Review: 2019 U-20 World Cup Review

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by tbonepat11, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. tbonepat11

    tbonepat11 Member+

    Jun 21, 2001
    #1 tbonepat11, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    Figure we should have a tournament review. Who stood out and who's stock dropped. Have at it fellas!!

    My brief list.

    Stock up: Soto, Dest, Richards, Pomykal

    Down: Durkin, Keita,

    Everyone else in my mind sort of stayed the same. I am sure many will disagree. I might have missed a couple for sure.

    Llanez needs to diversify his game. Dribbling into 3 defenders will not get it done. He has a poor man's Messi thing going on.

    Gloster quietly had a below average tournament.

    KDFL was a bit disappointing. I wanted more.
    Dirt McGirt and GiallorossiYank repped this.
  2. TMBMiles

    TMBMiles Member

    United States
    Mar 31, 2017

    -Richards is the best US CB prospect I can remember. His combination of on-ball quality, defensive responsibility, and athleticism is extremely rare. Was one of the best players of the entire tournament outside of his one hiccup against Ukraine..

    -Weah and Pomykal were both very impressive on the whole. I love how much ground they cover and their combination play is very good. Of all our attacking players, they were the two guys that you never had to worry about needing to sub out late in the game. Weah can sometimes still try to do too much, but he provided a lot of moments of magic, and you want a young player that you need to reel in a bit rather than a guy on the other end of the spectrum.

    -This tournament made me really question how much I rate Durkin. He's a great long passer but I'm not sure what else there is that he does very well. His touch is a little loose and he really requires someone next to him that can be responsible for a ton of space.

    -Soto needs to get stronger, but his hold up play in terms of technical ability is very good and he was pretty clinical in his opportunities. Hopefully he signs and gets loaned out to an Eredivisie squad this year or something.

    -Mendez has massive amounts of skill on the ball, but needs to work on his conditioning and his play in his own end.
  3. wrench

    wrench Member+

    May 12, 2007
    Arsenal FC
    Mendez possess a thunderous strike, but is a little slow. But he is young.
    Durkin, not the same player I saw at U17s.
    Ledezma and Soto gotta bulk up a little.
    Everybody has to stop the cheeky flick ons. We gave away many and in the wrong part of the field.

    A good tourney but this is what you get with teenagers, inconsistency.
    Btw, some of those Ecuadorian players were pretty big. Almost looked older than u20s. Life. is good In Ecuador??!!
    Winoman repped this.
  4. kingshark

    kingshark Member+

    Mar 3, 2006
    Weah, Soto, Richards, Pomykal are all impressive and doing their job pretty well.

    Dest improved dramatically especially on defense.

    Medez on the opposite, faded game after game and became disappointing in the end.

    Llanez and Ledezma did enough as subs.

    DLF is not ready for this level, created so little on the wing.

    Others are OK.

    What a shame Cerillo and Araujo played zero minutes.
  5. TMBMiles

    TMBMiles Member

    United States
    Mar 31, 2017
    Not at all, IMO. He was consistently one of our most solid players. And I was someone who didn't think super highly of him before the tournament.
  6. jreadusaf

    jreadusaf Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Melbourne, FL
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Best player on the field for both teams, every game: Richards
    Excellent: Pomykal
    Has a future: Weah, Soto, Ochoa, Dest, Gloster, Ledezma
    Needs work, but possible future: Mendez
    "Meh": Servania
    Not enough time on the field to tell: Rennicks
    Very poor: Durkin, De La Fuente, Scott, McKenzie
    Garbage: Keita

