Trailing Ecuador 3-2 late in the opening match of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Monday, the USA needed some magic to ensure it didn’t start off the tournament with a difficult defeat.
The breakthrough would come at the death, when Fulham FC forward Luca De La Torre opportunistically pounced on an Ecuador clearance, one-timing his effort from the top of the area inside the lower, right post.
Along with giving Tab Ramos’ side a valuable point to open the competition, De La Torre’s goal was also the latest scored by a U.S. player during regular time at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Since first taking part in the competition in 1981, the U.S. had only once before scored in regulation stoppage time, coming when Brian Ownby (below) capped a 4-1 victory against Cameroon with a 91st minute strike at the 2009 edition in Egypt.
In 1993, Chris Faklaris capped his hat trick with a 90th minute strike to close out the USA’s 6-0 tournament opening win against Turkey. The three goals pushed Faklaris to win the Bronze Shoe as the tournament’s third-highest scorer.
Chris Falkaris pictured fourth from the left
Four years later, Brian West scored a 90th minute winner to push the U.S. to a 1-0 tournament-opening win against China PR in Malaysia. Check out an excerpt from USA Today detailing the match below.
In the 1999 tournament, future U.S. international Taylor Twellman scored his second goal in the 90th minute of a 3-2 Round of 16 defeat to Spain. The brace contributed to Twellman’s four total strikes at the tournament, which saw him win the competition’s Bronze Boot.
USA’s Latest Regular Time Goals at the FIFA U-20 World Cup
Luca De La Torre
3-3 D vs. Ecuador
Korea Republic 2017
4-1 W vs. Cameroon
6-0 W vs. Turkey
1-0 W vs. China PR
2-3 L vs. Spain
INCHEON, Korea Republic (May 22, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team used Luca De La Torre’s cool finish in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to earn a valuable 3-3 draw against Ecuador in the opening match of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup at Incheon Football Stadium. The goal came on the heels of a brace from U-20 MNT debutant Josh Sargent, whose two goals helped the USA battle back from an early 2-0 deficit.
After surrendering two goals to Herlin Lino and Bryan Cabezas inside the first seven minutes, the U.S. began to settle in and took control of the game around the half-hour mark. Making his first international appearance at U-20 level, Sargent cut into the lead with a cool finish in the 36th minute before leveling the match with a powerful header in the 54th.
An even game then tilted back towards Ecuador when a misplayed ball out of the back by Jonathan Klinsmann led to Cabezas’ second of the match in the 64th minute. Just as it looked like Ecuador would escape with all three points, De La Torre pounced on a short clearance at the top of the South American’s area and finished inside the right post in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage, rescuing a point for the USA.
Group F’s second match between Senegal and Saudi Arabia is set to be played later on Monday. The game can be seen at 6:50 p.m. ET on FS1 and Telemundo En Vivio.
The U.S. is back at Incheon Football Stadium to take on Senegal in their second game of Group F play on Thursday, May 25. Kickoff is set for 7 a.m. ET on FS1, FOX Sports Go and Telemundo. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter: @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
ECU – Herlin Lino (Washington Corozo), 5th minute: Ecuador got on the board early thanks to a gallivanting run up the right by Corozo, who broke free into the area before centering a pass for Lino as Jonathan Klinsmann came off his line to challenge. With the U.S. goalkeeper out of the net, Lino blasted an effort that just evaded Erik Palmer-Brown’s clearance attempt to give Ecuador the early lead. USA 0, ECU 1
ECU – Bryan Cabezas (Jhonny Quiñónez), 7th minute: While the U.S. was still collecting itself from the first goal, Ecuador doubled its lead two minutes later. After a spell of possession, central midfielder Jhonny Quiñónez connected with Brayan Cabezas at the top of the box before powering by Tommy Redding and slipping his shot inside the near post. USA 0, ECU 2
USA – Josh Sargent (Luca De La Torre), 36th minute: The U.S. cut into the lead nine minutes before halftime when a penetrating run through the attacking midfield from Luca De La Torre saw the Fulham forward lead Sargent into the box on the right. The 17-year-old took one touch to control before blasting past José Cevallos and inside the near post. USA 1, ECU 2
USA – Josh Sargent (Brooks Lennon), 54th minute: After surviving some nervy minutes at the start of the second half, the U.S. pulled level less than 10 minutes after the interval. A quick build up through midfield saw Tyler Adams slot a ball to Brooks Lennon on the right flank. The Real Salt Lake attacker then sent a pinpoint cross that eluded the Ecuador back line and fell for Sargent, who headed back across goal for his second of the match. USA 2, ECU 2
ECU – Bryan Cabezas (unassisted) 64th minute: Ecuador retook the lead just after the hour mark. Aaron Herrera hit a ball with pace back to Klinsmann, who tried to dribble out of pressure by Wilter Ayoví, but misplayed and cleared directly to Bryan Cabezas, who pounced before firing a low effort inside the right post. USA 2, ECU 3
USA – Luca De La Torre (unassisted), 90+4 minute: The U.S. poured everything forward late in search of the equalizer and it came four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Brooks Lennon served a dangerous cross from the right that was partially cleared by an Ecuador defender, but fell straight into the path of De La Torre, who stepped up and hit a first-time effort inside the lower, right post to rescue a point for the U.S. USA 3, ECU 3 FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
ECU – José Cevallos, 39th minute: Moments after giving the USA its first goal of the tournament, Sargent came close again. A ball through midfield saw Tyler Adams flick on for the U.S. forward, who then took a nifty touch at the top of the area to evade Luis Segovia, before Cevallos came off his line well, making a kick save to preserve the lead.
