Late Cuevas equalizer helps U.S. Under-20s tie France

Soccer - International Soccer - FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 - Group stage - Group A - France v USA

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team was going to need a much better defensive performance than the one they delivered in their 4-1 loss to Spain last week if they were going to have any chance against France on Monday.

That is exactly what they received, along with a strong showing from their goalkeeper.

The American defense bent, but never really broke, even as the French pressed and pressed, and even after a poor penalty call gifted them a 1-0 lead. The U.S. looked doomed to settle for a close loss, but Daniel Cuevas came off the bench and delivered an equalizer in the 86th minute to help the U.S. earn a 1-1 draw vs. France in Turkey.

U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper turned in a standout performance in goal, making several important saves to keep the Americans in the match against a stacked French side that featured Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Auxerre striker Yaya Sanogo.

The draw sets up a vital group-stage finale vs. Ghana on Thursday, with the winner all but assured of a place in the Round of 16.

U.S. head coach Tab Ramos only made one change to the side that lost to Spain, benching captain Caleb Stanko in favor of Shane O’Neill, while leaving in struggling defender Javan Torre. Both Torre and Juan Pablo Ocegueda rebounded well from their opening match struggles, while O’Neill stepped in after serving a suspension during the Spain match and helped solidify the back line.

That didn’t keep France from applying heavy pressure and controlling possession for much of the match. Despite that, the U.S. kept the French off the scoreboard until a  penalty called early in the second half against Torre set up a Sanogo penalty. Replays showed that Torre committed the foul outside the penalty area, but the goal still stood, leaving the U.S. to fight back.

The Americans looked to have their equalizer in the 65th minute when Mario Rodriguez drew a very soft penalty. Luis Gil stepped up to take the spot kick, but he appeared to telegraph is attempt enough to let French goalkeeper Alphonso Areola dive to his left for a relatively easy save.

The U.S. shook off the disappointment of the missed penalty, and dodged another bullet just a minute later when Sanogo rattled the crossbar with a shot. They finally broke through in the 85th minute when Gil sent a free kick into the penalty area that bounced around before Cuevas latched onto it with a left-footed shot from close range for the equalizer.

The tie puts the U.S. in position to earn a place in the Round of 16 with a win against Ghana in the final group match on Thursday.

What did you think of the match? Impressed with how the U.S. defense rebounded from the Spain loss? Disappointed with the U.S. attack? Hoping the U-20s can beat Ghana in a World Cup to exact some revenge for the senior national team’s past losses to Ghana?

Share your thoughts below.

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114 Responses to Late Cuevas equalizer helps U.S. Under-20s tie France

  1. Steve says:

    Why has Cuevas not been on the pitch for all 180 minutes…lightning in a bottle.

    • beto says:

      +1 great player.. so are the other attackers on this team; Villareal, Gil, Joya, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Garcia, etc.. i agree tho he should be a starter..

  2. PD says:

    so… it comes down to Ghana, eh? *cracks knuckles*

    • fischy says:

      Always Ghana, huh? Maybe we’ll win one for once.

    • beto says:

      Healy and Twellman had a great comment at the end.. just like 2006-WC; USA gets a draw against the big European superpower only to face Ghana in a must win final game.

      the only difference is 3rd place is good enough and this team faced Spain not Czech Rep in the first game!

      • Nate says:

        that czech republic team was stacked…with Koller, Nedved, Rosicky and Peter Czech…they cruised through qualifying.

  3. Herve says:

    How did Torre rebound well? He fouled the guy that got the PK for France with a late hit. He just scares me at this level

    • chuck says:

      Agree with you. I did not think he played well in the second half. He is clumsy with tackles and lets attackers get behind him.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      A) it was a bad PK call, and B) he was significantly better than he was against Spain. Does that mean he should be starting over Stanko? Not really, but he did improve.

