Captain Shaquell Moore and the American U-17s defeated Haiti 3-0. Josh Deaver takes a look at a few lessons we can learn from the performance, highlighting the maligned backline.
April 08, 2013
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Thanks to a pair of goals from Christopher Lema and a late-game tally from Ahinga Selemani, the U.S under-17 national team rolled to a 3-0 victory over Haiti in its opening match of the U17 CONCACAF Championship.
It was a great result for the Americans and the plus-three goal differential will likely put the team through to the knockout round. The U.S. will battle Guatemala on Thursday to conclude group play.
Three QUICK THOUGHTS
Solid backline performance:
The back four for the Americans performed admirably against a very athletic and explosive Haitian side. Captain Shaquell Moore and John Requejo looked good on the outside and were composed playing out of the back. The center pairing of Conor Donovan and Tommy Redding was competent, with Donovan catching the eye as a solid contributor on the defensive end. Redding was burned once, nearly giving up a goal, but otherwise it was a fine performance from the ’97.
Still no Flores:
Something is keeping the Dortmund-bound midfielder on the bench for head coach Richie Williams. The exact reason is unknown, but current rumblings center around a problem with work-rate and attitude that appears be hampering the young star. It’s an unfortunate situation, as Flores is without a doubt one of the most talent prospects in the U.S. youth pipeline.
Joel Sonora, the mystery man of the U.S. roster, could be seeing an increased role going forward with the U-17’s following his excellent late-game contributions. Entering in the 60th minute, the Boca Juniors youth midfielder steadied the game in the middle of the field, showing excellent decision making and field vision. His composed play also allowed Corey Baird to move to the wing, where he initiated the second goal by Lema.
Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter.