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BRENT LATHAM - Saturday, September 26, 2009
United States vs Germany
Under-20 World Cup - Saturday September 26, 2009
Mubarak Stadium
The American team opened play in the FIFA U-20 World Cup and were a thoroughly dismantled at the hands of Germany.

The European champions completely outclassed the Yanks in Suez, despite having clearly brought a reserves team after most Bundesliga clubs refused to release their star players for the FIFA event.

The Americans were on their heels from the opening whistle against the Germans, who came forward in waves versus an inexperienced US team. Coach Thomas Rongen sent out some unusual choices among his starting eleven, including relative newcomers Dillon Powers and Brian Ownby in the midfield, and Gerson Mayen at right back.

The Germans had almost all of the possession in the first half hour, coming forward on the flank and through the center of the American defense, and testing the limits of the corps led by captain Kyle Davies.

Though Congolese-German forward Richard Sukuta-Paso had the best of the chances, the Americans nearly took the lead in the twentieth minute when midfielder Mikkel Diskerud filtered a carefully weighted ball into the box for Tony Taylor.

The former Jacksonville University man centered for a streaking Ownby, who couldn't make the contact needed to push the ball into an empty net.

The Americans had had their chance, and the Germans pushed forward with more purpose. The attack paid dividends at the half hour mark when Ownby tackled a German attacker in the box, resulting in an easy penalty call for the Japanese referee. Semih Aydalek dispatched the shot into Brian Perk's net, and the Germans had the lead.

Just two minutes later, the Europeans doubled their advantage when their captain, Florian Jungwirth, playing after a last minute FIFA reprieve of a suspension for having been sent off in the final of European qualifying, settled a corner kick in the box and fired off Perk's hands into the corner of the goal.

To add injury to insult, Davies then went down with an apparent head injury, and had to be replaced on the left side of defense by Jorge Flores.

Rongen began the second half by replacing the ineffective Powers with Arguez, and the move immediately paid dividends in settling the midfield. Arguez nearly helped the Americans cut into the lead in the 60th minute, when he fed Diskerud, but the Norwegian dual national's shot was blocked by the German goalkeeper.

Six minutes later Jared Jeffrey came even close when he rattled a 25-yarder off the crossbar. But the Germans put the game away with a third goal on a counterattack in the 72nd minute.

"This clearly wasn't a good day for us," Rongen said. "Give Germany credit, they're Euro champs. It was a long and hard match, we were prepared for that. Maybe we gave Germany too much respect."

On the unorthodox starting lineup, the coach said his hand was forced by the lack of playing time of many of his squad.

"We went with eleven that we felt were the sharpest, the best at this particular junction of their season, plus our scouting report against Germany, and the players that had performed best in our exhibition games," he said.

The Americans next face Cameroon, in Suez on Tuesday, and will hope to take something away from their improved second half performance.

"We have to take the second half and translate it into the next few games, and that's going to be our attitude," keeper Brian Perk said. "I'd say they were probably the better side on the night, but it was not a 3-0 game."

Cameroon defeated South Korea in the night's second match, 2-0, and lead the group along with Germany.
Sunday September 27, 2009 2:31 pm
While Gulati may love the game, he doesn't understand the game enough to judge coaching quality. He has never played it at any level deserving of the label "competitive" so his appreciation is superficial and somewhat abstract.

I like movies, but I don't feel qualified to run a Hollywood studio. Why the heck is Gulati the head of US soccer? I find it very hard to believe that there are not polished, intelligent, and well-spoken people within American soccer who actually might have some street cred as well. Julie Foudy comes to mind. On an international level, there are MANY such people.
Sunday September 27, 2009 8:34 am
jeffrey and diskerrud where the only players that could compete with the germans. this should open suni's eyes, but it won't. it'll continue to be the same shotty coaching and player developement. are the fans the only ones that can see the european based players are consistantly the best players on the usmnt (no matter what level)? this should be a hint that teaching our players "long ball" tactics is a an ineffective and primative form of soccer that doesn't work.
Sunday September 27, 2009 7:39 am
Sunday September 27, 2009 12:45 am
the demise of the mls reserve league will lead to more stagnation of players skills in this age group.there are some seriously star quality talent in the u-14,u-17 but if they don't get a reserve league going again they may ruin the chance for those younger players.this u-20 team will do a three and out and is it just me or does rongen seem like a bradley clone?
Charlie G.
Saturday September 26, 2009 11:19 pm
Hmmm...thought I was watching the senior side considering the style of play...but not the same result. Seems to show the separation of quality of play at the level of say U17 and U20, with German players being firmly in Euro clubs, and most US players in MLS or college. This group will likely produce many good MLS players, may be a couple will develop further, but it's clear that the "system" does not work very well in producing top flight players.

The group to pin your hopes in is the U17's - hopefully, a few stars will shine brightly enough for a contract with a quality side. Think you'll see that Wilmer Cabrera is a good quality coach at this level and will get more from his players than Rongen, who is probably more suited to an assistant role now.
Saturday September 26, 2009 10:48 pm
Can anyone please tell me why Preki is not in the mix to coach any of the major men's national teams?
Saturday September 26, 2009 8:27 pm
How is FLores even on the team he is terrible . The only players i saw move the ball around where the European based players and Shea at times. Soccer in the US is evolving but unfortunately its evolution is one that is going in reverse. The 2007 squad showed promise but this current squad other then the European players is complete garbage.
Brent storrs
Saturday September 26, 2009 6:52 pm
Tough game. The Germans clearly outclassed us. The change will not come from the top down, like firing a coach or two, but from the bottom up. It will take another 30-40 years before we even have a chance to win a world cup. So far away right now. Just total garbage.
J.D. Springer
Saturday September 26, 2009 4:40 pm
For all the supporters who call for Bradley's head after every match -- and rightfully so, in some cases -- where's the uproar over Rongen? Not only does he not get results, he runs off players (see Nevin Subotic and many others) who could be difference-makers because they don't play his way or kiss his butt.

What has Rongen EVER done? He won one MLS Cup with Arena's players at D.C. Oh, and he's Dutch and came through Ajax's system. I guess that makes him a genius.

Do some of these coaches have pictures of Gulati with sheep or something? How do they keep their jobs?
Saturday September 26, 2009 4:21 pm
So... can Ownby actually play soccer?

There's a few interesting players, a lot of rubbish.

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