Gaga Slonina and the US Men’s Youth National Team had gone through the group stage and the Round of 16 at the U20 World Cup without conceding a single goal, but they would fall 2-0 to Uruguay in last night’s quarterfinal to crash out of the competition in a fairly disappointing manner.
Slonina couldn’t do much about either goal, both coming off of egregious defensive errors, with the second an own goal to boot. And Uruguay kept the US comfortably at bay at the other end. They will now face Israel in the semifinal — we might have imagined this semifinal to be Brazil vs. USA, but that’s football for you!
“I wish just once I could turn back time and replay these 90 minutes again. But the reality is it’s not possible and that is very difficult to accept. The idea of another country lifting the trophy in the end doesn’t feel real. But we didn’t meet our expectations last night and we were punished for it. But I can promise we gave it our all to represent the USA to the highest honor.”
-Gaga Slonina; source: Instagram
So now it’s time for a summer break for our young goalkeeper, before potentially coming back to challenge for a first-team spot next season under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino. At least one of Édouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to depart, which could open up a prime opportunity for the 19-year-old to grab a spot. He looks like our goalkeeper of the future, but maybe the future is now?