NEW DELHI, India (Oct. 16, 2017) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continued its impressive performance at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, advancing to the Quarterfinal Round with an emphatic 5-0 win against Paraguay before 34,895 fans at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Led by a historic hat trick from Tim Weah, the USA rode a strong defensive performance in the first half and a breakout offensive display in the second to its second all-time win in the Knockout Round and first Quarterfinal appearance since 2005. Captain Josh Sargent and midfield maestro Andrew Carleton also scored for the USA, while Chris Durkin, James Sands and goalkeeper Justin Garces anchored a U.S. defense that recorded its third clean sheet in four games at the tournament as well as the USA’s first ever shutout in a Knockout Round game.
The teams traded opportunities at the start of the match before the U.S. began to establish possession and attack down the flanks, in particular via overlapping runs from Sergino Dest. The offensive posture paid off in the 19th minute when Weah, son of former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah, staked the USA to a 1-0 lead.
From there, the physicality of the match picked up. Blaine Ferri took a knock after a tough challenge and after trying to gut it out had to be replaced by Indiana Vassilev in the 34th minute. Additionally, Chris Goslin, whose grit and hustle in midfield helped shield the U.S. backline, picked up a yellow card that will see him miss the USA’s Quarterfinal match.
The U.S. fought to halftime with the 1-0 lead before Weah added his second with an outrageous shot into the upper left-hand corner in the 53rd minute. Ten minutes later Carleton, put the USA out of sight by finishing off a well-orchestrated offensive flurry. Sargent then made it 4-0 in the 74th minute with a thunderous finish before Weah capped the scoring and his hattrick with the USA’s fifth a couple minutes later.
Up Next: The USA advances to a Quarterfinal showdown against the winner of Tuesday’s match between England and Japan at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Goa (10:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Telemundo).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tim Weah (Ayo Akinola), 19th minute: A great bit of build-up play by Josh Sargent and Andrew Carleton saw the latter send a perfectly weighted through ball into space for Ayo Akinola to run onto before carrying into the left side of the Paraguay box. There, he picked out Weah’s run right down the center of the area with a pin-point pass. Weah expertly shuffled his stride in order to apply a controlled finishing touch with his left foot to score his first goal of the World Cup. USA 1, PAR 0
USA – Tim Weah (Indiana Vassilev), 53rd minute: Sargent collected a 50-50 ball in midfield and left it for Vassilev with a nifty back heel. With plenty of time to pick out a pass, Vassilev sent the ball out wide to Weah on Paraguay’s right flank. The Paris Saint Germain man beat his defender one-on-one before riffling a shot into the upper left corner that left Diego Huesca no chance in the Paraguay net. USA 2, PAR 0
USA – Andrew Carleton (Josh Sargent), 63rd minute: The U.S. overloaded the Paraguay left flank as Akinola connected with Akil Watts on an overlapping run. Watts rounded his defender with pace and found Sargent stationed in the middle of the box. Shielding off his defender, Sargent turned away from goal and played a pass to the top of the box for Carleton’s late run and the Atlanta United man one-timed a low shot into the left corner. USA 3, PAR 0
USA – Josh Sargent (Andrew Carleton), 74th minute: Another nice build-up from the USA began with Sargent dropping the ball for Carleton and then continuing his run behind his marker. Carleton spotted the move and played a perfectly timed ball into the box for Sargent, who took one touch before blasting a close-range effort off the underside of the bar. USA 4, PAR 0
USA – Tim Weah (Andrew Carleton), 77th minute: Akinola got on the ball near the midfield stripe and carried into the final third before two Paraguay defenders converged to stop him. However, the ball slipped through to Carleton, who snuck a peek across the Paraguay box before centering for Weah to one-time his third finish of the day over Huesca. USA 5, PAR 0 FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
PAR – Diego Huesca, 44th minute: The USA won a free kick 40 yards from goal that Chris Goslin rocketed off the crossbar after the slightest of touches from Huesca.
PAR – Marcelo Rolon, 45+3: A crafty throw-in from Sergino Dest deep in the Paraguay end found Carleton behind the defense. There he lifted a perfect cross from near the left end line to the far post for an unmarked Akinola, who couldn’t get a firm enough touch to the ball, allowing Marcelo
Rolon to recover and clear it off the line just before Akinola could apply a second, finishing touch.
