The USA U-17 boys team couldn’t carry the momentum on from their resounding win in the Round of 16 at the World Cup, falling to their England peers 4-1 in the quarterfinal stage. A hat trick Rhian Brewster paced the young Three Lions, who move on to face either Germany or Brazil in the semifinals.
Josh Sargent gave the US some hope in the second half, getting the US within two goals in the 72nd minute, his third goal of the tournament. But Brewster finished off the scoring deep into stoppage time with a penalty, after fullback Sergino Dest was sent off.
Brewster got his first goal of the game in the 11th minute, as Justin Garces, the American keeper, could only parry away a cross from Phil Foden. Garces’ touch fell right to Brewster in front of goal, and the Liverpool forward dispatched his finish into the roof of the net, setting the young Lions on their way.
The US side could hardly settle down before Brewster struck again in the 14th minute. A turnover in the midfield was forced by Foden, with England quickly breaking forward. Foden, who plays for Manchester City’s youth teams, slipped a wonderful pass into the box for Brewster, who delicately chipped over Garces, as D.C. United’s Chris Durkin was unable to chase the ball down before it crossed the line for a 2-0 lead.
Durkin played as a center back against England, and played for all 90 minutes. He played all 90 minutes in all five games the US played at the tournament. Splitting time between center back and defensive midfielder, Durkin made impacts at both positions. He scored his lone goal of the tournament in the opener against India, when he played in defense. Against Ghana and Colombia, Durkin moved up to midfield, but he dropped back once again for the games against Paraguay and England.
Foden and Brewster combined to be the architects of England’s third goal, as Morgan Gibbs-White struck in the 64th minute to essentially put the game out of reach for the Yanks. Brewster had dropped deep to pick up the ball, and then found Foden in space in the American half. Foden played a pass to Gibbs-White, who laid the ball out wide for Brewster. Brewster then crossed into the middle, where Gibbs-White had made his run, and despite a touch from Garces, found the back of the net to give England an unassailable lead.
Sargent, the captain of the US side, gave his team a slimmer of hope in the 72nd minute, though the goal would end up being the only one for the US. A slip pass into the box from Andrew Carleton found Dest on the run, and the cross into the middle got a slight touch from keeper Curtis Anderson. But that touch dropped the ball just in front of Sargent, who only had to tap it in for his third goal of the tournament.
But that was the best that it would be for the US on the day. With the US pushing numbers forward, England finally took advantage in late into stoppage time, as Brewster was in on goal. Dest grabbed him from behind, earning a red card, and giving England a penalty. Brewster finished off his hat trick, beating Garces to the corner, and ending the tournament for a hopeful US side.