In a heartbreaking turn of events, the US U23 Men surrounded a 3-2 lead with 3 minutes to play to tie El Salvador. The US team, after overcoming a 2-1 deficit and an early injury (requiring them to use a precious sub early), surrendered a last second goal to level the match and costing the US U23 team an advancement spot.
Heartbreaking. The team was just seconds away. Some will take this result and call for Porter’s head. Some will continue to criticize the current soccer regime in our country. I disagree. If we don’t concede a 30 yard goal in waning seconds (if the keeper isn’t fooled by a bounce), no one has this discussion and everyone today is talking about the plucky comeback win.
Caleb Porter is emphasizing possession in attack. Was he hurt by the early injury? Absolutely. He is running a 4-3-3 scheme that depends on subs later to keep fresh legs on the wings. I am not making excuses for him. Possibly Porter’s more difficult tactical mistakes came in the Canada game, but Porter is pushing soccer where it needs to be pushed — mastery over the ball and possession. I hope he survives this loss and is not another in a long list of former U20 US coaches who get fired based on a tournament result. Again, how funny that if the keeper saves the ball, the US win 3-2 and advance an no one is talking about this today.