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Gedion Zelalem

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team

Valiant U-20 MNT Effort Comes Up Short in PK Loss to Serbia

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 14, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team saw its run in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup come to an end at North Harbour Stadium after falling in penalty kicks to Serbia. The game went scoreless through regulation and extra time, but Serbia ultimately prevailed with a 6-5 shootout victory to advance to the semifinals.

Stout defensive performances from both sides limited scoring opportunities to a premium and the result was a 0-0 game when the whistle blew to signal the end of regulation. In extra time, play opened up, but valiant efforts from USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Serbian goalie Predrag Rajkovic held the 0-0 score line through the additional 30 minutes.

After a back and forth affair, where both the U.S. and Serbia survived must-make and must-save scenarios, it was Nemanja Maksimovic who sent a rocket of a PK into the upper left corner to propel Serbia on to the next round of the tournament.

The semifinal round will be played on Wednesday, June 17, at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, where Serbia faces Mali and Brazil takes on Senegal.  

Goal Scoring Rundown:

Penalty Kick Summary:
USA: Rubio Rubin stepped up first for the U.S. and had his shot saved by Predrag Rajkovic. Desevio Payne sent a rocket into the left side on the USA’s next attempt to level 1-1. Paul Arriola punched in the third attempt by smashing in a shot to the left of the goalie. The captain, Emerson Hyndman ripped in attempt No. 4 to put the U.S. up 3-2. Gedion Zelalem sent in his PK into the right side for the fourth-straight score for the USA. Joel Soñora went for the upper right corner on U.S. attempt No. 5 but hit his shot off the post. Marko Delgado rolled in the next attempt to put the U.S. up 5-4. Cameron Carter-Vickers then sent his shot over the bar, and in the final round, John Requejo’s attempt was saved by Rajkovic.
SRB: Sasa Zdjelar followed the Rubin miss by blasting his PK into the top right to put Serbia up 1-0. Stanisa Mandic missed the target completely on the Serbians’ second attempt, which kept the score level at 1-1. Steffen guessed right on Srdan Babic’s attempt, Serbia’s third, but it rolled under him to level at 2-2. Marko Grujic hit in the fourth attempt to tie it 3-3. Andrija Zivkovic scored the must-make fifth attempt to keep Serbia alive. Predag Rajkovic called his own number for Serbia’s sixth attempt, which could’ve been the game-winner, but Steffen made a diving save to preserve U.S. hopes. Nemanja Antonov converted the next Serbia penalty to level 5-5. On Serbia’s next PK Steffen came up big again to keep the U.S. alive when he saved Milos Veljkovic’s shot. Nemanja Maksimovic sent a rocket into the upper left corner and out of Steffen’s reach to win the game for Serbia 6-5.

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Zack Steffen, 38th minute: Serbia’s Nemanja Antonov received a pass at the top of the box and decided to promptly rip a shot from 20 yards out. The left footed strike spun and rose from right to left and Steffen jumped and bumped it over the bar.

USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 54th minute: Good movement off the ball from Serbia led the team into a dangerous area in the penalty box. Serbia attempted a cross in front of goal, but Cameron Carter-Vickers stepped in just in time and cleared it far and away to safety.

USA – Zack Steffen, 68th minute: A foul set up Serbia with a free kick from 24 yards out, a range that they had buried from earlier in the tournament. Gacinovic’s strike was low and hard and bent toward the lower left corner of goal. Steffen dove and just reached the ball, knocking it out of bounds and preserving the clean sheet.

USA – Zack Steffen 82rd minute: Serbia once again attacked from the left and Stanisa Mandic freed himself up for a shot from the left. He sent a rocket of a shot across the mouth of the goal and towards the upper right corner, but Steffen made a diving save away where it was picked up by a U.S. defender

USA-Zack Steffen Penalty Kick Shootout: On two separate occasions where a Serbia goal would have ended the game, Steffen came up big, both times diving to his right and saving to keep U.S. hopes alive.

Additional Notes:

  • This was the fifth time in 14 U-20 World Cup/Youth Championship appearances that the USA advanced to the quarterfinals. The team is now 1-3-1 all-time in quarterfinal matches.
  • Tommy Thompson and John Requejo made their first starts of the tournament.
  • Zack Steffen, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marko Delgado and Emerson Hyndman were the only U.S. players to start every game of the tournament.
  • After injuries and suspensions, only four U.S. field players were available for substitution in the game: Erik Palmer Brown, Shaq Moore, Conor Donovan and Joel Soñora.
  • The match was the first meeting between the USA and Serbia at a U-20 World Cup.
  • Since 1997 the U.S. has reached the quarterfinal three times and all three matches have required extra time.
  • The clean sheet was the second straight for the USA. Prior to this tournament, the USA last recorded a clean sheet in a U-20 World Cup knockout round match in 2003 when the U.S. downed Ivory Coast 2-0 in the Round of 16. Tonight's shutout is the third all-time for the U.S. U-20 MNT in knockout round play at a FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship/World Cup.
  • In addition to his two penalty kick saves tonight, Steffen also made a penalty kick save in the Round of 16 game against Colombia.
  • The USA’s best World Cup finish was a fourth-place performance at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. That year the USA fell to Nigeria in overtime in the Semifinal before losing to Brazil, 2-0, in the Third/Fourth Place match.

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Serbia U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: June 14, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand; Quarterfinals
Venue: North Harbour Stadium; Auckland, New Zealand
Kickoff: 12:30 a.m. ET
Attendance: 10,826
Weather: 56 degrees, wind and rain

Scoring Summary:   1          2          ET1     ET2     F
USA    0          0          0          0          0
SRB      0          0          0          0          0

Penalty Kick Summary:
USA – Rubio Rubín (saved), Desevio Payne (goal), Paul Arriola (goal), Emerson Hyndman (goal), Gedion Zelalem (goal), Joel Soñora (missed), Marco Delgado (goal), Cameron Carter-Vickers (missed), John Requejo (saved)

SRB - Sasa Zdjelar (goal), Stanisa Mandic (missed), Srdan Babic (goal), Marko Grujic (goal), Andrija Zivkovic (goal), Predag Rajkovic (saved), Nemanja Antonov (goal), Milos Veljkovic (saved), Nemanja Maksimovic (goal)

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 17-Desavio Payne, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga 3-John Requejo; 15-Marky Delgado, 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 7-Paul Arriola; 13-Tommy Thompson (10-Joel Soñora, 103), 9-Rubio Rubin
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 2-Shaquell Moore, 11-Bradford Jamieson IV, 16-Conor Donovan, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown
Head coach: Tab Ramos

SRB: 1-Predag Rajkovic (capt.); 3-Nemanja Antonov, 4-Sasa Zdjelar, 5-Milos Veljkovic, 6-Srdan Babic; 8-Nemanja Maksimovic, 9-Stanisa Mandic, 10-Mijat Gacinovic (7-Ivan Saponic, 68), 11-Andrija Zivkovic; 15-Miladin Stevanovic, 20-Sergej Milinkovic (16-Marko Grujic, 111)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Filip Manojlovic, 21-Vanja Milinkovic, 13-Stefan Milosevic, 14-Vukasin Jovanovic, 17-Radovan Pankov, 18-Jankovic, 19-Stefan Ilic.
Head coach: Veljko Paunovic (SRB)

Stats Summary: USA / SRB
Shots: 8 / 19
Shots on Goal: 2 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 22 / 27
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
SRB – Nemanja Antonov (caution)    64th minute
USA – John Requejo (caution)           66
SRB – Stanisa Mandic  (caution)       78

Referee: Artur Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Barbosa (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alvaro Daniel Carvalho Mesquita (POR)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA) Man of the Match: TBA

U-20 MNT Ready for Quarterfinal with Serbia

U.S. U-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos and players preview the match against Serbia in the quarterfinals of the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup.

Quote Sheet: Ramos, Steffen, Carter-Vickers, Jamieson, Zelalem, Arriola Talk Up New Zealand Win

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS

On his initial thoughts on the victory:
"I’m very happy with the team. I’m happy that we got through that first game where I felt that a lot of players felt a little pressure in being at the World Cup. And now the second game, today, they looked like they played more free and wanted the ball. They did a good job.”

