ANDREW MINTZ - Monday, January 12, 2015
The United States U-20 men's national soccer team kicked off its CONCACAF U-20 Championship campaign against a stingy Guatemala side in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday.
The US, the favorites out of Group A, found chances hard to come by in the first half, despite persistently dominating possession through the first 45 minutes.
To begin the second half, Junior Flores, the hyped Borussia Dortmund youth midfielder, made way for the more offensive minded Fulham youngster, Emerson Hyndman.
The US found a couple early chances, as Columbus Crew's Romain Gall saw a half volley effort go wide in the 49th minute, but it was not until the 58th minute that the US found its breakthrough.
Hyndman, who proved to be impressive through just 13 minutes, delivered a perfect corner kick for the US' first. After losing his defender, Tottenham product, Cameron Carter-Vickers met Hyndman's cross at the back post, and coolly directed his header across the face of the goal and into the side netting, 1-0.
Sunderland youth starlet, Lynden Gooch, took on the lone striker duties, replacing LA Galaxy forward, Bradford Jameison, in the 67th minute.
Hyndman, a regular in the Fulham lineup, continued his influential play, striking a fantastic ball in the 75th minute, that knuckled just inches wide of the post.
The US' final sub was made in the 85th, as Hoffenheim's Russel Canouse replaced Romain Gall in the midfield.
The US largely dominated throughout the second half, but the Guatemalan's proved resilient as a 90th minute goal stunned the American side. With time ticking, a Guatemalan corner was headed out of the box, but found an eager Andy Ruiz in what could end up being the goal of the tournament. The FC Dallas youth player smashed his volley into the US upper 90, resolutely stealing a point from the Americans.
With just three minutes of stoppage time, Lynden Gooch had a look of goal, but his shot was not nearly enough to truly challenge Guatemalan goalie, Nicholas Hagen, ending the match 1-1.