Ibeagha helps U.S. U-20s advance
Kelyn Rowe was all the United States Under-20 side needed to defeat
Panama 2-0 on Saturday night in the CONCACAF Championship. The UCLA
forward tallied twice in the first 20 minutes as the Americans finished
the opening round of the tournament undefeated and unscored upon. Dynamo Academy defender Sebastien Ibeagha (Fort Bend Hightower; Duke) played 90 minutes at center back in his first action of the tournament.
the win, the U.S. finishes on top of Group B. They will meet
Guatemala in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, April 6, with the winner qualifying
for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia this summer.
The U.S. opened the
scoring in the 13th minute on a beautiful passing sequence. Sebastian
Lletget backheeled a pass down the line to an overlapping Greg Garza.
The left back took a touch, then delivered a curling cross that flew
over two attackers and two defenders before finding Rowe alone near the
back post. The UCLA star volleyed the ball across the face of goal and
into the back of the net.
Rowe made it 2-0 in short order,
finishing another impressive team effort. Eder Arreola delivered a pass
into the center of the field that Conor Doyle dummied to a waiting
Lletget. The West Ham midfielder put a perfectly weighted pass to his
streaking forward, who deftly chipped Panama netminder Kevin Melgar with
the outside of his right foot.
Gale Agbossoumonde was perhaps
lucky not to concede a penalty kick in the 26th minute. After conceding a
bad giveaway, the U.S. center back found himself stride for stride with
Jairo Jiménez. The Panamanian made a move in the box that looked to beat
his defender. There was contact, with Jiménez ending up on the ground,
but Cuban referee Marco Brea ruled the attacker dove and showed him a
U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen made two changes to the
lineup that beat Suriname 4-0 on Tuesday. Ibeagha started as
Agbossoumonde's partner in central defense, with 's pushing up and replacing Philadelphia's in the midfield. Arreola saw his first time on the left wing. MLSers (Vancouver) and (FC Dallas) were both second-half substitutes.
USA -- Kelyn Rowe (Greg Garza) 13
USA -- Kelyn Rowe (Sebastian Lletget) 18
PAN -- Jairo Jimenez (caution) 26
PAN -- Harold Cummings (caution) 67
Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget (Moises Orozco 66), Kelyn
Rowe (Moises Hernandez 77), Eder Arreola, Conor Doyle, Bobby Wood (Omar
Substitutes Not Used: Cody Cropper, Sacir Hot, Amobi Okugo, Korey Veeder
Kevin Melgar, Josué Flores, Jairo Jiménez, Josimar Gómez, Javier
Caicedo (Gabriel Avila 34), Óscar Linton (Paul Cordero 33), José
Pimentel, (Harold Cummings 60), Roberto Chen, Rolando Botello,
Algish Dixon, José Diego Álvarez.
Substitutes Not Used: Edward Benitez, Manuel Vargas, Cecilio Waterman, Adnihell Ariano
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.