U-23 MNT Finish Third At United International Football Festival With 4-0 Win Vs. United Gran CanariaLennon Bags Brace, Saucedo and Ledezma Add Goals for USA in Final Match of 2019
LAS PALMAS, Gran Canaria (Nov. 17, 2019) — The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team closed out its 2019 slate with a 4-0 victory against United Gran Canaria at the United International Football Festival.
With the win, the USA finished third at the tournament. United Gran Canaria, an Under-25 selection of players from the island, replaced Chile in the tournament due to the political situation in the South American country. After a scoreless first half, the USA scored in bunches as Brooks Lennon tallied twice, while captain Sebastian Saucedo and Richard Ledezma also added goals.
While the U.S. held the better of the first half, dominating possession, they weren’t able to find a finishing touch against a physical United Gran Canaria side that will serve as quality preparation for Concacaf play in March. Antonee Robinson provided a spark going forward at the left back spot, playing a number of dangerous balls in the attacking third, while midfielder Brenden Aaronson and forward Jonathan Lewis also found some chances to combine.
Christian Cappis had one of the USA’s best first-half chances in the 34th, nearly finishing a ball served into the box by Robinson but for a nice save by Gran Canaria goalkeeper Alexander Gonzalez. A good look for Lewis was waved offside in the 39th minute, while the Colorado Rapids winger also threatened just before the half with a cross that skimmed the crossbar.
The USA broke through in the 56th minute. Robinson played to Alex Mendez on the edge of the attacking third, and a nice one-touch pass from the Ajax midfielder split two defenders to find Saucedo on the run into the box. He made a nice move to slip another defender and fired a shot to the far post for the game’s opening goal.
Substitutes Richard Ledezma and Brooks Lennon entered the match soon after in the 58th, and both wasted no time making their mark, combining for the USA’s second just two minutes later when Ledezma split two defenders with a lovely, long through ball to find Lennon streaking towards the box. Outrunning his marking defender, he finished past the ‘keeper to the left side to double the American advantage. Aaronson nearly added a third in the 62nd to continue the frenzy, but Gonzalez made a nice save to halt the attempt.
The USA netted its second pair of goals late in the game. Some aggressive defense from Djordje Mihailovic saw the U.S. win the ball near the half-line and spring a counter. Aaronson played up to Mihailovic on the right wing and the midfielder put a cross into the box for Lennon, who finished inside the six-yard-box to extend the U.S. lead in the 84th.
Ledezma capped off the red, white and blue’s scoring soon after in the 87th. Robinson, dangerous all day on the left flank, served a booming cross into the box, and while substitute goalkeeper Francisco Moreno deflected the ball, it fell right to Ledezma. The PSV Eindhoven midfielder finished the bouncing rebound one-time from just beyond the penalty spot for the USA’s final goal.
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. United Gran Canaria
Date: Nov. 17, 2019
Competition: United International Football Festival
Venue: Estadio Gran Canaria; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
Kick-off: 5:15 p.m. local, 12:15 p.m. ET
Weather: 65 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 4 0
UGC 0 0 0
USA – Sebastian Saucedo (Alex Mendez) 56th minute
USA – Brooks Lennon (Richard Ledezma) 60
USA – Brooks Lennon (Djordje Mihailovic) 84
USA – Richard Ledezma 87
USA: 1-JT Marcinkowski; 19-Kyle Duncan (13-Hassani Dotson, 78), 14-Chris Richards, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 2-Antonee Robinson; 16-Christian Cappis (24-James Sands, 71), 17-Alex Mendez (9-Jereemy Ebobisse, 78), 20-Brenden Aaronson; 15-Sebastian Saucedo (capt.) (8-Djordje Mihailovic, 71), 18-Mason Toye (10-Richard Ledezma, 58), 7-Jonathan Lewis (11-Brooks Lennon, 58)
Subs not used: 3-Aaron Herrera, 5-Justen Glad, 6-Mark McKenzie, 12-Brady Scott, 21-Emmanuel Sabbi, 22-Matt Freese, 23-Sam Vines
Head coach: Jason Kreis
United Gran Canaria; 1-Alexander Gonzalez (13-Francisco Moreno, 79), 2-Mario Santana, 3-Juan Carlos Blanco, 4-Ramon Muñoz (capt.), 5-Elvis Suarez (17-Marco Rodriguez, 46), 6-Calum Alvarez, 7-Alfredo Vega (15-Cristian Perez, 75), 8-Lucas Acosta (18-Fabio Ruiz, 79), 9-Francisco Trujilo (16-Hector Umpierrez, 53), 10-Idafe Gonzalez, 11-Daniel Herrera (14-Samuel Espino, 53)
Subs not used: 19-Adrian, 20-Juanca
Head coach: Angel Luis Camacho
USA – Alex Mendez (caution) 31st minute
UGC – Alfredo Vega (caution) 52
Referee: Rayco Marrero Garcia
Assistant Referee 1: Elihu Castellano Quintana
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Alfredo Mateo Santana
Fourth Official: Alejandro Tome Alonso