Photo courtesy U.S. Soccer
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Former Real Monarchs SLC loanee Danny Acosta scored the decisive goal in the penalty shootout as the United States U20 National Team claimed the 2017 CONCACAF U20 Championship 5-3 in a penalty shootout against Honduras after the teams had played to a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica. With the game scoreless after 90 minutes, the U.S. took first in the shootout, and converted on all five kicks. Brooks Lennon, former OKC Energy FC loanee Coy Craft, Emmanuel Sabbi and Luca De La Torre were all perfect from the spot before Honduras’ Rembrandt Flores shot high to conclude the fourth round, allowing Acosta to record the decisive finish and earn the U.S. its first CONCACAF U20 Championship.
United States – Brooks Lennon, Goal; Coy Craft, Goal; Emmanuel Sabbi, Goal; Luca De La Torre, Goal; Danny Acosta, Goal
Honduras – Jorge Alvarez, Goal; Douglas Martinez, Goal; Foslyn Grant, Goal; Rembrandt Flores, Miss
Three Things That Matter:
1. The U.S. U20s had to battle hard after earning their place in the Final on Friday night with its victory against El Salvador. Add a pair of key injuries in the opening hour that saw Eryk Wiliamson and former Real Monarchs SLC loanee Justen Glad be forced from the game, and a Honduras opponent that had an additional two days of rest, and the had to be resolute to hold the upper hand for much of the contest, and look the more likely side to convert what few chances there were.
2. For the second consecutive game, the U.S. was more careless than it needed to be with the ball, completing only 69 percent of its passes for a second consecutive game. Some of the missed passes almost cost the side, with Erik Palmer-Brown having to make a vital challenge on Darizon Vuelto Perez with 16 minutes to go after the Honduran forward had intercepted a pass to break in on goal. The sharpness throughout the field will have to be improved when the U.S. reached the FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea this May.
3. For all of the struggles, and frustrations as chances were denied well by Honduras goalkeeper Javier Delgado, the U.S. players and staff should be delighted by their victory as the side makes history with the program’s first CONCACAF U20 Championship. All seven of the players eligible to appear in the final did so, as well, with the likes for 2016 USL Cup winner Tyler Adams starting and fellow USL 20 Under 20 selection Coy Craft coming on as a second-half substitute. The work for those players now begins to be in Head Coach Tab Ramos’ squad when it is announced two months from now to head to the country’s 15th appearance at the FIFA U20 World Cup.