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US U-20s defeat El Salvador 2-1 to qualify for World Cup in Korea

In a chippy match featuring 8 yellow cards and 3 red cards the US qualifies for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship match on Sunday and the 2017 U-20 World Cup in Korea.

Germany U20 v USA U20 - International Match
Emmanuel Sabbi in a 2015 U-20 competition
Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

The young Yanks came out in a 4-1-4-1 formation designed to attack the ball in the midfield with Justen Glad as the left center back and Brooks Lennon on the far right wing of midfield. The first 10 minutes were fairly even as each of the teams attempted to feel the other out. But by the 15th minute the US was beginning to find space and look dangerous. Brooks Lennon took a good whack in the 17th minute and was down for a moment that did not bode well for the US and RSL.

The US took the lead in the 18th minute with a nice through ball by Eryk Williamson to Emmanuel Sabbi who buried the ball 1-on-1 against the keeper. The US then added a second goal by Eryk Williamson on a spectacular long range shot off the right post from outside the box following a poor clearance in the 26th minute.

In the 32nd minute Auston Trusty playing left fullback in the place of Danny Acosta picked up a yellow card. Sebastian Saucedo came on to play on the right of midfield replacing Erik Palmer-Brown the 32nd minute moving Tyler Adams back into the defensive midfield spot. El Salvador managed to get back a goal in the 35th minute by Marvin Marquez taking advantage of the absence of Erik Palmer-Brown in the defensive midfield and the change in US defensive shape.

El Salvador continued to look dangerous for the remainder of the first half. Brooks Lennon picked up a yellow card in the 45th minute for a very high boot against Fernando Castillo who left the game at halftime and was taken to a hospital with cervical trauma.

The first fifteen minutes of the second half were back and forth without any team seeming to find any rhythm, Tommy Redding picked up the 3rd yellow card for the Yanks in the 49th minute for a heavy challenge at the midfield line. Then beginning around the 60th minute the US seemed once again to take control with several good chances with El Salvador struggling to make offensive connections and picking up three yellow cards on hard challenges in an attempt to slow the US.

Another yellow card on El Salvador in the 70th minute as the goalkeeper left the box to take our Emmanuel Sabbi in the right corner transformed the match into a contest of fouls with Tab Ramos repeatedly entering the pitch in protest and neither team to have any productive possession. After a second yellow card against Kevin Reyes in the 80th minute left El Salvador a man down, Brooks Lennon came off and was replaced by Jeremiah Gutjhar. Another El Salvador yellow card in the 82nd minute and continued fouls and men down ensured that the second half ended as choppy as it began with many more fouls than shots. In the 89th minute tempers finally boiled over when Sebastian Saucedo and Marcos Rodriguez both received red cards following an extended exchange of pushes, kicks and a slap to Saucedo’s face.

With the victory the US qualifies for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Honduras, without Sebastian Saucedo, and the 2017 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Korea next May.