Basset & Harper shine as U.S. U-20 team downs Mexico, Pomykal leaves USMNT camp

THE US U-20 team got off to a nice start to 2020 with a 2-0 win over Mexico. ASN's Brian Sciaretta reports and provides an update on a disappointing update from USMNT camp
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 17, 2020
5:00 AM
THERE IS plenty of news heading into the weekend and tops is that the U-20 national team kicked off 2020 in nice form beating Mexico by a familiar old scoreline in Florida. The news with the full team, however, wasn’t all positive. Also, the transfer window might still lead to more moves.

Here’s a look at the news

U.S. U-20s down Mexico

It might feel like it is early in the U-20 cycle, but the year is different. With World Cup qualifying taking place in the summer, new U.S. manager Anthony Hudson will have to act very, very quickly. Following this current camp, there will be another camp (rumored to be in Portugal). After that, the team will have to shift focus to qualifying.

What that means is that Hudson will mostly likely have to start making decisions on his qualifying roster based on what he sees in this camp. Of course, there are top players like Ulysses Llanez, Indiana Vassilev, Owen Otasowie, Giovanni Reyna, Julian Araujo, and Charlie Kelman not involved in this camp but Hudson will have to have an idea of his team heading into March.

On Thursday, the U.S. team took on Mexico and prevailed 2-0 and this was there starting lineup.

  • David Ochoa - Goalkeeper
  • Ian Hoffmann - Right back
  • Jacob Akanyirige - Central defense
  • Leonardo Sepulveda - Central defense
  • Leon Flach - Left back
  • Aidan Morris - Midfield
  • Thomas Roberts - Midefield
  • Cole Bassett - Midfield
  • Gianluca Busio - Wing
  • Matko Miljevic - Forward
  • Cam Harper – Wing

Both goals were scored by Cole Bassett who also played well in the September U-20 camp which was coached by Tab Ramos. In that camp he scored two goals in two games. With his two goals against Mexico, he now has four goals in three games with the U-20 team this cycle.

Bassett’s first goal was unassisted and came in the 20th minute. On the play, he received a ball from Celtic’s Cam Harper and attempted to play a ball into Gianluca Busio. Bassett’s pass was deflected back to him and he collected the ball, beat a defender, and took a shot for the opening goal.

His second goal, in the 37th minute, was assisted by Harper. Harper created the opportunity with a dribble down the right side. His low cross was fired home by Bassett to the near post.

As a central midfielder, Bassett is not expected to score much but he has made a strong statement. Combined with the fact that he is familiar with Hudson, who was his coach at the start of the 2019 season in Colorado, Bassett should be a core member of the team.

With other players like Thomas Roberts, Matko Miljevic, and Cam Harper also showing well in a nice win over Mexico, Hudson should be on his way to having an idea of what his roster could look like come June.

Pomykal leaves the USMNT camp

Paxton Pomykal, 20, is one of the most talented young American players but he has had a tough time staying healthy. He has had surgery in each of this past three seasons with the latest coming on his groin following Dallas’ playoff exit to Seattle in October.

On Tuesday, Pomykal left the U.S. national camp to return to Dallas to continue rehabilitation from his surgery on his groin. This came just days after his Dallas teammate, Brandon Servania, was added to the roster.

Pomykal’s recovery is extremely important to both FC Dallas and the U.S. U-23 team as Dallas opens its 2020 season in early March and the U.S. U-23 team will attempt to qualify for the Olympics towards the end of March.

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