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Hasn’t Happened in a Decade….

Something will happen this week that hasn’t happened in 10 real life (RL) years, 17 World Cups, and 34 seasons….

THE USA WILL PLAY IN THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE U20 WORLD CUP! Led by Manager LA-Jashaz and supported by Head Scout elcasar and a team of scouts, trainers, and advisers, the USA escaped Round IV by beating Austria on Goal Differential. Did you miss the excitement? Let’s relive Monday’s game day experience as told through the highlights of the match and some of the posts in the USA U20 World Cup thread…

LA-Jashaz: So it comes to this. USA vs. Austria for a metal. If we win by 2 goals or more, we are in the semi-finals and are assured of a bronze. If we do not, we are done. We are healthy for the most part, in good form, and are ready to take care of business. Who's with me?
Tbrax: Chike Igoooooooooal is ready to go today, more or less.
JacintoM: (from Austria): for me, today is the wrong day to cheer for USA. too pity.
Elcasar: It's okay Jacinto, we'll leave a spot open for you on the bandwagon when we win!
brxnivy: Good luck to the team, it's been too long since we received a medal. Great job with the team this term.
LA-Jashaz: Coming from the only "surviving" U20 Medal-winning manager, that means a lot. Thanks!
JacintoM: thanks! :-) the good thing is that "I" will a medal today. no matter how the match ends. ;-)
Kensail: Jersey wearin. Face Painted. Hooligan at the ready.
Mod-Runnerd: Is Von Miller available to play for us?
Kvothe: Jon Snow has refused to come into training today and has caught a plane out there to watch the match live! USA! USA! USA! USA!

0’ The following players had been selected: McNally - Igho, MacQueen - LeTourneau, Riley, Brighi, Conley, Almazán - Rowlas, Mora, Deshmukh.

(Some context to the game and lineup: Needing to win by two on the road, it feels like a home and home series where you already gave up a goal at home and now you have to it on the road through extra goals. McNally, a Q14 player for World Cup 24 that took over for Bach in Round III and get's his fifth cap today. Igho took over for Homer Simpson after Round II and gets his fifth cap today as well. MacQueen is one of only two players that has started all of the World Cup game and gets his ninth cap today. Teddy "L'ours" LeTourneau (whose nickname means "The Bear") has played since Round II and gets his sixth start today while on the other side Almazon gets his fourth start since Round III. Holding down the midfield is Riley who gets his sixth cap today, Brighi who gets his fourth cap today, and Conley who has scored five goals and started all nine World Cup games so far. Up front is Rowlas who gets his third start today, Deshmudkh who gets his fifth cap today, and the surprise starter of the day, Mora, who gets his first cap. (did not count friendlies for cap count for this article))

1’ Using their counter-attacking abilities was the strategy of choice for U-20 Österreich

LA-jashaz: And we're off. 253 for us vs. a 442 CA from them. Let's hope for a little luck going our way.

6’ U-20 USA took the lead 6 minutes into the game, making the score 0 - 1 after some elegant movement down the middle.Travis Mora was the scorer.

Elcasar: Good start!
LA-Jashaz: Get in! Welcome to the U20s, Mr. Mora!
Slugbait: Great start. Now to get a bunch more
Elcasar: Interesting tidbit from the color announcer just now. Dejan Stahlhofer (402801110) and Jatin Deshmukh (404365426) are club teammates in Austria.

14’ The visitors' Jatin Deshmukh took advantage of a mix-up between the home side's goalie and center backs 14 minutes into the match. 0 - 2 for U-20 USA.

Kvothe: YEAH BABY! Dos a cero!
Clashfan: DES MUH KAH chants filled the stadium! No pull back boys, keep it up!
LA-Jashaz: Here on the staff, we call him the Schmuck.

34' U-20 Österreich were great at switching from defense to attack, and after 32 minutes, Lukas Zach swept through the middle on a fantastic counter-attack, making the score 1 - 2.

LA-jashaz: 2-1 now - off a CA. Not completely unexpected but still. Now we need another goal
Trobone: one more goal for the USA then the game can just run out.

40' Blake Conley seemed to be defying gravity as he elegantly headed in a goal for U-20 USA after a corner kick that was nicely executed by William MacQueen. That makes it 1 - 3.

