MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 18, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned its second straight win in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defeating host side Jamaica 2-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Romain Gall scored two penalty-kick goals to lead the way for the USA, which is 2-1-1 (7 points) in the tournament and in third place. With one group game remaining, the U.S. is currently in position to earn a playoff spot. The tournament’s two group winners and two playoff winners advance directly to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The U.S. wraps up Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Montego Bay. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. A victory or draw would assure the U.S. advances to the playoff stage. However, a Trinidad & Tobago win against the USA would equal the overall point totals, and Trinidad would earn the tiebreaker against the U.S. by virtue of head-to-head competition.
Earlier Sunday in Group A action, Panama (4-0-0) defeated Trinidad & Tobago (1-2-1) by a 1-0 margin, while Guatemala (3-0-1) topped Aruba (0-4-0) by a 2-0 score line. Panama is in strong position to win the group and can clinch with a draw or win against Guatemala, or even a loss if it maintains its advantage in goal differential (currently three goals ahead of Guatemala).
With his two goals, Gall now has five for the tournament to lead all scorers. He is one goal ahead of Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, who has four goals through three games.
Jamaica played the final five minutes and change down a man as Daniel Roberts was issued a red card in the 84th minute. Roberts will miss Jamaica’s remaining Group A game against Aruba on Jan. 21. Jamaica fell to 0-3-1 in the tournament.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Romain Gall, 34th minute: The effective play of Tommy Thompson and his strong runs in the first half created the USA’s scoring chance as he drew a foul against Jamaica defender Allando Brown in the box. Brown was shown a yellow card on the play, with an argument to be made that Brown was the final defender. Nevertheless, Gall stutter-stepped with his approach on the PK to freeze Jamaica goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson. Gall slotted to the right side of the net as Nelson guessed the opposite direction. USA 1, JAM 0
USA – Romain Gall, 70th minute: Bradford Jamieson IV intercepted a poor back pass from Jamaica’s defense and found himself one-on-one against Jamaica goalkeeper Nelson. Jamieson flicked the ball up during his run and was tripped by Nelson in the box. Similar to the play that led to the USA’s first-half score, a red card was a distinct possibility, but Nelson was issued a yellow. Gall took the subsequent penalty kick and switched up the direction, shooting to the left side while Nelson anticipated the shot going the opposite way. USA 2, JAM 0 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 7th minute: The USA created a couple of chances from the right flank, and the ball eventually found its way to Emerson Hyndman in the middle of the box. Stewart was in a good position in front of the six-yard box and blocked the attempt.
JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 14th minute: U.S. midfielder Emerson Hyndman shot above the 18-yard box, looking to drive his attempt into the left of the frame, but Nelson dove to his right for the save. Nelson also did a strong job securing the ball so the USA could not pounce on a rebound.
JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 40th and 43rd minutes: Jamaica’s goalkeeper was called upon twice more in the final five minutes of the opening half. Nelson’s foot save thwarted a Romain Gall attack from the left side. Then three minutes later, after Tommy Thompson’s run to set up Bradford Jamieson IV, the USA forward tried to shoot over Nelson. Nelson stuffed Jamieson’s attempt with his right glove to minimize the damage to one goal allowed in the first half.
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 48th minute: Jamaica stepped up its attack to open the second half, and defender Malcolm Stewart pushed up in the final third. Stewart briefly had an opening toward the right side of the box, but Carter-Vickers halted the run with the deflection for a Jamaica corner kick.
JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 51st minute: Romain Gall eluded a couple of Jamaica defenders and shot right-footed from about 20 yards out, looking for the right side of the goal. Nelson once again made a key save, and though the ball trickled away, he was able to collect with ease.
JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 88th minute: On a corner kick chance, the ball was whipped in to second-half sub Junior Flores, whose header was destined for the upper left corner of the goal. Stewart leapt to deflect the shot away for another U.S. corner kick.
- The USA improved to 6-0-2 against Jamaica in this tournament.
- Zack Steffen returned for the start in goal, making his third appearance in four games in this tournament.
- The defense was anchored by John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back duo of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga. Requejo and Carter-Vickers have started all four matches in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
- The midfield group in the USA’s 4-4-2 formation featured the same four players from the Aruba win: Tommy Thompson on the right, Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband. Thompson is the only midfield player to have started in all four games in the qualifying tournament.
- Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a second straight match.
- Lynden Gooch, who did not feature for the USA in the previous game against Aruba, replaced Spencer in the 64th minute to earn his third appearance in the tournament.
- Paul Arriola subbed in for Gall in the 79th minute.
- The USA used its final sub in the 85th minute with Junior Flores replacing Hyndman.
- Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who captained the first two games and injured his knee late in the game against Panama, returned to Dallas for further evaluation by the FC Dallas staff.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
JAM 0 0 0
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick) 34th minute
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick) 70
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman (10-Junior Flores, 85), 9-Romain Gall (7-Paul Arriola, 78), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (18-Lynden Gooch, 64)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos
JAM: 1-Nicholas Nelson, 12-Roberto Johnson (6-Martin Davis, 65), 7-Malcolm Stewart, 17-Shaquille Dyer, 5-Allando Brown, 15-Donja Smith (20-Isamnia Cohen, 74), 14-John Levee (8-Daniel Roberts, 58), 4-Rennico Clarke, 11-I'ishmale Currie, 19-Cardel Benbow, 2-Khallil Stewart
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Dane Chambers, 16-Shamar Nicholson, 18-Joel Cunningham.
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1
JAM – Allando Brown (caution) 33rd minute
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution) 68
JAM – Daniel Roberts (sent off) 84
JAM – Shaquille Dyer (caution) 90+2
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution) 90+2
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Cameron Carter-Vickers