CARSON, California (July 18, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team concluded the inaugural National Training Center Invitational with a draw against Australia at StubHub Center, resulting in the U.S. earning the championship trophy.
Both Australia and the U.S. finished with seven points atop the standings, but the goal differential of plus-5 achieved by the U.S. was greater than Australia’s (plus-4) and awarded the USA the title. Australia finished as the runner-up.
Both teams had multiple opportunities to score, much to the delight of the American Outlaws who attended the game and were vocal throughout. The U.S. hit the upright or crossbar four times, coming within inches of scoring on various occasions. Lynden Gooch alone hit the frame three times.
Australia tested U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen early when Brandon Borello found a seam and got behind the defense, forcing Steffen off his line to corral the ball at Borello’s feet.
The U.S. had a near goal in the sixth minute when Tommy Thompson dribbled down the right side and lifted a cross into the box, bringing Australia goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell off his line. The ball fell to U.S. midfielder Fernando Arce, who lofted a shot from the edge of the box that was headed over the goal by an Australia defender.
U.S. midfielder Romain Gall had a free kick from five yards outside the box in the 21st minute and he fired a shot over the wall that hit the upper left corner of the goal and bounced over.
Australia’s Daniel De Silva took a shot from the right side outside the box in the 31st minute, forcing Steffen to make a leaping save to his right.
Gooch gave the U.S. another great chance in the 37th minute when he fired a left-footed, running shot from well outside the box that crossed past Thurtell and hit the right upright before bouncing away.
The U.S. forced Thurtell into action again just two minutes later with a beautiful combination that saw midfielder Paul Arriola dribble toward the end line to the left of goal before finding Arce alone in the center of the box. Arce struck the ball with full force, but his shot was just above Thurtell’s head and he was able to reach up just in time to deflect it away.
In the 46th minute, Gooch’s shot hit the upright again. Gooch took a shot from the edge of the box that was just out of Thurtell’s reach, but proved to be just off target as the ball caromed off the right post.
Thompson dribbled through a sea of Australia defenders in the 77th minute and freed himself for a shot to the right of the penalty area. His shot was deflected wide. Gooch hit the crossbar again in the 79th minute with a shot from the middle of the field outside the 18-yard box that Thurtell tipped, grazing the crossbar and continuing over the goal and out of bounds.
The U.S. U-20 MNT now begins preparations for 2015 U-20 World Cup Qualifying, which begins in January. The team will come together for several foreign-based training camps before the end of the year.
-U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Australia
Date: July 18, 2014
Competition: 2014 Men’s National Training Center Invitational
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 13-Chris Odoi-Atsem, 4-Conor Donovan, 5-Michael Amick, 2-John Requejo; 16-Fernando Arce, 6-Russell Canouse (capt.); 7-Paul Arriola; 24-Tommy Thompson, 8-Lynden Gooch (9-Benji Lopez, 89) , 11-Zach Pfeffer (10-Romain Gall, 8)
Subs Not Used: 12-Santiago Castano, 14-Jacori Hayes, 17-Jesus Vasquez, 19-Andrija Novakovich, 20-Caleb Smith
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
AUS: 1-Jordan Thurtell; 5-Riley Woodcock (15-Scott Galloway, 62), 3-Daniel Alessi, 4-Ben Warland, 16-Ben Garuccio; 7-Shannon Brady (11-Jaushua Sotorio, 28), 6-Hagi Gligor (capt.) (20-Jordan Brown, 83), 10-Stefan Sotorio; 23-Daniel De Silva (14-Devante Clut, 73), 9-Brandon Borrello, 8-Awer Mabil (24-Marc Marino, 72)
Subs Not Used: 2-Shayne D’Cunha, 18-Paul Izzo, 21-Chris Naumoff, 22-Liam Rose,
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 15 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 2 / 1
AUS – Jaushua Sotorio (caution) 76th minute
USA – Russell Canouse (caution) 86
Referee: Victor Rivas (USA)
Assistant Referee: Andrew Bigelow (USA)
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Mariscal (USA)
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi (USA)