Caleb Stanko Started in the Middle for Azerbaijan
A U.S. Men’s National Team comprised mostly of players born in 1993 tied Azerbaijan in a scrimmage on Friday in Duisburg, Germany. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos led the team, which featured eight players in the starting lineup who were age eligible for the 2013 U-20 FIFA World Cup cycle. We called it a U-23 team in the headline because there were still some players not in this U-20 cycle - Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget, Bobby Wood and Conor Doyle are not part of the U-20 player pool this time around. But mostly it was players born in 1993 playing in this afternoon's scrimmage.
Lletget had the best chance of the game for the team, curling a layoff from Bobby Wood just wide of the goal in the first half. Midfielder Luis Gil of Real Salt Lake wore the captain’s armband for the USA, and helped marshal a three-man midfield that included Lletget and Caleb Stanko.
Goalkeeper Cody Cropper of Ipswich Town was required to make five saves in the game and the U.S. defense did well to hold firm under the pressure of Azerbaijan in the second half. Azerbaijan’s team was a similarly mixed squad, with players born in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 taking part.