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10-Man USA Ties Saudi Arabia 1-1, Wins Group F at 2017 U-20 World Cup

DAEJEON, Korea Republic (May 28, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team finished atop Group F at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia, striking first and then being forced to play a man down for 45 minutes. The result sees the USA advance to the Round of 16 for a second-straight tournament, where Group E runner up New Zealand awaits.

It was another solid performance from the U.S., which enjoyed the majority of possession and attacking opportunities in a first half that saw young Yanks take the lead but also suffer what could be some costly cards as right back Aaron Herrera and defensive midfielder Derrick Jones were both issued cautions that will keep them out of the next match.

The USA’s positive play was rewarded in the 40th minute when Brooks Lennon capitalized on a sleeping Saudi defense to tap home a rebound to give his team the lead and record his first goal of the tournament.

Shortly before the goal, U.S. center back Cameron Carter-Vickers had been shown a yellow card when a Saudi player went down easily after Carter-Vickers had touched his shoulder as the two found themselves in a footrace near midfield. Carter-Vickers and the USA would suffer from a second dubious caution five minutes later when referee Diego Haro harshly brandished another yellow card, reducing the U.S. to 10 men at the stroke of halftime.

Playing a man down for the entirety of the second 45, the well-organized U.S. defense dug in and surrendered very few opportunities, buttressed by the addition of center back Justen Glad.

The Green Falcons managed to get on the board via a corner kick in the 75th minute as Abdulelah Alamri headed home to level the match, but it was all they could muster as the U.S. maintained their defensive pressure and closed out the match without giving away a significant opportunity.

Simultaneously in Group F, Ecuador and Senegal played to a 0-0 draw. The result secured second spot for Senegal, while ending Ecuador’s time at the tournament as they exited bottom of the group.

The U.S. now moves on to play New Zealand in the Round of 16 on Thursday, June 1at Incheon Stadium in Incheon, Korea Republic. Kickoff is set for 7 a.m. ET on FS1, FOX Sports Go and Telemundo En Vivo. The two nations previously met during the group stage of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, with the United States collecting a 4-0 shutout. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup Group F Standings

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

3

1

0

2

5

5

4

+1

Senegal

3

1

1

1

4

2

1

+1

Saudi Arabia

3

1

1

1

4

3

4

-1

Ecuador

3

0

1

2

1

4

5

-1

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Brooks Lennon, 40th minute: The U.S. caught Saudi Arabia napping with Sebastian Saucedo getting free to the left of the Green Falcons area. He played into the box for Josh Sargent, who controlled the ball before finding Luca de la Torre near the penalty spot. De la Torre was able to maneuver into a shooting lane but saw his low effort saved by the Saudi ‘keeper. The rebound fell perfectly for Lennon who was stationed at the back right post, and the U.S. winger tapped home his first goal of the tournament. USA 1, KSA 0

KSA – Abdulelah Alamri (Sami Alnaji), 75th minute: Saudi captain Alnaji whipped in an out-swinging corner kick from the right side that Alamri met with an unchallenged header at the top of the six-yard box. The powerful headed shot left U.S. ‘keeper little chance as it spun into the far left side of the goal. USA 1, KSA 1 FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 4th minute: Saudi Arabia got out on a counter attack after a U.S. corner kick was cleared with Abdulrahman Alyami sprinting down the right flank. With a defender in tow as he entered the U.S. box, Alyami unleashed a low drive from a wide angle that Klinsmann did well to get low and snuff out at his near post.

USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 68h minute: The U.S. repelled Saudi Arabia’s initial attack as captain Erik Palmer-Brown poked the ball away from Alyami, but it rolled right to Ayman Alkhulaif on the right edge of the area. Alkhulaif dribbled toward the right post along the end line before blasting a shot toward the far corner from close range, but Klinsmann was equal to it with a strong parry.

Additional Notes:

  • Brooks Lennon tallied his first goal of the tournament to go along with his assist in the 3-3 opening draw against Ecuador. The Real Salt Lake attacker has five goals and two assists in 10 international matches during 2017.
  • Tab Ramos made one change from the starting XI that faced Senegal, inserting Sebastian Saucedo in midfield for Eryk Williamson.
  • Center back Cameron Carter-Vickers was sent off after being shown yellow cards in the 40th minute and during the first minute of first-half stoppage time. The U.S. played down a man the rest of the way and will also be without Carter-Vickers as he serves an automatic one-game suspension against New Zealand in the Round of 16.
  • The USA will also be without right back Aaron Herrera and central midfielder Derrick Jones against New Zealand. Both players were shown their second yellow cards of the tournament in the eighth and 32nd minutes, respectively.
  • The game was the second meeting between the two nations at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and first since the U.S. earned a 1-0 win during the group stage of the 1987 tournament in Chile.
  • Ramos moves to 4-3-4 all-time at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
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U-20 MNT May 28, 2017

- U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Saudi Arabia
Date: May 28, 2017
Competition: 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group F
Venue: Daejeon World Cup Stadium; Daejeon, Korea Republic
Kickoff: 5 a.m. ET (6 p.m. local time)
Attendance: 5,460
Weather: 83 degrees; Sunny

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
USA                             1          0          1
KSA                             0          1          1

USA – Brooks Lennon                                       40th minute
KSA – Abdulelah Alamri (Sami Alnaji)                 74