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Paraguay
Date: Oct. 16, 2017
Competition: FIFA U-17 World Cup – Round of 16
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium; New Dehli, India
Kickoff: 10:30 a.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Weather: 83 degrees; haze
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
PAR 0 0 0
USA – Tim Weah (Ayo Akinola) 19th minute
USA – Tim Weah (Indiana Vassilev) 53
USA – Andrew Carleton (Josh Sargent) 63
USA – Josh Sargent (Andrew Carleton) 75
USA – Tim Weah (Andrew Carleton) 77
USA: 1-Justin Garces, 4-James Sands, 6-Chris Durkin, 7-Ayo Akinola (16-Taylor Booth, 79), 8-Blaine Ferri (18-Indiana Vassilev, 34), 9-Josh Sargent (Capt.), 10-Tim Weah, 11-Andrew Carleton, 13-Sergino Dest (3-Chris Gloster, 46), 14-Akil Watts, 20-Chris Goslin
Subs Not Used: 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 5-Tyler Shaver, 12-CJ Dos Santos, 15-George Acosta, 17-Bryan Reynolds, 19-Jacobo Reyes, 21-Alex Budnik
Head Coach: John Hackworth
PAR: 1-Diego Huesca, 2-Jesus Rolon, 3-Roberto Fernandez, 5-Alexis Duarte (Capt.), 6-Braian Ojeda, 7-Antonio Galeano (9-Fernando Romero, 30), 10-Julio Baez (20-Giovanni Bogado, 78), 11-Leonardo Sanchez, 13-Marcelo Rolon, 17-Fernando Cardozo (18-Blas Armoa, 55), 21-Alan Rodriguez
Subs Not Used: 4-Pedro Alvarez, 8-Stevens Gomez, 12-Angel Roa, 14-Victor Villasanti, 15-Luis Zarate, 16-Anibal Vega, 19-Jonathan Martinez
Head Coach: Gustavo Morinigo
Stats Summary: USA/PAR
Shots on Goal: 6/1
Corner Kicks: 0/4
USA – James Sands (Caution) 14th minute
USA – Chris Goslin (Caution) 27
USA – Josh Sargent (Caution) 65
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Robert Madden (SCO)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Tim Weah
PREVIEW: USA, Paraguay Clash in 2017 U-17 World Cup Round of 16 | 10:30am ET | FS2, Telemundo en Vivo
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will look to advance to the Quarterfinals of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup when it meets Paraguay on Monday, Oct. 16, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India. The match will be broadcast on FS2, and Telemundo En Vivo (telemundodeportes.com) with kickoff set for 10:30 a.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match on twitter at @usscocer_ynt.
The USA finished third in Group A, after handling host India (3-0), defeating Ghana (1-0) and falling in its final match to Colombia (3-1). Meanwhile, Paraguay enters the match after finishing first in Group B with a 3-0 record, including victories over 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations Champions Mali (3-2), New Zealand (4-2) and Turkey (3-1).
U.S. U-17 head coach John Hackworth detailed how the USA would approach the Round of 16:
“This team has character. We have some values that we stand by. These are still 16 and 17-year-old boys that this experience, the quality of the competitor that we faced today is always going to be a huge test for them. But we just have to go back to the process that we’ve done to get here. We’ve always been a team that has learned from our mistakes, and we certainty made our mistakes in that second half. So, I hope that our team does what we normally do. We’ll get ready for whatever opponent we face and try to advance in this tournament.”
FIRST TIME ENCOUNTER
In the 16 previous U-17 FIFA World Cups, the USA and Paraguay have never faced each other. The closest the matchup came to fruition was in 1999, when both Paraguay and the United States reached the quarterfinals. The USA went on the beat Mexico 3-2 while La Albirroja ended their best ever U-17 World Cup run, falling to eventual Champions Brazil, 4-1.
HISTORY AFTER THE GROUP STAGE
Thursday’s Round of 16 game vs. Paraguay will mark the eighth time that the USA will enter the initial knockout round, and first since 2011, when Germany ended the USA’s run, a 4-0 loss in the Round of 16. Overall, the USA have posted a 1-7 record in the first post-group stage knockout round, falling to Qatar (1991), Poland (1993), Brazil (2003), Netherlands (2005), Germany (2007, 2011) and Italy (2009). The lone victory came in 1999 when the USA defeated Mexico 3-2 in the Quarterfinals before falling to Australia and Ghana in the Semifinals and Third-Place match, respectively.
Paraguay will look to earn its first ever victory in the second stage of the tournament in their first knockout match since 1999.
LEANING ON THE EXPERIECE AND LEADERSHIP OF JOSH SARGENT
Josh Sargent, who most recently played in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, become the second player in U.S. Soccer history to compete in both Men’s youth World Cups in the same calendar year, a feat first achieved by feat Freddy Adu in 2003. Sargent’s opening goal vs. India set another record, this time as the only player to score in both youth World Cups in the same calendar year. He also joined an elite group of Youth National Team players to score in both major tournaments, a list that includes Adu, Jozy Altidore and Taylor Twellman.
Wearing the armband for his like-age U-17 counterparts in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, you can expect teammates to look to Sargent for leadership and composure during the team’s win-or-go-home game against Paraguay. After the team’s defeat to Colombia, Sargent had the following to say about how the team would bounce back in the Round of 16:
“It’s going to be hard and everybody is going to reflect on it, but it’s important that we move on and prepare ourselves the best that we can for our next match. You are going to have setbacks in life, especially in your soccer career, but it’s how you overcome those setbacks. I know this team will be very well prepared to give it our all the next game.”
During the U-20 World Cup, Sargent had a breakout performance, earning the competition’s Silver Boot with four goals and an assist. His two-goal performance in the team’s opening group game against Ecuador went into the record books as he eclipsed Jozy Altidore as the youngest U.S. player to score at the FIFA U-20 World Cup at 17 years, 91 days. After scoring his fourth goal of the tournament in the Round of 16 against New Zealand, Sargent tied Taylor Twellman (1999), Eddie Johnson (2003), and Jozy Altidore (2007) for most goals scored by a U.S. player at a FIFA U-20 World Cup. Sargent was also a dominant force at the CONCACAF U-17 qualifying tournament in Panama, finishing third in the Golden Boot standings with five goals while also earning tournament Best XI honors.Read more