In the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship final, Costa Rica defeated the U.S. 3-0.
For the third time overall, the U.S. fell short of winning what
would have been its first-ever regional title.
The scoreless streak the Americans were maintaining against their rivals all tournament long was breached in the 41st minute by Diego Alonso Estrada.
As the U.S. pushed forward in search of the equalizer, Costa Rica capitalized on the counterattack, scoring two more goals in the second half.
However, the amount of changes U.S. coach Thomas Rongen made for the final match could have unsettled the squad somewhat. Most importantly, goalkeeper Brian Perk, who kept four clean sheets in the tournament, gave way to Josh Lambo and Sean Johnson, who each played a half in
the final. Rongen made six other changes from the starting lineup that won
Friday night’s semifinal game in a penalty shootout against Costa Rica.
On the other hand, the U.S. could afford to experiment, as qualifying to the U20 World Cup in Egypt later this year was assured by finishing in first in their qualifying group. Besides Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobogo, and Honduras also qualified for the tournament.
"We made a lot of changes tonight to try to put ourselves in a
situation to be successful, but also to look at some players under
pressure," said Rongen. "I’m disappointed in the loss, but overall
satisfied with the way we’ve played throughout the finals. Getting to
Egypt was our primary goal here, we reached that and to reach a final
is a very good accomplishment for a team that came together in a very
short amount of time. We did some very good things, and I think this
team will represent us well in Egypt."
Other teams who will be competing in the U20 World Cup include Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary,
Italy, Spain, Tahiti, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
18-Joshua Lambo (1-Sean Johnson, 46); 6-Amobi Okugo (15-Brian Ownby,
58, 5-Aaron Maund, 2-Kyle Davies (capt.), 11-Jorge Flores; 12-Bryan
Arguez, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 3-Anthony Wallace; 14-Sam Garza (7-Daniel
Cruz, 66), 16-Billy Schuler, 23-Brek Shea
Subs not used: 4-Sheanon Williams, 9-Peri Marosevic, 10-Dilly Duka,
Subs not available: 22-Gale Agbossoumonde, 24-Brian Perk
Head coach: Thomas Rongen
1-Esteban Alvarado; 2-Jose Antonio Mena, 5-Derrick Alberto Johnson
(capt.), 6-Ricardo Jose Blanco, 7-Marcos Danilo Urena (11-Diego Josue
Madrigal, 85), 8-David Alberto Guzman, 13-Allen Guevara, 14-Brian Jose
Oviedo, 16-Diego Alonso Estrada (10-Carlos Hernandez, 90+), 17-Josue
Martinez (9-Jorge Castro, 90+), 19-Jose Daniel Varela
Subs not used: 3-Kenner Gutierrez, 15-Javier Mynor Esoce, 18-Minor
Subs not available: 4-Juan Andres Monge, 12-Cristian Gamboa
Head Coach: Ronald Gonzalez