U-17 USMNT earn place in Copa Mexico de Naciones semifinals

U17USMNTStartingXIvsMexico2 (Imago7)

By DAN KARELL

The Under-17 U.S. Men’s National Team has survived and advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Naciones de Mexico in dramatic fashion.

A penalty shootout was needed to decide what had been a 1-1 draw at full time between the U.S. and Colombia. In the shootout, the U.S. scored three while Colombia missed all three of their chances, giving the USA a 3-0 victory in penalty kicks.

The USA will play their semifinal match against Ecuador on Friday. It’s the second consecutive year that the U-17s have made the final four of the tournament.

The U.S. got on the board in the 16th minute when Pierre Da Silva sent in a cross from the left which was turned in by leading U.S. goalscorer Christian Pulisic. Despite the goal, Colombia stayed on the front foot, and received a goal of their own in the 31st minute.

Colombian forward Edward Bolaños cut into the penalty area from the left and unleashed a blast that went past U.S. goalkeeper Kevin Silva and in to tie the scoreline.

After a scoreless second half of play, (two 35-minute halves), the match went to penalty kicks, though U.S. coach Richie Williams pulled a Louis Van Gaal and substituted Silva for star goalkeeper William Pulisic, who starred in the penalty kick shootout.

Pulisic, Elijah Rice, and Daniel Barbir each scored for the U-17s while Stiven Vega, Jefferson Valdeblanquez and John Wilmar Arango all missed for Colombia, ending the match. Per U.S. Soccer, the first shot hit the crossbar, Pulisic saved Valdeblanquez’s attempt, while Arango nailed the post as Colombia were eliminated from the tournament.

The win gives the U.S. their fourth straight victory after defeating China, Mexico’s B team, and Paraguay to win their group in the group stage.

With the goal, Pulisic now has six goals in four games, good for the top spot on the tournament’s goalscoring chart.

Here’s the U-17 USMNT lineup against Colombia:

USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 13-Edwin Lara, 5-Hugo Arellano, 15-Tanner Dieterich, 36, 2-Matt Olosunde; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic; 7-Haji Wright, 11-Pierre Da Silva, 18-Josh Perez

Head Coach: Richie Williams

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What do you think of this result? Glad to see the U.S. able to win in penalty kicks? How special of a player is Pulisic turning out to be? Think the U.S. can make the final?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to U-17 USMNT earn place in Copa Mexico de Naciones semifinals

  1. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Two 35 minute periods for extra time? Wow, they’re really working kids hard these days, aren’t they Dan?

    • bottlcaps says:

      The teams play on virtually consecutive days. The Mexico, China, Paraguay and Columbia were played in the same week, so yes 70 min games are he norm for a tournament that is so compact

    • sony says:

      what are you talking about? There was no over time my friend!Two 35 minute halves and penalty kicks.

  2. Sean357 says:

    are Pulsilic GK and Pulsilic Mid/FWD brothers?

  3. bryan says:

    good stuff.

  4. Jim says:

    Need much better coverage of these games! We should be seeing several of these guys in JK’s early friendlies.