USA – Erik-Palmer Brown, 50th minute: A quick throw in on the left from Pervis Estupiñánsaw, saw Washington Corozco slip into the box alone and as he looked to cut back for Lino at the end line, Palmer-Brown was there to block the centering pass.
USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 57th minute: Ecuador nearly pulled back ahead when Wilter Ayoví slipped Herlin Lino into the area, but Klinsmann made himself big as he charged off his line to deny the point-blank attempt.
- The USA and Ecuador faced each for the first time in a FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- Seventeen-year-old Josh Sargent bagged a brace in his first U.S. U-20 MNT appearance.
- Luca De La Torre’s goal is his second of the year. The Fulham striker tallied the game-winning goal in the USA’s 4-1 win against Haiti during the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Feb. 21.
- Carrying on his role from the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defender Erik Palmer-Brown once again captained the side in its 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup opener.
- Gedion Zelalem left the match in the 32nd minute due to injury and was replaced by Derrick Jones two minutes later.
- Jones received a yellow card for a challenge at midfield in the 80th minute.
- Head coach Tab Ramos moves to 3-3-3 all-time at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Ecuador
Date: May 22, 2017
Competition: 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group F
Venue: Incheon Stadium; Incheon, Korea Republic
Kickoff: 4 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local time)
Weather: 75 degrees; Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
ECU 2 1 3
ECU – Herlin Lino (Washington Corozo) 5th minute
ECU – Bryan Cabezas (Jhonny Quiñonez) 7
USA – Josh Sargent (Luca de la Torre) 36
USA – Josh Sargent (Brooks Lennon) 54
ECU – Bryan Cabezas 64
USA – Luca de la Torre 90+4
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 3-Danny Acosta, 4-Tommy Redding, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (capt.), 14-Aaron Herrera; 7-Eryk Williamson (13-Lagos Kunga, 72), 8-Tyler Adams (11-Sebastian Saucedo, 85), 10-Gedion Zelalem (18-Derrick Jones, 34), 17-Brooks Lennon, 19-Josh Sargent, 20-Luca de la Torre
Subs not used: 2-Auston Trusty, 6-Justen Glad, 9-Emmanuel Sabbi, 12-James Marcinkowski, 15-Jeremy Ebobisse, 16-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 21-Brady Scott
Head coach: Tab Ramos
ECU: 1-Jose Cevallos; 4-Kevin Minda, 6-Pervis Estupiñan, 7-Washington Orozco (19-Jordy Caicedo, 77), 8-Wilter Ayovi (17-Joao Rojas, 57), 9-Herlin Lino, 10-Bryan Cabezas, 15-Jordan Sierra (capt.), 16-Jhonny Quiñonez (14-Renny Jaramillo, 89), 18-Feliz Torres, 20-Luis Segovia
Subs not used: 2-Angelo Preciado, 3-Joel Quintero, 5-Juan Nazareno, 11-Yeison Guerrero, 12-Gian Terreros, 13-Jonnathan Bravo, 21-Gabriel Carabali
Head coach: Jose Rodriguez
Stats Summary: USA / ECU
Shots: 6 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 1 / 2
ECU – Washington Corozo (caution) 74th minute
USA – Derrick Jones (caution) 80
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander Van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Josh SargentRead more
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup on May 22 against Ecuador at Incheon Stadium in Incheon, Korea Republic. The match will air live on FS1 and Telemundo at 4:00 a.m. ET. Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-20 MNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
The U.S. spent seven days in Osaka, Japan as a pre-World Cup training camp before arriving to Incheon on May 17.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur FC; Westcliff-on-Sea, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (University of New Mexico; Las Cruces, N.M.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca De La Torre (Fulham FC; San Diego, Calif.), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal FC; Bethesda, Md.)
