In the first of a two-game series between the two CONCACAF rivals, the United States U-20s came away with a 2-0 victory over Canada. Soony Saad and Jack McInerney tallied for Thomas Rongen's side in the match played at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
University of Michigan freshman sensation Saad scored the game-winner three minutes past the half hour mark before the Philadelphia Union striker doubled the advantage in the 49th minute.
Kevin Piedrahita, the little-known goalkeeper currently with Colombian club América de Cali, earned a clean sheet in his debut for the Americans. Another newcomer, Joshua Gatt, entered the match in the 78th minute along with former U-17 standout Joe Gyau, who returned to the Stars and Stripes after a lengthy absence.
"Everything was good," the Hoffenheim winger Gyau told MLSsoccer.com after the match. "My touches were good. I was feeling light on my feet. We were moving the ball really well."
In the dying stages of the match, McInerney and Gatt worked together well to win a penalty kick, but Canadian goalkeeper Roberto Stillo, currently with Italian side Genoa, saved Omar Salgado's spot kick.
Aside from McInerney, several other MLSers featured in the match. D.C. United's Conor Shanosky started and went 78 minutes before being replaced by Union midfielder Amobi Okugo. For Canada, Toronto FC youngsters Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry and Nicholas Lindsay all earned starting nods, as did Vancouver Whitecaps academy members Kevin Cobby and Ethan Gage. Whitecaps youth Jerome Baker subbed on in the second half.
The US and Canada will play again on Saturday.
USA: Kevin Piedrahita; Ben Sweat, Sebastien Ibeagha, Eric Schoenle (Perry Kitchen, 68'), Kory Veeder; Steven Evans (Joshua Gatt, 78'), Conor Shanosky (Amobi Okugo, 78'), Dylan Mares (Alex Molano, 64'); Jack McInerney, Adrian Ruelas (Omar Salgado, 75'), Soony Saad (Joe Gyau, 78')
Canada: Roberto Stillo; Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry (Chris Suta, 89'), Darrick Bassi, Sean Hart, Roger Thompson (Jonathan Osorio, 61'); Jaineil Hoilett, Kevin Cobby (Matt Stinson, 68'), Ethan Gage; Niall Cousens (Jerome Baker, 75'), Nicholas Lindsay
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.
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