2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 1, SLV 0
Jan. 24, 2015
U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On accomplishing the goal of qualifying for the World Cup:
“Obviously the Guatemala game changed our plan a little bit for the Panama game, which put us behind the 8-ball for the rest of the tournament. I’m really happy for the boys because it was really difficult in the last four games to have to eliminate an opponent, and they did it. We pushed them hard and they did a good job. Today’s game, we knew it was going to be very difficult. I thought we were well prepared because we’ve played in particular the last two games were very difficult for us as well. The boys did a good job. Defensively we’re playing really well, very organized. And when you limit other teams to very few opportunities to score, when you do that and you have the sort of firepower that we have up front, we always feel that at some point we’re going to get the game going in our direction. And today that’s just the way it went.”
On Zack Steffen’s penalty kick save and the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“Zack made a great save at the right time for us, although I felt El Salvador really was not dangerous throughout the game. They did have some possession on our side of the field, which is not really what we wanted. But these are difficult games.”
“In general, the defense played very well. We have Cameron [Carter-Vickers] and Matt [Miazga] in the middle and I think they’re a great pair of center backs. They play well together. And with Zack in goal – we’re very fortunate in that way. The U.S., we have very good goalkeepers and Zack is definitely one of the next ones to come up. And so between the two center backs and the goalkeeper I think they did a amazing job throughout the whole tournament.”
On how you compare this team to the 2013 team that also advanced to the World Cup:
“Well, this team is better. This team is just as technical as the last group, but they’re more dynamic and we have speed on this team. And also anxious going in to the World Cup, in getting guys like possibly Rubio Rubin back, and other guys that may come in to the fold at that point that may get released and that will help us up front as well.”
On how the second-half substitutes made a difference again:
“We feel fortunate with this particular group because I’ve been speaking about the depth of this group in general. I felt as if I really had 14 starters, and the other guys also play well. I felt like there were 14 guys that really could have started tonight’s game, and last game and the game before. And when I brought them off the bench, to have that type of attitude to come in and be willing to change the game, they did an amazing job. At the end of the day, they may be the guys that made the difference for us.”
On the character of the team to bounce back after a rocky start:
“It’s definitely not easy. I think you need good leadership in the group. I thought we had that. I thought we had humble players who were willing to work hard. It’s not easy because the expectations are so high for us. We came here with no other desire than to be champions of CONCACAF, and after two games that dream was already over. It was hard to regroup, but we regrouped and we got to this game. And as everybody knows, it’s always difficult to qualify to the World Cup. So for them to have won four straight games and to go to another World Cup, I think it’s just really an amazing job, considering where we were after two games.”
U.S. U-20 MNT forward BEN SPENCER
On his first-half goal:
“Emerson [Hyndman] put in a ball and I knew I had to get something on the end of it. I got on the end of the cross and it hit off the crossbar and sort of followed up and was able to put it in.”
On scoring in such an important game:
“It was a huge game for all of us, and we knew that coming into the game. So to be able to score in a game like this is definitely big. But the most important thing is that we won and we’re going to New Zealand.”
U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder RUSSELL CANOUSE
On not starting the first two games and then taking the captain’s responsibility to lead the team:
“In a couple of camps when Kellyn [Acosta] wasn’t in, I tried to take lead of the team the best I could. So when he went out injured, I just tried to step and lead the team, and try to get everyone to fight for what our goal was and it worked out well. We were able to win our last four games and made our dreams come true.”
On how all 20 players played in the tournament and were able to contribute:
“Tab said from the beginning that depth was important and we used all our guys. And offensively everyone was able to contribute. That was definitely one positive that we can take from this tournament.”
On how it feels to know the U-20 MNT is going to the World Cup:
“It’s a dream come true. That was one of my goals from the beginning of this cycle. You don’t want to think of it too far in advance, but it was definitely one of my goals and I’m glad we achieved it.”
U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN
On saving the penalty kick:
“I knew it was a PK, so I didn’t even try to argue it. I went back, got a sip of water and relax myself. We did a little bit of scouting on No. 11 on his previous PKs, that he went to my right side. So it was kind of a little mind game to see if he would switch it up and go to the left side. But I saw him look to the left side, and players usually try to trick the goalkeeper by looking one way and going the other. So I saw him look one way and I had a strong feeling he’d go right. And I was able to save it.”
