The United States U-20 men's national team finished their run in the 2016 Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup with a 1-1-1 record. Playing in the prestigious U-19 Gordon Jago Super Group, they finished in third place in Group A and did not advance to the knockout round.
They opened the tournament on Sunday, March 20th with a 1-0 win over CF Monterrey (Mexico). Striker Jeremy Ebobisse (Duke) scored in the 31st minute off a Brooks Lennon (Liverpool) assist. Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann (Cal) made four saves in the shutout.
The U-20s dropped the second match, 2-1, to Fulham (England). Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic) opened the scoring in the 17th minute after being fed by Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union). However, Fulham equalized one minute later via a Stephen Humphrys goal. The visitors from England clinched the win with an 86th minute goal by Elijah Adebayo.
Needing a win in their final match, the U-20s came up just short, tying TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 3-3. The U.S. went down early, but Aaron Herrera (New Mexico) tied the match at 1-1. Hoffenheim took the lead a second time, but Ebobisse finished a Cameron Lindley (Indiana Fire) pass in the 54th minute to tie the match for a second time. The U-20s took their first lead in the 83rd minute via a Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders) goal to take a 3-2 lead. Winning the match would have clinched a spot in the next round, but Hoffenheim tied the match in the closing minutes via a header off a free kick.
There isn't a lot to draw from this result. The players gained match experience and hopefully built some chemistry together, despite losing to club-level competition. Since the next U-20 World Cup isn't until 2017, failing to advance out of the group stage isn't a cause for consternation.
The United States had its best Dallas Cup finish in 2014, losing in the championship to the River Plate (Argentina) U-20s. The Dallas Cup -- created in 1980 -- is considered to be one of the most prestigious youth soccer tournaments in the world and in the past has featured top players such as David Beckham, Ross Barkley, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Rafa Marquez, Maicon, Raul, and Wayne Rooney.