Panama bested the US U-20s on Saturday night at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, coming away 1-0 in their opening match of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Los Canaleros grabbed crucial three points in the tournament’s group B, despite going down a man at the 18th minute.
The trouble? A US side that struggled mightily in the attack, to put it mildly. (Set pieces definitely need some work here.)
Still, for MLS-watchers, some bright spots shimmered in the muck. The Timbers’ much-hyped 2017 SuperDraft pick, Jeremy Ebobisse, is no doubt mentally replaying and gnashing his teeth over his shot at the 48th minute. It came thisclose before bouncing off the crossbar.
Deflection or not, Ebobisse offered plenty of promise, particularly when he again came close to equalizing for the squad at the 87th minute. Timbers and fans should take note of where proper coaching could take this.
Some more optimism: Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Palmer-Brown, named captain, maybe wasn’t put to his best use as he was stuck in a CDM-ish role. When he dropped back, though, things looked up. And Real Salt Lake’s academy product, Justen Glad, shone with his pace. Err, is the glass half full?
There’s one piece of definitive bad news for Red Bulls fans, though. Panama’s Justin Simons drew a red for an aggressive tackle on Tyler Adams – the moment that left Panama a man down. Adams appeared, after the second half, on crutches, and his health for upcoming matches remains unclear.
Still, the U-20s will have to soldier on for their next match in the tournament. They’ll go up against Haiti on Tues., Feb 21 at 5:30 PM ET.