CARSON, California – The U.S. U14 Boys National Team kicked off its first scrimmage of its August domestic camp with a 3-2 win over Chivas USA 99/00 on Wednesday. The youth national team captured the win, but both teams showed well on the sunny day at the National Training Center in Southern California.
Kevin Negrete scored in the fifth and seventh minute to give the U.S. U14 BNT a 2-0 advantage early in the contest. Negrete, an LA Galaxy Academy forward, benefitted from some turnovers and smart runs in between the center backs for his two early finishes.
“The national team was impressive for the first 15-20 minutes,” Chivas USA Academy coach Brian Kleiban told TopDrawerSoccer. “They created some good opportunities splitting our two center backs and they were good goals. I think it was a well-played game. I think the [national team] staff was happy that they were put under pressure and given a different look than they normally get.”
While the U14 BNT head coach Brian Johnson knew the pressure was coming, it was surprising to see the new faces in camp handle it pretty well overall on the day.
“We play Chivas every time we come here and it’s no secret we are going to play out of the back no matter what,” Johnson told TopDrawerSoccer. “We aren’t going to kick it long or punt it. But yeah, they broke the pressure really well a couple of times early on. I think with that they gained confidence that we can break this pressure and break that initial line and now we are off to change the point of the attack.”
Kleiban was disappointed that the second line did not pressure the youth national team defensive midfielder as quickly as he would have liked. Crew Wolves’ Aidan Nam held that role and did pretty well in creating space for himself in the first half. Chivas USA adjusted in the second half and tried to punish him at every turn with a trio of pestering midfielders.
Although, the MLS Academy did not need that second line of pressure in the first half. Chivas USA cut the lead in half in the 20th minute when Matthew Huerta notched his first goal of the game. The baby Goats executed a well-coached high pressure from the three forwards, which resulted in a turn over from the U.S. defense. Chivas USA quickly struck with Jorge Hernandez supplying the assist to Huerta.
Negrete nearly made it 3-0 six minutes before half when he again fooled the Chivas USA defense and found space in between the center backs. The LA Galaxy Academy forward had a slight delay in his trigger, which allowed a recovering defender to just knick the shot wide of the post.
U.S. regained a two-goal advantage in the second half with an early strike from the pride of Rhode Island, Isaac Angking. Real So Cal’s Taylor Davila had the assist after he expertly slotted in a well-weighted pass to Angking, who placed it past the keeper to give the youth national team a 3-1 lead.
Chivas USA’s quality picked up later in the half as a group of younger players came on and had better cohesion from playing together before. The group in the first half was more of a mishmash of players from the 1999 and 2000 birth years.
“Late in the game we got five 2001s and a 2002 - a bunch of young guys - out there,” Kleiban said. “Overall I am pleased. It is week two of preseason. The 1999s and 2000s don’t train together, so it was a mix.”
With some quality passing and equally as impressive pressing, Chivas USA moved back within a goal. Huerta scored off an assist from Efrain Alvarez, the lone player born in 2002 on the field. It was a fitting display for both players as Alvarez showcased his quality in front of national team coaches for future camps while Huerta prepares for the U15 Boys National Team camp next week.
Both squads had chances in front of the goal in the final 20 minutes but neither put another ball across the goal line.
Chivas USA continues preparation for the Development Academy season, which kicks off in September. Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. U14 Boys National had an intersquad scrimmage later in the evening. Check back on TopDrawerSoccer on Friday for that game report.
U.S. U14 Boys National Team Starting XI:
U14 BNT Second Half XI:
Jones; Ajdukiewicz, Murphy, Ofeimu (Carlo Ritaccio 46’), Peralta; Nam, Isaac Angking, Villegas; Taylor Davila, Negrete (Misael Becerra 46’), Reyes Murillo