On his thoughts on why the team was so dominant in the match:
“Again, I think we played relaxed. Obviously the combination of players was a good one. New Zealand is a team that works very hard; we were able to find spaces in between lines quickly and that opened up the field for us. So when that happens you have an opportunity to attack with a lot of players and you have a lot of options, and I think the game opened up early for us.”

On if utilizing speed in the attack was a tactic he used:
“Well, we wanted to open up the field as much as possible. We knew that New Zealand was going to work very hard and try to limit us into corners of the field, and so the faster we could find the other side, the easier it was going to be for us. So we tried to spread the field out and fortunately it worked out for us.”

On winning the first two games of the World Cup and advancing to the next round:
“We came here to win games one at a time. I’m happy with the team we have, I’m excited that this team – I believe – has a lot of talent. You have to take it one at a time. We got through our first two – the first one was certainly difficult. And this one was not easy either. But I think everybody was up to the task.

It’s great for us. As a nation we’ve normally not done this, winning a couple games to start a World Cup. So we have to be happy about that. It’s a great accomplishment for our players, but hopefully we can accomplish more still.”

On what he thought of the New Zealand performance and if they have a chance to advance:
“I think they played with a lot of heart. I know that’s how coach likes them to play. They did a good job trying to pressure us onto our side of the field. Our boys were up to the task and were able to do a little bit better. But I think coming out of this group – they have one important point against Ukraine, and obviously Myanmar is going to be a fight, because as you saw today against Ukraine for the first 50 minutes – although the last four were not good – the first 50 were very good. And so we’ll see what happens in the last game, but I think they have a good opportunity with four points to get to the next round.”

On his thoughts on the performance of Gedion Zelalem:
“I think Gedion did a great job. He’s born in ’97, he’s a younger player and we’re not afraid to put him in because he wants the ball. I tell the players on the team that I always want to have guys on the field who want the ball. And I think he showed himself well. As you can see he plays very comfortably in that position. He was not afraid and I think at times he put the team on his shoulders and he played like an older player. So I’m excited about his future with us, but it’s one game. We’ll take it one game at a time with him.”

(TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH) On the improvement of the team, if he’s happy with the performance:
“Yes, because I think we played joyful soccer. This is how I always want to see the team. We gave them all the confidence possible between the first game and the second, and I think today they stepped on the field with a desire to show themselves. And like I say, to play attacking soccer and without fear.” 

(TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH) On if qualifying for the next round has removed any pressure:
“We have to keep moving forward. I don’t think there is pressure, or pressure that has ended with this particular game. We have to remember that this is a tournament with young players and we have to keep progressing. The progression is part of the learning process for these players. So to have the opportunity to play additional games in a second round is an even better experience.”

On how tonight’s win helps prepare to face Ukraine in the third group match:
“It gives us obviously a lot of confidence because we needed a game like this and we played, as I said before in Spanish – happy football. So at this point the goal difference doesn’t matter going into the last game, but certainly that’s the way we play. We’re going to try to go forward and try to win our third game as well.”

U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN

On what a game like tonight does for the team:
"I think it raises our confidence, attacking and defensive-wise. I thought we moved the ball well; every player on the field did their job and did it very well. We played how we wanted to play against them.  We scouted them and our coaches did a good job of giving us a good picture of how they were going to come out, and I think we took that to mind and we used their weaknesses against them. I think it was a very good game for us confidence-wise.”

On posting the USA’s first shutout in a U-20 World Cup in 14 games:
“That’s our goal every time, but at the World Cup you’re always facing the top teams in the world so it’s not easy. Tonight I think the offense obviously helped a lot. We kept the ball a lot more and didn’t have a lot of silly giveaways. And I think we had a lot better communication and we were more connected in this game. I don’t think we were as nervous as were against Myanmar.”

On his thoughts on the defender contributing offensively:

“I like it. It’s fun for them and it’s fun for me to watch, too. And it’s good that they are getting forward – that’s what we’ve been trying to work on, pushing them up higher so they’re closer to our attacking line.”


On the win and advancing to the Round of 16:
"I think the game went really well. Apart from their early chance, I think we dominated from the beginning. Obviously we got an early goal, which was good. I think we played a lot better than the Myanmar match, and I think we deserved to win.”