      • David M says:

        A) is kind of irrelevant. It was a very poor challenge and had a free kick been given instead of a PK, the French would have still had a decent chance of putting the ball in the net from that position.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          “A decent chance of putting the ball in the net from that position.”? Based on what exactly? You’re vast knowledge of the left-footed set piece takers on the French U-20s? It was a bad challenge, but there is a WORLD of difference between giving up a bad free kick and giving up a penalty kick. To even suggest those are close to the same thing is pretty silly, and a bit of a stretch. I get that you’re trying to support your “Torre was bad” theory, but that’s a long way to go to try and support it.

          • Colin says:

            Yes it should have technically been a free-kick Ives, but it is always a mistake to foul players that close to the box–you never know what the ref is going to call. Personally, when I saw it live, I thought it was a stonewall penalty so I can’t blame the ref for thinking the same. For myself, the fact that it should have technically been a free-kick does not redeem Torre. It was a horribly late tackle right on the edge of the box that could have always gone either way. He did the same thing the previous game and luckily got away with it.

            • Colin says:

              With that said, he looked as though he improved a bit from the Spain game… Though he also got beat over the top way to easily on a couple of occasions in the second and, arguably, the quality of the French team did not match that of Spain. Way out of his depth… Can not believe Stanko was benched.

          • M says:

            Rotflmao

          • Roger says:

            because set pieces just outside the box are never dangerous

          • Chris says:

            agreed ives

          • TomG says:

            Very dangerous spot to give up a free kick.

            • Nate says:

              it happens. not exactly the determining factor in evaluating an overall performance.

              • TomG says:

                He also got beat several times over the top giving up dangerous chances. He was poor again, just not as poor as he was against Spain.

        • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

          The question is a ‘relative to Spain game’ question. How would you rate his game against France vs his game against Spain?
          I think he markedly better in this game vs his first game, including the PK. Against Spain he was directly or indirectly involved in all the goals and the biggest head-scratcher as to why he was on the field today vs Stanko.

      • Joamiq says:

        Ives, any insight as to why Tab likes him so much? Or is it just one of those things?

        • TomG says:

          He may have a big upside which Tab sees in training but he has such limited actual match play that his tools and skills are virtually useless.

  4. sushant says:

    Ramos’ lineups have me a little worried. Keeping Torres and benching Stanko? Was Stanko at fault for 2 (maybe 3) of Spain’s goals like Torres? Unless there was a plan to save Stanko’s legs for Ghana.

    I’m worried we will send out a lineup with some suspect choices and put ourselves in a hole or cost us the game against Ghana. We seem to have recent history of this (cough, cough B.Bradley and R.Clark).

  5. Max says:

    Can someone explain how a win against Ghana all but assures a place in the next round. USA is sitting on a -3 goal differential and France +2. Even with a win vs Ghana don’t we need France to lose by 3 and USA to win by 3 to make up the difference?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Four of the tournament’s six third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. if USA beat Ghana, they will be on four points and the only way they’d be out is if FOUR third place teams have a better points/goal difference status. Only one team has ever failed to reach the Round of 16 with four points since the tournament went to six groups (that’s over the course of eight tournaments).

      • Max says:

        Thanks, didn’t know a third place team could go through in this tourny.

      • Dennis says:

        Presently the US is in 5th position of the 3rd place teams (4 advance), so in addition to winning, the US must either win big or hope that some of the several teams with one or 3 points cannot get any more and some of those have still have 2 games to play. Realistically it will take a big win. The US will need to attack relentlessly (and pray on defense).

  6. biff says:

    I disagree that “Mario Rodriguez drew a very soft penalty.” Several people were also saying that on the Live Match Commentary. Yes, there was only minimal body contact, but it looked to me like Rodriguez got clipped/tripped in the heel. I think it was a correct call, whereas the penalty awarded France was definitely a bad call.

    I am in to this now and hope the boys can beat Ghana and move to the knock-out round. But Ghana is big and strong and looking tough against Spain. Will be a rough, tough match.