On how he prepared for penalty kicks at training the day before:
“After he took it, I was thinking about yesterday and how we practiced them and how I was feeling good. The practice helped get me in the zone. If we didn’t practice I think I would have been a lot more nervous.”
On helping the team return to the World Cup:
“It’s awesome. To be the No. 1 and be able to carry the team with Russ [Canouse] and Kellyn [Acosta] to the World Cup, it’s very exciting.”
U.S. U-20 MNT defender MATT MIAZGA
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“Obviously it’s a good moment for us and U.S. Soccer. To be able to represent our country to the World Cup is a huge achievement. We’re going to work hard in the next few months and make that dream come true.”
On if there were any doubts after the first two games that the team would qualify:
“No. We’re a very confident group. We know we made our mistakes but we knew that we could correct them. And we knew that we had the chance to fix them in the upcoming games, and that’s what we did. We took each game one game at a time and we got the results. And it all came down to today against El Salvador and I thought we played a very good game and we got the result. All that matters now is that we booked our ticket to New Zealand.”
On the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“We’re a tight knit group of guys. We all get along really well, we all have each other’s backs, we all cover each other. If one guy makes a mistake, the other guy has his back. And I think we’re all very good players. So together we’ve played well and it showed in the results.”
U.S. U-20 MNT defender CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“I think in the first games, we didn’t perform that well. But we improved. I think by the end, even though our performance may not have been the best, I always knew that we were going to win. I always knew that we had it in us to do what needed to be done.”
On Steffen’s PK save:
“It was excellent. I gave away the PK, so I was a bit nervous. And when he saved it I was relieved. I thought he was going to save it; I had a feeling he would and believed in his ability. We were practicing penalties yesterday in training and he saved quite a few, so I thought he had it in him.”
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 24, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team clinched a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 victory against El Salvador in its playoff match at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Ben Spencer scored a first-half goal and Paul Arriola added a tally in the second half to help the USA advance to its 14th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which takes place May 30-June 20 in New Zealand. The tournament draw will be held Feb. 10. With the win, the USA earns third place for the qualifying tournament.
The U.S. U-20 MNT capped off the tournament with four straight shutout victories to clinch its World Cup berth. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half against El Salvador to maintain the USA’s one-goal lead at the time.
Earlier Saturday, Honduras defeated Guatemala 2-1 in the other playoff match to clinch a World Cup berth. Later Saturday, Group A winner Panama and Group B winner Mexico competed in the title match of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Mexico earned its 13th CONCACAF title at this age group, defeating Panama 4-2 in a shootout after playing to a 1-1 score line in regulation. Heading into the match, both teams clinched a berth to the U-20 World Cup by winning their respective groups.
Romain Gall scored five goals in the tournament and shared the golden boot honors with Mexico's Hirving Lozano. Gall and Shaquell Moore were also named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team. The USA as a group won the tournament's Fair Play award.
Sixteen of the 24 spots are now set for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup:
- CONCACAF (4): Mexico, Panama, Honduras, USA
- AFC (4): Korea DPR, Myanmar, Qatar, Uzbekistan
- CAF (4): Teams qualify from the 2015 African U-20 Championship
- CONMEBOL (4): Teams will qualify from the 2015 South American Youth Championship
- OFC (2): Fiji, New Zealand (host)
- UEFA (6): Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ben Spencer, 37th minute: After a slow first half that featured just one USA shot up to that point, the USA capitalized on a set piece. Emerson Hyndman took his free kick from the right side and found Spencer in the middle of the box, Spencer’s header struck off of the crossbar. The U.S. striker followed his own rebound, heading the ball back in from eight yards out into the upper left corner of the frame for his second goal of the tournament. USA 1, SLV 0
USA – Paul Arriola, 68th minute: Second-half sub Junior Flores had an immediate impact with the attack down the right side of the box, dribbling near the end line and crossing in for Bradford Jamieson IV who one-timed his shot. Carlos Cañas reacted to make the save, and the ball bounced to Arriola above the box. Arriola followed with a left-footed shot that trickled past two El Salvador defenders and Cañas and into the net for his first goal of the tournament. USA 2, SLV 0 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
SLV – Carlos Cañas, 13th minute: El Salvador’s defense had to back track on a USA counter attack, led by Emerson Hyndman’s through ball to Romain Gall. Gall’s touch was a tad too heavy and Cañas read the sequence well, rushing up from his line and disrupting the U.S. offense near the top of the box to clear before Gall could get a shot off.
