USMNT U20s player ratings vs Uruguay: Mistakes from Justin Che and Josh Wynder doom U.S. as defense capitulates to end World Cup run

Comments (0)
Cowell Uruguay U.S. U-20 World Cup
The U.S. fell at the quarterfinal round once again, with the latest loss coming as a result of some disastrous defending

This run promised to be different for the U.S. under-20 men's national team. After storming through the group stage without giving up a goal, the U.S. battered New Zealand, 4-0, to book their spot in the quarterfinals. Waiting them was Uruguay, a team that had been pushed to the limit by Gambia and would enter the quarterfinal on short rest and shorthanded.

But this run, as it turns out, wasn't different. In fact, it ended the exact same way the three previous tournaments did: with quarterfinal heartbreak and a team left wondering what could have been.

The U.S. defense, perfect through the first four games, imploded in the 2-0 defeat to Uruguay, handing the winners two tournament-ending goals. The first came on a mistake from Justin Che, whose sliding effort left the backline completely exposed for an Anderson Duarte finish in the 21st minute.

The second, though, was even worse, as Josh Wynder deflected home a relatively harmless cross, and it was the youngster's own goal that effectively ended the team's tournament run.

They'll feel that run ended prematurely and, in some ways, they'll be right. While Uruguay were the better team, they were never truly in control, but they sure did take advantage of the U.S. group's catastrophic mistakes.

It's because of those mistakes that another group of American players have failed to advance past this round of the tournament and, with Israel waiting in the semifinals, the U.S. would have had hopes of winning it all. Instead, they'll head home knowing that they proved to be their own undoing.

GOAL rates the U.S. players from Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades

  1. Goalkeeper & Defense

    Goalkeeper & Defense

    Gabriel Slonina (6/10):

    Nothing he could have done on either goal, which were the only two goals he conceded this tournament. A cruel exit for a player that showed well in Argentina.

    Caleb Wiley (4/10):

    Gave the ball away way too often. Was nowhere near his best as he never quite made Uruguay uncomfortable down that left-hand side.

    Josh Wynder (3/10):

    A horrible, horrible moment for the youngest defender in the squad. Got his sliding clearance all wrong, putting it into the back of the net to effectively end the tournament run.

    Brandan Craig (6/10):

    Never really saw the best of him, especially in the first half as he was relatively uninvolved in the buildup. Craig's passing was key to the first few wins, but we didn't see much of it here.

    Justin Che (3/10):

    Totally at fault for the opening goal as his slide tackle attempt was totally unnecessary. His poor decision took him completely out of the play, leaving his team exposed for that game-winning goal.

    Michael Halliday (4/10):

    A rough first half for the right wingback before being replaced early in the second after the goal came down his side. Came into the XI ahead of Jonathan Gomez, but hindsight probably says the Real Sociedad man should have started.

  2. Midfield


    Jack McGlynn (5/10):

    Even McGlynn wasn't immune from a bad performance, as his decision-making was totally off. One sequence saw him take a wild shot rather than advancing the ball out wide, symbolizing the U.S. panic that loomed large throughout.

    Obed Vargas (5/10):

    Feels like another mistake from Varas, who went with the youngster Vargas over the captain in Daniel Edelman. Didn't take long to rectify his mistake, though, as Edelman came in early in the second half to replace the Sounders star, who simply wasn't impacting the game enough.

    Owen Wolff (5/10):

    Played in that right wing/midfield hybrid role, but it never really worked. Rightfully taken off at halftime to get Kevin Paredes on.

  3. Attack


    Diego Luna (6/10):

    Started at striker, but played better once moved out of that No. 9 role. Was a target for Uruguay all game as he was repeatedly hacked and fouled by the opposition. Never really lost his cool, but you could tell that physicality took a toll.

    Cade Cowell (5/10):

    The knock on Cowell has been his inability to really combine in the final third, and we saw plenty of it in this one. Good on the dribble, but just couldn't do anything to break Uruguay down as he struggled when he got close to the box.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Subs & Manager

    Kevin Paredes (5/10):

    Came on as the U.S. changed systems, but never really looked his best. His late arrival at the tournament will leave many wondering what could have been had he been here the whole time.

    Rokas Pukstas (4/10):

    Most notable contribution was actually blocking a goal-bound shot from Cowell.

    Daniel Edelman (5/10):

    Came on to help control the midfield, and Uruguay were more than content to let the U.S. do so after going up 2-0. Because of that, he didn't feel very helpful.

    Jonathan Gomez (N/A):

    Came on for Wynder as the U.S. pushed for a goal, but never really did much.

    Quinn Sullivan (5/10):

    Had gotten everything right in the first four games, but there were plenty of decisions worth questioning in this one. Starting XI never clicked and never turned to a true striker in Yapi as the U.S. chased. Overall, not a good game from the U.S. - nor their coach.