    Overall a good tournament and a good showing by the U.S. U-20. I watched Ecuador play in the group stages and knew they would be a difficult match up. I saw a lot of people saying this is an easily winnable game--who knew the CONMEBOL champions would be good? /Sarcasm
    I didn't know much about the players with the exception of Weah going into the tournament. Richards is just a class above every player on the field, and I see why Bayern Munich signed him. Pomykal was amazing and there is no doubt a team in Europe will come calling in the very near future. Weah did very well; he tries too hard sometimes and doesn't play the simple ball. When he corrects this, he will be a very good player. Mendez was on fire in the first half of the Nigeria game and then he sustained a head injury. There was a noticeable downtrend in his play after this injury and it makes me wonder if he received a concussion. Soto's ability to see the running lanes in the final third and his offensive runs into the box in general was very impressive. He has hustles all game, but he appears to be lacking 1v1 skill and hold up play and will need to work on this if he wants to evolve to the next level. I thought Dest and Gloster were solid. They both made 'young player mistakes' in every game, but their futures are bright. I would've liked to have seen more of Ledezma, he has great vision, touch and movement. From what I've seen he'll need to work on his defensive approach.
    I was most disappointed in De La Fuente. I knew of De La Fuente through these boards, but hadn't seen him play. Unfortunately, I do not see him breaking through for a team in Europe and he'll eventually come to MLS and get another shot. He was poor in every game he played through predictable dribbling. He would bee line down the sideline with the ball and then try to do the back heel dribble a la Cristiano Ronaldo to cut inside to go towards goal and would get stuffed every time. His being at Barcelona kept him on the field to the detriment of the better player: Llanez. And then there's Keita...
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  7. Pl@ymaker

    Pl@ymaker Member+

    Feb 8, 2010
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Should've done better. Tab needs to resign already.
  8. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    I'd like to see Weah and Pomykal called into the first senior camp post-GC. Weah in particular has shown he can hang at the senior international level, and Pomykal is playing well in MLS at a position of need and had a very good U-20 tournament.

    Beyond them I see Llanez, Dest, and Richards as guys who have a great shot to start knocking on the door of the senior team over the next 12 months or so. However, they need to start getting regular club minutes first.
    Alex Blanton, TMBMiles and largegarlic repped this.
  9. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    #1 Feilhaber and Adu BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Aug 1, 2007
    If you guys remember from 2 years ago, I stated that the Venezuela team was just a better team and had more physical dominate players, I specifically remember Tyler Adams getting DOMINATED. But I said in time US has players like Adams that will be world-class and the Venezuela players have a few decent players and that's it.

    Its the same thing this year. There are going to a few world class players coming from this US team and that Ecuador team? Number 16 looked like he was 36 years old. Early dominate beasts. US lost this game, but will win the war.

    P.S. back in 2007, I was one of those guys who would go all in on a U-17 step-over move. but I learned over the years and began to realize you cant look at the results of a team that gets manhandled by over-grown youth. Mendez is going to be ridiculous in his prime. mark my words.
  10. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    Weah looks like a young Clint Dempsey, but fast. Tall, lanky, willing to try stuff.

    Pomykal ... Idk ... He's so small. Ability is really high, though.

    Dest is still a terrific prospect. Grew through the tournament. Terrific skill, vision and creativity.
    Thundering165 repped this.
  11. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Player by player analysis

    1) Scott - A bit shaky but got the job done. Way better than Cody Cropper or some of the other non Zack Steffen keepers we've had

    2) Dest - Had a tough start but was great to end. Shame on the fans who made jokes at people being impressed by his ceiling after watching the Ukraine game. Hilarious honestly. Kid can play, ran, dribble, he has that flair too.

    3) Gloster - Better than Lovitz. Send him to Cincinnati right now. A little bit wonky with his distribution but I think his ceiling is good. Like Bundesliga player good.

    4) McKenzie - F appendicitis, man.

    5) Richards - Best CB prospect in my fanhood. Around 2008/2009 for the U20's. I don't know what his next move at the club level is, but I bet if he stays at Bayern he'll be at the January camp...and that's not a good thing.

    6) Durkin - So limited. Plays a great diagonal ball but besides that he doesn't bring much. He works hard and he's passionate, but I just can't see him being a full NT player.

    8) Mendez - Had a good tournament, was below-average today. Would like to see him work on his right foot/fitness. He needs games, it shows.

    9) Soto - scores goals wherever he goes. I don't think he's a complete striker, and probably wont ever will be, but he usually takes his chances. Needs to find a new home this summer where he'll get first team minutes, not with the reserves. Everywhere he goes tho he scores.

    10) Paxton - Has the best motor that I can remember since Michael Bradley's youth. Honestly, was pretty disappointed today because I have high expectations of him. I hope he gets back to Dallas and is influential in their buildup and offense. He's not a 10, he'd make a great 8 tho. Can pass, run, defend.

    11) Weah - Has flair, skill. It took him a little bit to get going but he was the best US player on the field at times. I really like his dribbling and ability to switch fields. Should be an interesting summer for him, especially to see where he's going to play club wise, and position wise. He's an adult for sure.