USA – Zack Steffen, 52nd minute: El Salvador did not have a single shot through the first half, but the team earned a penalty kick chance when the USA committed a hand ball in the box. Jose Villavicencio went to the spot, and Steffen dove to his right for his biggest save of the tournament. El Salvador did have a corner kick chance afterward, but the U.S. eventually cleared.
SLV – Carlos Cañas, 62nd minute: Off of Emerson Hyndman’s free kick from the right, he drove the ball over to a lunging Matt Miazga who headed the ball from 10 yards out. Cañas deflected the shot just enough as the ball clanked off of the crossbar.
- The USA moved to 4-3-1 all-time against El Salvador in this tournament. Saturday’s win also marked the third time in the past seven CONCACAF U-20 Championships that the U.S. directly clinched a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot by virtue of a victory against El Salvador. The previous meetings clinched berths to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup .
- For a third straight game, U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos went with the identical lineup as the USA’s Group A wins against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
- Zack Steffen earned his fourth cap of the event with the start in goal.
- The defense featured John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back combination of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga.
- The midfield of the USA’s 4-4-2 formation included Tommy Thompson on the right, Romain Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband for the fourth time in the tournament.
- Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a fourth-straight match.
- During a 42nd-minute attacking sequence, Spencer collided with El Salvador goalkeeper Carlos Cañas, forcing medical staff to take a look at his leg. Spencer was able to trudge through the remainder of the half, but Ramos utilized his team’s first substitution to open the second half, bringing in Paul Arriola.
- Junior Flores entered the match in the 62nd minute for Gall, the USA’s leading goal scorer with five tallies in the tournament.
- The USA’s final substitution was Lynden Gooch for Hyndman, who was receiving attention from the medical staff shortly after the U-20 MNT’s second goal.
- El Salvador played the final 12 minutes and stoppage time down a man when Andres Flores was called for an intentional foul from behind against the USA’s Junior Flores in the 79th minute.
- The USA outscored its opponents 14-2 during the qualifying stage.
- Hyndman led the team with three assists.
- Carter-Vickers and Requejo played in all 540 minutes of six games at the tournament.
- Heading into Saturday night’s final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Gall is tied with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano for the tournament goal-scoring lead with his five goals.
- Gall has nine-career goals with the U-20s in 14 international matches.
- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -
U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador
Date: Jan. 24, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Playoff
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees, light rain
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
SLV 0 0 0
USA – Ben Spencer 37th minute
USA – Paul Arriola 68
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse (capt.), 8-Emerson Hyndman (18-Lynden Gooch, 70), 9-Romain Gall (10-Junior Flores, 62), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (7-Paul Arriola, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos
1-Carlos Cañas; 2-Nelson Moreno, 4-Bryan Tamacas, 12-Cesar Flores (20-Romilio Hernandez, 46), 17-Juan Barahona; 6-Narciso Orellana (capt.), 8-Alvaro
Guardado (16-Eduardo Merino, 65), 9-Byan Perez, 11-Jose Villavicencio (19-Julio Amaya, 85), 14-Andres Flores; 15-William Canales
Subs Not Used: 5-Edwin Cuellar, 10-Josue Martinez, 13-Jonathan Miranda, 18-Nicolas Pacheco
Head coach: Mauricio Alfaro
Stats Summary: USA / SLV
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 25 / 17
Offside: 2 / 0
USA – Ben Spencer (caution) 38th minute
SLV – Narciso Orellana (caution) 38
SLV – Eduardo Merino (caution) 71
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution) 73
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution) 76
SLV – Andres Flores (sent off) 79
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Rangel (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Emerson HyndmanRead more