Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Ibeagha plays 45 in scoreless draw

Dynamo Academy centerback Sebastien Ibeagha (Fort Bend Hightower) played 45 minutes for the U.S. Under-20 national team yesterday, in a 0-0 tie against a South Florida select team. Ibeagha started the second half at right back, but switched halfway through to the center back position.

Under-20 manager Thomas Rongen played a different lineup in each half, with Generation adidas signee Zac MacMath the only one to go the full 90 for the U.S. The University of Maryland product dove to his left to save a second half penalty kick, which proved to be the only serious test he faced.

In the first half, Akron product Perry Kitchen continued to build his case to be the No. 1 overall pick in next Thursday’s SuperDraft with an impressive performance at center back, showing exceptional defensive skills in winning the ball cleanly on several occasions. His fellow Akron teammate, Zarek Valentin, had a quiet first half at right back, pushing frequently into the attack.

Omar Salgado, expected to be among the top forwards in the SuperDraft, was in the middle of the key plays in the second half, putting in a shift at center forward and then switching to attacking left wing. He showed off his ability to hold up balls in the attack but also missed the mark on three different occasions and exhibited some heavy legs.

Among current MLS players, NY Red Bulls teen star Juan Agudelo was busy on the right wing in the first half while Philadelphia’s Amobi Okugo was erratic at times with his distribution in midfield. D.C. United’s Ethan White, who played at right center back and at right back, was involved in the dubious second-half penalty kick call against the U.S. Also, FC Dallas defender Moises Hernandez had a positive outing at left back, with several energetic offensive forays. 

The match was played on an auxiliary field outside Lockhart Stadium, with several MLS technical staffs present including D.C. United, Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Colorado Rapids.

U.S. U-20s 1st Half (4-3-3, left to right): Zac MacMath; Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen, Gale Agbossoumonde, Zarek Valentin; Fabian Huerzeler, Sebastian Lletget, Amobi Okugo; Alex Zahavi, Conor Doyle, Juan Agudelo

U.S. U-20s 2nd Half (4-3-3 left to right): Zac MacMath; Moises Hernandez, Sacir Hot, Ethan White, Sebastien Ibeagha; Kelyn Rowe, Alex Molano, Moises Orozco; Joe Gyau, Omar Salgado, Bobby Wood