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USA U17 MNT rolls into Concacaf Final

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: May 14, 2019

USA repeated the script from the quarterfinal win over Panama and trounced Canada in the second half on Tuesday to advance to the championship game of the 2019 Concacaf U17 Championship on Thursday at 4 p.m. (PT). 

USA scored four goals in the second 45-minute stanza and cruised to a 4-0 win over Canada from the first semifinal of the day. USA will face the winner of Mexico/Haiti in the championship game. 

Bryang Kayo scored the opening goal for USA early in the second half. The center midfielder charged at the Canada defense and took advantage of the delayed response from the opposition to step to the ball and drilled a beautiful shot to the bottom corner of the net. 

Giovanni Reyna doubled the lead in the 64th minute off a beautiful free kick goal. 

Ricardo Pepi scored twice, both off assists from Gianluca Busio, in the final 12 minutes of the game to push the lead to 4-0. 

The US squad continued their progression under new head coach Raphael Wicky. In his first event in charge of the team, USA has displayed moments of brilliance and put together dominant performances over the past four results. The youth squad invited the pressure from Canada and then cut through the defense like a hot knife through butter with quick passing and good decisions on the ball. An 11-pass sequence, which started with a goal kick was the highlight of the day. The quick combination play and movement off the ball was on display throughout the game, but USA did a better job finishing off the chances in the second half when Canada was tired of chasing shadows. 

Another test awaits in the final, but the showing up until this point has been the best performance from a U.S. Youth National Team in the past decade. 

U.S. Starting Lineup: Chituru Odunze; Mauricio Cuevas, Tayvon Gray, Kobe Hernandez-Foster, John Tolkin (Adam Armour); Daniel Leyva, Bryang Kayo (Adam Saldana), Gianluca Busio; Gilbert Fuentes, Ricardo Pepi (Afonso Ocampo-Chavez), Giovanni Reyna

 
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