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RSL’s Acosta drills winning PK as U.S. U-20s win CONCACAF Championship

First Published      Last Updated Mar 06 2017 01:20 pm

Honduran-born Danilo Acosta sprinted toward the ball upon hearing the whistle, and with a swift kick of his left foot, delivered the U.S. U-20s a first. The Real Salt Lake defender and academy product drilled what turned out to be the tournament-clinching penalty kick as the young Americans topped Honduras 5-3 in penalties in Sunday's CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

The U.S. not only are headed to this summer's U-20 World Cup, but are doing so as champions of the CONCACAF region for the first time in history.

Featuring five RSL academy products — and four current first-teamers — the U-20s overcame a dismal start to the tournament in Costa Rica after losing its opener 1-0 to a 10-man Panama squad. The Americans rattled off five straight wins, including its first win over the Mexico U-20s in 31 years, en route to lifting the trophy Sunday afternoon.

Center back Justen Glad and winger Brooks Lennon — on loan this year from Liverpool FC — were the only two RSL players to start every game of the tournament. Acosta started all but one, while Park City's Sebastian Saucedo started his share of matches despite missing the final due to a red card received against El Salvador on Friday.

Glad left the match Sunday in the 47th minute after taking a knock to his right knee. In the post-game mayhem as the U.S. celebrated the win, Glad was shown hopping and not putting much weight on his right leg. The 20-year-old defender, who had a breakout 2016 season at RSL, will be evaluated by the RSL medical staff upon return to Salt Lake City Monday, per a club spokesman.

The U-20 World Cup is scheduled to kick off May 20 in South Korea and run until June 11. The U.S., Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica are the four CONCACAF nations set to represent the region this summer in South Korea. The draw for World Cup takes place on March 15.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




 

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