On getting three good looks at goal:
“Well, the first one was from a corner. Every time we get a corner, I feel it’s a good chance for me to score or create a chance. I just tried to attack the ball as hard as I could. The second one just kind of fell to me, so I tried to hit it. The goalkeeper made a really good save. (Laughing) I think it was going top corner for him to get there was very good. And the third one wasn’t very good, but I tried to get something out of it. Obviously I wanted to score, so I was disappointed. But I think it was a good effort.”

On posting the shutout:
“It’s important for us. The more we play together the better we become, communication improves and we learn how with play each other. And Zack made a big save towards the end to keep the clean sheet.


On the win and securing a place in the Round of 16:
"We knew there was a lot on the line, and obviously a good and solid performance was going to get us to the next round. We all knew what the goal was, and I think we executed it very well.”

On how everyone looked hungry to score:
“That’s good and that just shows that every player on the team can be counted on and every player is ready for the challenges that this tournament is going to hold for us.”

On being one of four new starters from the first match:
“Our depth is very important. Tab talked about it every time he was being interviewed, that a big thing about our team is our depth. That’s important because as the tournament goes on you have things like injuries or complications and you need guys to be able to step up at any time.”

On the first goal:
“That’s my goal, man (laughing). But all that really matters is that we got the goal and we got the three points, so we’re happy.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder GEDION ZELALEM

On securing a place in the Round of 16:
"We’re very happy to qualify for the second round. We played fantastic today – all credit to the boys, to the coaching staff. I think we did very well tonight.”

On his comfort on the field:
“I think me and Emerson combined very well. He’s a pleasure to play with. We’ve played two games but I feel like we’ve play together a year or two. And all the other guys, Marky in the midfield – the defensive threat he gives us, and he gives us the ball early and so we try to do our best on the offensive end.”

On the team clicking for 90 minutes:
“When everyone is feeling it, it’s great. Everyone’s excited; everyone’s enjoying soccer – that’s the best way to play.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward PAUL ARRIOLA

On the convincing result:
"It was important for us to get a win today. Obviously we knew what we needed to do going into the game. We knew New Zealand was going to be a great team and it wasn’t going to be easy for us to win. But the depth that we have in every position paid off today and everyone contributed.”

On team taking 30 shots tonight:
"I think we all wanted to score. I think today was one of those games where I took the most shots…everyone was hungry, from the center mids to the forwards to our center backs. Everyone wanted to get up the field and today we all had a great connection.”

On knowing the team has advanced to the knockout round:
"It’s really important. Each game we’re taking it like a final. The first one we took care of with a win against Myanmar, and this was the second final that we needed to win. And now all of our attention goes to Ukraine. Even though we’re through, it’s important for us to get another win just to be secure and keep our confidence going.” 

U-20 MNT Punches Ticket to Knock-Out Stage with 4-0 Win Over New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 2, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team rolled to a second straight Group A victory at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, shutting out tournament host New Zealand 4-0 at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland.

The USA got on the board early in the first half with a goal from Bradford Jamieson following a set-piece play. U.S. captain Emerson Hyndman followed with his second goal of the tournament in the first half to send the Red, White and Blue into the half with a 2-0 lead. Midfielder Paul Arriola added a third tally for the U.S. in the second half and Rubio Rubin scored a few minutes later, as the U.S. defense held firm to record its first shutout in a U-20 World Cup match since June 18, 2005, when it blanked Egypt, 1-0.

With the second consecutive victory, the USA (2-0-0; 6 points) is in first place in Group A ahead of its final group match with Ukraine on June 5. Ukraine (1-0-1; 4 points) defeated Myanmar earlier in the day 6-0, after tying New Zealand in its opening game on May 30. The U.S. needs a tie or win against the Easter Europeans to finish first in the group. No matter the result however, the USA has secured advancement to the Round of 16 as even with a loss, they would still finish as one of the top two teams in Group A.

With his score, Hyndman tied Maki Tall with three goals for the USA in 2015, a leading mark among players on the U.S. World Cup roster; Rubin and Arriola each have two so far this year. The USA outshot New Zealand 30-11 in tonight’s match.