    12) Ochoa - I think his ceiling is higher than Scott's. I hope he takes over in RSL next year.

    13) Keita - Passing is limited, clumsy defender. Not a fan. Weakest link on the field. Gave the ball away a lot.

    16) Servania - I need to see more of him. Shocked he didn't start over Durkin today tho.

    17) KdlF - Was pretty let down by his end product, but don't throw this one out yet either US fans, he possesses a unique skillset that we rarely/may not ever have seen in a US jersey.

    18) Uly - Balled out every time he came on. Lets hope he gets first team minutes next year, he's great in tight spaces and going at guys.

    19) Rennicks - I'm not sold about his ability on the ball, but he's a worker. Reminds me a lot of a Gooch/Arriola mix.

    20) Richie L - Really positive player. Clean turns, involved in combination play. Needs to stay healthy and get minutes next year.

    Coach - Tab - I like Tab's ideas and as a person. A few of my mens travel teammates played for Tab growing up and say he is a an awesome person. Didn't care for more of his lineups but I respect that he knows more than me.
  12. honest trade

    honest trade Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #12 honest trade, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    I know many will disagree, but Keita wasn’t terrible. To me he was decent. How many goals were primarily his fault? Yeah he wasn’t great with the ball at his feet and his passing wasn’t a strength but he’s a CB without a lot of experience at this level. He did a lot of good work defensively. If you want to focus on dangerous turnovers and passes to the other team Durkin was worse imo and he’s a midfielder and played one less game.
  13. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I don't disagree in general with the ratings, but I think people are way overprojecting for the future.

    I think KDLF has a giant question mark on athleticism. He's not fast for a winger, and that's a big issue.

    BUT, he's also 17 playing against mostly 19 and 20 year olds. Seems crazy to be too upset or write him off.

    Age is incredibly important at this stage.
    rlrcpa repped this.
  14. ielag

    ielag Member+

    Jul 20, 2010
    The September FIFA dates will probably see Pomykal with the U23's since Olympic qualifying is in October.
  15. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    This is a fantastic summary!

    Based on this tournament I am very high on Richards, Dest, Gloster, Mendez, Pomykal, Ledezma, Weah, Llanez.

    Both goalkeepers have potential but need much more seasoning. same goes for de la fuente. I liked what I saw from Soto but needs to round out his game and has Sargent in front of him.
    GiallorossiYank repped this.
  16. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah sorry I didn’t go more in depth my gf was yelling at me because we had dinner plans lol.

    But hey, maybe Durkin and Keita go on to great things. Who knows? I’m rooting for everyone and I watch MLS religiously to watch these youngsters get chances.
    Winoman repped this.
  17. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I thought it was a perfect summary. I'd bet on Keita over Durkin. It would be great to see it as the list of players that i think have real potential is pretty long (much longer than in the past), but seems pretty unlikely with the slightly older players (more CB), this group, and a level below at their positions.

    I thought Keita was consistently our worst player and way in over his head, but many of his issues could be fixed with time, coaching and experience. I really like his physical tools and work rate, but needs plenty of work on positioning, 1v1 (or 2) defending, decision making, comfort on the ball, etc.

    Durkin looked overwhelmed with the physicality and speed of play and dont think he has the clean touch to over come it. Of course he could over come that, but I wouldnt bet on it. [this view ignores that some coaches might see him as a perfect replacement for Bradley to compete with Trapp]
    GiallorossiYank repped this.
  18. manfromgallifrey91

    Swansea City
    United States
    Jul 24, 2015
    Wyoming, USA
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Keita and Durkin were both awful today. Just because he didn't directly give up a goal doesn't mean he was decent. Durkin actually covered for him quite a bit, which is why I rate him only a little higher. Keita was positionally bad, lost several runners, gave the ball away time and time again. I actually think Durkin started meh and Keita was a mess, and then as the game went on Keita was Meh and Durkin was a mess. So I won't argue which was better, Ill just say they both were really really poor.

    On the whole, its about what you expect from a youth tourney. Some players stand out, some players are wildly inconsistent and Tab Ramos will make you scratch your head with player selection. Job accomplished making It to the quarters but really should aim for the Semi's so you get that extra game which in reality is what matters the most.

