Barebones summary: USA 1 – KSA 1 at U20 World Cup

photo courtesy FIFA

The United States U-20 men’s national team secured a 1-1 draw against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to retain first place in its group and advance to the knockout round in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea earlier this morning.

The US next plays New Zealand, runner-up to France in its group, Wednesday June 1.

The US played the second half a man down as center back Cameron Carter-Vickers received a second yellow card in the 45th minute and will be suspended for the New Zealand game. Likewise, the Philadelphia Union’s Derrick Jones will be suspended for yellow card accumulation.

Brooks Lennon poked home a rebound spilled from the shot of Luca de la Torre in the 40th minute for the US goal.

Abdulelah Alamri took a powerful, unmarked header to the opposite post behind a three man screen off a right-side corner kick in the 74th for the Saudis.

The two central-channel defensive suspensions will force head coach Tab Ramos to reconfigure his defense against the Kiwis. In the CONCACAF U-20 championships, he used captain center back Erik Palmer-Brown at defensive central mid. Were he to do that, Auston Trusty might be a possible replacement in the center of the back line next to Justen Glad who replaced Carter-Vickers.

Jones and Trusty will almost certainly not be available to the Philadelphia Union or the Bethlehem Steel for their games on the weekend of June 3-4 against NYCFC and the Ottawa Fury respectively, regardless of the outcome against the Kiwis.


  1. Jones is just pretty good but needs a LOT more work to become a good player. He makes a lot of bad decisions and rookie mistakes. He is lacking in self discipline but can become OK after time. The USA is looking good, with a weakness in midfield that will hurt them as they go forward. DeLa Torre and Salcedo are both pretty poor at this level and I hope there are better players available. I hope they are not playing just because they have the sympathy of the coach. Meanwhile , Sargent is is ridiculously good, a future Star, maybe. Hard to believe he is so young. That layoff prior to the goal,a wonderful controlled pass makes me want to pay big money for him if I were Werder Bremen, who is sniffing around. He is worth as much as almost any player in the world for his age. The USA looks like a semi-final team to me.

  2. The refereeing couldn’t have been more inconsistent from half to half. He was giving out cards for nearly every foul committed in the 1st half a la U.S. vs Italy in 2006. On the one hand it’s good the ref toned it down in the 2nd half but that’s of no consolation to Carter-Vickers or the U.S. who were already down a man. I know there isn’t supposed to be “make-up calls” but you can’t give out cards like they grow on trees in the 1st half and put a team down a man then reverse course in the 2nd half. 3 U.S. players are now suspended for the next round as a result.

    As for Jones, I disagree with the above assessment. He made a huge difference in the 1st game against Ecuador and won a lot of balls and shielded the defense nicely in the next 2 games. He could use work on the offensive side for sure, but defensively he’s been indispensable and will absolutely be missed against NZ

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