Next, the U.S. will conclude Group A play against Ukraine on June 5 at QBE Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Kickoff is set for 3 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go and NBC Universo. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Bradford Jamieson IV, 6th minute: Emerson Hyndman took a corner for the USA and sent a cross to the middle of the box. After the ball was headed down into play, Bradford Jamieson IV got it on the right side of the net and sent quick shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. Rubio Rubin was in front of the net at that point and made sure Jamieson’s cross went in. USA 1, NZL 0

USA – Emerson Hyndman, 34th minute: After Bradford Jamieson IV brought down a ball sent high past midfield, Rubio Rubin received it and controlled it just outside to box. Rubin tried to maneuver through the box but a New Zealand defender was able to block his shot. Emerson Hyndman was right behind however, and with the ‘keeper already out of position and outside the goal, Hyndman ran forward and sent a first-time shot with his right foot through the ‘keeper’s extended arms and towards the far side netting for the second score of the match. USA 2, NZL 0

USA – Paul Arriola (Gedion Zelalem), 58th minute: Gedion Zelalem played the ball into the attacking zone, moving from left to right outside the 18-yard box while evading several defenders. Zelalem found Paul Arriola on the right side, passing him the ball and allowing Arriola to take it into the box and shoot a right-footed bullet that rebounded off the left post towards the right over the goal line, giving the U.S. its third tally on the game. USA 3, NZL 0

USA – Rubio Rubin (Desevio Payne), 83rd minute: Second-half sub Tommy Thompson played the ball outside the right side of the box and controlled it until Desevio Payne came into the area, passing him the ball. From the right side, Payne found Rubio Rubin entering the box with a strong run and sent him a perfect cross which Rubin received and tapped right into the back of the net for his second tally of the match and fourth of the game. USA 4, NZL 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Paul Arriola, 41st minute: New Zealand’s best chance to get on the board came late in the first half after a corner. A perfect cross into the box looked to create a chance when U.S. midfielder Paul Arriola jumped above everyone and headed it out of bounds for another New Zealand corner, preserving the U.S. first half shutout.

USA – Zack Steffen, 81st minute: Noah Billingsley sent a long-range shot from outside the box towards the USA goal. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen did not panic however, and threw himself to the left side, batting out the ball with his outstretched left arm to give New Zealand a corner kick.

NZL – Oliver Sail, 86th minute: Minutes after coming into the game, U.S. sub John Requejo ran past two defenders on the left side of the box towards the goal. New Zealand’s goalkeeper Oliver Sail however was alert and blocked the shot to avoid any further damage.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. U-20 MNT will finish up Group A play at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday, June 5, against Ukraine. Kickoff is set for 3 a.m. ET at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, NBC Universo
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • The game represented the first time in 14 U-20 World Cups/Youth Championships that the USA has won its first two matches of the tournament.
  • After its first two matches of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA has now scored six goals, the second most goals scored after two games in U.S. U-20 World Cup history (seven in 2007, six in 1993).
  • Midfielder Emerson Hyndman scored his second goal of the U-20 World Cup. He has scored in consecutive games, also scoring the game-winning goal against Myanmar on May 30. It was his third international goal with the U-20s, all coming in 2015.
  • Hyndman is the first U.S. player to score in consecutive U-20 World Cup games since Jozy Altidore did it in 2007.
  • Hyndman wore the captain’s armband for the third-straight time. He made his debut as captain against Australia during a friendly on May 19.
  • Rubio Rubin and Hydman are the only two players on the roster to have been capped at the senior level under U.S. MNT head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. Hyndman made his debut during the second half of the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic in September 2014, and Rubin started against then No. 3-ranked Colombia this past November. 
  • Goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded his seventh career shutout with the U-20’s.
  • Midfielder Gedion Zelalem made his third appearance for the USA and earned his first start. He provided an assist on Paul Arriola’s goal in the second half for his first point in a U.S. uniform.
  • Paul Arriola, Desevio Payne, Zelalem and Bradford Jamieson IV were the four changes in Tab Ramos’ starting lineup from the USA-Myanmar matchup.
  • The USA’s three substitutions of the game were: Tommy Thompson coming in for Jamieson IV, John Requejo for Rubin and Joel Soñora for Marky Delgado, all coming in the second half.
  • Thompson’s appearance was his 19th for the U-20 MNT, which leads all U.S. players on the roster.
  • The defense was anchored by Payne, Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kellyn Acosta. Miazga, Carter-Vickers and Acosta also started in the backline for the USA against Myanmar.
  • Upon further review, FIFA retroactively awarded Rubin's first goal to Bradford 

