USMNT Advance to Round of 16 in U-20 World Cup

While most of us were asleep, the U-20 MNT were getting the job done Auckland facing the Junior All-Whites in their second match of the World Cup. Goals from Rubio Rubin (man of the match), Emerson Hyndman and Paul Arriola lifted the US to a 4-0 to routing of the tournament hosts. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen notably marked his seventh career shutout with the U-20 team. The USA dramatically outshot New Zealand 30-11 in the match.

The captain of the US U-20, Emerson Hyndman, has now scored in both matches as well as in the opening friendly in Australia, following in the rich soccer heritage of his family. The grandson of Schellas Hyndman was training with FC Dallas while he was 13, and, at 19, made his international debut in Fulham’s opener against Ipswich Town this past season.

“Any chance to play in the World Cup I’m dying for,” Hyndman says. “I hope we have great success. It’ll be a big stepping stone for a lot of players and if we can do well as a group it’ll just take that image much higher.”
Adryan of Leeds United is tackled by Emerson Hyndman of Fulham. photo by Getty Images

In the 6th minute, a corner from Hyndman sent the ball into the middle of the box where LA Galaxy’s rising star, Bradford Jamieson IV, drove it towards the far post allowing Rubio Rubin to give it a touch to ensure it made it safely into the net. 1-0, USA-NZL. The three US players again were key in the second goal of the match nearly 30 minutes later, with BJ IV sending a high ball right to Rubin who attempted a shot on goal that got blocked by the keeper. But Emerson Hyndman was right there to pick up the momentum of the play, and shoot the ball practically through the keeper’s arms. Score 2 for the USA by halftime.

The second half of the match marked outstanding performances from Gedion Zelalem and Paul Arriola. In the 58th minute, Zelalem fought off numerous defenders to pass the ball to Arriola who then shot it onto the left post where it rebounded over the goal line. USA 3, NZL 0. Then in the 83rd minute, Tommy Thompson (subbing in for Bradford Jameison IV), passed the ball to Desevio Payne who then sent a perfectly timed and placed cross to Rubin. Rubio tapped it in deftly landing the US U-20 Men their final goal for the match. FT. USA 4, NZL 0.

With this second consecutive win, the USA (2-0-0; 6 points) is in first place in Group A. Their last group match is against Ukraine on June 5 but no matter the result, they’re guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16 and a top 2 finish in their group. Ukraine blisteringly (1-0-1; 4 points) defeated Myanmar earlier yesterday, 6-0, after tying New Zealand in its opening game. Chances are it’ll be a dramatic match for on June 5th! #1N1T

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