For long stretches of their Olympic qualifying opener in Kansas City, Canada’s U-23s showed they could go toe-to-toe with the United States’ U-23s.
But, the Canadians were undone by brutal mistakes that would make a U-12 house league coach angry, let alone a manager at the U-23 level. Jordan Morris was the beneficiary of the defensive lapses, scoring the brace as the Americans won 3-1.
First off, the Canadians were absolutely asleep off the opening kickoff. The Americans took the ball right after the opening whistle and, 36 seconds later, Morris headed the ball into the net off about as basic an attack as a team can muster. The ball went up the right wing and American Jerome Kiesewetter must have been as surprised as anyone to find himself in acres of space. He made the cross and found Morris, whose run wasn’t picked up by the Canadians.
Before 40 seconds had expired, the Canadian hopes of hanging in with the host Americans went out the window; all because a group of players started the game like a group of deer caught in headlights. It’s impossible to fault one player on the Americans’ opening goal; you have to fault all 10 men in red on the field.
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