INCHEON, Korea Republic – The United States U20 National Team moved to the top of Group F at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup as the side took a 1-0 victory against Senegal on Thursday night at Incheon Stadium in its second group game. The United States started the game more positively than in its opener against Ecuador, and 2016 USL Cup winner Tyler Adams of the New York Red Bulls almost gave the side the lead on the half-hour mark as his finish from Josh Sargent’s low cross was saved. Adams began the move that gave the U.S. the lead four minute later, however, as his deft pass found Luca de la Torre, who turned a low pass inside the penalty area to Sargent, and the 17-year-old forward turned his man perfectly before firing home his third goal of the tournament. Adams almost set up Sargent for a second three minutes into the second half, and Sargent forced a save with a low shot in the 62nd minute. Senegal began to apply more pressure in the final half-hour, and a dangerous cross by Jean Ndecky flashed through the penalty area in the 80th minute asking for a final touch, and Habib Gueye headed wide with six minutes to go from close range. Ibrahima Niane put Senegal’s last chance over the crossbar deep in stoppage time as the United States earned a hard-fought victory.
34’ – USA– Josh Sargent (Luca de la Torre)
Three Things That Matter:
1. For a second consecutive game, a former USL standout was a major difference-maker in the midfield for the United States. While against Ecuador in was Derrick Jones (Bethlehem Steel FC), against Senegal it was Tyler Adams, whose box-to-box play helped drive the United States forward, and touch set up one goal and could have led to more. A 2016 USL Cup winner with the New York Red Bulls II, Adams has shown tremendous growth so far in 2017 for the Red Bulls in MLS, and is now coming into his own on the international stage.
2. The United States looked far more composed than in its opening game, and in part that was due to the addition of Cameron Carter-Vickers at center back alongside Swope Park Rangers loanee Erik Palmer-Brown. The Tottenham Hotspur defender rarely put a foot wrong as both he and Palmer-Brown were safe with their clearances and sharp in their passing. The experience the duo possess from being part of the U.S. squad in New Zealand two years ago shone through in an impressive shutout victory.
3. With four points from its first two games, the United States now finds itself in prime position to take top spot in Group F in the final round of games on Sunday. Thanks to Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win against Ecuador earlier in the day, the United States is alone on top of the group, but now much face Saudi Arabia in its final game. Another clinical display of the type the side produced against Senegal should be enough, but there’s still little margin for error if the U.S. is to get a good seed for the knockout stage.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tyler Adams, United States – Adams was all over the field winning possession and linking play for the United States, and played the initial pass to set up the only goal of the game.
United States vs. Saudi Arabia – May 28, 5 a.m. ET, Daejon World Cup Stadium (FS1 / Telemundo)
Senegal vs. Ecuador – May 28, 5 a.m. ET, Jeonju Stadium (FS2)