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(Baby) Bulls Abroad: USA gets first point in U-17 World Cup, Tyler Adams gets first start

An improved showing from the first game, but still some work to do for the USA if it is to make a significant impact on the tournament.

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First, the good news: the USA U-17s got their first goals and first point of the 2015 World Cup. The team absorbed heavy pressure - as it had against Nigeria in its opening game - but made good use of its forays into the final third, taking a two-goal lead into half-time. And Tyler Adams, expected to make a step up to the New York Red Bulls' MLS squad from NYRB II next season, got his first start of the tournament. (The other Red Bull in the team, Matthew Olosunde, did not play.)

The bad news: Croatia was dominant; a 2-2 draw was the least the European side deserved from a game in which they enjoyed close to 60% of possession, and created almost five times as many scoring opportunities as their opponent (29 shots attempted to the USA's six). The Croats should have won this game, agonizingly hitting the frame of the goal twice on the cusp of full-time.

Still, if this tournament is about the experience more than the outcome - and it is - then the USA U-17s are getting an invaluable education. They can hope to see many of the players in this tournament again as this age group matures and a select few make it into their respective national teams. This generation of players isn't really going to be judged by its work at the 2015 U-17 World Cup, but a few will hope to be among those selected for the 2022 World Cup (or even 2018, though that seems a little soon for this age group).

Nor is the USA out of this tournament, and it still has a reasonable chance of advancing to the knockout rounds, if it can get three points in its next game. A win over Chile on October 23 would leave the Americans with four points. At minimum, that will be good enough for third place in the group. Only the top two are guaranteed to advance to the next round, but the four best third-placed teams from the six groups will also advance - and four points seems likely to be good enough to make that cut.