U.S. Soccer

U-20 MNT Falls to Panama 1-0 in Second Match of 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Jan. 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team dropped a 1-0 decision to Panama in its second game of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship at Independence Park on Sunday evening.

The USA (0-1-1, 1pt) next plays Aruba, which has lost its first two games of the competition by a combined score of 9-1 to Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. The match kicks off on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Through the first 45 minutes, the U.S. dominated play much in the same way it did against Guatemala in its first match of the competition, generating chances by playing the ball down the wings and earning corners or free kicks within range of the Panama goal that nearly led to the U.S. taking the lead on a number of occasions. 

Panama created some dangerous moments in the second half as the game stretched from end to end and found more room to operate. Carlos Small eventually snagged the game-winner in the 78th minute. 

The USA needs to beat Aruba in its next match in order to stay within sight of finishing toward the top of Group A and assuring a playoff spot when the teams are reseeded after group play concludes on Jan. 22. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN – Carlos Small (Edson Samms), 78th minute: A spell of possession for Panama led to Samms chipping the ball from just outside the top center of the U.S. penalty area into the path of Small running toward the left post. The Panama substitute, chested the ball down and sent a low shot between two U.S. defenders and just beneath the outstretched left hand of U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen into the bottom left corner of the net for the winning goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
PAN – Luis Pereira, 9th minute: The first quality scoring opportunity of the match came to the U.S. from a corner kick that was whipped into the center of the Panama box by Emerson Hyndman. Panama goalkeeper Jamie de Gracia misjudged the flight of the ball and USA center back Matt Miazga sent a headed shot toward the upper right-hand corner. But, Pereira was on hand to head the ball clear off the line and keep the score knotted at 0-0 early on. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 17th minute: The U.S. worked the ball through midfield to the foot of Hyndman whose long, dipping drive from 27 yards out was headed for the lower right-hand corner of the Panama goal, but de Gracia was able to palm it away. Unfortunately for the U.S., Junior Flores was flagged offside as he chased down the rebound with the net left wide open. 

USA – Zack Steffen, 26th minute: Edson Sams curled a wide-angled shot from the left wing toward Steffen’s near post, but the USA ‘keeper was well positioned to catch the powerful shot. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 30th minute: de Gracia charged out of his net and collided with U.S. forward Paul Arriola near the top center of the Panama box as both players attempted to head a long ball that was played toward the penalty area. de Gracia won the header but cleared out Arriola in the process and was stranded off his line. Flores collected the loose ball for the U.S. and let loose from long range, but his shot went high over the bar. 

USA – Zack Steffen, 35th minute: Panama’s best opportunity of the first half fell to Ismael Diaz, who one-timed a rocket toward the U.S. goal after running onto a cut back pass from Small. But his blast from the top of the box was right down the middle of the goal and Steffen made a great kick save with his trailing foot as he was diving to his left. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 65th minute: A flowing U.S. move cut open the Panama defense as Arriola and Lynden Gooch weaved a neat passing sequence that culminated with Gooch getting off a back-heeled shot from eight yards out, but the rolling shot hit de Gracia on the right leg and deflected behind for a U.S. corner kick that Miazga then headed over the bar. 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 3-1-0 all-time against Panama in qualifying, winning by a combined 9-1 margin. This was the USA’s first loss to Panama in U-20 World Cup Qualifying.
  • U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos sent out an unchanged defensive unit from the first match of the competition with Shaq Moore on the right, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga in the middle and John Requejo on the left.
  • There were changes in midfield as Emerson Hyndman drafted into the center of the U.S. formation alongside Kellyn Acosta and Junior Flores, who was removed in the 53rd minute after taking a knock to the ankle for Bradford Jamieson IV.
  • Up top, Paul Arriola started out wide right with Lynden Gooch making his first start of the tournament as the center forward and Tommy Thompson out wide left.
  • Forward Ben Spencer and midfielder Amando Moreno saw their first action of the tournament, coming on in the second half for Hyndman and Thompson, respectively. 