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. New Zealand U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: June 2, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand
Venue: North Harbor Stadium; Auckland, New Zealand
Kickoff: 3:00 a.m. ET
Attendance: 15,678
Weather: 56 degrees; Rain

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            2          2          4
NZL                             0          0          0

USA – Bradford Jamieson IV                                    6th minute
USA – Emerson Hyndman                                          33
USA – Paul Arriola (Gedion Zelalem)                       58
USA – Rubio Rubin (Desevio Payne)                        83

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 17-Desevio Payne, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 6-Kellyn Acosta; 15-Marky Delgado (Joel Soñora, 87), 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 7-Paul Arriola; 9-Rubio Rubin (3-John Requejo, 84), 11-Bradford Jamieson IV (13-Tommy Thompson, 62)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 2-Shaquell Moore, 16-Conor Donovan, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown, 20-Jordan Allen
Head coach: Tab Ramos

NZL: 1-Oliver Sail; 2-Jesse Edge, 3-Deklan Wynne, 4-Sam Brotherton, 5-Adam Mitchell; 6-Bill Tuiloma (capt.), 7-Joel Stevens (17-Andrew Blake, 62), 8-Moses Dyer, 10-Clayton Lewis; 11-Matthew Ridenton (15-Monty Patterson, 46), 20-Noah Billingsley (19-Stuart Holthusen, 82)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Nikola Tzanev, 21-Damian Hirst, 9-Alex Rufer, 13-Brock Messenger, 14-Cory Brown, 16-Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, 18-Andre De Jong
Head coach: Darren Bazeley

Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 30 / 11
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 5 / 9
Fouls: 9 / 10
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
NZL – Clayton Lewis (caution)           21st minute
USA – Matt Miazga (caution)             26
USA – Desevio Payne (caution)         29
NZL – Moses Dyer (caution)              34

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Artur Dias (POR) Man of the Match: TBA

U-20 MNT Kicks Off 2015 U-20 WORLD CUP with 2-1 Win Over Myanmar

WHANGAREI, New Zealand (May 30, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team opened up Group A play of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Myanmar at the Northland Events Center in Whangarei.

Maki Tall got the USA on the board in the first half after an early Myanmar lead, and U.S. captain Emerson Hyndman followed with the game-winner in the second half to guarantee the USA three points in its opening game of the tournament.

With the win, the USA (1-0-0) sits atop Group A standings with three points, followed by New Zealand (0-0-1) and Ukraine (0-0-1), who tied 0-0 earlier in the day. Myanmar (0-1-0) is last in the group with zero points following the loss.

With his goal in the first half, Tall now has three goals for the USA in 2015, a leading mark among players on the World Cup roster.

Next, the U.S. continues Group A play against host New Zealand on June 2 at QBE Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Kickoff is set for 3 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go and NBC Universo. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
MYA – Yan Naing Oo, 9th minute: Following a corner kick from Myanmar, the ball went into the box and various players from both teams scrambled to get ahold of it. U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen came out of the net to try and secure the ball; however, he was unable to control it, leaving an empty net for Naing Oo to find the ball and tap it inside the near post for the first score of the match. USA 0, MYA 1  

USA – Maki Tall (Cameron Carter-Vickers), 17th minute: After Myanmar deflected a U.S. ball out of the playing field, U.S. captain Emerson Hyndman stepped up to take the corner for the USA. Hyndman sent a high, curved ball to the middle of the box, where Cameron Carter-Vickers got a light touch to redirect it to the right side of the box. Maki Tall was in position on the right to coral the ball and sent a right-footed kick to the back left corner of the goal to even up the game. USA 1, MYA 1

USA – Emerson Hyndman (Rubio Rubin), 56th minute: Rubio Rubin gained possession of the ball in the midfield and ran with it up to the outside of the Myanmar box where he found Emerson Hyndman making a long follow up run. Rubin sent a pass to the right side of the box where Hyndman had positioned himself. Hyndman got inside the box and wasted no time sending a perfect shot from about 12 yards out to the far post to put the USA ahead for good. USA 2, MYA 1 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MYA – Myo Min Latt, 30th minute: Emerson Hyndman set up to take a free kick from about 20 yards out on the right side of the box. His shot went straight to the barrier and rebounded right back at him. With his second effort, Hyndman sent a bullet right to the center of the net, where Myo Min Latt reacted quickly and jumped on the ball before Hyndman’s perfectly directed ball could cause any damage.

