LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2019) -- In a battle of U.S. Youth National Teams, the Under-16 squad recorded a 2-0 win over the U-17 side on Match Day Two of the 19th annual Nike International Friendlies at the Premier Sports Campus on Saturday night.
In a closely contested battle that featured outstanding performances by both goalkeepers, the U-16s managed to best their older counterparts.
The result put the U-16's (1-0-1, 4 pts) into the group lead over the Netherlands (1-0-1, 4pts) on goal differential (plus two to plus one). The U-17's (3 points) dropped to 1-1-0 and Turkey is winless (0-2-0, 0pts). In the first game of the day’s doubleheader, the Netherlands overcame a one-goal deficit to record a 2-1 victory.
Sota Kitahara and Moses Nyeman tallied second-half goals and goalkeeper Anthony Ramos recorded the clean sheet for the U.S. U-16s.
Both teams had their opportunities and either their attempts missed their mark or were frustrated by the opposing goalkeeper.
U-17 goalkeeper Bryan Dowd was called on to make his two most important saves in the opening eight minutes. He first denied Dante Sealy in the second minute with a sliding save. Six minutes later, he stopped a point-blank attempt on Jack McGlynn's left-footed shot.
Ramos made two big stops within seconds of one another in the 45th minute, denying Tucker Lepley on the second attempt to send the teams into the break tied at 0-0.
In the 66th minute, Kitahara, who had come on minutes earlier, found the range for the U-16's by one-timing a Sealy feed from 12 yards past Dowd.
Nyeman, a halftime replacement, doubled the margin in the 89th minute. Kitahara worked his way down the right flank, got a step on his man and flipped a pass to a waiting Brian Gutierrez. Gutierrez then slipped the ball to Nyeman, who drilled a hard, 12-yard shot for a 2-0 advantage.
In Match Day Three on Monday, the U-16's will meet Turkey at 3:30 p.m. while the U-17's face the Netherlands at 6:30 p.m.
All the matches at the 2019 Nike Friendlies will be streamed on ussoccer.com and U.S. Soccer social media accounts YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (@USYNT).
Goal Scoring Rundown
USA U-16's - Sota Kitahara (Dante Sealy), 66th minute: Sota Kitahara, who had come on as a substitute only minutes earlier, one-timed a Dante Sealy pass from 12 yards past goalkeeper Bryan Dowd. USA U-16s 1, USA U-17s
USA U-16's - Moses Nyeman (Brian Gutierrez), 89th minute: Sota Kitahara, who did a good portion of the heavy lifting on the goal, did not receive an assist. He worked his way down the right side, got a step on his marker and sent a pass to a waiting Brian Gutierrez. Gutierrez then slipped the ball to Nyeman, who fired a hard, 12-yard shot past keeper Bryan Dowd. USA U-16s 2, USA U-17s 0 FINAL
Key Saves & Defensive Stops:
Both goalkeepers had their moments.
U-17 netminder Bryan Dowd flashed his skill early on. He denied Dante Sealy in the second minute with a sliding save. In the eighth minute he stopped a point-blank attempt by Jack McGlynn's left-footed shot in the eighth minute.
U-16 keeper Anthony Ramos made two big stops within seconds of one another on bang-bang plays in the 45th minute, denying Tucker Lepley on the second attempt.