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U.S. U-20 MNT Blanks Jamaica 2-0 at 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 18, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned its second straight win in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defeating host side Jamaica 2-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. 

Romain Gall scored two penalty-kick goals to lead the way for the USA, which is 2-1-1 (7 points) in the tournament and in third place. With one group game remaining, the U.S. is currently in position to earn a playoff spot. The tournament’s two group winners and two playoff winners advance directly to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. 

The U.S. wraps up Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Montego Bay. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. A victory or draw would assure the U.S. advances to the playoff stage. However, a Trinidad & Tobago win against the USA would equal the overall point totals, and Trinidad would earn the tiebreaker against the U.S. by virtue of head-to-head competition. 

Earlier Sunday in Group A action, Panama (4-0-0) defeated Trinidad & Tobago (1-2-1) by a 1-0 margin, while Guatemala (3-0-1) topped Aruba (0-4-0) by a 2-0 score line. Panama is in strong position to win the group and can clinch with a draw or win against Guatemala, or even a loss if it maintains its advantage in goal differential (currently three goals ahead of Guatemala). 

With his two goals, Gall now has five for the tournament to lead all scorers. He is one goal ahead of Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, who has four goals through three games. 

Jamaica played the final five minutes and change down a man as Daniel Roberts was issued a red card in the 84th minute. Roberts will miss Jamaica’s remaining Group A game against Aruba on Jan. 21. Jamaica fell to 0-3-1 in the tournament. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Romain Gall, 34th minute: The effective play of Tommy Thompson and his strong runs in the first half created the USA’s scoring chance as he drew a foul against Jamaica defender Allando Brown in the box. Brown was shown a yellow card on the play, with an argument to be made that Brown was the final defender. Nevertheless, Gall stutter-stepped with his approach on the PK to freeze Jamaica goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson. Gall slotted to the right side of the net as Nelson guessed the opposite direction. USA 1, JAM 0 

USA – Romain Gall, 70th minute: Bradford Jamieson IV intercepted a poor back pass from Jamaica’s defense and found himself one-on-one against Jamaica goalkeeper Nelson. Jamieson flicked the ball up during his run and was tripped by Nelson in the box. Similar to the play that led to the USA’s first-half score, a red card was a distinct possibility, but Nelson was issued a yellow. Gall took the subsequent penalty kick and switched up the direction, shooting to the left side while Nelson anticipated the shot going the opposite way. USA 2, JAM 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 7th minute: The USA created a couple of chances from the right flank, and the ball eventually found its way to Emerson Hyndman in the middle of the box. Stewart was in a good position in front of the six-yard box and blocked the attempt. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 14th minute: U.S. midfielder Emerson Hyndman shot above the 18-yard box, looking to drive his attempt into the left of the frame, but Nelson dove to his right for the save. Nelson also did a strong job securing the ball so the USA could not pounce on a rebound. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 40th and 43rd minutes: Jamaica’s goalkeeper was called upon twice more in the final five minutes of the opening half. Nelson’s foot save thwarted a Romain Gall attack from the left side. Then three minutes later, after Tommy Thompson’s run to set up Bradford Jamieson IV, the USA forward tried to shoot over Nelson. Nelson stuffed Jamieson’s attempt with his right glove to minimize the damage to one goal allowed in the first half. 

USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 48th minute: Jamaica stepped up its attack to open the second half, and defender Malcolm Stewart pushed up in the final third. Stewart briefly had an opening toward the right side of the box, but Carter-Vickers halted the run with the deflection for a Jamaica corner kick. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 51st minute: Romain Gall eluded a couple of Jamaica defenders and shot right-footed from about 20 yards out, looking for the right side of the goal. Nelson once again made a key save, and though the ball trickled away, he was able to collect with ease. 

JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 88th minute: On a corner kick chance, the ball was whipped in to second-half sub Junior Flores, whose header was destined for the upper left corner of the goal. Stewart leapt to deflect the shot away for another U.S. corner kick. 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved to 6-0-2 against Jamaica in this tournament.
  • Zack Steffen returned for the start in goal, making his third appearance in four games in this tournament.
  • The defense was anchored by John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back duo of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga. Requejo and Carter-Vickers have started all four matches in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • The midfield group in the USA’s 4-4-2 formation featured the same four players from the Aruba win: Tommy Thompson on the right, Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband. Thompson is the only midfield player to have started in all four games in the qualifying tournament.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a second straight match.
  • Lynden Gooch, who did not feature for the USA in the previous game against Aruba, replaced Spencer in the 64th minute to earn his third appearance in the tournament.
  • Paul Arriola subbed in for Gall in the 79th minute.
  • The USA used its final sub in the 85th minute with Junior Flores replacing Hyndman.
  • Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who captained the first two games and injured his knee late in the game against Panama, returned to Dallas for further evaluation by the FC Dallas staff. 

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report- 

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 1,670
Weather: 81 degrees, clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                           1          1          2
JAM                           0          0          0 

USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     34th minute
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     70 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman (10-Junior Flores, 85), 9-Romain Gall (7-Paul Arriola, 78), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (18-Lynden Gooch, 64)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos 

JAM: 1-Nicholas Nelson, 12-Roberto Johnson (6-Martin Davis, 65), 7-Malcolm Stewart, 17-Shaquille Dyer, 5-Allando Brown, 15-Donja Smith (20-Isamnia Cohen, 74), 14-John Levee (8-Daniel Roberts, 58), 4-Rennico Clarke, 11-I'ishmale Currie, 19-Cardel Benbow, 2-Khallil Stewart
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Dane Chambers, 16-Shamar Nicholson, 18-Joel Cunningham.
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore 

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Allando Brown (caution)          33rd minute
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution)       68
JAM – Daniel Roberts (sent off)         84
JAM – Shaquille Dyer (caution)         90+2
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution) 90+2 

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN) 

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Cameron Carter-Vickers

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U-20 MNT

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: January 18, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
Attendance: 3,500
Weather: 81 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               1      1      2
JAM                               0      0      0

USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)              34th minute
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)              70

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore , 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman (10-Junior Flores, 85), 9-Romain Gall (7-Paul Arriola, 78), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (18-Lynden Gooch, 64)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos

JAM: 1-Nicholas Nelson, 12-Roberto Johnson (6-Martin Davis, 65), 7-Malcolm Stewart, 17-Shaquille Dyer, 5-Allando Brown, 15-Donja Smith (20-Isamnia Cohen, 74), 14-John Levee (8-Daniel Roberts, 58), 4-Rennico Clarke, 11-I'ishmale Currie, 19-Cardel Benbow, 2-Khallil Stewart
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Dane Chambers, 16-Shamar Nicholson, 18-Joel Cunningham.
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Allando Brown (caution)                 33rd minute
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution)               68
JAM – Daniel Roberts (sent off)                84
JAM – Shaquille Dyer (caution)                  90+2
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution)         90+2

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Cameron Carter-Vickers

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Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. Jamaica – 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 2, JAM 0
Jan. 18, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On his assessment of the match:
“The assessment is good. I can only say the team made a great effort and I’m very happy with the performance. I wish that with all the chances we create that we could score a few more goals and put games away early. But overall this was a very difficult match. Obviously the home team, when they’re on the verge of getting eliminated, they’re always very tough. So it was a difficult match and I’m glad that we came out on top.”

On the improvement over the past two games after a slow start:
“Guatemala is a very difficult team to play. We dominated the whole game. That should have been a 2-0 or 3-0 game that we couldn’t get that second goal. And obviously, the way that game ended – that’s not a normal ending. It was an amazing goal in the last minute against the run of play when they had pretty much already conceded the victory. In general, I’m very happy with the team the whole tournament. We lost a game against Panama, and Panama is a great team. So really I don’t have any objections about anything.”

