehard of US Soccer fanboys. USSF should consider being disbanded.

    • 2tone says:

      That wasn’t even the US ‘A” team bud.

  7. 2tone says:

    Oh and Colombia did not outplay the US. Morris was unlucky to not get two goals as well as Alonso Hernandez.

    Sometimes I wonder if they see these games?

    • Rob Jones says:

      It doesn’t matter who outplayed who, the scoreline stands. A 2-1 loss. USA is basically eliminated already.

      • 2tone says:

        Well this tournament was to evaluate players to fill out the WC roster. It’s not a big deal they are eliminated. They still have two games left to show Ramos something.

  8. mike says:

    ..”it’s the end of the world as we know it…”

  9. Mike R says:

    In other news Demarcus Beasley at age 31 and after a long hiatus up until recently return to the US team a step slower and out of position and has the best game of all the US nats…

    Stop looking there’s no soccer development problem here…..

  10. Gary Page says:

    I thought the match commentators were way overblown. Ian Joy’s comments were close to ridiculous at times, like he’s never seen any US youth teams before. The US is definitely getting better technically and Morris looked good, Joya is a budding star and Cuevas showed in Mexico he has a bright future, just to name a few. On the second Colombia goal there was a breakdown on marking, but there wasn’t much they could have done with the first goal and the US had some real good chances that didn’t quite come off. All in all, I thought Colombia was somewhat better, but the gap wasn’t big. What we shouldn’t forget is that the major function of youth teams is to develop players for the national adult team, so even if the team does poorly but a couple of great players develop, the effort is successful. Now I want to see the team do as well as anyone does, but you need to keep things in perspective.

    • Jeff says:

      Agree 100%. There are some real prospects among the US players and a tournament like Toulon may help to put one of them in the sighhts of a scout for further follow up come Turkey. We all like to see the break out stars hit the front page at 18, but, if we are realistic, the best players from this group should make the jump to a European team around 21-22 and give them a couple of years to mature. By 24-25 they will be vying for a position in th US senior squad. Having players that develop along this path who can make up the core or bulk of the senior squad plus the one or two stars that might make it to the big time earlier is a good recipe for success. Not every player needs to be a Messi.

    • fortunate only says:

      Cuevas showed he could ball against Haiti and Cuba. Not so much against much better opposition. He’s not even a highly rated U20 player at Santos. Joya is at least part of the first team even if he rarely ever makes the bench.

      Yes, we were missing some players (Gil, Villareal and Yedlin) but for the most part, this is the team that is going to the U20 WC.

      I also don’t agree with the notion that the US was outplayed. I think the first half was pretty even and we had some good spells in the second half but Colombia was a notch better, obviously.

      I don’t understand the fascination with attributing our poor performances to missing players or the opponent’s physicality. It screams insecurity.

      Brazil has the youngest squad in Toulon and they managed to beat and outplay (at times) a very good and significantly older Belgian team. A little food for thought.

      • 2tone says:

        When you are missing Gil, Villarral, Yedlin, and O’Neill who are all starters then yes it is a big difference in quality of play.

        I am not worried I think the team will compete and show well at the WC. It’s a very tough draw, but anyone can win on any given day with youth tournaments.

        The U-20’s have always been about finding players to move on to the next level i.e the senior team. The last crop have and may produced a few like Agudelo, Mcinerney, Bobby Wood, and Terrence Boyd. I think this crop could produce up to 11 potential USMNT players i.e. Yedlin, O’Neill, Joya, Morris, Zimmerman, Gil, Villarreal, Trapp, Hernandez, Ocegueda, and Brooks if he chooses the US. That would be the most players a U-20 team has ever produced for the senior national team.

        • Gary Page says:

          Also, let’s not forget Pelosi who is out injured.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            Yep, it’s a shame Pelosi had his shin snapped by a two bit, cheap shot hack… he would have added a lot to the team.

        • fortunate only says:

          I completely agree with you. The U20s measure of success will be how many players go on to become senior NT members and contributors.

          As far as Toulon goes, well, Colombia was missing 5 players that are top prospects for them including Quintero and the young CB at River Plate so I don’t think our missing players would have actually made as big a difference as you claim.

  11. Alex G says:

    Pathetic, we are underperforming yet again, nothing new in US soccer world 2010 / 2013 cycle

    • 2tone says:

      Do you even realize what youth teams are for? And no they aren’t underperforming. They were quite unlucky not to have scored 2 or 3 more goals against Colombia.

  12. ACS says:

    What happened with Fabian Hurzeler, he was going to play in the 2011 World Cup but we didn’t make it was still eligible for 2013 U-20 WC, played in 30 matches for Bayern Munich reserves this year, started in 26 of them.

  13. joe blow says:

    this was alot better than the france game.. both teams were honestly about even….

  14. bryan says:

    the game was about even and the US could have loss, tied, or won that game. but we loss. the difference was Colombia had that extra quality and confidence to control the game despite being 1-0 down.

    the US did well, but it would have been nice to see them control the game more when up 1-0. until they were down 2-1, they didn’t start pressing hard again.

  15. Terryb260 says:

    I didn’t see the game, but when I look at the lineup, I think it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions. I counted three players (Stanko, Trapp and Morris) who have much chance of starting at the World Cup. Ramos is clearly using experimental lineups as he’s not even putting out the best 11 from amongst the players he called into the tournament. Think about it, today’s starting XI was missing the following players: Gil, Villareal, Yedlin, O’Neil, Zimmerman, Joya, Ocegueda, Cuevas and Cropper. Plus, if today’s mistakes came on the backline, I’d say the game had even less meaning as three of those positions will be filled by different guys at the World Cup. In fact, some of the guys who screwed up won’t even be on the final roster.