FORWARDS (6): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United FC Academy; Tucker, Ga.) Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Unattached; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallon, Mo.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah)Read more
The USA’s run at a U-20 World Cup championship came to a heartbreaking end two years ago.
In front of 10,000 spectators at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, the U.S. lost to eventual World Cup champions Serbia 6-5 on penalties after playing to a 0-0 draw.
There were many tears shed following the disappointing defeat, but the team had a lot to be proud of. Flash forward to today, three players from that squad are back on Tab Ramos’ side that is set to kick off the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic: defenders Erik Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Gedion Zelalem.
As the U.S. gets set to open the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup Monday vs. Ecuador (4 a.m. ET - FS1), their inclusion on Tab Ramos’ roster marks a new era, but also a passing of the torch.
- READ MORE: Five Things to Know About Ecuador U-20 MNT
“That’s tremendous value for us, because that’s experience they can pass on to the other players,” Ramos said in a recent Facebook Live chat. “They are players that I know once Monday rolls around and we have to open up (against Ecuador), they will be calm and ready to go. And that’s something that gets passed to other players.”
During that run in New Zealand, the U.S. opened up with a 2-1 victory against Myanmar and also took down the hosting Kiwis 4-0, before falling 3-0 to Ukraine in their final group game. That defeat setup a Round of 16 clash with Colombia, where Rubio Rubin’s 58th minute strike held up a true team effort in the 1-0 victory. The talented roster from 2015 has already seen five players earn caps with the MNT: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Emerson Hyndman, Matt Miazga and Rubin.
Acosta, Arriola and Miazga have also featured in World Cup Qualifying matches, while U-20 returnee Carter-Vickers (pictured above) got his first taste of camp when he was included on the MNT roster for last November’s qualifiers.
“The tournament was probably one of the best moments of my life, just being with the team and everyone got along so well,” Carter-Vickers said. “Losing to Serbia was really disappointing. I felt like, if we had won that game, we would have had a really good chance to win the Semifinals and hopefully win the Final. It was really disappointing, but as a whole I think that we all felt quite proud of what we did and how we played in the tournament.
“I learned a lot. You’re playing against the best players your age around the world. Every game you play in a tournament like this is going to be tough. You have to be 100 percent ready for every game and go into every game focused and ready.”
For Palmer-Brown (pictured left above), the disappointing finish has continued to motivate and propel him to be a strong leader for the U.S. as the Sporting Kansas City product carries on his role as captain for the USA. After stepping aside from National Team duties for most of 2016 while on loan to Porto B of Portugal, Palmer-Brown rejoined the U-20 MNT in early 2017, earning the Golden Ball as the U.S. won its first CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
- READ MORE: Five Things to Know About Erik Palmer-Brown
“It’s tough to see it all go down in one moment like that, in penalties,” Palmer-Brown recalled on the 2015 experience. “I think all three of us gained a lot of experience just being at the last World Cup. Just to see what a big stage we’re on and to be able to actually step back and enjoy the moment. For a lot of us, this might be our only chance to play in a World Cup. It’s an amazing feeling, to represent your country in one of these tournaments and you’ve got to step back and have some fun.”
Zelalem (pictured above) started four of five matches at the 2015 World Cup, tallying an assist against New Zealand before converting one of the USA’s five successful penalties against Serbia. After going on loan from Arsenal to Rangers FC and VVV Venlo between the two World Cups, Zelalem will look for a breakout performance in Korea Republic as he works on breaking into the English side’s first team.
“It was devastating, especially because we played so well the whole tournament,” Zelalem said. “We could have easily won that game in 90 minutes. That feeling, you kind of remember it and you don’t want that feeing again. So it’s that experience that you want to give back to the new players here.
“I think it’s very clear, what we want to do here. Coach Tab and all the assistant coaches have made it very clear what we want to do and I think we are all on the same page.”Read more