U-23 MNT Takes Down El Salvador 6-1 In Olympic Qualifying Warm-Up Match In MiamiSix Players Score for USA, Which Will Return to Action in November Training Camp
MIAMI (Oct. 15, 2019)—The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated El Salvador 6-1 in an international friendly at Florida International University. Wingers Brooks Lennon and Jonathan Lewis opened the scoring for the USA in the first half, while Richard Ledezma, Sebastian Soto, Mason Toye and Manny Perez added goals after the break to seal the victory over fellow 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship participant La Selecta.
El Salvador came out aggressively, but the U.S. matched the intensity, finding chances via the press. After a few early chances, the USA opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Captain Djordje Mihailovic won the ball high up the field and played to Alex Mendez on the left wing. The 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year served a cross to the far post, where Lennon tapped it past El Salvador goalkeeper Mario Gonzaelz for the 1-0 U.S. lead.
Playing in front of family and friends from his nearby hometown of Plantation, Fla., Lewis knocked on the door a number of times in the game’s early-going; the forward ultimately finding the back of the net in the 29th minute. Mihailovic picked up another ball in the midfield, and slid it up the wing to Lewis, who used a nifty finish from a tight angle to double the U.S. advantage.
As the half wore on, El Salvador brought a distinct Concacaf flavor to the match as things progressed, playing the U.S. physically and fighting for every ball. A few questionable fouls saw El Salvador win a series of restarts in U.S. territory, but the USA did well to thwart the attacks and keep their composure against a wily Central American opponent.
U-23 MNT head coach Jason Kreis made seven changes at the half, and the reinforcements opened the floodgates by quickly extending the U.S. lead.
In the 48th minute, Miahilovic played a ball across the box to streaking winger Omir Fernandez, who dished to Ledezma and the midfielder’s first touch put the ball in the back of the net. Just a minute later, the U.S. press led to a 4-0 advantage. Winning the ball deep in Salvadoran territory, Mihailovic evaded a few defenders to pass to Lewis, who wheeled through the box before laying it off for Soto to knock it home from close range.
El Salvador scored its lone goal of the night in the 54th minute, earning a penalty after getting tangled up with a U.S. defender in the box. Andres Hernandez converted from the spot for La Selecta.
Center forward Mason Toye entered the match in the 57th minute for the U.S. and wasted no time finding the back of the net. Defender Auston Trusty played up the wing to Lewis, who centered it to Ledezma. The PSV Eindhoven midfielder slid a lovely pass through the defense to put Toye in on goal, and the Minnesota United man finished to give the USA a 5-1 lead.
The USA continued to threaten down the stretch and found a sixth tally in stoppage time. Ledezma sent a cross into the box that bounced before defender Manny Perez bounded into the box to send it into the back of the net.
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador
Date: Oct. 15, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: FIU Soccer Stadium; Miami, Fla.
Kick-off: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 4 6
SLV 0 1 1
USA – Brooks Lennon (Alex Mendez) 10th minute
USA – Jonathan Lewis (Djordje Mihailovic) 29
USA – Richard Ledezma (Omir Fernandez) 48
USA – Sebastian Soto (Jonathan Lewis) 49
SLV – Andres Hernandez (penalty) 54
USA – Mason Toye (Richard Ledezma) 62
USA – Manny Perez (Richard Ledezma) 90
USA: 22-Matt Freese (1-JT Marcinkowski, 46); 2-Aaron Herrera (23-Manny Perez, 46), 6-Mark McKenzie (15-Auston Trusty, 46), 5-Justen Glad (14-Chris Richards, 46), 3-Chris Gloster (20-Sam Vines, 66); 13-Hassani Dotson (16-Chris Durkin, 46), 8-Djordje Mihailovic (capt.) (24-Christian Cappis, 66), 10-Alex Mendez (17-Richard Ledezma, 46); 11-Brooks Lennon (21-Omir Fernandez, 46), 9-Sebastian Soto (18-Mason Toye, 57), 7-Jonathan Lewis (25-Johnny Cardoso, 79)
Subs not used: 12-Brady Scott
Head coach: Jason Kreis
SLV: 1-Mario Gonzalez (18-Josael Saravia, 77), 3-Ronald Rodriguez (10-Josue Rivera, 70), 4-Luis Mendez (7-Owen Siguenza, 73), 5-Alexis Renderos, 8-Andres Hernandez, 11-Kevin Reyes (2-Kevin Menjivar, 46), 12-Joey Garcia (21-Henry Argueta, 32) (6-Kevin Berrios, 70), 13-Ezequiel Rivas (14-Boris Morales, 66), 17-Walter Guiguila (15-Dixon Rivas, 73), 19-Marvin Aranad (20-Cristian Molina, 55), 23-Delwin Hernandez (9-Bryan Paz, 23) (16-Herbert Chavez, 62)
Subs not used: N/A
Head coach: Rodolfo Gochez
SLV – Alexis Renderos (caution) 26th minute
USA – Mark McKenzie (caution) 34
SLV – Henry Argueta (caution) 69
SLV – Walter Guiguila (caution) 70
USA – Richard Ledezma (caution) 70
USA – Chris Durkin (caution) 81
SLV – Andres Hernandez (caution) 88
Statistical Summary: USA / SLV
Shots: 17 / 10
Shots on Goal: 9 / 7
Saves: 6 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 17
Offside: 2 / 1
Referee: Alejandro Calume
Assistant Referee 1: Abdel Kuttaineh
Assistant Referee 2: Hassan Belnahia
Fourth Official: Anya Voigt