MYA – Myo Min Latt, 35th minute: Once again, Emerson Hyndman set up a set-piece play with another free kick. His ball flew over to the opposite side of the field onto the left side of the barrier where Matt Miazga awaited. The lanky defender jumped and downed the ball with a header towards Rubio Rubin who tried to turn and kick it with his left foot. Rubin’s attempt however was futile as Latt was alert and came out to punch the ball out of play.

MYA – Myo Min Latt, 50th minute: A pass from the left side by Jordan Allen led to chaos in the box as the ball seemed to disappear from everyone’s sights and slowly began rolling towards the back of the net. Hyndman finally caught a glimpse of it and attempted to give it a tap, however Latt saw it as well and covered it at the last second before it crossed the goal line.

USA – Shaquelle Moore, 74th minute: Despite giving up the early goal to Myanmar, the U.S. defense found its footing for the remainder of the match and made key plays throughout. After pushing for several minutes late in the game, Myanmar eventually got into U.S. territory and started threatening in the box. That’s when Moore made a key save while covering his player by heading a ball out of play that appeared to be headed straight to the net.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA and Myanmar faced each other for the first time in the nations’ histories.
  • Midfielder Emerson Hyndman wore the captain’s armband for only the second time. He made his debut as captain against Australia during a friendly on May 19.
  • Hyndman’s goal was only his second international goal with the U-20s. He last scored during the USA’s 8-0 win over Aruba on Jan. 14 at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica.
  • Maki Tall has scored in three of the five career games he has played with the U-20 MNT.
  • The USA’s three substitutions of the game were: Gedion Zelalem for Joel Soñora, Tommy Thompson for Jordan Allen and Bradford Jamieson IV for Maki Tall, all coming in the second half.
  • The defense was anchored by Shaquell Moore, Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kellyn Acosta, who all played the entirety of the match. 

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Myanmar U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: May 30, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand
Venue: Northland Events Center; Whangarei, New Zealand
Kickoff: 12:00 a.m. ET
Attendance: 5,816
Weather: 60 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1    2    F
USA                            1    1    2
MYA                            1    0    1

MYA – Yan Naing Oo                                                9th minute
USA – Maki Tall (Cameron Carter-Vickers)              17
USA – Emerson Hyndman (Rubio Rubin)                 56

USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 6-Kellyn Acosta, 15-Marky Delgado, 10-Joel Soñora (19-Gedion Zelalem, 55), 20-Jordan Allen (13-Tommy Thompson, 72), 8-Emerson Hyndman, 9-Rubio Rubin, 14-Maki Tall (11-Bradford Jamieson IV, 49).
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 3-John Requejo, 7-Paul Arriola, 16-Conor Donovan, 17-Desevio Payne, 18-Eric Palmer-Brown
Head coach: Tab Ramos

MYA: 1-Myo Min Latt, 3-Htike Htike Aung, 5- Nanda Kyaw (c), 6-Kyaw Min Oo, 8-Maung Maung Soe, 9-Aung Thu, 10-Than Paing, 11-Mg Mg Lwin, 15-Yan Naing Oo, 16-Myo Ko Tun, 17-Thiha Htet Aung
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Aung Moe Htwe, 4-Naing Lin, 7-Nyein Chan Aung, 12-Hlaing Myo Aung, 13-Yan Lin Aung, 14-Nan Wai Min, 18-Pyae Sone Chit, 19-Swan Htet Aung, 20-Myo Zaw Oo, 21-Wai Lin Aung
Head coach: Gerd Zeise

Stats Summary: USA / MYA
Shots: 14 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 20
Offside: 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
MYA – Nanda Kyaw (caution)            5th minute
USA – Shaquelle Moore (caution)      67

Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marius Tan (CIV)
Fourth Official: Aleg Atrokhov (RUS) Man of the Match: TBA