On how he sizes the team’s performance from Sunday moving forward into the remainder of the tournament:
“I think we’re starting to gear up. We believe we have two more games, but the last game will only depend on whether we win the next one. I think the important part is that the team is playing better together and is playing better as the tournament goes on, and I fully expect for us to have our last game be our strongest one.”

On Romain Gall’s improved performance in the past two matches and taking his opportunities”
“Sometimes you need to be shaken a little bit, and I think that’s what happened with him. When he found himself off the team against Panama, not playing in an important game, I think he wanted to get back to an important game. He did a good job against Aruba and earned a spot for tonight’s match, and in a big game tonight he came up big. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

On the shift to starting two forwards:
“Ben (Spencer) came into the tournament a little bit injured, so we knew that we couldn’t use him too much in the first couple games. And as he became ready we were able to change into the type of play that we wanted to have. Ben is good now, and he gives us a lot up front. Because he’s a target forward, it’s important to play for him a little bit.”

On preparing for Trinidad & Tobago:
“We’re going to start preparing tonight. We know them very well and we’ve watched all their matches. Trinidad is a very good team. I think they’ve been very unfortunate in this group, because I think they’re probably a team – just like we are – they’re a team that should be fighting for that second or third spot. I like their team. I think it’s going to be an incredibly difficult match for us. But that’s the way it goes; it’s going to be tough for both.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder RUSSELL CANOUSE
On his thoughts on the game:
“We fought hard together. We got the three points, which were important, and I think we can use this moving into the next game – and hopefully the next two games. The team worked well defensively, and offensively we countered quickly, and the ref called two penalties that we were able to convert. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into the next game.”

On if a second consecutive win helps validate that the team has played well during the tournament:
“The first two games we were a little unlucky that we didn’t get the results we wanted, so we were definitely disappointed. But now we had our chance to prove ourselves again, and each game we want to keep improving ourselves.”

On the physical nature of the game:
“That’s the name of the game. As a holding midfielder, I need to get stuck in on tackles. I was glad I was able to go hard and win the tackles and fight for the team.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward BRADFORD JAMIESON IV
On his thoughts on the game:
“I think it was a good performance overall by the team, and it was a good battle. Obviously Jamaica was going to want to show up to their fans, but I think we matched them well and were able to get the win.”

On playing as a second forward for the second straight match compared to the first two:
“Being matched up with Ben (Spencer) I think has worked out great. He’s nice to play off of, and I like to play off a higher striker. It’s worked out well between us, and obviously it’s good coaching for Tab to notice that we were well together up top.”

On drawing the penalty kick that led to the second goal:
“Tab has been talking to us about attacking vigorously and following plays. I just followed through. Their center back made a mistake and I followed up on it. I knew I was going to either score or take a PK. I knew that if I was to shoot it, the center back may have gotten to it to clear it, so I wanted to tap it over the goalkeeper and brace myself for what was about to come.”

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U-20 MNT

U.S. U-20 MNT Blanks Jamaica 2-0 at 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 18, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned its second straight win in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defeating host side Jamaica 2-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. 

Romain Gall scored two penalty-kick goals to lead the way for the USA, which is 2-1-1 (7 points) in the tournament and in third place. With one group game remaining, the U.S. is currently in position to earn a playoff spot. The tournament’s two group winners and two playoff winners advance directly to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. 

The U.S. wraps up Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Montego Bay. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. A victory or draw would assure the U.S. advances to the playoff stage. However, a Trinidad & Tobago win against the USA would equal the overall point totals, and Trinidad would earn the tiebreaker against the U.S. by virtue of head-to-head competition. 

Earlier Sunday in Group A action, Panama (4-0-0) defeated Trinidad & Tobago (1-2-1) by a 1-0 margin, while Guatemala (3-0-1) topped Aruba (0-4-0) by a 2-0 score line. Panama is in strong position to win the group and can clinch with a draw or win against Guatemala, or even a loss if it maintains its advantage in goal differential (currently three goals ahead of Guatemala). 