    • Josh says:

      It was a weak call. Even if he clipped a toe, Rodriguez went down like a Central American. He took a bit of questionable contact and threw himself violently. Unfortunately for Luis Gil, ball don’t lie

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      It was a soft penalty. France’s penalty was a bad call, but Rodriguez sold the contact on the penalty pretty clearly.

    • David M says:

      Not only did Rodriguez dive to get the PK, but I thought he also went down very easily, although there was some contact, to draw the foul that led to the US goal.

      • Colin says:

        Some may say its just semantics but I think their is a difference between a dive and going down softly from contact. Personally I don’t think Rodriquez dove, rather he went down easily. Though I am not really a supporter of either tactic (though I find it hard to be angry when the team I am supporting benefits), going down softly is definitely the lesser of the two evils.

    • chris thebassplayer says:

      It was a make up call for their PK which was a foul outside of the box.

  7. Ben says:

    I almost feel Ramos is being/has to be stubborn about Torres. As Ives mentioned in his article Ramos basically has said Torres is the best guy he could have because the other candidates (Zimmerman) aren’t good enough for this level. So Torres represents 1) Ramos’ ability to evaluate player skill and 2) his ability to create a roster that can be competitive. At this point benching Torres is admitting he got it wrong on evaluating Torres (which he clearly did) and he didn’t construct a good roster (less clear but still pretty obvious), most people won’t do that based on ego alone let alone when you mistake is pretty much 95% of what your job entails.

    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

      Shades of Caleb Porters U-23 team…though in that case and to be fair…Porter could not get more than a few players released for the tourney.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While both Porter and Ramos failed to use the superior defensive options sitting on their benches, only Ramos left better options at home despite their availability.

    • M says:

      Don’t recall Ramos even remotely implying that Zimmerman not being good enough. I do know that Zimmerman was not cleared to play for FC Dallas until after the u-20 Rosters were required to be submitted.

      That anyone believes that Ramos didn’t want Zimmerman is either a Ramos hater or simply hasn’t been following the timeline on how and when the roster was constructed.

      • SJ says:

        Per Ives article assessing the Spain loss:

        “I asked Ramos about Zimmerman on two occasions, before and after the roster was selected, and in both instances, he talked in terms of Zimmerman simply not being good enough to make the team.”

        Ramos doesn’t like Zimmerman’s game. Period. Big mistake.

      • Ben says:

        “I asked Ramos about Zimmerman on two occasions, before and after the roster was selected, and in both instances, he talked in terms of Zimmerman simply not being good enough to make the team.”-Ives

        Not to mention Zimmermen was a great college defender and the first defender taken in the MLS super draft while Torres is a freshman back up for UCLA. Defending the Torres decision is inexcusable IMO.

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        Ramos DID NOT WANT Zimmerman on the team. Nothing “Ramos hating” about it. I specifically asked Ramos about Walker Zimmerman before the roster was even chosen and he was already talking like Zimmerman was on the outside looking in based on form and how he rated the defenders in the pool. THEN, when the roster was announced, and just last week, I specifically asked Ramos why Zimmerman didn’t make the cut. He gave explanations ranging from the fact Zimmerman hadn’t played much to him not impressing the last time he was with the U-20s (would imagine he referred to the Milk Cup).

        So Ramos didn’t “imply” ZImmerman wasn’t good enough. He flat out said as much.

        • beachbum says:

          awesome reply, and thanks for getting the scoop on this

        • GW says:

          Managers are rarely that candid. It is probably best that Zimmerman not play for a man who does not believe in him.

          Is everyone saying Ramos’ judgement on Zimmerman is the reason the US did not do better against Spain?

          Or did not beat France?

          Is Zimmerman that good ? How does anyone know that the results would be better with him around? Just because Zimmerman did well elsewhere it does not mean he would have done well for the USMNT particularly if his manager thinks he sucks.

