Iraq fell 2-0 against Korea Republic in the AFC Asian Cup Semifinal early Monday morning in Syndey Australia. Jung-Hyub Lee and Young-Gwon Kim supplied the goals for the Taegeuk Warriors to advance to Saturday's Final. Though he did not see action on Monday, Crew SC winger Justin Meram has logged 182 minutes so far for the Lions of Mesopotamia in the tournament. Iraq faces the loser of Australia vs. the United Arab Emirates in Friday's Third-Place Match at 4:00 a.m. ET in Newcastle.
It was quite a showing for Columbus Crew SC and United States U-20 Men's National Team midfielder Romain Gall at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica.
With five goals scored in the tournament, the Crew SC attacker earned a share of the competition's Golden Boot honor with Mexico's Hirving Lozano. Gall scored a hat trick in the USA's 8-0 win over Aruba, followed by a brace in a 2-0 victory versus Jamaica. Former winners of the award include Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Honduras striker Roger Rojas.
Gall's efforts also earned him a place in the tournament's Best XI along with fellow American Shaquell Moore. Gall's Crew SC teammate Wil Trapp was named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI in 2013.
Gall and the Americans are set to play in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer after cementing their qualification with a 2-0 win over El Salvador Saturday night.
Romain Gall and trhe United States Under-20 Men's National Team punched their ticket to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday evening with a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the Playoff Round of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Crew SC miidfielder started and played 62 minutes in the win. Finishing play in the tournament with five goals, Gall is currently tied for the competition's scoring lead with Mexico's Hirving Lozano heading into tomorrow's Final between Mexico and Panama. In total, Gall has scored nine goals in 14 international matches with the U-20 USMNT.
Mexico, Panama, Honduras and the USA are the four teams that will represent CONCACAF in New Zealand. The 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup takes place May 30-June 20. The Americans will learn their group on February 10 during the tournament draw.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer.
At this point in January 2014, it was Michael Parkhurst who was "the new guy" in Columbus. Meeting with the media for the first time in 2015, the Crew SC Captain had this to say about the club's new additions that he's had the chance to share the pitch with:
On Kei Kamara:
"Kei’s a great locker room guy. I’ve played against him and now hopefully with him, he’s a really good guy and he fits in the locker room perfectly. Obviously, he’s got a physical presence. He was jumping over things the other day that you’re just like, ‘Wow, this guy’s an athlete.’ He’s going to win some head balls for us, and hopefully score some goals with his head. I think he’s going to be a really good addition to the team.
On Mohammed Saeid:
"Mo is a super nice guy. It was nice that he was able to spend a couple weeks with us. You can tell that he’s technically gifted, sees the game well. I think he fits into the system really well."
On Chris Klute:
"Chris, I don’t know him personally at all, but just playing against him, he’s another athletic person. You can tell he’s got the physical tools to play in this league and to succeed with us. I’m looking forward to play with him"
Crew SC's Justin Meram started and played 45 minutes in Iraq's wild, 3-3 (7-6) win over Iran in the AFC Asian Cup Semifinal early Friday morning in Canberra, Australia. Iran took a lead in the 24th minute as Sardar Azmoun would finish past Iraqi 'keeper Jalal Hassan to make it 1-0. But after Iran went down to 10 men following a second yellow card issued to Mehrdad Pooladi just before halftime, Iraq would rally in the second half with Ahmed Yasin scoring the equalizer in the 56th minute. The drama continued into extratime as the two countries traded goals twice, with Iran forcing a penalty-kick shootout in the 119th minute. The Lions of Mesopotamia would go on to advance 7-6 in the shootout.
Iraq now faces Korea Republic in the Semifinal at 4:00 a.m. ET Monday morning, January 26. Host nation Australia and the United Arab Emirates square-off in the other Semifinal match.
Wil Trapp chats with ColumbusCrewSC.com's Cody Sharrett about his U.S. Men's National Team camp experience so far, his role in Jürgen Klinsmann's system and a new rival in Toronto.
Say "goodbye" to the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. "Hello," Orlando City SC and New York City FC.
Major League Soccer's expansion to 20 clubs in 2015 provides Crew SC two new Eastern Conference foes for the season ahead. Road trips to play both clubs provide unique environments, says winger Ethan Finlay.
"I think the [Eastern Conference] will be difficult," Finlay said Wednesday. "I think it will be a unique experience playing at the Citrus Bowl, not so sure about the turf, but it is what it is this year, and then playing at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC. I think you have two organizations that are going to be class in two different ways. Orlando obviously has come in and has a good foundation of players coming from [USL PRO]. NYCFC is a team that’s owned by Manchester City and plans to come here and win, and win now."
Orlando City is bolstered by Brazilian superstar and former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaká, while NYCFC has acquired the likes of Spanish striker David Villa, U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Mix Diskerud and, arriving in July, legendary English midfielder Frank Lampard. On top of that, Crew SC's neighbor up north, Toronto FC, has added USMNT striker Jozy Altidore and Italian attacker Giovinco, coming in July.
With the influx of stars, Finlay believes the East is stronger than it's been in recent years.
"It’s going to be great," he said. "It’s going to be extremely competitive. Then when you start talking about other teams like Toronto, the New York Red Bulls..."
"It’s going to be a competitive East, more so than I think it was in the past. "
Crew SC winger Romain Gall started and played 69 minutes in the United States Under-20 Men's National Team's 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago to advance out of Group A in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Wednesday evening in Montego Bay, Jamaica. LA Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV's 78th-minute strike was the lone tally in the clash as the U.S. finished in second place of Group A, ahead of Guatemala on total goals scored.
The U.S. will discover its next oppoenent after the re-seeding process ahead of the Playoff Round. The Americans are currently one win away from qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer
Video courtesy of U.S. Soccer.
With advancement on the line, Crew SC attacker Romain Gall and the United States Under-20 Men's National Team are set to face Trinidad & Tobago Wednesday evening to close-out the Group Stage of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica. Coming off a hat trick and a brace in the Americans' previous to wins -- both wins against Aruba and Jamaica, respectively -- Gall shares the lead for the tournament's top scorer with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, scoring five goals each.
Watching from afar, Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is pleased with what he's seen from the 19-year-old midfielder, and hopes Gall's form can carry over into the MLS season.
"We expect Romain to contribute this year," Berhalter said Wednesday. "First and foremost, we hope they qualify for the [FIFA U-20] World Cup. We hope he’s playing in a youth world championship, but we want him to contribute here as well. He showed signs of it last year, and we believe he has the potential to contribute."
The U.S. needs a win or draw against the Soca Warriors on Wednesday night to advance to the Playoff Round of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The match kicks-off at 5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.
Crew SC winger Justin Meram earned his first start of the AFC Asian Cup as Iraq was victorious over Palestine, 2-0, in Canberra early Tuesday morning to advance to the Quarterfinal Round of the competition. Before subbing-off in the 68th minute, Meram's biggest influence on the match was drawing a penalty for the Lions of Mesopotamia -- which was ultimately saved by Palestinian 'keeper Tawfiq Ali.
Iraq next plays Iran in Canberra at 1:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning.