Young MLS stars came up big on Monday for the US U-18 national team as they opened their Milk Cup title defense with a 2-0 defeat of Israel in their tournament opener in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
Vancouver Whitecaps striker Omar Salgado (above, photo courtesy of Russell Pritchard/Milk Cup) broke a scoreless deadlock seven minutes into the second half when he headed Jose Villareal’s cross into the top-left corner past Israeli ‘keeper Ron Shushan.
In second-half stoppage time, it was Luis Gil’s turn to add to the score line. The Real Salt Lake starlet — subbed in for Villareal in the 69th minute — made a long break down the right flank and centered the ball for German-born Hertha Berlin youth product Jerome Kiesewetter, who put it in for the insurance tally.
Salgado is participating in his second consecutive Milk Cup for the US U-18s. He was replaced Monday in the 84th minute by Chicago Fire Home Grown midfielder Victor Pineda.
FC Dallas Juniors duo Michael Ambrose and Boyd Okwuonu and New York Red Bulls Academy product Bryan Gallego also featured as starters on the US back line. D.C. United Academy players Jalen Robinson and Marcus Salandy-Defour were subbed in after halftime.
Mike Matkovich’s American squad returns to Milk Cup action on Wednesday when they face Mexico.
USA – Omar Salgado (Jose Villarreal) 53
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter (Luis Gil) 90+2
ISR – Shmuel Malul (caution) 57
USA – Jordan McCrary (caution) 85
ISR – Omri Altman (caution) 88
USA -- Cody Cropper; Boyd Okwuonu (Jalen Robinson, 46), Walker Zimmerman (capt.), Bryan Gallego, Juan Pablo Ocegueda; Jordan McCrary, Jose Villarreal (Luis Gil, 69), William Packwood; Jerome Kiesewetter (Javan Torre, 90+3), Omar Salgado (Victor Pineda, 84), Michael Ambrose Marcus Salandy-Defour, 46).
Subs not used: Jon Kempin,Luis Rendon
Israel -- Ron Shushan; Shmuel Malul, Omri Zeid, Shakad Goldschtein (Osher Abu, 89), Tomer Yeruham; Heytem Halvy, Omer Tzalisher (Barbi Tsach, 78), Omer Nachmani (Omri Altman, 54), Kenneth Saief (Ido Ahiel, 78); Gidi Kanuk (capt.), Michael Veksler.
Subs not used: Bar Avitan, Den Akafi, Yoav Jerafi