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama U-20 National Team
Date: Jan. 11, 2015 
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship (Group Play) 
Venue: Independence Park; Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET 
Attendance: 3,320 
Weather: 86 degrees, mostly clear

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

PAN – Carlos Small (Edson Samms)         78th minute

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga, 3-John Requejo; 8-Emerson Hyndman (20-Ben Spencer, 80), 10-Junior Flores (19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 53), 6-Kellyn Acosta (capt.); 7-Paul Arriola, 18-Lynden Gooch, 11-Tommy Thompson (17-Amando Moreno,68)
Subs Not Used: 10-Romain Gall, 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 16-Russell Canouse
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

PAN: 12-Jaime de Gracia: 4-Michael Murillo, 2-Chin Hormechea, 6-Fidel Escobar; 7- Julian Velarde, 5 - Francisco Narbon (18-Carlos Small, 32), 3 - Kevin Galvan, 8-Luis Pereira; 10- Jhamal Rodriguez, 9-Ismael Diaz, 16-Edson  Samms (11-Ervin Perez, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 1-Pedro Campos, 13- Jomar Díaz, 14-Jesús Araya, 15-Fabian Salcedo, 17-Justin Simons, 19-Richard Rodriguez, 20-Rubén Barrow
Head Coach: Leonardo Pipino
 

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
PAN – Kevin Galvan (caution)           58th minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)           74
USA – Lynden Gooch (caution)        

Officials: 
Referee: Yedel Martinez (CUB)
Assistant Referee 1:Hiran Dopico (CUB)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
Fourth Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: 

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U-20 MNT Jan 11, 2015

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama U-20 National Team
Date: Jan. 11, 2015 
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship (Group Play) 
Venue: Independence Park; Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET 
Attendance: 300 
Weather: 86 degrees, mostly clear

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

PAN – Carlos Small (Edson Samms)         78th minute

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga, 3-John Requejo; 8-Emerson Hyndman (20-Ben Spencer, 80), 10-Junior Flores (19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 53), 6-Kellyn Acosta (capt.); 7-Paul Arriola, 18-Lynden Gooch, 11-Tommy Thompson (17-Amando Moreno,68)
Subs Not Used: 10-Romain Gall, 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 16-Russell Canouse
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

PAN: 12-Jaime de Gracia: 4-Michael Murillo, 2-Chin Hormechea, 6-Fidel Escobar; 7- Julian Velarde, 5 - Francisco Narbon (18-Carlos Small, 32), 3 - Kevin Galvan, 8-Luis Pereira; 10- Jhamal Rodriguez, 9-Ismael Diaz, 16-Edson  Samms (Ervin Perez, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 1-Pedro Campos, 13- Jomar Díaz, 14-Jesús Araya, 15-Fabian Salcedo, 17-Justin Simons, 19-Richard Rodriguez, 20-Rubén Barrow
Head Coach: Leonardo Pipino
 

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1 

Misconduct Summary: 
PAN – Kevin Galvan (caution)           58th minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)           74
USA – Lynden Gooch (caution)        

Officials: 
Referee: Yedel Martinez (CUB)
Assistant Referee 1:Hiran Dopico (CUB)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
Fourth Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: 

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Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. Panama - 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 0, PAN 1
Jan. 11, 2015
U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS

On his thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was a very good match played by two good teams. Our team, in general, I was happy with the effort of the players. When it got to the last 20 minutes we obviously had to throw more players forward, because having given up two points the first game, a tie was not a great result for us. It was almost like a loss. So at this point we tried to go forward as much as we could, and I think we were vulnerable in the back. In return, Panama created more opportunities and they got their goal. In the end it was a well played game by two teams and Panama won.”

On the performance from midfield up to forward:
"It’s easy sometimes to evaluate the offense by how many goals you get, and that’s a total of zero in two games. We’re not happy about that. Having said that, I think we created a lot of opportunities and we had many chances to go up in the game early. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalize. But it wasn’t because of a lack of effort, which I thought partly that happened in the first game. I think we corrected that, but unfortunately we couldn’t score and that made it difficult for us.”

On if Panama is still the favorite to win the group, or can both teams still play for the top position:
“For us, we had no doubt entering this game that the game against Panama was going to be the most important. And we knew that we came to this tournament looking to finish first in our group and to go to the final. Losing to Panama, and losing two points against Guatemala, unfortunately puts us in a tough situation.”

On what most surprised him about Panama:
"Nothing surprised me. Panama is a very good team and so are we. I think it was a great game. At the end we had to risk a lot, and on risking, Panama was able to create more opportunities.”