LA-jashaz: There it is! Back in the lead 3-1. And just for fun, Malta is up on Belgium 1-0. Malta is in the same boat we're by 2 and they're in.

41' With 40 minutes played, U-20 USA's Jatin Deshmukh pulled up limping after a savage, cowardly challenge. But he's not yet ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. He's staying in to play on. The valiant never taste of death but once!
41' The U-20 USA free kick 41 minutes into the match seemed wasted, as the shot was both short and off target. But it was no mistake - Mitchell Rowlas seemingly came out of nowhere and had miles of space to control the ball and pick his spot. That's 1 - 4!

Rdanholtz: WTG Rowlas!!!
I can't watch. Anyone have a time machine?
Grousehunter: good luck :) (grousehunter is the manager of Norway, which we narrowly beat in Round II to get through to Round III. Our forum is public and LA-jashaz invites the manager of the other team and other folks from that nation to join us during our matches. Many, like grousehunter, stick around adding international fellowship)

45' Halftime score was 1 - 4.

Trobone: Nice... 4-1. A little breathing room. Here's wondering if we had a plan to go into a shell defense late in the game or not.
LA-jashaz: Not quite a shell. We're dropping out of the 253 into the 352 at 70'
LA-Jashaz: So that everyone who doesn't know knows - We are officially 45 minutes away from the semi-finals of the World Cup.That brings with it nothing less than a bronze metal. Something we haven't accomplished since 2005.
Mod-Runnerd: I'll admit that this isn't the scoreline I expected.
LA-jashaz: For those keeping score at home, it would be nice to have Malta beat Belgium today. I don't care by how much, but a win by the Maltans would be great.
Heyli: You´re just hoping to avoid the Netherlands aren´t you ;). Congrats!
LA-Jashaz: Er...duh. I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid.

68' Always quick and a menace to his opponents, Gideon Zelic got through after 56 minutes, but the keeper deflected his shot and a defender took care of the rebound.
69' A defender managed to keep the ball from crossing the goal-line after a curling shot from the right by Marquis Riley beat the keeper with 68 minutes played, preventing U-20 USA from going up another goal.
70' Good work by U-20 Österreich's defensive line after 69 minutes produced a good counter-attack chance, one of which cut elegantly down the middle of the field and found Tobias Jaritzalone in front of the goal, but his shot whistled just wide.

LA-jashaz: Missed chance by us - watch for the CA, lads! Edit - Whew! Missed in the center. Now on to the 352. That shores things up a bit better.

75' Jatin Deshmukh had put in a good 70 minutes and left the field with a smile on his face due to his team's lead. Hossein Vahedi Nikbakht was the replacement.

LA-jashaz: Will Austria get a 3rd CA chance? Hang on lads, this should be a fun 10 minutes.

90' Full Time. U-20 USA's best player was Mitchell Rowlas. The match ends 1 - 4.

Hailtothedeacon: Yahtzee
Rdanholtz: GREAT JOB JASHAZZLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clashfan to la-jashaz: Take off the backstage pass to hannah Montana, time to clear room around your neck for a medal
Dmland12: Woo! On to the semis
Zone_blazer: Boom goes the dynamite
Kvothe: swoot
La-jashaz: Well that was a hoot and a half!
Mod-runnerd: metal!
Big_Jim_Slade: Well done and way not to stink!
Elcasar: congrats, great job!

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera….and the joy continued, something was accomplished that hadn't happened in 10 RL in a country with a dwindling game population and that is always a target of the ME (that's just a joke, every country that doesn't win enough says that, but we finally got our winning in….)

So join Team USA on Friday (HT 20:00) to root the team on in the Semi’s! You never know who will show up, maybe the force ghosts of managers of vanquished teams or the honor circle of daring USA managers past who have waited so long to finally put an end to all the tar and feathering they've had to endure and dish out over the last 17 U20 World Cups.

Will USA get through to the Finals? All I know is that Jashaz originally ran his campaign joking he always finished second in the race. Knock on wooden goal posts, he's close enough to another kind of 2nd now!

2016-02-17 13:29:02, 3260 vistas

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