Check off another item on Tommy Thompsons's to-do list. On Wednesday, in his debut appearance for the U.S. U-20 men's national team, the talented San Jose Earthquakes midfielder scored his first international goal. And his goal was no simple tap-in (go to 1:40 into the video above).
With the U.S. already leading Bermuda 2-0, Thompson received a pass on the right side at the top of the area, faked a shot before cutting the ball to his right to create space, and unleashed a laser shot into the upper corner of the goal. Impressive not just in the finish, Thompson showed his excellent footwork in shaking off his defender. He made way for Benji Lopez in the 64th minute, but his shift was very much appreciated by head coach Tab Ramos (see his comments in the video below). The U.S. cruised comfortably to a 4-0 win.
Thompson's call-up to the national team had been a long time in coming, and Ramos explained how injuries had prevented the Earthquakes first homegrown player signing from getting into the U-20 squad. However, after his performance against Bermuda, Thompson can expect a lot more opportunities to come his way.
He was a very late invitee to the team, having made a cross-country trip following his appearance for Sacramento Republic FC in North Carolina on Monday to get to Los Angeles for the National Training Center Invitational. Over the span of those three days, Thompson caught the attention of those glad to see the 18-year old gaining the form that had many pegging him as the Next Big Thing in San Jose Soccer.
The NTC Invitational comes to close on Friday when the USA takes on Australia at 7 p.m. The match will be streamed live from the StubHub Center on ussoccer.com.
U.S. U-20 Men's National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Bermuda
Date: July 16, 2014
Competition: 2014 Men's National Training Center Invitational
Venue: U.S. Soccer's National Training Center, "Mooch" Myernick Field; Carson, California
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
Bermuda 0 0 0
USA - Andrija Novakovich (Caleb Smith) 27th minute
USA - Zach Pfeffer (penalty) 39
USA - Tommy Thompson 45
USA - Own goal 85
USA: 1-Zach Steffen; 13-Chris Odoi-Atsem, 4-Conor Donovan (5-Michael Amick, 46), 17-Jesus Vasquez, 20-Caleb Smith; 24-Tommy Thompson (9-Benji Lopez, 64), 14-Jacori Hayes, 15-Marco Delgado (capt.) (6-Russell Canouse, 64), 11-Zach Pfeffer (2-John Requejo Jr., 73); 10-Romain Gall (16-Fernando Arce, 64), 19-Andrija Novakovich (8-Lynden Gooch, 79)
Subs Not Used: 3-Shaquell Moore, 7-Paul Arriola, 12-Santiago Castano
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
BER: 1-Jahquil Hill; 6-Dakai Grant, 16-Jaylon Bather (10-Rai Simons, 52), 3-Terrance Webb, 20-Mauriq Hill (2-Oliver Harvey, 61); 19-Jair Minors (7-Jaz Ratteray Smith, 52; 11-Chae Brangman, 81), 4-William White, 17-Willie Clemens, 18-Lejuan Simmons (capt.) (8-Jibri Lawrence Salaam, 52); 9-Zaire Burchall, 15-Zeiko Lewis (5-Alanzo Parson, 81)
Subs Not Used: 12-Detre Bell, 14-Shakeem Albouy, 21-Neildante Smith
Stats Summary: USA / BER
Shots: 26 / 2
Shots on Goal: 12 / 2
Saves: 2 / 9
Corner Kicks: 13 / 3
Fouls: 13 / 12
Offside: 2 / 2
BER - Lejuan Simmons (caution) 42nd minute