          • Ben says:

            Watch the second half of the FCD Sporting KC game. Zimmerman had to come on because of an injury and did a really good job. Those guys from KC are no slouches so you’d think he has the game not to make the same # of ridiculously bad mistakes torres has made so far.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            There are obviously no assurances that the team would have done better with Zimmerman, but the facts speak for themselves in my opinion.
            The team has looked weak defensively, and he left behind an All-American CB who was the first defender taken in the MLS draft for a freshman backup CB.
            Tab’s the coach and gets to pick the guys he wants but a pick like that is obviously going to be criticized when it doesn’t work out.
            This Torre guy is becoming a scapegoat for the teams failures though. Spain is just Spain. They have a great deal more talent than us. Torre wasn’t the one getting bossed in the midfield all day yesterday either.

  8. Noname says:

    Why is it that every time an American plays/sells a PK it is something terrible when it is a simple part of the game and the rest of the world does it. Staying up because you are an American player misses a mayor nuance of the game. The more nuances the American player figures out the better the US team will get. I saw a bunch of players from both Ghana and Spain draw those calls by being smart.

    • fischy says:

      It’s not a nuance of the game. It’s cheating. If the ref believes you went down on purpose, he can give a card.

      • Dc says:

        I would personally rather lose and be the only team playing honestly. Nothing ruins the game more than that BS. I know that you can’t get rid of it completely, but I can appreciate a team that does it sparingly and hate a team that does it too often.

        • Hogatroge says:

          In soccer, nice guys finish last as there is no system to rectify gross errors on the part of referees.

          Even in MLS, which is one of the most progressive when it comes to after-the-fact discipline, can’t overturn wrongly awarded penalties and results.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            There’s a ton of grey area in the rules of soccer which allow different referees to call the game in completely different ways. It also doesn’t help that there is 1 center ref to cover a huge area in such a fast paced game. Basketball has like 5 refs?
            Basically the rules are there to be taken advantage of by the players. I’m not an advocate for diving, but I don’t see it going away any time soon. The risk/reward is too much in favor of diving.

        • Herschel Shywalker says:

          You have gotten your wish on more than one occasion …

      • Michael says:

        I think that we should blame referees for this. If they would call the foul in the box for the contact whether a player stays up or not, then players would not embellish the foul. Players go down because they know they will not get a call if they stay up. We as Americans like to see our players fight through the contact and get upset when they go down. But we cannot complain about going down with any contact if staying up with contact is not rewarded. Please do not confuse what I am saying with diving. Divers should be booked.

      • Colin says:

        I don’t consider it cheating personally. You know how many times players do something that is technically against the rules over the course of a soccer game (e.g., pull a shirt, tackle from behind, push someone, use a hand). Do you consider all those actions cheating? I can’t. In the course of a game a player often has to do their best to get away with as much as they can in order to be effective (Not advocating violence by any means btw)… The same reality is seen in basketball, football, rugby, etc. It is the refs job to call them on it, that is why they are there. The same applies to going down easily… It is the refs job to call them on it. As with my earlier post however, I think there is a difference in degree between going down easily and diving… Diving does border on cheating.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Going down without a contact and faking an injury is cheating. However, going down at a slight contact is a nuance of the game, just as the defender grabbing striker’s jersey for a fraction of a second to throw off his timing and concentration, or giving the attacker a slight nudge in the back right as he is about to send the ball to the net, which causes the ball veer off target by a couple of inches, or giving a “professional” foul to stop the counterattack.

      • Advocate says:

        Decision 5 under Rule 12 provides: “Any simulating action anywhere on the field, which is intended to deceive the referee, must be sanctioned as unsporting behavior.” When a player falls down of his own volition and not as a result of a push, trip, kick, holding or other violation of Rule 12, that player intends to deceive the referee — to make the referee believe that whatever slight contact occurred (if any) made him fall. Since mere contact (i.e., some touching not involving a push, trip, kick, etc.) is not a violation of the rule, I would call that cheating. But even if that term is not applied, it is “unsporting behavior” and deserves a yellow. Indeed, in my view, players should routinely be sanctioned for such behavior after the fact, based upon game-tape evidence. A real risk of a multi-game suspension might persuade attacking players that they have more to gain by staying on their feet and going for goal, rather than trying to con the referee.

