The United States fell to France in a misleading scoreline of three to zero. The run of play was pretty even for the majority of the game, but France took their chances and the United States did not. The U.S. finished second in the group with six points and will face Germany on Tuesday at 1am PT / 4am ET. Both teams rotated their squads significantly, prioritizing rest for the knockouts over finishing first in the group. It ended up being a costly game for the United States; Noahkai Banks, Paulo Rudisill and Tyler Hall won’t be available for the next game. Banks and Rudisill for yellow card accumulation and Hall for the red card he earned late in stoppage time.
Cruz Medina captains the United States against. France at the U17 World Cup
Both Cruz Medina and David Vazquez provided good service from corners and put the ball in some dangerous spots. The United States didn’t move their center-backs up on set plays, so it was up to smaller players to find the ball. While there weren’t many clear cut chances from set plays, they did force France to scramble at times. This could be a revenue stream for the United States against Germany, a game where chances could be hard to come by.
The United States did a good job in defensive transition during the parts of the game where it was still competitive. Whenever France turned the United States over, players were working hard and positioning themselves to not get outflanked and it limited the amount of chances France had for the first 80 minutes of the game.
The story of the tournament for me is that this team makes far too many costly mistakes with the ball in their own half. It hadn’t really hurt them too much, but it did today and it was the initial action in the sequence that led to France’s first goal. The United States is going to have to be more responsible on the ball against Germany to have a chance.
As mentioned above, the United States lost three players in this game to suspension. Even more unfortunate is that two of the players are center-backs and the team only carries two natural center-backs, so someone is going to have to play out of position.
Cruz Medina (Man of the Match)
Medina went the full 90+ and was the most dangerous player for the United States. He got into great positions in the final third and was unlucky to not come away with a goal in this game. He pulled up with a limp in stoppage time, hopefully cramps and not a muscle injury that could keep him out of the next game.
Jamison wasn’t overly flashy, but he did a good job in the counterpress and provided some verticality for the United States. He’ll be useful off of the bench against Germany.
Hawkins gets a shout mainly because he didn’t get himself suspended like the other two center-backs. Otherwise, he was decent defensively and on the ball.
Burton did a good job working back to the ball and connecting play. He wasn't over impactful in the final third, but helped in the build out and won the ball back several times defensively.
Next up the United States gets the exciting opportunity to play Germany in a knockout situation in a World Cup. These opportunities are the reasons you play in these tournaments. It's a chance for our young guys to play against great teams and gain valuable experience.. Germany has looked dominant in the tournament and it is going to be a massive challenge for the United States to compete in this game, especially three players down.
Will the United States adjust their style of play given the opponent and the personnel challenges? Or will they continue to press high and try to break Germany down? My hope is they play a little more conservative and look to hurt Germany in transition, an area where the United States has looked pretty good throughout the tournament.
Given the options available to Segares, I’d look for a starting lineup that looks something like this:
GK: Adam Beaudry
LB: Peyton MIller
LCB: Tahir Reid-Brown
RCB: Stuart Hawkins
RB: Oscar Verhoeven
DM: Pedro Soma
DM: Matthew Corcoran
AM: Cruz Medina / Taha Habroune (whoever is more fit)
LW: David Vazquez
RW: Nimfasha Berchimas
CF: Keyrol Figueroa