The United States U-23 team have remarkably finished third at the 2015 Toulon Tournament. The team's chances of ever making it to the third place game looked slim-to-none. However, the Netherlands and Costa Rica imploded and paved the way for the Americans to face England in the consolation game.
The U.S. took the lead early thanks to a penalty converted by Alonso Hernandez. England equalized just three minutes later thanks to some poor defending by the U.S.' right side.
Another penalty was called in favor of the Yanks in the 66th minute and Benji Joya finished it off to give his side the 2-1 lead. Despite several late attacks by England, the U.S. survived and get the honor of finishing third in the prestigious youth tournament.
New York Red Bulls II midfielder Dan Metzger started the game in the midfield and played 70 minutes before being taken off. Andi Herzog deployed a 4-3-3 which saw Metzger act as the holding midfielder who sits in front of the back four and cleans up any messes he comes across (the role he dominated while at Maryland and in the Red Bulls Academy). Overall he had a solid match in which he went relatively unnoticed. For a defensive midfielder, not having your name called by the commentator is usually a compliment.
Metzger is a very steady performer. His technical ability is adequate and his passing range is more than serviceable. He may never make any all-star teams, but he has the chance to be very nice complimentary player for the Red Bulls in the future.
So, is this team any good?
Meh, not really. As a whole, this tournament and this group's performance in it will be forgotten about tomorrow. Outside of Jordan Morris, no player overly impressed throughout the Toulon journey. With Olympic qualifying starting in October, Herzog has some very tough decisions to make. The promising U-20 crop is creeping up behind this team and will have a major influence on the qualifying roster.
Congratulations to our U-23 team for beating England and finishing in third place in the Toulon Tournament. Great job !!— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) June 7, 2015