        • Colin says:

          Would you have refs sanction players after the fact for pulling on other players jerseys or pushing them in the box?

    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

      Totally agree with Fischy. It is cheating. As Americans we value this part of the game (honesty) higher than other cultures…there was a good article on this nuance of the American game written a year or so ago…and you remember when Klinsmann came out with his ‘nastier’ comment….that was met with poor reviews.
      Americans are like Superman….Truth, Justice and the American way

      and just cuz others do it does not make it right!

      • Colin says:

        I think there is truth to your statement, but I think it is kind of ridiculous that we have that attitude and pretentious–are we so superior over all the other “cheating teams”. In reality, American players intentionally commit illegal plays all the time. I am not advocating for American’s to intentionally hurt people, or to take anabolic steroids, but during the game of soccer it is up to the referee to enforce the rules and for the players to try to get away with what they can (within reason).

        • Joamiq says:

          We are generally better about going down easily though, which is something I’ve always been proud of. I don’t want that to change.

      • g-dub says:

        I like this, and hope our team continues to have a higher standard in this area.

        Other teams around the world like Germany, Australia, I’d say some of the African teams also seem to play act more sparingly too. And I respect them for it.

        • g-dub says:

          Also Japan and S. Korea

        • Colin says:

          I always think of play acting as equating to faking an injury, not going down after minimal contact. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand when players fake injuries and I do take pride in the fact that the United States players do so less than other teams. However, I do want players to go down in the box if they are pushed from behind…

          • GW says:

            There is only one championship team in recent memory that did not ever really engage in these theatrics.

            That would be the USWNT.

            And I’m not so sure about them anymore.

  9. Joey JoJo Jr says:

    Alright!, so we just now cruise past Ghana like we always do and then…oh

  10. WK says:

    when/where can i find some highlights? ESPN3 maybe later?

  11. alocksley says:

    I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I have to admit I liked the way we played against Spain better than how we looked today. I loved the high pressure, and thought it was ballsy and wonderful to see us come out attacking against a superior opponent. Of course, that strategy required competent CB’s which Tab did not include on the roster. Still, I appreciate the style we attempted vs Spain and give Ramos props for trying something bold. I think where youth development is concerned, a positive style of play and attitude can actually be more important than results in these tournaments.

    • beto says:

      +1, vs. Spain both teams were playing open passing enjoyable soccer; thru the midfield it was a great game. in the final thirds, were it all counts, Spain won easily. todays game was much more rigid and forced. i attribute that more to the opponent than us..

      some of the U20′s best (looking) games have been loses to Spain and Mexico while this game and the victories over Haiti, Canada, Costa Rica were less attractive but better results…

    • Gary Page says:

      My thoughts, too. I thought we moved the ball better with our p@ssing and had good off the ball movement by the players and maintained possession much better than vs. France. However, the French players seemed almost as skilled as the Spanish and bigger and stronger, so that may havve had something to do with the difference in UIS play.

    • Joamiq says:

      Agreed – scorelines aside, I liked the way we played against Spain (defense notwithstanding)

      • Goalscorer24 says:

        Agreed. If we continue to play the style we played against Spain with all our age groups in time we would be tough to beat. But we would need to have improved defense to make it work.

  12. David M says:

    Come on, Ives. You have no problem describing the French penalty as a “poor call”, while using the vague “soft penalty” euphemism to describe the US penalty. Rodriquez dove, pure and simple.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      The plays aren’t different. On the replay it looks like there could have been contact on Rodriguez, so it’s not as clear-cut as looking at the replay and seeing that a foul was clearly committed outside the penalty area. Not that tough to tell why those are different and described differently.