On if he’s concerned having one point from two games:
"I’m very concerned. We were hoping that after two matches we’d have six points. So, we’re not doing as well as we wanted to. But in general terms, obviously we lost two very important points in the first game, but I have no objection to today’s loss. I think today was a match played by two good teams, and either team could have won. Unfortunately we didn’t win, and we’re the team that needed to win the most. We have to focus on the next one and get three more points before we head to Montego Bay and obviously try to get to six points there. That’s all we can do.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender JOHN REQUEJO

On his thoughts on the match:
"It was a tough game overall. Both sides were fighting hard and they had one chance and they put it away. We had a couple chances and we just didn’t put them away.”

On the message from the coaches to the team:
“That it’s still in our hands. These next three games, we can win them.”

On how the players took the result:
“We knew this was the biggest game coming into this tournament. It was heartbreaking, losing. But we’re still in the tournament.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward LYNDEN GOOCH

On his thoughts on the match:
"It was tough. I think it was pretty even. I don’t know, we were unlucky, we could have had a couple of goals but we didn’t take our chances and it really cost us in the end. They got a chance and they took it.

“It was a tough game, it was a battle. We gave it everything. We’re disappointed but we just have to keep our heads up and move on to Wednesday.”

On the team’s mentality after the loss:
"We have to stick together. That’s all you can do when you’re going through tough times. We can still do it; we still have a chance. We just have to hold on to that chance and make sure we take advantage of it and get points against Aruba on Wednesday.”

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U-20 MNT Jan 11, 2015

U-20 MNT Falls to Panama 1-0 in Second Match of 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Jan. 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team dropped a 1-0 decision to Panama in its second game of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship at Independence Park on Sunday evening.

The USA (0-1-1, 1pt) next plays Aruba, which has lost its first two games of the competition by a combined score of 9-1 to Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. The match kicks off on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Through the first 45 minutes, the U.S. dominated play much in the same way it did against Guatemala in its first match of the competition, generating chances by playing the ball down the wings and earning corners or free kicks within range of the Panama goal that nearly led to the U.S. taking the lead on a number of occasions. 

Panama created some dangerous moments in the second half as the game stretched from end to end and found more room to operate. Carlos Small eventually snagged the game-winner in the 78th minute. 

The USA needs to beat Aruba in its next match in order to stay within sight of finishing toward the top of Group A and assuring a playoff spot when the teams are reseeded after group play concludes on Jan. 22. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN – Carlos Small (Edson Samms), 78th minute: A spell of possession for Panama led to Samms chipping the ball from just outside the top center of the U.S. penalty area into the path of Small running toward the left post. The Panama substitute, chested the ball down and sent a low shot between two U.S. defenders and just beneath the outstretched left hand of U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen into the bottom left corner of the net for the winning goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
PAN – Luis Pereira, 9th minute: The first quality scoring opportunity of the match came to the U.S. from a corner kick that was whipped into the center of the Panama box by Emerson Hyndman. Panama goalkeeper Jamie de Gracia misjudged the flight of the ball and USA center back Matt Miazga sent a headed shot toward the upper right-hand corner. But, Pereira was on hand to head the ball clear off the line and keep the score knotted at 0-0 early on. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 17th minute: The U.S. worked the ball through midfield to the foot of Hyndman whose long, dipping drive from 27 yards out was headed for the lower right-hand corner of the Panama goal, but de Gracia was able to palm it away. Unfortunately for the U.S., Junior Flores was flagged offside as he chased down the rebound with the net left wide open. 

USA – Zack Steffen, 26th minute: Edson Sams curled a wide-angled shot from the left wing toward Steffen’s near post, but the USA ‘keeper was well positioned to catch the powerful shot. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 30th minute: de Gracia charged out of his net and collided with U.S. forward Paul Arriola near the top center of the Panama box as both players attempted to head a long ball that was played toward the penalty area. de Gracia won the header but cleared out Arriola in the process and was stranded off his line. Flores collected the loose ball for the U.S. and let loose from long range, but his shot went high over the bar. 

USA – Zack Steffen, 35th minute: Panama’s best opportunity of the first half fell to Ismael Diaz, who one-timed a rocket toward the U.S. goal after running onto a cut back pass from Small. But his blast from the top of the box was right down the middle of the goal and Steffen made a great kick save with his trailing foot as he was diving to his left. 

