RECAP: UNITED STATES 1 - 2 GUATEMALA
EXTRA TIME
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, April 7, 2011
Disaster struck the US Under-20 team Wednesday night as they fell to hosts Guatemala and failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup.

The US created most of the chances early in the game, but Kelyn Rowe failed to capitalize on two golden opportunities. The first came in the eight minute when he beat keeper Jose Garcia, but defender Jose Manuel Lemus managed to clear the shot just a few feet away from the goal. The second opportunity came three minutes later, but Rowe headed a Zarek Valentin cross wide.

Guatemala struck first in the 33rd minute when Gerson Lima was able to capitalize off a defensive breakdown and score from close range off a Kendel Herrarte assist.

In the second half, the US continued to push hard for the equalizer and Derby County's Conor Doyle came close, but only managed to hit the post in the 50th minute. Four minutes later defender Amobi Okugo forced a great save when he fired a shot from 25 yards that Garcia barely managed to save.

The US finally knotted the contest in the 63rd minute when Okugo picked out Doyle who made an excellently timed run, took one touch and chipped Garcia to silence the crowd.

The lead did not last long, though, as Guatemala capitalized on their only opportunity of the second half when Gale Agbossounonde failed control a long ball. Midfielder Jose Castillo outmuscled the Sweden-bound American and calmy fed Henry Lopez who beat Zak MacMath with a shot from 15 yards.

The US continued to press for a second equalizer but it came to no avail. Rowe came closest in the 81st minute when he hit the side netting from close range.

The loss marks the end of a once promising cycle for the US team - the most professional youth squad ever assembled - and its beleaguered head coach Thomas Rongen.
Dainja
Thursday April 7, 2011 11:25 am
Look, I'm not one of those guys always asking for Bradley's head on a platter, but Rongen must go. At least as a coach, and keep him on for player development. You can point to 4 critical coaching mistakes by him last night:
1) Garza, normally a left back, at left forward/attacker. That's like putting Boca or...gulp...Bornstein there. ZOINKS!
2) Zone marking defense that he preaches cost us the first goal
3) Boss was clearly hurt bad in the 5th minute. Not at least subbing him at the half possibly cost us the second goal. No way a healthy Boss gets muscled down like that.
4) Too late on subs
GOODBYE THOMAS! Unacceptable.
asdot
Thursday April 7, 2011 11:21 am
Wrongen needs to go.
concerned fan
Thursday April 7, 2011 10:29 am
wow, not surprised. All I have to say is COACHING, COACHING , COACHING. This guy has never been sucessful as a youth coach, look at his record, this is unacceptable, please fire him, bradley, lets get some new views on how to coach a soccer team.
Kyle
Thursday April 7, 2011 9:44 am
Wow, some really scathing criticism in here which is completely deserved, but it's wonderful to see fellow americans demand better. Who knew the coaching in the USSF youth system was so wretched? Anybody watching for the past... well... ever. Mediocrity begets mediocrity and it all starts with Gulati who may have an MBA but certainly no head for the game (or PR for that matter).
Woody
Thursday April 7, 2011 9:16 am
This guy Thomas Rongen, I saw in a coaching session at the VYSA workshop, he's very knowledgeable, he would have to be at this level, but I was struck at how arrogant he was while doing his session. He struck me as a know it all. As an ex player, I'm thinkin to myself, I'm not sure I'd want to die for this guy....
todd
Thursday April 7, 2011 8:25 am
Rongen does less with more than any U20 coach in the world. If he doesn't get fired now, might as well be handed a lifetime appointment. His teams are always leaderless and look confused. You can tell the players don't buy into his philosophy, whatever that is, they often look complacent out there. Unacceptable is right.
Matthew
Thursday April 7, 2011 7:59 am
The biggest most boisterous crowd many of our U-20 squad will ever ay against. Pretty tough to overcome such hoe field advantage at that age. We did not look bad, but Guatemala were playing with supreme confidence. I'm more upset with Rongen for driving Neven Subotic away than losing last night, bit it WILL be sad not to have a horse in the race in this summer's U-20 World Cup
Brent
Thursday April 7, 2011 7:39 am
Wow! What a shock! I was following these games only a little bit but I guess I should have stayed on top of it. Bummer! They(German TV) show all the U-20 games in Germany, where I am located but now without the US, I wont even watch. See how far technical ability can get you? You can beat the US every time. I think we should keep Rongen for another 10 years. Why do the same coaches get to coach the same ages year in and year out? This is a big let down for the U-20 team and a middle sized let down for the US National Soccer Program as a whole. Oh well, we can try again in 2 years.
Randy Ayn
Thursday April 7, 2011 6:37 am
Yeah, I think Thomas Rongen's best days are behind him, at least in the U.S. youth soccer program. In addition failing to qualify for this year's World Cup, his team was bad outplayed at the 2009 U-20 World Cup, and he's generally blamed for costing the full U.S. national team the services of world-class defender Neven Subotic, who opted to play for Serbia after being left off the roster for the 2007 U-20 World Cup ... How many bites at the apple does this guy get ...?
fernando Sanchez
Thursday April 7, 2011 5:29 am
Disaster struck Sunil Gulati...? No this was not a disaster is just a taste of reality...our coaching, player selection SUCKS...
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