First, two points:
1) I don’t have enough observations of the U-20 team to comment on tonight’s affair in depth like with the senior team. So help out.
2) If it wasn’t for ESPN3.com–a fantastic product–I never would have seen this game.
The U.S. U-20 men’s national fell to Guatemala tonight in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship campaign. The loss means no World Cup this summer for the team.
Guatemala jumped ahead in a 1st half largely controlled by the States. After threatening on many chances in the 2nd, Conor Doyle was played in and sand wedged a composed chip over the keeper to level things.
No sooner had the US scored than the home side edged forward again. Miscommunication and slow reaction were to blame as Henry Lopez gathered an over-the-top ball–something the US struggled with all game–tangoed past a befuddled Gale Agbossomunde and slotted the ball past a deer-in-headlights pose from keeper Zac MacMath.
As the hype crescendo this week–with goal celebration video wafting through YouTube–the team failed to deliver on the pitch.
The talent appeared to be there, but for the second tourney, Thomas Rongen’s on-field prowess couldn’t match his recruitment record off it. The U-20′s played a very rushed brand of soccer. It’s one thing to play fast; the U-20′s were rushed. However, this isn’t the senior side either.
Now….the team has plenty of time to slow down.