U-17 Nike Friendlies: U.S. 2, South Korea 1

Before we get to yesterday’s U-17 tournament opener in Phoenix, check out these Top 10 World Cup 2022 Tweets from MLS players.

Our favorites:

@PeterLowry: World Cup 2022 headed to Qatar. In related news, sunscreen futures spiked 1000% in the Middle East today….

@JimmyConrad: Word On The Street: FIFA Is Considering Bermuda, Greenland, And Malta As Hosts For The 2026 World Cup.

Okay, we’ll process our grief over this thing pretty soon. We’ve already reached Stage 4 of the Kubler Ross model. Acceptance is just around the corner!

To that end, let’s take a look back at the decent showing by the U.S. Under-17s against South Korea in Phoenix last night. The 2-1 victory was televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

Most of the kids on the U.S. team were 1994s, 16-year-olds—meaning they’ll be 28 and in the prime of their careers when freaking Qatar hosts the 2022 World Cup. (Sorry, slipped back to Stage 2 there for a second.)

There were two 15-year-olds on the squad, including left back Kellyn Acosta, an FC Dallas youth product who looked particularly good.

The U.S. utterly controlled the opening 25 minutes. There were long stretches during which Korea could hardly get a touch on the ball. These types of games can be notoriously misleading, but the young Yanks looked good. They translated their dominance into an opening goal after just 10 minutes.

Following a short corner, the ball was played to the far post, where Mario Rodriguez headed it back in front of goal. Mobi Fehr glanced a header toward goal and Matthew Dunn slammed it home off the Korean keeper Ham Seok Min.

Half an hour later, the U.S struck again after midfielder Marc Pelosi played a ball forward to Rodriguez, who’d looked dangerous—along with Alejandro Guido—the entire half. Rodriguez launched a run at and by two pylon-like Korean defenders before rocketing a shot into the goal from the top of the box.

Korea pulled one back just before halftime, when U.S. keeper Fernando Pina, a Houston Dynamo Academy product, fanned on a cross and the ball plunked off Shin IlSoo’s upper body, possibly his arm, and into the net.

After the break, the visitors found their footing and gained a measure of control in the game, but failed to create any serious chances as things got increasingly chippy. There were nine yellow cards issued before the 2-1 scoreline became final.

Highlights here:

The U.S. plays Brazil, which tied Turkey 0-0 in its Phoenix opener, on Friday (Fox Soccer Channel, 7:00 p.m.).

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