HYERES, France (May 29, 2015) – Goals from Jerome Kiesewetter, Alonso Hernandez and William Packwood spurred the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team to a 3-1 win over the Netherlands in the second group stage game of the 2015 Toulon Tournament in Hyeres, France.
After opening the tournament with 3-1 loss to France on May 27, the U.S. responded in its second match, coming from behind and earning a convincing win.
The win leveled the U.S. and Netherlands in the Group A pool, where both hold three points on 1-1-0 records. The U.S. is now in second place in the standings, behind group leader France (2-0-0). Next, the U-23 MNT will face Costa Rica on Sunday, May 31 at 11 a.m. ET on beIN Sport to wrap up group play.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
NED – Brahim Darri, 10th minute: Darri dribbled the ball through the center of the field and elected to send a shot at goal from thirty yards out. The ball drifted and Cody Cropper reached it on a dive, but it slipped through his hands and into the back of the net. USA 0, NED 1
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter, 19th minute: Benji Joya brought the ball up from midfield and jetted through a pair of Dutch defenders. Near the edge of the box, Joya trickled a ball across to Julian Green, who had room on the left-hand side. Green made a move to the center and blasted a shot that ricocheted off of a group of Netherlands defenders. Kiesewetter was first to the rebound and he kicked it in to level the score. USA 1, NED 1
USA – Alonso Hernandez (Jordan Morris), 24th minute: The U.S. was positioned with a free kick from 25 yards out and Julian Green took it and sent it off the top of the wall of Netherlands defenders. The ball bounced high into the air and Jordan Morris out-jumped a defender near the goal and headed it back to Alonso Hernandez, who promptly smashed it into the back of the net from close range. USA 2, NED 1
USA – William Packwood (Julian Green), 42nd minute: The USA came out on the attack in the second half and earned a corner in the first minute. Julian Green played a beautiful curling ball in and Will Packwood headed it in to give the U.S. a two-goal lead. USA 3, NED 1. FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
NED – Jesse Bertrams (Save), 21st minute: Fatai Alashe intercepted a Netherlands pass and took off toward the goal. With a man coming in from the left Alashe ripped a shot at the upper right corner, but Bertrams dove high and wide to deflect it over the bar to set up a U.S. corner.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 48th minute: Netherlands broke away on a counter and got the ball across to Brahim Darri, who had already scored in the first half. Darri from the left side tried to slide a shot into the lower right corner of the goal, but Cropper dove and pushed it away.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 62nd minute: Anwar El-Ghazi stole the ball for the Netherlands and bore down on the U.S. goal with strength. El-Ghazi held off a defender and tried to curl a left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the goal but Cropper was there and made another diving save.
Next: USA vs. Costa Rica on Sunday, May 31
Broadcast information: Live at 11 a.m. ET on beIN Sport
Social: Twitter @ussoccer
- With his assist Jordan Morris has now tallied a point in three-straight games, with goals in the two previous matches against France on May 27 and Mexico on April 22. He has recorded at least a point in five of his six games with the U-23 MNT.
- Jalen Robinson earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT.
- Jerome Kiesewetter tallied his first goal of 2015 for the U-23 MNT.
- Benji Joya made the start as the team’s captain for the second-straight game. When Marc Pelosi came on for him in the 55th minute, Shane O’Neill finished the match with the captain’s armband.
- O’Neill made the start at center back. He has started and played 90 minutes in all five matches for the U-23s this year.
- Joya and O’Neill are the only players on the roster that have started all five games for the U-23’s this year.
- Julian Green’s assist was his first as a member of the U-23 MNT.
- William Packwood’s goal was his first in 2015 of his career with the U-23’s.
- This match was the first between Netherlands and the USA at the U-23 age level.
- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Netherlands
Date: May 29, 2015
Competition: 2015 Toulon Tournament; Group A
Venue: Stade Perruc; Hyères, France
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local time
Weather: 77 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
NED 1 0 1
NED- Brahim Darri 10th minute
USA- Jerome Kiesewetter 19
USA- Alonso Hernandez (Jordan Morris) 24
USA- William Packwood (Julian Green) 42
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 3-Boyd Okwuonu (18-Jalen Robinson, 72), 5-Will Packwood, 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna; 8-Benji Joya (capt.) (10-Marc Pelosi, 55); 13-Fatai Alashe; 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 16-Julian Green (15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 67), 9-Jordan Morris, 11-Alonso Hernandez (16-Daniel Metzger, 64)
Subs Not Used: 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 6-Sam Strong; 12-Charlie Horton, 20-Tyler Turner, 22-Tyler Miller
Head coach: Andreas Herzog
NED: 16- Jesse Bertrams; 15-Sean Klaiber; 12-Peet Bijen; 13-Jordy De Wijs (6-Clint Leemans, 46); 14-Django Warmerdam; 10-Joris Van Overeem; 17-Jelle Vander Hyden (9-Rai Vloet, 46); 4-Danny Bakker; 7-Mohamed Rayhi; 19-Vincent Janssen; 20-Brahim Darri (11-Anwar El-Ghazi, 53)
Subs Not Used: 1-Timo Plattel; 2-Hans Hateboer; 3-Derrick Luckassen; 5-Bas Kuipers;; 8-Thom Haye; 18-Elvio Van Overbeek
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 8 / 15
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 4 / 3
USA– Marc Pelosi (caution) 69th minute
NED – Rai Vloet (caution) 80
Referee: Coulibaly (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Kangah (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Bi Gouho (CIV)
4th Official: Zourak
ussocer.com Man of the Match: Jerome Kiesewetter
Of the 21 players on the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team that is in New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, 17 have been on a U.S. U-17 or U-20 team at one point or another entering 2015.
Maki Tall, Desevio Payne, Gedion Zelalem and Thomas Olsen had not.
The four players were called to their first U.S. Youth Team over the past two months and here they are representing the USA at the U-20 World Cup.
Pride for the USA, Not a Tall Order
“The USA is becoming a great football nation, so just being invited to the team was a great honor,” said Tall of being called to his first U-20 camp in England this past March. “And to play in a World Cup, that’s not an every day thing. Every player wants to play in one, and we had been fighting for roster spots. And now that we’re here, everybody wants a shot to help the team do great things.”
Tall and his two brothers and sister were born in Washington D.C. Their father is from France and their mother is from Ivory Coast. Because of his father’s job, the family moved to Senegal and then Ivory Coast before Maki was offered an opportunity to try out with clubs in France. He elected to join the youth academy at Le Mans and then signed with Lille in 2012.
Along the way he was called in to play for France’s U-18 and U-19 teams, where he appeared in nine friendlies – including a match against the U.S. in 2013. Through it all, he was never distant from his hometown, made much easier when his mom and his two younger siblings moved back to D.C. a few years ago.
Tall scored against England’s U-20s during his USA debut in March, and then again last week against Australia. And while it took a while to put on the USA jersey, he’s excited and ready for the current opportunity to proudly represent his nation.
“I can’t regret the time past, because without those experiences I probably wouldn’t be here,” said the forward, who has scored eight goals while on loan to Red Star since January. “I’m really happy about the future and I see great things down the road.”
U-20 MNT members Maki Tall, Gedion Zelalem and Tommy Thompson kick the ball around during training.
No Payne, No Gain
Defender Desevio Payne also made his first USA appearance during the England camp last March.
Born in Greewood, South Carolina, Payne was only a year-and-a-half when his family moved to the Netherlands. He comes from a sporting family - his father is from Trinidad and Tobago, and his mom is from Holland. The two met at Landers University when they went to play soccer and softball, respectively.
Growing up in Holland, Payne spoke English with his father and Dutch with his mom. Among his siblings, they speak English with each other.
At age 13, he joined the academy of 100-year-old HFC Haarlem. However when the club dissolved, he moved to lower tier side Zeeburgia. In 2013 he signed with Groningen in the Eirdevisie, and was eventually invited to a Holland U-18 camp. He made his professional debut with Groningen on Feb. 22, 2015 in a 3-1 loss to Heerenveen. A short time later, he received a call from U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos.
