GROESBEEK, Netherlands (Sept. 11, 2012) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team scored twice in each half en route to a 4-2 win against the Netherlands in an international friendly at Achilles ’29 Stadium in Groesbeek, Netherlands, on Tuesday.
After conceding an early opening goal to the Netherlands in the eighth minute, the U.S. registered three straight goals from Ben Spencer, Benji Lopez and Romain Gall to take a 3-1 lead in the 54th minute.
The Netherlands responded with a goal in the 74th minute before U.S. midfielder Julian Green reclaimed the two-goal lead with a goal in the 80th minute.
The U.S. fell behind inside of the opening 10 minutes after a Netherlands corner kick to the top edge of the penalty box was deflected and fell to the goal box where Rick Karsdorp was able to quickly tap in the loose ball for a 1-0 lead.
The U-18 MNT responded in the 34th minute as Zach Pfeffer, who plays for the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer, received a ball along the left touch line during a counter attack. Pfeffer brushed off a defender and found space before crossing the ball to forward Spencer, who was crashing into the box. Spencer put his head on the cross and guided it into the lower left corner of the goal for the equalizer.
Just six minutes later, the U.S. claimed the lead as Dylan Greenberg played a long ball over the top of the Netherlands defense onto the foot of Lopez just outside of the penalty box. Lopez quickly took a touch and chipped the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead entering halftime.
In the second half, Gall used two shifty moves to create space for himself near the center of the penalty box before unleashing a hard shot that found the goal for a 3-1 lead in the 54th minute.
The Netherlands responded in the 74th minute as Sheraldo Becker, who entered the match just 12 minutes earlier, took a cross and beat a U.S. defender before placing a hard, low shot past U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Ten minutes from full-time, U.S. midfielder Julian Green – a product of Bayern Munich’s academy in Germany – displayed some individual skill as he created space from the defense by slashing into the right corner of the penalty box before placing a well-struck, curling ball into the far corner of the goal for the U-18 MNT’s fourth goal of the match.
Each side recorded eight shots on goal in the match as Steffen came up with six saves for the U.S. The U-18 MNT outshot the Netherlands 13-10 overall.
-U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team vs. Netherlands U-18
Date: Sept. 11, 2012
Venue: Achilles ’29; Groesbeek, Netherlands
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET)
Weather: 62 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
NED 1 1 2
NED – Rick Karsdorp 8th minute
USA – Ben Spencer (Zach Pfeffer) 34
USA – Benji Lopez (Dylan Greenberg) 40
USA – Romain Gall 54
NED – Sheraldo Becker 74
USA – Julian Green 80
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Jacori Hayes, 5-Michael Amick, 4-Trevor Haberkorn, 3-Dylan Greenberg (13-Suliaman Dainkeh, 46); 8-Marco Delgado, 6-Kellyn Acosta (capt.), 7-Julian Green; 10-Piakai Henkel (15-Romain Gall, 46), 9-Ben Spencer (19-Benji Lopez, 39), 11-Zach Pfeffer
Subs not used: 17-Paul Arriola, 12-Ethan Horvath, 20-Kosta Koukladas, 21-Jalen Markey, 14-Kristian Scott, 18-Travis Wannemuehler
Head Coach: Javier Perez
NED: 1-Nick Olij (16-Mike Havekotte, 46); 2-Bram van Vlerken (13-Branco van den Boomen, 46), 5-Joris Voest, 4-Robert van Vlerken (12-Derrick Luckassen, 76), 3-Sandy Walsh; 6-Djavan Anderson, 7-Bilal Basacikoglu (15-Sheraldo Becker, 62), 8-Rick Karsdorp (14-Raies Roshanali, 68); 11-Jeroen Lumu, 10-Rai Vloet (capt.), 9-Brandon Robinson (17-Khalid Tadmine, 46)
Subs not used: 18-Daniel Breedijk
Head Coach: Ruud Dokter
Stats Summary: USA / NED
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 8 / 8
Saves: 6 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 13
Offside: 3 / 2
NED – Joris Voest (caution) 56th minute
Referee: Rob Dieperink
Assistant Referee 1: Co de Smalen
Assistant Referee 2: Koen Barhorst
Fourth Official: Leon Molenkamp