The United States U-20s began the Marbella U-21 International Tournament with a 4-3 win over Russia's U-21s. The Columbus Crew's Romain Gall was the star of the match, scoring two goals, including one in stoppage time with the Americans down to 10 men.
The Marbella tournament is very important for the U.S. as they prepare for U-20 World Cup qualifying in January. They're running low on time to prepare, and because it falls in a FIFA date, they have all of their best players together. That's not something that happens very often so this week also provides a great opportunity as they get ready for next summer's World Cup as well.
Things did not start well for the U.S. as Russia went in front after 13 minutes, but Gall got the Americans six minutes later. He knocked home a rebound to bring them level before Andrija Novakovich scored in the 45th minute to put the U.S. on top.
Russia started the second half with two goals to take a lead, the second coming after Ethan Horvath saved a penalty, but the Russians knocked home the rebound.
Dembakwi Yomba, who plays for Atletico Madrid, made his U.S. debut in the 77th minute and scored right after from the penalty spot. With the match level at 3-3, Emerson Hyndman was shown his second yellow card and the U.S. was down to 10 men, but a Tommy Thompson shot in stoppage time hit a Russian defender's hand and the referee whistled for a penalty. Up stepped Gall, who converted and the U.S. picked up a win.
Horvath, Hyndman, Luis Martir and Cameron Carter-Vickers all made their first starts and/or appearances for the U.S. U-20s in the match. Martir playing is notable because he defied his club, Chivas, to do so, while Carter-Vickers is a highly touted Tottenham Hotspur defender who has played with the Americans' U-23s.
The U.S. will play their next match on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET against Ireland.
Starting lineup: Horvath; Moore, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Martir; Canouse, Sonora; Hyndman, Gall, Flores; Novakovic