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MLS Homegrown game recap: Team MLS 1-1 Tigres U20s

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A solid showing for the MLS youngsters

MLS: MLS All-Star-Homegrown Game Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS Homegrowns drew 1-1 against the Tigres UANL U20 team in a match that gave everyone a chance to play and ended up turning on a fateful VAR call. Overall, it was a solid showing from the Homegrown team as some future potential senior MLS All-Stars got some experience against one of the best academy sides in Mexico.

Each team traded chances in the first half with the goalkeepers having the best highlights of the opening minutes. The MLS side should have had a goal when Tigres keeper Marcos Barbosa came out of his goal to chase down Colombian striker Jesus Ferreira. Barbosa ended up running all the way back from Dahlonega to make a save on a Anthony Fontana shot to keep the game scoreless.

The first goal in the game would come in the 45+2 minute of the half when Andrew Carleton took a free kick from the banks of the Chattahoochee that was played by James Sands to keep the Tigres from clearing the ball out of the box. It fell to Canadian Liam Fraiser of Toronto FC who put the a shot past Barbosa giving the MLS side a 1-0 lead.

After a flurry of substitutes, the second half got underway with the MLS team adding fresh legs against Tigres. It would seemingly pay off when a long ball hit to Ferreria left the attacker in position to do some work on his own to score what looked to be the second goal of the game...

...until SEVEN minutes later when a VAR decision overturned the goal due to a foul not shown in the replay and the referee awarded an indirect free kick in the box to Tigres. Forward Adrian Garza would end up getting credited with the goal scored on the play.

It was quite the turn of events as the score would be even a 1-1 rather than leave the MLS team up 2-0. The Homegrowns would even get a man advantage as Jorge Cruz was shown a second yellow card and sent off in the 78th minute. Alas, the match would end in a draw as the exhibition came to a close.

Lineups:

Homegrowns:

The MLS side would include nine US eligible players and several that have experience at the youth national team level.

Subs:

Halftime: Paxton Pomykal for Andrew Carleton; Benjamin Mines for Anthony Fontana; Sean Melvin for James Marcinkowski; Mark McKenzie for Auston Trusty; Wan Kuzain for Liam Fraser; Matthew Real for Marco Farfan; Aaron Herrera for Jaylin Lindsey

56: Efrain Alvarez for Sebastian Saucedo

70: Jesus Ferriera for Lagos Kunga

Tigres:

Substitutes:

64’: Marco Montelongo for Jhory Celaya; Jesus Garza for Bryan Reyes

71’: Diego Hernandez for Luis Cruz; Sebastian Ulloa for Marcos Barbosa

72’: Cesar Blanco for Edwin Cerna; Adrian Garza for Rafael Duran; Kevin Cerna for Pedro Sifuentes

Takeaways:

  • JT Marcinkowski was very poised in goal making several early saves including a diving effort to palm away a sure goal as Tigres settled into the game.
  • MLS academies are producing some impressive players; of the players who appeared in the match, six are regular starters in the league and that did not include Chris Durkin who was withheld from the team to rest.
  • The MLS Homegrowns managed to match a LigaMX U-20 side that is defending champion in Mexico despite just training together for a few days.
  • The obsession of getting it right with VAR was really unnecessary in an exhibition game and oddly after a seven minute break to get a call right, only four minutes of added time were shown at the end of regulation. Get off my lawn.

Young man of the Match:

In the 56 minutes Sebastian Saucedo had in the game he managed five shots with three on goal and was the most threatening player on the field for the MLS Homegrowns. The Real Salt Lake homegrown has appeared for both the US and Mexico youth setups, though he has only played for El Tri once and has 19 caps with the Stars and Stripes. So far in 2018, Saucedo has two goals and three assists in 768 minutes generally playing from the left wing.