PAN – Jamie de Gracia, 65th minute: A flowing U.S. move cut open the Panama defense as Arriola and Lynden Gooch weaved a neat passing sequence that culminated with Gooch getting off a back-heeled shot from eight yards out, but the rolling shot hit de Gracia on the right leg and deflected behind for a U.S. corner kick that Miazga then headed over the bar. 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 3-1-0 all-time against Panama in qualifying, winning by a combined 9-1 margin. This was the USA’s first loss to Panama in U-20 World Cup Qualifying.
  • U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos sent out an unchanged defensive unit from the first match of the competition with Shaq Moore on the right, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga in the middle and John Requejo on the left.
  • There were changes in midfield as Emerson Hyndman drafted into the center of the U.S. formation alongside Kellyn Acosta and Junior Flores, who was removed in the 53rd minute after taking a knock to the ankle for Bradford Jamieson IV.
  • Up top, Paul Arriola started out wide right with Lynden Gooch making his first start of the tournament as the center forward and Tommy Thompson out wide left.
  • Forward Ben Spencer and midfielder Amando Moreno saw their first action of the tournament, coming on in the second half for Hyndman and Thompson, respectively. 

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama U-20 National Team
Date: Jan. 11, 2015 
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship (Group Play) 
Venue: Independence Park; Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET 
Attendance: 3,320 
Weather: 86 degrees, mostly clear

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

PAN – Carlos Small (Edson Samms)         78th minute

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga, 3-John Requejo; 8-Emerson Hyndman (20-Ben Spencer, 80), 10-Junior Flores (19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 53), 6-Kellyn Acosta (capt.); 7-Paul Arriola, 18-Lynden Gooch, 11-Tommy Thompson (17-Amando Moreno,68)
Subs Not Used: 10-Romain Gall, 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 16-Russell Canouse
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

PAN: 12-Jaime de Gracia: 4-Michael Murillo, 2-Chin Hormechea, 6-Fidel Escobar; 7- Julian Velarde, 5 - Francisco Narbon (18-Carlos Small, 32), 3 - Kevin Galvan, 8-Luis Pereira; 10- Jhamal Rodriguez, 9-Ismael Diaz, 16-Edson  Samms (11-Ervin Perez, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 1-Pedro Campos, 13- Jomar Díaz, 14-Jesús Araya, 15-Fabian Salcedo, 17-Justin Simons, 19-Richard Rodriguez, 20-Rubén Barrow
Head Coach: Leonardo Pipino
 

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
PAN – Kevin Galvan (caution)           58th minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)           74
USA – Lynden Gooch (caution)        

Officials: 
Referee: Yedel Martinez (CUB)
Assistant Referee 1:Hiran Dopico (CUB)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
Fourth Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: 

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U-20 MNT Jan 11, 2015

U-20 MNT Looks to Top Group vs. Panama

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Kingston, Jamaica
Jan. 11, 2015

U-20 MNT LOOKS TO TOP GROUP A AT 2015 CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP VS. PANAMA – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team continues the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship with its second Group A game against Panama on Sunday, Jan. 11. The match kicks off at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica, at 5:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2.

The U.S. comes in on the heels of a surprising 1-1 draw against Guatemala last Friday in which FC Dallas Academy product scored a 90th-minute equalizer to steal a point for Guatemala after the USA dominated the match. Earlier that day, Panama comfortably defeated Aruba 4-0 and now sits atop Group A with three points. The U.S., Guatemala, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are all tied for second place with a point apiece. The tournament will qualify four teams to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

After its match against Panama, the USA will next play Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21) in Group A competition. All of the USA’s remaining group matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2, while the matches against Aruba and Jamaica will also air on Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow all the action on twitter at @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

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U-20 MNT Jan 11, 2015

Building a Tradition of Success

Two years ago, when head coach Tab Ramos led the U.S. U-20 MNT to the 2013 CONCACAF Championship in Mexico, he wanted to give his players a little extra motivation, a little more inspiration. 

Before the team checked into its hotel room in Puebla, the staff placed a U.S. flag and placard featuring the name of a former U.S. player who had been part of both a FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup above each player’s bed. 