With his two goals, Gall now has five for the tournament to lead all scorers. He is one goal ahead of Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, who has four goals through three games. 

Jamaica played the final five minutes and change down a man as Daniel Roberts was issued a red card in the 84th minute. Roberts will miss Jamaica’s remaining Group A game against Aruba on Jan. 21. Jamaica fell to 0-3-1 in the tournament. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Romain Gall, 34th minute: The effective play of Tommy Thompson and his strong runs in the first half created the USA’s scoring chance as he drew a foul against Jamaica defender Allando Brown in the box. Brown was shown a yellow card on the play, with an argument to be made that Brown was the final defender. Nevertheless, Gall stutter-stepped with his approach on the PK to freeze Jamaica goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson. Gall slotted to the right side of the net as Nelson guessed the opposite direction. USA 1, JAM 0 

USA – Romain Gall, 70th minute: Bradford Jamieson IV intercepted a poor back pass from Jamaica’s defense and found himself one-on-one against Jamaica goalkeeper Nelson. Jamieson flicked the ball up during his run and was tripped by Nelson in the box. Similar to the play that led to the USA’s first-half score, a red card was a distinct possibility, but Nelson was issued a yellow. Gall took the subsequent penalty kick and switched up the direction, shooting to the left side while Nelson anticipated the shot going the opposite way. USA 2, JAM 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 7th minute: The USA created a couple of chances from the right flank, and the ball eventually found its way to Emerson Hyndman in the middle of the box. Stewart was in a good position in front of the six-yard box and blocked the attempt. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 14th minute: U.S. midfielder Emerson Hyndman shot above the 18-yard box, looking to drive his attempt into the left of the frame, but Nelson dove to his right for the save. Nelson also did a strong job securing the ball so the USA could not pounce on a rebound. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 40th and 43rd minutes: Jamaica’s goalkeeper was called upon twice more in the final five minutes of the opening half. Nelson’s foot save thwarted a Romain Gall attack from the left side. Then three minutes later, after Tommy Thompson’s run to set up Bradford Jamieson IV, the USA forward tried to shoot over Nelson. Nelson stuffed Jamieson’s attempt with his right glove to minimize the damage to one goal allowed in the first half. 

USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 48th minute: Jamaica stepped up its attack to open the second half, and defender Malcolm Stewart pushed up in the final third. Stewart briefly had an opening toward the right side of the box, but Carter-Vickers halted the run with the deflection for a Jamaica corner kick. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 51st minute: Romain Gall eluded a couple of Jamaica defenders and shot right-footed from about 20 yards out, looking for the right side of the goal. Nelson once again made a key save, and though the ball trickled away, he was able to collect with ease. 

JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 88th minute: On a corner kick chance, the ball was whipped in to second-half sub Junior Flores, whose header was destined for the upper left corner of the goal. Stewart leapt to deflect the shot away for another U.S. corner kick. 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved to 6-0-2 against Jamaica in this tournament.
  • Zack Steffen returned for the start in goal, making his third appearance in four games in this tournament.
  • The defense was anchored by John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back duo of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga. Requejo and Carter-Vickers have started all four matches in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • The midfield group in the USA’s 4-4-2 formation featured the same four players from the Aruba win: Tommy Thompson on the right, Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband. Thompson is the only midfield player to have started in all four games in the qualifying tournament.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a second straight match.
  • Lynden Gooch, who did not feature for the USA in the previous game against Aruba, replaced Spencer in the 64th minute to earn his third appearance in the tournament.
  • Paul Arriola subbed in for Gall in the 79th minute.
  • The USA used its final sub in the 85th minute with Junior Flores replacing Hyndman.
  • Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who captained the first two games and injured his knee late in the game against Panama, returned to Dallas for further evaluation by the FC Dallas staff. 

