The United States Under-20 side didn't get off to a great start in the Toulon Tournament on Tuesday, though it's tough to fault them for struggling with the hosts. In addition to having the home-field advantage, France's players were simply bigger, stronger and faster than the United States'. At the youth level, that matters a lot, and the U.S. was steamrolled 4-1.
- Alfred Koroma was probably the most lively attacker for the United States, though he didn't do much with the ball in dangerous spots and his decision-making wasn't great. He's still just 19 and in college, so he has room to improve, but he still looks extremely raw.
- Cody Cropper ... well, the less said the better. Not all of the four goals were his fault, but the second was embarrassing. He was less than exceptional at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship as well. Less than encouraging stuff from him recently.
- France did most of their damage down the flanks, where they were far superior. Benji Joya and Will Trapp were both good in midfield. Trapp, in particular, looks very composed on the ball and Joya had a nice free kick for the only U.S. goal.
- I expected more from Daniel Cuevas and Alonso Hernandez, though France's central defenders were excellent. They'll probably get more chances to shine against Colombia, South Korea and Congo-DR.
- I'm a bit surprised Dillon Serna didn't start or get more time. He's impressed me when I've seen him, though I have no complaints about the central defenders or central midfielders that Tab Ramos played.
- The backheel goal that Alexandre Coeff put in to open the scoring was absolutely insane. Nothing anyone could have done about it. One of the coolest goals I've seen at any level in a long time.
United States starting XI (4-3-2-1, left to right): Cody Cropper; Juan Ocegueda, Javan Torre, Jeffrey Payeras, Eric Miller; Will Trapp, Benji Joya; Daniel Cuevas, Collin Martin, Alfred Koroma; Joaquim Hernandez.
Substitutes: Jordan Morris (61'), Daniel Garcia (61'), Dillon Serna (70').
Goals: Alexandre Coeff (38'), Gianelli Imbula (40'), Benji Joya (72'), Stephane Bahoken (77'), Rachid Ghezzal (80 + 3')