BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, April 7, 2011
Disaster struck the US Under-20 team Wednesday night as they fell to hosts Guatemala and failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup.

The US created most of the chances early in the game, but Kelyn Rowe failed to capitalize on two golden opportunities. The first came in the eight minute when he beat keeper Jose Garcia, but defender Jose Manuel Lemus managed to clear the shot just a few feet away from the goal. The second opportunity came three minutes later, but Rowe headed a Zarek Valentin cross wide.

Guatemala struck first in the 33rd minute when Gerson Lima was able to capitalize off a defensive breakdown and score from close range off a Kendel Herrarte assist.

In the second half, the US continued to push hard for the equalizer and Derby County's Conor Doyle came close, but only managed to hit the post in the 50th minute. Four minutes later defender Amobi Okugo forced a great save when he fired a shot from 25 yards that Garcia barely managed to save.

The US finally knotted the contest in the 63rd minute when Okugo picked out Doyle who made an excellently timed run, took one touch and chipped Garcia to silence the crowd.

The lead did not last long, though, as Guatemala capitalized on their only opportunity of the second half when Gale Agbossounonde failed control a long ball. Midfielder Jose Castillo outmuscled the Sweden-bound American and calmy fed Henry Lopez who beat Zak MacMath with a shot from 15 yards.

The US continued to press for a second equalizer but it came to no avail. Rowe came closest in the 81st minute when he hit the side netting from close range.

The loss marks the end of a once promising cycle for the US team - the most professional youth squad ever assembled - and its beleaguered head coach Thomas Rongen.
Saturday April 9, 2011 11:08 am
there are no excuses for failure, blame exists at every level, executive,
coaching and player but as in the past everything will remain the same and fools like ourselves will pay their salaries.
hector gomez
Friday April 8, 2011 2:30 pm
I am a huge fan of US Futbol and watching the game against Guatemala made me mad. Clearly the US team is more talented and to lose to that team is dishearting. I wanted to see how far we have gone in the u20 world cup. I felt that this team would have won it all. Now i hope that some of these dual citizens on the team does not leave the US program.
Friday April 8, 2011 1:41 pm
im not gonna say anything about the game because everything i would have said about my displeasure has already been said multiple times. i do still feel the need to say that kelyn rowe needs to leave college and join a professional environment now. the fact that he cant earn a generation adidas contract right now may work to his advantage as it means that europe is calling.
Mike, Fl
Thursday April 7, 2011 7:53 pm
Ok, Iíll be the devilís advocate. Iíve seen play four generations of U-20 play, and yes this was the most talented one. We just didnít get lucky on this one; the fact is that Guate wouldíve beaten any team last night. Even our team was clearly more talented; they had more than 50,000 people cheering them. Perhaps our guys wave never played under such environment. Who wouldíve taught that France was going to beat Brazil in 1998, and yet they did because they played with not 11 players but 12. Guate played last night like if they had 13 players on the field. Letís move on and call LLetget, Gyau, Kitchen, Wood and Garza to at least the Gold Cup camp. Iím not saying that they should make the team but they are the players that clearly have the most talent and they need to begin to get exposure with the big team.
Juan from L.A.
Thursday April 7, 2011 4:11 pm
Epic fail in regards to what happen yesterday and to the youth system and this program. I'm half Guatemalan so this was my worst nightmare and reality was that one of my two national teams was going to be out. Bittersweet moment. Rongen needs to go, but not completely. He sucks at coaching period. I believe THERE SHOULD BE accountability in part of the USSF that this is a huge setback for a Federation that wants to do the right thing and continue growing. If they don't fire him as coach than the complacency and status quo will continue. He has gotten more than his chance to transform the youth levels and his results are not good. His recruiting and vision is phenomenal and at some capacity he should continue being with the USSF or an MLS academy but not coaching our youth teams.
Most importantly the press should pressure and demand this accountability and be our voice of dissent. Whatever the situation. Change needs to occur.
Estuardo Marroquin
Thursday April 7, 2011 1:32 pm
Well guys, here is another important point. Before saying anything I am from Guatemala, I am a fan of Guatemalan National Team, but also I am a huge fan of the USMNT (as you can see in my Youtube account).

First of all the U-Whatever (U17, U20, U23) of the US Soccer have been assisting to the last competitions and making a REALLY BAD championship. For real, lets think. When was the last acceptable participation in those tourneys? Donovan's? Because the OG at China where terrible.

For real, I think the level needs to improve, not only Wrongen emm Rongen needs to go, also Gulati because soccer is not getting better, it is getting worst. It improved from the 98 to the 02, but then the level has had ups and downs and going nowhere.
How is soccer improving making the same mistakes?

Guatemala did a very very good game, they ridiculizated the USMNTU20. But is there an answer?

I saw the roster of those guys, they are "playing" in Europe some of them, but for real, they don't have any game played. They taked players that don't play, just randomly with the NT. At that age Donovan and Beasley where almost WC players, while this ones doesn't look at that level, not even close. I think its better having players being regular at the MLS, than having dudes being bench of the reserve of a Euro team of a Second Division.

The MLS is more worried about bringing dinosaurs to the league, and marketing, than improving the level, making every team to have an academy, having relegation etc.

They only care about selling tickets, than the score like in the last Gold Cup against Mexico 0-5. TERRIBLE.
Thursday April 7, 2011 1:17 pm
Woody, I guess you hit the nail on the head:

Gale Agbossoumonde, the most experienced player on the team, was quoted as saying Rongen said that "even our B team is going to be the best team we are going to play."

Arrogant. You never underestimate the opponent!
Houston We Have A Problem
Thursday April 7, 2011 12:01 pm
Has Rongen ever met expectations with our youth national teams? EVER?
Thursday April 7, 2011 12:01 pm
I've always said Rongen had to go, from the last 2 u 20 world cups he coached....but sad to say Gulati will not fire him...big disappointment!
Eugenio "Janu" Juarez
Thursday April 7, 2011 12:01 pm
THe US is the only team in the world that builds it's teams from college players. We need first of all, a league that relegates losing teams and that promotes winning teams. Money alone should not guarantee a franchise; it should be soccer knowledge, coaching and results. Futhermore, there are many, many Latino players out there who can outplay most of the US national team players and who do not go to college. Finally, there are not enough Latino coaches in ther ranks of the USSF coaching schools. Octavio Zambrano comes to mind as just one coach who could make a difference! Maintaining the European status quo is obviously not getting us the results!

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