“Tab called me to introduce himself, and ask about me and tell me about the England camp,” Payne said. “I was excited for the invitation, but I didn’t know what to expect. I just told him that I would do my best in England and wanted to show myself.”
In early May, the former judo competitor was contacted again.
“It’s all happened so quick,” he said. “I thought I had a good first camp, so I was hopeful I would get another call from Tab. I was nervous as the weeks went by, but was really happy when I got that email that I was going to the World Cup.”
U-20 MNT's Desevio Payne walks to training with Landon Donovan.
American Dream is Worth the Wait
Unlike the rest of his World Cup teammates, Gedion Zelalem had not been to any camps before meeting the team in Australia on May 18. Born in Germany to Ethiopian parents, Zelalem and his family moved to Bethesda, Maryland when he was 10 years old. After middle school, he attended Walter Johnson High School and played club soccer on various teams.
In 2011, while playing for Olney Rangers at the prestigious Dallas Cup, he was seen by an Arsenal scout and attended try outs. He first joined the Gunners’ academy and then eventually made his senior team debut in January 2014.
Zelalem also played for Germany from the U-15 age group through the U-17s, but dreamed of a chance to play for the USA. After obtaining his citizenship late in 2014, he was granted a one-time switch from FIFA in mid-May and was added to the U-20 World Cup roster.
“I’ve always wanted to represent the USA,” Zelalem said. “I feel more American than I feel German, so it was a no-brainer for me on which country to chose. Ever since I left the U.S. to go play in England, I’ve wanted to play for the U.S.”
Zelalem is now getting his chance. And like all his teammates, he has bigger dreams.
“I want to make the most of this World Cup,” he said. “And I want to keep going to make it to the first team.”
Not lost on him is the chance to be with fellow American players his age again.
“It’s been great, all the guys are great,” he said of his first week in camp. “They’re all down-to-earth guys. We’re all together here, and there isn’t one player who thinks he’s better than the other. I really like that about this group, and I’m really happy to be here.”
U-20 MNT midfielder Gedion Zelalem is interviewed by the media before practice.
From Campus to the World Stage
Thomas Olsen is one of two college players on the roster. However, unlike Jeff Caldwell, his USA teammate from the University of Virginia, Olsen had never been part of a USA camp before March.
Caldwell was on the U.S. U-17 MNT at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, and was part of several other camps in different age levels.
Olsen, who was named the 2014 WCC Freshman of the Year at the University of San Diego, earned his first USA invite for the camp in England.
“You’re shocked initially to see that you’ve reach that level,” Olsen said. “You see the names and see they are pros, and you’re in college. And the first thing I thought was, ‘awesome, now let’s see if I can play with these guys.’”
Olsen backed up Caldwell in the match against England’s U-21s on March 30. But in the back of his head, he thought he had a good camp and kept a sliver of hope that maybe he could make the U-20 World Cup roster.
When the initial squad was announced on May 7, the three goalkeepers were Zack Steffen, Caldwell, and Ethan Horvath. However, almost immediately, Olsen received a call from U-20 goalkeeper coach Russell Payne telling him to come to camp in Carson, California, the following week.
Olsen showed up at StubHub Center when camp broke on May 11 and learned the situation. There was a chance that Horvath wouldn’t be released by his club in Norway. He returned to San Diego to take two more finals on Wednesday, and it was then when he was officially informed that he would be added to the roster in place of Horvath.
“Being a competitor, no matter on what team, you want to be the one,” Olsen said. “Obviously, on this team I have to take a step back and realize that I’m blessed to be here. For me this is more of a learning experience, taking on what coach Payne says, and getting to train with all of these guys. And how I can contribute is by being a leader, by pushing people at training – especially Zack (Steffen) and Jeff – and by being ready if my number is called.”
U-20 MNT's Thomas Olsen stands with goalkeeper coach Russell Payne in Australia.