The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team stamped its ticket to the World Cup Quarterfinals with an emphatic 5-0 victory against Paraguay on Monday in New Delhi, and while offensive leaders Josh Sargent and Andrew Carleton both found the back of the net, the hat-trick performance from Tim Weah stood out in the USA’s first Knockout Round win at the tournament since 1999.
The son of 1995 World Player of the Year George Weah got the scoring started with a nifty 18th minute finish off a pass from Ayo Akinola, which took the USA into halftime leading 1-0. That set the stage for what could be the goal of the tournament thus far. After receiving a pass from Indiana Vassilev on the left, Weah cut inside and hit a swerving shot that he made look effortless as it whipped past sprawling Paraguay ‘keeper Diego Huesca in the 53rd minute.
“I don’t know what to say,” Weah remarked when asked about the goal. “I just cut back and my striker instinct told me to hit it. It ended up being a beautiful strike. Without the pass coming from [Indiana Vassilev], I wouldn’t have created the space to score this goal. I really thank him. I don’t score a lot of beautiful goals, most of my goals are tap ins – a striker’s real goal – but today I’m just so excited to have scored a brilliant goal.”
After Carleton and Sargent helped put the game out of reach, Weah then buried the game’s final strike in the 77th minute.
“This young man did it all,” head coach John Hackworth said of Weah following the match, “and the [second] goal by the way is not ‘brilliant’, it’s world class. I’m sure a lot of people are taking notice.”
If they weren’t already, they are now. Having signed his first professional contract with French giants Paris Saint-Germain in June, the younger Weah has begun to make his own name. On Tuesday, he became the first U.S. male player at any level to record a hat trick during a Knockout Round game at a FIFA World Cup. He’s also just the third American player to score a hat trick at the U-17 event, following in the footsteps of Judah Cooks (1993) and Freddy Adu (2003).
The performance came on the heels of the USA’s disappointing 3-1 defeat to Colombia on Friday, a game in which Weah played just the final three minutes after starting the side’s first two group matches.
“Sometimes if I don’t start, I come off the bench and do my job, so whenever I’m out there, whenever I’m starting, I come out there and try to give it my all,” said Weah. “I praise God today and I thank Coach Hackworth for starting me because if not for all of that, I would not have gotten the hat trick, which gives me three goals in four matches. I thank Andrew Carleton and the whole team for working with me and getting the win.”
- READ MORE: Five Things You Should Know About Tim Weah
For his part, Hackworth was pleased with how the team bounced back from last Friday’s loss.
“I alluded to the fact yesterday that I thought my team had played five [out of six] really good halves,” he said. “I always thought they’ve had a really good response when they come back from a performance that’s not up to our standards.”
Hackworth’s side now awaits the winner of Tuesday’s match between England and Japan in Saturday’s Quarterfinal in Goa. A victory in that match would see the USA move on to the Semifinals for just the second time and first since the 1999 team, featuring the likes of Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, achieved the feat.Read more
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
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continues play at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup against Group B winners Paraguay in the Round of 16 on Monday, Oct. 16. The game will be televised on FS2, and Telemundo En Vivo (telemundodeportes.com) with kickoff set for 10:30 a.m. ET.
Here are five things to know about Paraguay:
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Paraguay qualified for the 2017 U-17 World Cup by finishing third at the 2017 South American Under-17 Football Championship to claim one of four spots from the CONMEBOL region. Drawn into Group B, Paraguay finished second, out of five nations, in its group to advance to the final stage where the top six remaining teams competed for the four World Cup berths. In the final stage, Paraguay drew eventual Champions Brazil (2-2), drew Ecuador (2-2), defeated Chile (2-0), took down Venezuela (3-1) before falling to Colombia (2-1) to cement their third-place finish.
Here’s a look at their results:
1-0 W vs. Argentina
2-2 D vs. Venezuela
1-1 D vs. Brazil
2-0 W vs. Peru
2-2 D vs. Brazil
2-2 D vs. Ecuador
2-0 W vs. Chile
3-1 W vs. Venezuela
2-1 L vs. Colombia
U-17 WORLD CUP HISTORY
Paraguay makes their fourth U-17 World Cup appearance, and second consecutive. Most recently, in 2015, La Albirroja defeated Syria (4-1) to open the tournament, but were unable to tack on any additional points after falling to France (4-3) and New Zealand (2-1). Without any additional points, Paraguay just missed out on advancing as one of the best third-place teams.
In 10 games played over tournament appearances in 1999, 2001 and 2015, Paraguay’s U-17s have posted a 5-4-1 record, scoring 23 goals to 19 allowed.
Paraguay will look to earn its first ever victory in the second stage of the tournament in their first trip since 1999.
Paraguay’s 21-man roster for the U-17 World Cup features 19 domestic-based players, along with one each from Brazil and Spain. The highest number of players comes from Club Olimpia, with six players, followed closely by Club Cerro Porteno, with five.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Diego Huesca - (Valencia CF, ESP), Jonathan Martinez - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Angel Roa - (Club Olimpia, PAR)
DEFENDERS (6): Pedro Alvarez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Alexis Duarte - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Roberto Fernandez - (Club Guarani, PAR), Jesus Rolon - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Marcelo Rolon - (Club Libertad, PAR), Luis Zarate - (Club Libertad, PAR)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julio Baez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Giovanni Bogado - (Club Libertad, PAR)
Stevens Gomez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Braian Ojeda - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Alan Rodriguez - (Club Cerro Porteno, PAR), Victor Villasanti - (Club Guarani, PAR)
FORWARDS (6): Blas Armoa - (Club Sportivo Luqueno, PAR), Fernando Cardozo - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Antonio Galeano - (Club Rubio Nu, PAR), Fernando Romero - (Club Nacional, PAR), Leonardo Sanchez - (Club Olimpia, PAR), Anibal Vega - (SE Palmeiras, BRA)
2017 U-17 WORLD CUP DOMINANCE
Paraguay enters the Round of 16 undefeated, colleting a full nine points from Group B play. In their victories against Mail (3-2), New Zealand (4-2) and Turkey (3-1), La Albirroja has scored 10 goals, while conceding only five, two of which were own goals coming against New Zealand. During the group phase, Paraguay’s only real test came against the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations Champions, where La Albirroja saw a lucky bounce turned hand-ball on Mali produce a penalty kick opportunity that resulted in the third and game winning goal.
Although no Paraguay players have accumulated more than one yellow card, four players come into the game vs. the USA carrying a caution: Fernandez, Ojeda, Sanchez and Alvarez. The quartet will need to play carefully as cautions will not re-set until after the Quarterfinals.
The Paraguay U-17 MNT is coached by former Paraguay National Team player Gustavo Morínigo. A former midfielder, Morínigo represented Paraguay at the 2001 Copa América and 2002 FIFA World Cup. The player turned coach also represented La Albirroja at the 1997 U-20 FIFA World Cup where he scored one goal in two matches played. Morínigo’s playing career includes stints at Libertad (PAR), Guaraní (PAR) Agentinos Juniors (ARG), Deportivo Cali (COL), Cerro Porteño (PAR) and Club Nacional (PAR). Morínigo has coached at Club Nacional, Cerro Porteño and also spent time with Paraguay’s U-20 National Team.Read more