      • Michael says:

        I thought it was pretty clear that Rodriguez got clipped. Did he go down easily? yes. But as I stated above we cannot continue to frown on going down with contact if playing through contact is not rewarded by refs.

        • Colin says:

          Totally agree. Big difference between going down easily and diving. He was clipped. He went down. He got his team a penalty. He made the correct call as a player and it is up to ref to determine if a penalty should be awarded

        • beachbum says:

          it depends. sure hope it doesn’t become the focus of players when they’re in the box. we’ve all seen teams and players who seem to go for that and it’s not what I’d hope the USA follows.

      • beto says:

        both were clear cut fouls. Torre’s foul was just a poor timed and dumb foul, which was outside the box. Rodriguez’ was an equally poor attempt from behind. players, especially at this level should be penalized for not defending correctly.

        the only thing the ref didn’t get right was the location of Torre’s foul and at without replays everyone thought it was inside the box..

      • M says:

        The word replay makes a big difference. Having ref’ed some youth soccer making those calls are difficult, you don’t always have the best advantage point and things happen quickly. Refereeing a televised match and having to make a split decision call is damn near impossible.

  13. SD says:

    Haven’t seen today’s game but I wasn’t impressed with cropper vs spain, but given his already receding hairline, i guess that bodes well for us in the future…

    • beto says:

      cropper looks like another great american keeper. every game i have seen him play he looks to be above the others on the field. the USMNT keeper pipeline is and hopefully will never be something to worry about..

      • Eurosnob says:

        You probably did not see the game against Spain. Cropper was not the reason we lost, but he definitely did not play above the others. Spain was at entirely different level and Gil was the only player who looked like he was roughly on the same level with Spain.

    • Gary Page says:

      He has the physical tools, but I think his decision making is often suspect. On one of the goals Spain scored he came way out of the goal, even outside of the box when he didn’t need to, one fake and the Spanish player had an open net. I’ve seen him play maybe a half dozen games and he seems to make a poor decision similar to that about every other game.

  14. CT says:

    Against Ghana for a spot in the knockout round. Shades of 2006. Hope our result is decidedly better this time around.

  15. Bob dole says:

    Good result but we looked way out of place athletically. Yedlin is the only player with elite speed. The French were bigger, faster and stronger than us. Yes I understand there is more to soccer than speed and strength or jamaica would be crushing everyone at the World Cup but it wouldn’t hurt to get at least two players with some some size and speed.

    • Gary Page says:

      Size, speed, strength and technical ability have been the hallmarks of many German teams and it seems to work well for them.

    • 2tone says:

      Yedlin was money, and by far the best player on the field. But it seems to be acknowledged by the writers.

      • 2tone says:

        O’Neill has speed and size. 6’2″ and had the pace to out run most of the French attackers. Rodriguez is listed at 6’0″ he also has a ton of speed.

      • Colin says:

        I hope you mean American player… because Pogba was a class above every single other player. Completely dominated the midfield.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        Yep, he had a very solid game, a real threat on the flank…almost to the point where you might consider him at RM if we really needed to push the game. He had much more impact 1 v 1 than our regular mids…given a full game at RM, he could be a difference maker…I don’t know, can Sorto handle RB?

    • Hogatroge says:

      Our biggest, strongest 19 y.o. players are playing NCAA or NBA basketball.

  16. biff says:

    This video shows the US goal from a good angle. After a bunch of very bad set plays the boys executed this one brilliantly and that no doubt was practiced many times in training. You can see the French are devastated having given up the equalizer. Starts at 1:50.

    link to youtube.com

    • BBB says:

      Thanks for that, Biff.

    • chris thebassplayer says:

      Yeah, you could tell that was a late yell from the bench to Joya, who then tells everybody what set piece they’re going to run. Big Props to Ramos.