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report- 

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 1,670
Weather: 81 degrees, clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                           1          1          2
JAM                           0          0          0 

USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     34th minute
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     70 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman (10-Junior Flores, 85), 9-Romain Gall (7-Paul Arriola, 78), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (18-Lynden Gooch, 64)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos 

JAM: 1-Nicholas Nelson, 12-Roberto Johnson (6-Martin Davis, 65), 7-Malcolm Stewart, 17-Shaquille Dyer, 5-Allando Brown, 15-Donja Smith (20-Isamnia Cohen, 74), 14-John Levee (8-Daniel Roberts, 58), 4-Rennico Clarke, 11-I'ishmale Currie, 19-Cardel Benbow, 2-Khallil Stewart
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Dane Chambers, 16-Shamar Nicholson, 18-Joel Cunningham.
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore 

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Allando Brown (caution)          33rd minute
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution)       68
JAM – Daniel Roberts (sent off)         84
JAM – Shaquille Dyer (caution)         90+2
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution) 90+2 

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN) 

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Cameron Carter-Vickers

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U-20 MNT

U-20 MNT Set for Jamaica on Jan. 18 at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team prepares for its fourth Group A match at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship when it faces host side Jamaica on Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be live on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

The USA is coming off a dominant 8-0 victory against Aruba on Jan. 14 to move to 1-1-1 in the group stage, in third place behind Panama (3-0-0) and Guatemala (2-0-1). The USA is ahead of Trinidad & Tobago (1-1-1) based on goal differential, while Jamaica is fifth at 0-1-2 and Aruba is last at 0-0-3.

Romain Gall is the USA’s leading goal scorer in the tournament following his hat trick effort against Aruba. Gall is tied with three other players with three goals in the tournament, while Mexico’s Hirving Lozano leads with four goals.

This is the USA’s first match in Montego Bay after three games at Independence Park in Kingston. There, the USA opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Guatemala on Jan. 9, fell 1-0 to Panama on Jan. 11 and then routed Aruba three days later.

Jamaica started the event with a 2-2 draw against Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 9, lost to Guatemala 1-0 on Jan. 11 and most recently fell 2-0 to group leader Panama. Donja Smith and Junior Flemmings scored Jamaica’s two second-half goals to rally from a two-goal deficit against against Trinidad & Tobago.

U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Jamaica Notes:

  • The U.S. U-20 MNT is unbeaten against Jamaica in qualifying with a 4-0-2 all-time record.
  • The USA’s first qualifying match was against Jamaica on April 2, 1964, at the second CONCACAF Youth Tournament in Guatemala. The USA and Jamaica drew 1-1.
  • The U.S. earned a 2-1 victory against Jamaica to wrap up the group stage of the fifth CONCACAF Youth Tournament on Aug. 24, 1974, in Canada.
  • The two sides met three times in qualifying during the 1980s. Following a scoreless draw on Aug. 19, 1982, in Guatemala City, the USA earned its most lopsided win against Jamaica, a 5-0 decision on Aug. 21, 1986. The U.S. then posted a 2-1 win on April 15, 1988, that featured a brace from Steve Snow.
  • The USA’s most recent qualifying game against Jamaica was a 3-0 victory on March 6, 2009, in Bacolet, Tobago. Peri Marosevic, Dilly Duka and Billy Schuler each scored a goal, with Danny Cruz assisting the Marosevic and Duka tallies.
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U-20 MNT

Building a Tradition of Success

Two years ago, when head coach Tab Ramos led the U.S. U-20 MNT to the 2013 CONCACAF Championship in Mexico, he wanted to give his players a little extra motivation, a little more inspiration. 

Before the team checked into its hotel room in Puebla, the staff placed a U.S. flag and placard featuring the name of a former U.S. player who had been part of both a FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup above each player’s bed. 

That team proceeded to qualify for the 2013 U-20 World Cup. With that background, Ramos is keeping the tradition going this time around in Jamaica, hoping for the same result. 

On Monday as the U-20 MNT arrived in Kingston ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Championship, the new batch of youngsters walked into their hotel rooms to also find the names of current and former USMNT stars above their beds. 