    Side note Gulati being mentioned before ol Carlos is funny, and the fact that he is still around is infuriating.

    Mendez if he never does anything else could be a squad player simply to have as a free kick sub with less than 20 to go. If he improves his stamina, he can really have an impact.
    Patrick167 repped this.
  19. manfromgallifrey91

    Swansea City
    United States
    Jul 24, 2015
    Wyoming, USA
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not sure this should go here, but man we don't teach defense at any level at all. So many goals given up because of simply not pressuring the ball.
  20. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    I was hoping I'd get this observation out before someone else did. (Who knows, maybe people have been making it for a while.) His mix of physical qualities maybe make you wonder where to put him on the field, but his ability and desire to make plays make you have to find a place for him.
    Thundering165 repped this.
  21. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Arsenal FC
    guys overrated on BS - gloster, llanez
    guys underrated - KDLF, Dest

    guys who should be doing better

    Durkin - He should try to get to Europe. I could do a takedown of his game but it wouldn't help anything. Think about his game v. Nigeria. He can play. He just doesn't have a mature game.

    Mendez - like Durkin he was out of sync with his teammates much of the time. He is capable of big plays which will keep him at a high level. I wonder what position he would play when he gets older.

    Keita - just needs to keep on keepin' on.

    I thought everybody else was great and I'm sorry they couldn't get this last one done because they were fun to watch.
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  22. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    #22 ussoccer97531, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    My first thought is not to be reactionary. Its unfair to make too much of a short tournament when these players play 30-50 games per season (or should be playing that many per season). I try to watch these players during the season, and I have seen enough of all of them prior to this tournament to not be hugely surprised by anything I might see at this tournament. I don't have any big hot takes, but here's my assessment of this group of players.

    I don't think any of the keepers are likely NT keepers. Maybe an outside chance for Ochoa and Scott, and I wouldn't dismiss Dos Santos chances completely but I've never been hugely impressed by any of the three.

    Dest has good attacking ability, sneaky athleticism and passable defensive ability. I think he'll play for the NT in some capacity. Whether he becomes an Ajax caliber player and a NT starter or a lower level player that only gets a few caps isn't something I'm yet sure about. Gloster brings a different skill-set from LB (better defensively and athletically, passable going forward), but is a pretty similar level player. I like his game slightly more. I think due to the dearth of current LB options, he could be a little quicker to the NT, but I don't know if he has elite talent to keep ahold of the starting position. He'll get some caps and play at a good level. I'd be surprised if Real becomes more than an MLS back up.

    I'm not going to rag on McKenzie for being out of form. He'll have a good career in MLS or Europe, and will get a few NT caps, but I think his ceiling is comparatively low compared to some of his teammates, so I don't see him having much impact for the NT. I don't see much in the way of standout attributes. Keita is raw, but has some good tools (good in challenges, above average athleticism, not a passing liability). I don't know if he has a ceiling of getting more than a few NT caps, but I think he'll have a better career than most think.

    Richards is going to have a very good career in Europe, and be a regular in the NT. Since qualifying, I've pegged him as one of the very best in this age group. Elite athleticism, above average passing and reading of the game. Araujo is probably the biggest talent on the roster. The question is what his best position is. I don't think we know yet, but the skillset is highly elite and will play at some position. He's going to be a NT regular and play for one of the best clubs in the World.

    I think Durkin was misused at this tournament and had some uneven games, but the amount of criticism he had from some wasn't deserved. I think he'll be a NT regular and play at a good level in Europe. He's a little slow, but he has an excellent passing range, good physicality for a #6, excellent in 50/50 challenges, good in the air, good positionally. I think Cerrillo will have a career as roughly an average MLS starting CM, but I don't see much in the way of skills that'll get him to the NT. Servania, like Keita, gets a lot of criticism, but I think he has better potential than most give him credit for. I could see him being one of the better #8's in MLS, and maybe getting a few NT caps.

    I think we can take away that Mendez cannot play as a #8. Thats one of the few new takeaways from this tournament, IMO. He's a #10, but a very flawed one, considering he doesn't have much in the way of athleticism, dribbling, creativity, too static, not enough combination play, average soccer IQ. There's big potential because of the loud tools (elite power and accuracy in shooting, good passing vision) if he can improve his movement off the ball and combination play, but I think its a lower possibility. He'll have a pro career of some caliber in no worse of a league than MLS because he has some talent, but to get NT caps and play in Europe, he'll need to improve.

