01 August, 2011

US Takes 3rd At Milk Cup

The 2011 Milk Cup wasn't as nice to the US U18 team this time around. Returning to the Cup after walking away Cup winners last year in stunning fashion, the US finished 3rd.

The BBC and NI Milk Cup were also less than helpful this year by not posting live match viewing and making many of the results and lineups for each match difficult to find unlike last year where several sites, including our own, were able to show matches live.

That said, the US did a respectable job . This year, teams were guaranteed 3 matches. The top two overall would play each other in the final, while the next two played and then the last two places played.

This year, we saw hosts Northern Ireland face off against Denmark in the final while the US played Georgia. Mexico played Israel for 5th place. While the US had a similar record to Denmark and North Ireland, the default statistics did us in. We beat Israel 2-0 in the opening match with goals from Salgado and Kiessewetter (Hertha Berlin's U17) and then drew Mexico 1-1 after we made a comeback late in the 1st half. Unfortunately, that was the last goal for both teams in the game and we moved on to play Georgia on goal differential. Denmark and North Ireland had 4 goals for in their two matches so they played each other in the finals despite all three teams holding a 1-0-1 record.

In the third place match, we got goals from Jordan McCrary and Kiessewetter to take command of the game, yet gave up a late goal on a nice flick over the keeper by Georgia. US won 2-1.

Surprisingly, we didn't see much of highly touted to the public midfielder and current U19 Hoffenheim player, Luis Gil. Also, Salgado, while playing as team captain, did not reprise his role as tournament golden boot. That said, some of the younger players did get to shine and it was good to see a strong showing in this tournament despite the poor weather conditions. Congrats again US.

Photo: russellpritchardblog

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