“It’s very important for us to know the tradition of U.S. Soccer and the past players that these players this time represent,” Ramos said. “Because we do represent the Michael Bradley’s and the Clint Dempsey’s and Landon Donovan’s who have been here before in their shoes. So I’m hoping that they are as excited as I am because we truly feel fortunate to be here.”

The names are familiar to long-time U.S. soccer fans: Chris Henderson, Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, Damarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, and so forth; players who were once in the sames roles as the current group, trying to qualify for a U-20 World Cup, before eventually playing in one and later at the biggest soccer event in the world. 

Emerson Hyndman, rooming with Lynden Gooch, said they each claimed a bed once they walked in their room. When Emerson looked up, he noticed Clint Dempsey’s name above his bed. Dempsey played at the 2003 U-20 World Cup before competing at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. 

“It’s kind of funny ‘cause I actually know Clint, from his time at Fulham,” Hyndman said. “To see all the World Cups he’s been to, and what he’s achieved with the U.S., it can’t help but inspire me.” 

Forward Paul Arriola wound up with Michael Bradley, who played at the 2007 U-20 World Cup and the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. And like others, Arriola is familiar with the recent success of Bradley on the senior National Team. 

“I was in residency with the Under-17 team, and we all knew that Michael Bradley was one of those guys who had been there a couple years but he was one of those guys that didn’t get picked for his World Cup cycle,” Arriola said. “So for us, it’s a big deal, because it’s kind of saying that we shouldn’t give up hope. There’s going to be times when maybe we’re not the best player at the right time…but it doesn’t mean that we have to get discouraged or stop believing in ourselves. I think he’s a perfect example.” 

Center back Matt Miazga walked in and saw Marcelo Balboa’s name on his wall. While it’s been more than 10 years since Balboa retired, Miazga passed his test of knowing the former star defender who made over 100 appearances at the senior level. Balboa also represented the U.S. at the 1997 U-20 World Cup and the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups. 

“He was obviously a center back, like I am, and a year ago, he was one of the assistants at our January camp,” Miazga said. “He worked with the center backs intensively and gave us a lot of pointers on what to do better in certain situations, and how to better defend and play that position.” 

Hyndman and Dempsey have more in common than having played for Fulham, where Emerson currently plies his trade and Dempsey starred from 2007-12. The two also grew up playing club soccer in Texas. 

“All of us, our goal is to be a part of the senior National Team at some point and to go to an actual senior World Cup,” Hyndman said. “To see a player like him achieve it – especially from my area – it really just motivates me to be that much better.” 

Ramos is hoping this team can replicate the successes of previous U-20 teams at the CONCACAF Championship and qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup, which will be held this June in New Zealand. 

“I’m very excited. I get excited every time we go, whether it was when I was playing or when I came as assistant coach or now as head coach for the last couple cycles,” said Ramos. “I’m excited to go to the tournament. I can’t wait for it. I hope I’ve been passing that down to the players.” 

Current U-20 players (left) and the former players (right) picked to inspire them: 

Kellyn Acosta - Landon Donovan
Fernando Arce – Bobby Convey
Paul Arriola - Michael Bradley
Russell Canouse - DeAndre Yedlin
Cameron Carter-Vickers - Chris Henderson
Conor Donovan – Carlos Bocanegra
Junior Flores – Bobby Convey
Romain Gall – Oguchi Onyewu
Lynden Gooch – Benny Feilhaber
Ethan Horvath – Kasey Keller
Emerson Hyndman – Clint Dempsey
Bradford Jamieson IV – Eddie Johnson
Matt Miazga - Marcelo Balboa
Amando Moreno – Ben Olsen
Shaquell Moore – Jozy Altidore
John Requejo – DaMarcus Beasley
Ben Spencer – Gregg Berhalter
Tommy Thompson – Jeff Agoos
Tyler Turner – Tony Meola
Zack Steffen – Tim Howard

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