    Ledezma is one of the few players I have a hard time judging because he's improved his dribbling and athleticism a lot in the last year (despite barely playing). I would peg him as a likely #10 who'll play in Europe, but I have a harder time judging. Pomykal is also hard to judge because he was being misused in this tournament. He'll be an average MLS'er (no better IMO) in this role. Use him as a pure #10, and I think he has the potential to be a NT regular and a good player in Europe. We'll see how he develops. I'm not going to assess much about de la Fuente or Llanez due to playing up a cycle. Some really struggle, others play very well. I think they are two of the better 01's, and likely NT players in some capacity.

    I'm a big fan of Soto and I thought he was the co-best player for us in this tournament along with Richards. IMO, he's the front runner to be the starting CF for the senior NT among the group of quality #9 prospects in the youth player pool. Weah has one of the highest floors in the age group. Great size and speed, end product shows up in his game already, positional versatility. I don't know if he has one of the higher ceilings in this age group because he doesn't add much technically, creatively or have much of a hold up game, but he's going to get more NT caps and have an average or better career in Europe. Rennicks should play a lot of years in MLS, some as a starter, others as a back up. I doubt he'll make the NT.

    Summary (in rough order):

    Best prospects: Araujo, Richards, Soto, Durkin de la Fuente, Ledezma (question marks), Weah, Pomykal (question marks), Llanez, Gloster

    I think these 10 players will make up 95% of the NT caps from this U-20 WC team.

    Almost all will be capped, and half or more probably get 20 or more caps.

    Somewhere in-between: Dest, Mendez, McKenzie, Servania, Keita, Ochoa

    A few of them will probably be capped, but I don't think any of them hit 10 caps.

    Low-level prospects: Scott, Cerrillo, Rennicks, Dos Santos, Real

    Unlikely that any are capped by the NT. A few of them might not be playing football in five years.
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  23. UxSxAxfooty

    UxSxAxfooty Member+

    Jan 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Ecuador game was really the first one I got to watch of this group.

    The physicality of the Ecuadoreans was unmistakably the major factor in the outcome; seemed to put everyone off balance, lead to poor touches and to lot of forced low-percentage passes forward. Overall, I thought the team played with too much immaturity, marked by some preventable goals.

    Player-wise, Weah was a clear cut above the rest, especially in his composure and ability to read pressure. Richards looks very promising too. I was mostly disappointed with the others.
  24. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Arsenal FC
    Dest - you are underrating him. This kid can play. The question is if he would be a waste playing with incompetents on the USMNT. Gloster isn't going anywhere.

    Durkin - I have a lot of good things to say about his game and some bad things. I'll skip them but position (which involves reading the game) isn't his strong suit. Its what makes less perspicacious critics call him "slow".

    Pomykal - I don't get it: You were the guy promoting this guy and I was the guy asking why. Now I'm ecstatic over his total control of the middle third and you are saying he is misused. Pomykal was the guy who made this team possible. I've been dying for guys like Pomykal (it's why I pushed Delgado to everybody's disgust). Does he have a role in Berhalter's Light Brigade? Of course not. But Berhalter wont be in Qatar. You're right: Dallas doesn't have any assists or goals out of Pomykal; they just have wins.

    I'd just like to say one more thing (sounds like a Colombo murder mystery): How many caps any of these guys gets will depend on Berhalter's longevity, not how good our pool is. b.t.w., I'm as mystified as you are about Ledezma: Is this guy really that good? First time I saw him come on I said my gosh somebody from Charlie Brown's Peanuts gang just got a spot on the US U20's. Then he proceeded to rip us a new one.
    Patrick167 repped this.
  25. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Arsenal FC
    #25 Excellency, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    I dont think Ecuador wins this tournament because I don't think they defend all that well in the box. A team that squirrels the ball into the box against them will score. We did. If Italy push their pasta futbol plate to the side and concentrate on getting the ball into the box they will demolish Ecuador. Soto had a total gimme (compared to the degree of difficulty on goals he scored against France) and botched it.

    Mendez wasn't the right guy v. Ecuador because he is more dangerous outside the box.

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