High Intensity Match Between Canada and U-21 USMNT Ends in Tie at 2024 JPAC

SURREY, BC, Canada – With the backdrop of a setting sun and a rambunctious crowd, the No. 25 U.S. U-21 Men’s National Team faced host No. 14 Canada for their second match of the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships (JPAC). After 60 minutes of high-intensity play, the game ended without a goal from either side.

“The team was very disciplined throughout the entire match,” said U.S. U-21 Men’s National Team Head Coach Pat Harris. “We defended well and had multiple opportunities to take the lead, but unfortunately our penalty corner conversion rate wasn’t as efficient as it can be. Definitely a good step in the right direction. Time for some rest and to shift our focus to our next match against Brazil in two days”

The energy was high from the start at Tamanawis Field, with a tangible atmosphere emitting from Canada and USA fans alike. Early into the first quarter, Leo Zarnekow (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) picked off a ball in the midfield and sent it up, where the crossed ball was stopped by Canada’s defense. Not long after, Mehtab Grewal (Somis, Calif.) forced a foul and was up into the circle, but was also halted. The hosts got a big break up the field, and as a two against one on USA goalkeeper Amar Singh (Santa Clara, Calif.) was forming, Sekayi Charisika (Louisville, Ky.) stepped up to make a big intercept. Continuing their forward momentum, Canada earned a penalty corner at 5 minutes in, but the chance was sent wide.

Around the 8-minute mark, USA earned their first penalty corner opportunity. The third retake for the red, white, and blue was finally cleared out by the Canada defense. After spending some time on their attacking half, USA found themselves pushed back on defense for much of the final 4 minutes of the quarter. Neither team, however, would concede a goal, leaving the frame tied at 0-0.

The second quarter was characterized by a solid amount of USA possession, with bursts of offense from the hosts. One minute into the frame, the Junior Wolves earned a set piece opportunity, but the drag flick from Charasika sailed wide. Canada’s next chance up field looked dangerous, as a ball crossed into the circle was eased out by Corey Dykema (Newport News, Va.). USA functioned as a unit, and Lasse Nobereit (Koenigstein, Germany) – working defense to offense – sent a ball in to Willem Pouw (Santa Rosa Valley, Calif.), who took a strong shot on cage that was saved.

Keeping the pressure on, USA earned a penalty corner halfway through the frame, but again the drag went outside the post. A great effort from Luca Civetta (Key Biscayne, Fla.) to win back the ball from the Canada attack regained possession for USA after a brief lapse. Captain Namit Mangat (Glendale, Ariz.) displayed a solid defensive effort when Canada attempted to push up again. Wyatt Katz (Santa Rosa Valley, Calif.) earned USA a set piece chance with 5 minutes remaining in the half, but without result. With 2 minutes left, a Canada attacker streaked up the field, taking the USA goalkeeper on one-on-one, but Singh got a touch to send the ball harmlessly over the endline. Another eventful quarter ended without a score.

Not missing a beat, the red, white and blue pushed up into their attacking circle to start the third. It was a quick transition up for the field for Canada, who made the most of their chance, scoring what looked like the first goal of the match. USA utilized the available video review to reveal that the goal would not stand. Rearing to get back up the field, USA’s Rory Bleeker (Liden, Netherlands) and Leo Baumgarner (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) worked to build up an offense as the final 10 minutes began. The hosts won a penalty corner with one minute left, and with tensions high, USA fended it off, and the third quarter ended with a score of 0-0.

This time, it was Canada who pressed up to begin the quarter, with USA looking to defend. The play evened back out, as both teams retained high energy, looking for a goal. More steady sticks from Zarnekow, Dykema and Nobereit helped protect USA’s backfield as pressure steadily increased. A quick ball up the field from Nobereit to Charasika looked promising with 7 minutes left to play, but again the scoreline would not budge. Bleeker got USA out of a pinch with 5 min remaining, and both teams would not relent. The final minutes ticked down as the crowd grew more anxious. A shot from Sekayi with one minute left led to a penalty corner chance. A strong Canada defense stopped the subsequent shot, and the match ended in a tie.

After an off day, the Junior Wolves will face No. 31 Brazil on Saturday, July 6 at 7 p.m. ET.

For more information regarding the 2024 Junior Pan American Championships, visit the event page.


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