USA down Ecuador at U-20 World Cup behind Jonathan Gómez golazo

Jonathan Gomez USA U-20s World Cup

The United States started their 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign with a flourish Saturday afternoon, getting a 93rd-minute game-winner from defender Jonathan Gómez to beat Ecuador 1-0 as Group B play began in Argentina.

Gómez’s shining moment involved a left-footed belter into the top corner, collecting a hopeful cross from Austin FC midfielder Owen Wolff before blasting his effort past Ecuador goalkeeper Gilmar Napa.

Napa repeatedly came up big for the South Americans, setting the stage for split points while frustrating the likes of Colorado Rapids striker Darren Yapi, Atlanta United wingback Caleb Wiley and Real Salt Lake attacker Diego Luna.

But then Gómez, an FC Dallas academy product, booked all three points in second-half stoppage time, ensuring the Yanks’ persistent pressure would pay off and set a positive course toward advancing to the knockout rounds.

Head coach Mikey Varas’ team, which came out in a five-man backline anchored by Philadelphia Union homegrown Brandan Craig, returns to action Tuesday when playing Fiji (2 pm ET | FS2, Universo). The Concacaf champions will be heavy favorites against the Oceanic nation, especially as San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell returns from suspension.


  • 90+3' - USA - Jonathan Gómez | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The US U-20s, even with a shorthanded squad, won their toughest Group B match. They likely just need a point from their next two games against Fiji (May 23) and Slovakia (May 26) to advance, a task that’s entirely within reach considering the Yanks have made the last three U-20 World Cup quarterfinals. This all occurred with an MLS-heavy group, as all but one of the 14 players who featured Saturday has ties to the league.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A cagey, back-and-forth game turned into three points when Gómez produced a highlight-reel moment. The US-Mexican dual national currently plays in Spain for Real Sociedad’s second team.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Wiley was a menace down the left flank, offering the US U-20s an outlet to break forward and create offense. The 18-year-old Atlanta homegrown is enjoying a breakout season and earned his first USMNT cap in April against Mexico.

Next Up

  • USA: Tuesday, May 23 vs. Fiji | 2 pm ET | Group B play
  • ECU: Tuesday, May 23 vs. Slovakia | 5 pm ET | Group B play