SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team won the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship by defeating Honduras 5-3 on penalty kicks following a scoreless draw in Sunday’s final.
After going perfect through the first four rounds of the shootout, Danny Acosta slotted the game-winning penalty kick into the lower left corner to earn the U.S. its first CONCACAF title at the U-20 level.
U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
Honduras ceded much of the first-half possession to the USA, but the U-20 MNT’s best chances both came on dead-ball opportunities. In the ninth minute, Justen Glad’s glancing header off Brooks Lennon’s corner kick required a big stop out of Honduras goalkeeper Javier Delgado. In the 27th minute, Lennon’s direct free kick from just outside the box forced Delgado into an acrobatic stop.
The U.S. came close again in the 50th minute when Emmanuel Sabbi’s header off Lennon’s free kick was kept out by Delgado at the right post. U-20 MNT captain Erik Palmer-Brown shut down Honduras’ best chance of the match, sweeping Darixon Vuelto’s breakaway in the 75th minute, while Honduras defender Dylan Andrade’s clearance on Sabbi’s 89th minute cross ensured the match would head to penalty kicks.
Both teams impressively converted each of their attempts through the first three rounds of the shootout. After Luca de la Torre placed his fourth round effort inside the top right corner, the U.S. received the break it needed as Rembrandt Flores fired his attempt high and wide of goal. That set up Acosta for the game-winning penalty, where the Real Salt Lake defender calmly placed his effort inside the lower left post.
The U.S., which qualified for FIFA U-20 World Cup in a win over El Salvador Friday, will begin preparation for that competition, that will take place May 20-June 11 in Korea Republic. The Americans will learn their group opponents during the tournament draw March 15.
USA: Brooks Lennon (goal), Coy Craft (goal), Emmanuel Sabbi (goal), Luca De La Torre (goal), Danny Acosta (goal)
HON: Jorge Álvarez (goal), Douglas Martínez (goal), Foslyn Grant (goal), Rembrandt Flores (miss)
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding, 6-Justen Glad (13-Auston Trusty, 47), 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 7-Eryk Williamson (Emmanuel Sabbi, 26); 17-Brooks Lennon, 9-Jeremy Ebobisse (19-Coy Craft, 79), 10-Luca De La Torre
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan González, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 18-Emmanuel Sabbi
Not eligible: 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos
HON: 1-Javier Delgado; 2-Denil Maldonado, 3-Wesley Decas, 5-Dylan Andrade (Capt.), 16-Jose García; 8-Carlos Pineda, 9-Foslyn Grant, 18-Darixon Vuelto, 20-Jorge Álvarez; 17-Byron Rodríguez (10-Rembrandt Flores, 72), 19-Douglas Martínez
Subs not used: 12-Michael Perello, 4-Kenneth Hernández, 6-Riky Zapata, 7-Jose Reyes, 11-Jose Pinto, 13-Jose Quiroz, 14-Sendel Cruz, 15-Jalex Sanchez
Head coach: Carlos Tabora
Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 22
Offside: 0 / 4
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Sanchez (CUB)
4th Official: Kevin Morrisson (JAM)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Danny Acosta