Despite playing with a man advantage from the 18th minute the U.S. U20’s dropped a 1-0 decision to Panama in a shocking display in the opening match of the CONCACAF Championships.
With the regional tournament doubling as qualifiers for the U20 World Cup Tab Ramos’s squad has put themselves in a hole with this loss, although the remaining group games versus Haiti and St Kitts and Nevis should be winnable, shouldn’t they?
After his team’s effort against Panama overconfidence should not be a problem for Ramos and company.
The Americans dominated the early exchanges Saturday afternoon but the U.S. was having trouble putting its possession advantage to any discernible use, a problem the U.S. would not solve on the day.
That figured to change in the 18th minute when New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was scythed down by Los Canaleros midfielder Justin Simons. Adams, who had been singled out by Ramos as key to U.S. plans, stayed in the match until the 31st minute but it had to be discouraging for the Americans to see the young New York Red Bull hobble from the dressing room after the half on crutches and wearing a cast.
Simons earned a straight red card for his recklessness gifting the Americans with a man advantage for the remaining 72 minutes of the match but somehow the Young Yanks were unable to make that edge count.
Instead, the Americans fell behind on a 37th-minute goal from Leonardo Avila on a shot that deflected off of the unfortunate Marlon Fossey. Unfortunate because the fullback was one of the better American players on the pitch, motoring up and down the right flank, combining well at times with winger Brooks Lennon, and using his plentiful speed to track back on defense.
But the U.S. had trouble all game connecting simple passes, involving the forwards in the attack, in particular, target man Jeremy Ebobisse, in short providing any real threat, despite the extra man.
The loss of Adams may have been a factor but the U.S. midfield had a very bad day at the office, with neither Luca De La Torre or converted center back and captain Erik Palmer-Brown providing the necessary link with the American attackers.
The only real impetus shown by the Americans came late when central defender Justen Glad ventured upfield looking for all the world like a young man determined to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Glad had a breakout season with Real Salt Lake last season, becoming a regular starter and that experience showed despite the loss. With time running down versus Panama Glad repeatedly ran at the defense and very nearly produced a U.S. goal.
It would have been the least that the RSL man deserved, although it is hard to make a similar case for his teammates.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
PAN 1 0 1
PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba) 37th minute
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding (7-Eryk Williamson, 69), 6-Justen Glad, 3-Danny Acosta; 17-Brooks Lennon, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 10-Luca De La Torre (19-Coy Craft, 69), 11-Sebastian Saucedo; 9-Jeremy Ebobisse, 8-Tyler Adams (18-Emmanuel Sabbi, 31)
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 13-Auston Trusty, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan Gonzalez, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos
PAN: 12-Charles Taylor; 20-Josue Vergara (13-Jorge Gutiérrez, 90+3), 6-Javier Rivera (Capt.), 2-Jiovany Ramos, 3-Andrés Andrade; 11-Justin Simons, 5-Ricardo Ávila, 14-José Tejada, 17-Leandro Ávila (18-Isidoro Hinestroza, 79); 8-Cristian Martínez (16-Yair Jaen, 72), 9-Ronaldo Córdoba
Subs not used: 1-Aldo Ciel, 7-Chamell Asprilla, 10-Andrés Peñalba, 19-Oliver Beckles
Head coach: Nelson Gallego
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 22 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1
PAN – Justin Simons (sent off) 18th minute
USA – Luca de la Torre (caution) 41
PAN – Cristian Martínez (caution) 45+1
USA – Sebastian Saucedo (caution) 74