  17. fischy says:

    It’a real shame that Torre/Stanko/Garcia is injured and can’t continue, necessitating a call-up for Walker Zimmerman.

  18. Mason says:

    Torre was playing the wrong football, he tackled that dude!

  19. Chris says:

    -Even tho we got a well earned draw in this game Tab Ramos did awful with his selections, why in the world did torre start over stanko, i dont love stanko at cb cuz hes a holding mid, but hes miles better than torre at the position. Oh by the way it would be nice to have that walker zimmerman kid
    -Also joya either should play further up the pitch or sit his bum on the bench cuz he does nothing defensively, lopez or acosta should start in that spot.
    -Cuevas should start period.
    -Cropper played well but should have done a bit better on the penalty
    -Speaking of the penalty, it wasnt one, clearly outside the box, also the ref all together was awful, wasnt even in the right position for the center ref on the penalty, normal crappy south american ref who should be an actor
    -One last point, im sick of our coaches at every level tinkering with players positions, examples- at the u-20s joyas not a center mid hes a winger, rodriguez isnt a winger hes a striker, stanko isnt a cb hes a cdm. even at the senior team, brad evans had one alright game against germany, the other three games he did alright defensively but added absolutely nothing to the attack (other than the goal vs. Jamaica). I get sometimes you have to tinker once you have selected the team and theres injuries but we have huge player pools, get players who actually play that positon
    Starting 11 for ghana
    ———————————Cropper—————————
    Yedlin————O’ Neill——–Stanko———Ocegueda
    ———————–Lopez———-Trapp———————–
    Villarreal——————–Gil————————-Cuevas-
    —————————-Rodriguez——————————

    • Chris says:

      Also someone just sit Gil down and tell him to minimize his head, he is a tremendous talent but what he did on the penalty was absolutely idiotic

  20. bob says:

    The question is who from the U20 pool can play for the national team and play overseas in a top 4 league. I believe Gil, Villareal, Yedlin, Cropper, and Pelosi all have a chance. Maybes are Cuevas, Rodriguez, Stanko, Hernandez, and Joya. Unfornately I think Packwood’s career might be ruined due to the severity of the injury. I really hope we can lock up brooks.

    • Chris says:

      It’s a little too early to call that, a lot of our players are late bloomers, like dempsey, goodson, etc.. I definitely see gil being a future star, but a lot of these guys like yedlin and villarreal need to do it for longer periods of time.

  21. chris_thebassplayer says:

    It was nice to see Ramos drop his D line a little and take a more defensive posture. It would be interesting to hear him describe his approach and formation for this game. Joya was very deep on defense…maybe a deep 8…maybe 4-1-3-1-1…4-2-3-1? Gil looked mostly like a trequartista but pushed very high into the forward line. At times it looked like we had two forwards. Even though we didn’t have as much possession up field, we probably had about the same number of decent chances to score as the Spain game.

    Yedlin showed he can have an big impact offensively. We need to figure a way to utilize him more against Ghana. Too bad Joya is out for Ghana, maybe it’s a straight swap with Lopez coming in or maybe Ramos keeps Torre CB and plays Stanko at Dmid and moves Trapp into Joya’s role. I like Trapp’s game a lot, he is a very tough technical player…ton of skill for a Dmid. Love seeing him wear the armband.

    With Ramos taking a deeper more conservative defensive approach, it makes the exclusion of Zimmerman seem even more ridiculous. He might of had an excuse if he didn’t like how he looked in a high D line, but now that he’s changed his defensive shape, there is no excuse at all.

  22. Jason says:

    I don’t think we can pull this out without joya…. I wonder what Ramos will do now.

  23. Randy says:

    So, does Ghana have anything to play for? It seems with no points and a max of three that there would be no chance for them to progress.

    I’m hoping Ghana then plays out the rest of their squad and could foresee the US will to win will carry us to an ugly 1-0 victory.