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 3-Danny Acosta, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (capt.), 16-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 14-Aaron Herrera; 20-Luca de la Torre (7-Eryk Williamson, 89), 18-Derrick Jones, 8-Tyler Adams; 11-Sebastian Saucedo (6-Justen Glad, 46), 19-Josh Sargent (9-Emmanuel Sabbi, 70), 17-Brooks Lennon
Subs not used: 2-Auston Trusty, 4-Tommy Redding, 12-James Marcinkowski, 13-Lagos Kunga, 15-Jeremy Ebobisse, 21-Brady Scott
Not available: 10-Gedion Zelalem
Head coach: Tab Ramos

KSA: 1-Amin Albukhari; 2-Anas Zabbani (20-Mansour Almuwallad, 73), 5-Abdulelah Alamri, 6-Sami Alnaji (capt.), 7-Khalid Alsamiri (19-Fahad Alrashidi, 58), 10-Ayman Alkhulaif, 11-Abdulrahman Alyami, 13-Hassan Altambakti, 14-Ali Alasmari, 16-Abdulrahman Aldosari, 17-Abdullah Tarmin (15-Naif Kireiri, 68)
Subs not used: 3-Mohammad Albassas, 4-Awn Alsaluli, 8-Yousef Alharbi, 9-Hassan Alqayd, 12-Saleh Alohaymid, 18-Nasser Aldawsari, 21-Mohammed Alyami
Head coach: Saad Alshehri

Stats Summary: USA / KSA
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 5
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 18
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Aaron Herrera (caution)                    8th minute
KSAAbdulrahman Aldosari (caution)         23
KSA – Sami Alnaji (caution)                         30
USA – Derrick Jones (caution)                     32
KSA – Abdullah Tarmin (caution)                 33
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution)     40
USA - Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution)      45
USA - Cameron Carter-Vickers (sent off)      45
KSA - Abdulelah Alamri (caution)                 65

Officials:
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez (PER)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Tyler Adams

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Ramos is entering his third FIFA U-20 World Cup as the USA head coach, having previously led the team in 2013 and 2015.

ussoccer.com: What were the challenges in determining the final roster?
Tab Ramos: “As always there were some extremely tough decisions to make. This is a talented age group. We feel confident in the group we have selected.”

ussoccer.com: How would you compare the selection process for this roster to your previous two U-20 World Cup rosters?
TR: “One important aspect is that cooperation by M.L.S. clubs keeps improving. The league is proving that they care about young American players and their full development by being supportive of these international competitive opportunities for them.” 

ussoccer.com: The players on this roster who were not on the CONCACAF Championship roster, how did you go about selecting them and what are you hoping that they bring to the table? 
TR: “We know that at the World Cup we need to be better than we were in qualifying, so the changes made were to add players who are in good form and make the team more competitive.” 

ussoccer.com: What does Cameron Carter-Vickers bring to this team? What kind of influence are you hoping that he will rub off on the rest of the players? 
TR: “Cameron’s playing style, demeanor and experience provide a confidence boost for the team and for players playing next to him.” 

ussoccer.com: Josh Sargent has proven to be an elite player at the U-17 level. Can you speak on why he was selected and what qualities you’ve seen from him that have impressed you the most? 
TR: “We have been following Josh and discussing the possibility of him playing here for six months. John Hackworth and I have discussed providing a more difficult challenge for him. He is very dangerous around the box, holds the ball well and his runs off the ball are runs you would normally see made by a much older player.”

ussoccer.com: The younger players on the team (Tyler Adams, Brady Scott and Josh Sargent) will also be eligible to play in the 2019 U-20 World Cup. Can you speak on the value of having youngers players who can contribute now and again in the future? 
TR: “We tried to select the best team possible, so Tyler, Josh and Brady are with us because they deserve to be, not just because they are younger and are gaining more experience for the future.” 

ussoccer.com: What positive things have you seen from Erik Palmer-Brown, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Gedion Zelalem in the last two years after they went through this experience in 2015? Do you think the 2015 U-20 World Cup impacted their development since that time? 
TR: “Erik, Gedion and Cameron have already played a U-20 World Cup and that adds tremendous value to the team. This is their team now, and I am sure they cannot wait to get back in this competition after losing to Serbia on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.”

ussoccer.com: How would you describe the dynamics of this team, especially with 15 players brought back from the CONCACAF roster in addition to some new faces?  
TR: “There is a wide range of skillsets on this team. This group can cause a lot of problems for opponents with its ability in transition, with the ball and without it.”

ussoccer.com: Having gone through youth World Cups as a player and now going into your third youth World Cup as a coach, what does this experience do for a player? 
TR: “Whether you are a player or a coach, every opportunity to participate at the highest level always teaches you something new. You are always learning.” 

ussoccer.com: What would you say that you most hope this group of players will get out of, and learn from, this World Cup experience? 
TR: “My goal is always to provide the best environment and prepare them as well as possible so that they can do their best. I would like for us to continue our path of being consistent game after game, and tournament after tournament.”    

ussoccer.com: What is the mindset of the team for the next 14 days before the first game against Ecuador? 
TR: “We will utilize the preparation period to once again become a team. Unlike qualifying, in this tournament you have to be at your best from the first minute, otherwise it is very difficult to recover. Any team here can beat you.”

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