BRENT LATHAM - Friday, October 2, 2009
United States vs South Korea
Under-20 World Cup - Friday October 2, 2009
Mubarak Stadium
The United States finished ahead of Cameroon in Group C but little else went right on Friday evening as they fell 3-0 against South Korea.

American coach Thomas Rongen went with the same eleven starters that had trounced Cameroon two days earlier, but the combination failed to yield dividends as the determined Koreans proved better everywhere on the field.

After a near miss off a corner kick in the 21st minute, Korea jumped ahead in the 23rd when sloppy defending from another corner kick allowed Kim Young Gwon to curl a shot off the left-hand post past goalkeeper Brian Perk for the first goal of the game.

The Americans nearly responded a couple minutes later when Brek Shea found his way into the box and sent a wormburner just wide of the post, but the Koreans regained the initiative with the wind behind them on a blustery night in Suez.

Just three minutes before halftime the Koreans would double their lead, again through Kim Bo Kyung, who found himself at the end of Park Hee Seong's cross after Sheanon Williams misjudged the cross. Kim wasted little time nestling his shot into the far corner of the net.

Rongen rang in the changes at halftime, sending on Peri Marosevic for his first action of the tournament and removing Tony Taylor, who was hobbled with a hamstring injury. The coach trashed his 4-5-1 and moved Shea up front alongside Marosevic, ordering the crew to play more directly through the air.

"We decided to go to a 4-4-2 in the second half," the coach said. "Tony Taylor re-aggravated his hamstring so we went to Peri Marosevic and tried to get some height up next to him with Brek Shea. We moved Dilly Duka over to the left where he's played for Rutgers. He's a pretty good creator out of that position and a decent crosser.

"We wanted to reverse the pressure, play in the half of the opponent and try to get back in the game one goal at a time. We had some half-chances, and I don't know if that was really a red card, then the PK really hurt so we were really chasing the game."

The move didn't pay off as the Koreans made easy work of the Americans' long ball strategy. Even with the entry of Mikkel Diskerud in the 60th minute, the Americans couldn't make anything happen.

In the 75th minute, the Asians put the game away as Koo Ja Cheol would score his own from the penalty spot, after defender Ike Opara took down the captain in the penalty area for his second yellow - which saw the teenager sent off early.

The Americans were thoroughly disappointed after a tournament that will be considered a failure barring a miracle of Confederations Cup proportions.

"Unfortunately in today's game, Korea was technically and tactically superior to the US," Rongen concluded. "You just have to move on. We're bitterly disappointed in the result. We came in with high expectations - you always set the bar high - but at the end of the day we just weren't good enough to get the result we needed. It's a harsh reality but something that needs to be said."

The US could still advance as one of the best third-placed sides after Germany beat Cameroon 3-0, but allowing three goals against the Asians put the Americans on the negative side in the all important goal differential.

"I'm not a mathematician but I guess that keeps us somewhat alive depending on other results," Rongen said. "The reality right now is that we walked away with three points out of a potential nine. To us as a group, we set high standards, and so it was very disappointing."

Results went the Americans' way in the second match Friday when England tied Uzbekistan to leave both teams with one point in Group D. The easiest way for the US would be for Costa Rica to lose Saturday to the Czech Republic by a 1-0 score or by multiple goals.

Should the Americans advance, they would likely face host Egypt in Cairo on Tuesday. If they are eliminated, it would be the first time in seven U-20 World Cups they have failed to make the second round.
Tuesday October 6, 2009 11:06 am
Both of my sons played at the youth club level and I see over and over again that the tallest and fastest kids are being picked over the smaller and more TECHNICALLY GIFTED PLAYERS. The result is this- KOREA 3 USA 0. Size might be a factor against some opponents, but when you match that size against a superior technician the tall fast kid will look clumsy on the pitch. Soccer/football is a SPORT OF SKILLZZZZ people. You can NOT teach someone skills; it comes naturally. Yes, you can teach a kid moves with drills etc., but why not build on that natural skill and NOT groom a tall sprinter into a soccer players? The English have tried this and failed miserably. Did you 60% of the players in EPL are foreign born? When did England last win the World Cup?
Sunday October 4, 2009 7:15 am
u17 cabrera will show us why we need international coaches teaching our youth. no more weekend warrior american dad coaches they know nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday October 3, 2009 10:19 pm
USA will never win,with this coaches! next year will be the same at the world cup,(if Bradley still the coach.)
Charlie G.
Saturday October 3, 2009 8:47 pm
As the announcer aptly put it, "A horror show from the Americans" !

Well, at least the year has not been boring for US fans. Would you feel better if you were Argentinean ? I bet not. My money is on Cabrera's unit in the U-17 WC to show well, and for the full MNT to put together one good game of the two remaining and qualify.

Having watch US soccer since 1972, the last few years have seen more hope than despair, but a bit of a roller coaster for sure. Undoubtedly, it's time for the US coaching ranks to be re-evaluated.

I may be crazy, but I'm thinking I wouldn't mind seeing Stuart Holden starting and quarterbacking things in midfield...his vision, distribution and ball control seem well-suited...
Saturday October 3, 2009 6:00 pm
Well the Italian Referee, Roberto Rosetti may have messed up with that first yellow to Ike Opara,(I think also he confused the two US CB's who are both black, so he was looking to give a second yellow/red card to Agbossoumonde) but once he had that Yellow card he had to play a safer brand of ball and body blocking a Korean IN THE BOX, well that wasn't very wise. But the Referee could also soo easily have shown a straight Red instead of a Yellow to Shea for that STUPID two footed tackle well beyond midfield when we were already down a player... Opara might not have had much of an option, but Shea just was totally undisciplined and was very lucky to finish the match on the field.

The referee wasn't the reason we lost this match... it was how WE played... very poorly.

The telling statistic was shots on target, South Korea 7, US 1 ... unless THIS changes, well we can expect to continue losing.
Saturday October 3, 2009 2:32 am
i was right, rongen is a bradley clone. actually the entire ussf is becoming a wierd bradley(let's play as bad as we can) cult group dedicated in providing the world with more ammo to ridicule us.
Saturday October 3, 2009 2:25 am
Trix, the referee who red-carded Bradley - Jorge Larrionda - was the ref for the Cameroon game. He showed our guys a lot of yellow cards, but no reds in that game.

The referee for last night's spectacle - and who showed that first mystery-yellow to Opara which ultimately led to his sending off - was Roberto Rosetti from Italy. AFAIK, we have no history with him. He's usually respected as one of the world's top referees (although Darren Fletcher might disagree) but Opara's first yellow card was a huge error, IMO, as Flores was the one flying in recklessly from behind on the tackle.
Saturday October 3, 2009 1:43 am
Yup, Trix... the same guy who red carded Bradley, the same guy who red carded Onyewu against Ghana in the World cup... it's that jerk, Larrionda, and if things go as they likely will next summer... he'll be in charge of one of our vital matches in the group of death that we're likely to be put into come next December's World Cup sorting!
Life often isn't fair... but some things like Larrionda, seem to happen again and again... sigh!!!
Friday October 2, 2009 10:30 pm
If this is the best US could offer, Olympic 2012 will be a disaster (even if we have Josy and Freddy).
If I were a coach looking to sign someone the only guy who could be considered is Duka.
Friday October 2, 2009 8:15 pm
I watched all three US games and i came to the conclusion that the CAmeroon game was a Fluke. for god sakes to have Ownby score it had to have been a fluke. wasnt that the same Ref who sent off Bradley in the confederations cup?anywho the way the US played that REd card to Opara didnt affect the outcome off the game.
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