That team proceeded to qualify for the 2013 U-20 World Cup. With that background, Ramos is keeping the tradition going this time around in Jamaica, hoping for the same result. 

On Monday as the U-20 MNT arrived in Kingston ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Championship, the new batch of youngsters walked into their hotel rooms to also find the names of current and former USMNT stars above their beds. 

“It’s very important for us to know the tradition of U.S. Soccer and the past players that these players this time represent,” Ramos said. “Because we do represent the Michael Bradley’s and the Clint Dempsey’s and Landon Donovan’s who have been here before in their shoes. So I’m hoping that they are as excited as I am because we truly feel fortunate to be here.”

The names are familiar to long-time U.S. soccer fans: Chris Henderson, Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, Damarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, and so forth; players who were once in the sames roles as the current group, trying to qualify for a U-20 World Cup, before eventually playing in one and later at the biggest soccer event in the world. 

Emerson Hyndman, rooming with Lynden Gooch, said they each claimed a bed once they walked in their room. When Emerson looked up, he noticed Clint Dempsey’s name above his bed. Dempsey played at the 2003 U-20 World Cup before competing at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. 

“It’s kind of funny ‘cause I actually know Clint, from his time at Fulham,” Hyndman said. “To see all the World Cups he’s been to, and what he’s achieved with the U.S., it can’t help but inspire me.” 

Forward Paul Arriola wound up with Michael Bradley, who played at the 2007 U-20 World Cup and the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. And like others, Arriola is familiar with the recent success of Bradley on the senior National Team. 

“I was in residency with the Under-17 team, and we all knew that Michael Bradley was one of those guys who had been there a couple years but he was one of those guys that didn’t get picked for his World Cup cycle,” Arriola said. “So for us, it’s a big deal, because it’s kind of saying that we shouldn’t give up hope. There’s going to be times when maybe we’re not the best player at the right time…but it doesn’t mean that we have to get discouraged or stop believing in ourselves. I think he’s a perfect example.” 

Center back Matt Miazga walked in and saw Marcelo Balboa’s name on his wall. While it’s been more than 10 years since Balboa retired, Miazga passed his test of knowing the former star defender who made over 100 appearances at the senior level. Balboa also represented the U.S. at the 1997 U-20 World Cup and the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups. 

“He was obviously a center back, like I am, and a year ago, he was one of the assistants at our January camp,” Miazga said. “He worked with the center backs intensively and gave us a lot of pointers on what to do better in certain situations, and how to better defend and play that position.” 

Hyndman and Dempsey have more in common than having played for Fulham, where Emerson currently plies his trade and Dempsey starred from 2007-12. The two also grew up playing club soccer in Texas. 

“All of us, our goal is to be a part of the senior National Team at some point and to go to an actual senior World Cup,” Hyndman said. “To see a player like him achieve it – especially from my area – it really just motivates me to be that much better.” 

Ramos is hoping this team can replicate the successes of previous U-20 teams at the CONCACAF Championship and qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup, which will be held this June in New Zealand. 

“I’m very excited. I get excited every time we go, whether it was when I was playing or when I came as assistant coach or now as head coach for the last couple cycles,” said Ramos. “I’m excited to go to the tournament. I can’t wait for it. I hope I’ve been passing that down to the players.” 

Current U-20 players (left) and the former players (right) picked to inspire them: 

Kellyn Acosta - Landon Donovan
Fernando Arce – Bobby Convey
Paul Arriola - Michael Bradley
Russell Canouse - DeAndre Yedlin
Cameron Carter-Vickers - Chris Henderson
Conor Donovan – Carlos Bocanegra
Junior Flores – Bobby Convey
Romain Gall – Oguchi Onyewu
Lynden Gooch – Benny Feilhaber
Ethan Horvath – Kasey Keller
Emerson Hyndman – Clint Dempsey
Bradford Jamieson IV – Eddie Johnson
Matt Miazga - Marcelo Balboa
Amando Moreno – Ben Olsen
Shaquell Moore – Jozy Altidore
John Requejo – DaMarcus Beasley
Ben Spencer – Gregg Berhalter
Tommy Thompson – Jeff Agoos
Tyler Turner – Tony Meola
Zack Steffen – Tim Howard

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U-20 MNT Jan 8, 2015
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