Alex Zahavi had himself a US international debut to remember on Friday night in Kennesaw, Georgia. The Maccabi Haifa F.C. midfielder scored the United States U-20s' only goal in the opening match of the Torneo de las Americas.
His 48th minute tally came on an assist from West Ham's Sebastian Lletget, who headed LA Galaxy striker Tristan Bowen's cross into the path of his teammate. The strike looked as though it would hold up as the game-winner until Fabian Castillo equalized for Colombia four minutes from time.
The Torneo is a three-team round robin—Mexico rounds out the trio—so the match went to penalty kicks. The South American side prevailed, 3-1, with goals coming from Edwin Andres Cardona, Juan David Diaz, and Hector A. Quinonez. Notre Dame's Dillon Powers, a late addition to the squad, converted the US's lone spotkick.
Aside from LA's Bowen, several other MLS players featured for Thomas Rongen's side, including New York's Juan Agudelo and Philadelphia's Amobi Okugo, both of whom went 90 minutes, plus DC United's Conor Shanosky, Chivas USA's Cesar Zamora, and Toronto FC's Fuad Ibrahim, who subbed on in the second half. Center back Gale Agbossoumonde, who earned his first senior team cap during the Red, White, and Blue's 1-0 victory in South Africa, was left unused on the bench.
Colombia battle Mexico on Saturday afternoon, while the US and El Tri finish the tournament on Sunday.
USA: 18-Jonathan Kempin, 3-Korey Veeder, 19-Sebastien Ibeagha, 2-Amobi Okugo, 5-Greg Garza, 21-Dillon Powers, 16-Sebastian Lletget (6-Cesar Zamora, 60), 7-Alex Molano (14-Fuad Ibrahim, 68), 13-Tristan Bowen (9-Omar Salgado, 63), 10-Alex Zahavi (23-Conor Shanosky, 76), 17-Juan Agudelo
Subs Not Used: 22-Gale Agbossoumonde, 15-Bryan De La Fuente, 24-Eduardo Fernandez, 8-Moises Orozco, 4-Parker Walsh
Head Coach: Thomas Rongen
COL: 1-Cristian Bonilla, 14-Juan David Diaz, 3-Pedro Franco, 5-Juan Camilo Saiz, 19-Sebastian Viafara (2-Alfredo Guerrero, 90), 13-Juan David Cabezas (16-Miguel Julio, 76), 6-Didier Moreno (9-Andres R. Escobar, 82), 20-Stiven Mendoza (15-Hector A. Quinonez, 60), 17-Javier Calle (10-Edwin Andres Cardona, half), 8-Fabian Castillo, 7-Adolfo Valencia (18-Faider Fabio Burbano, 70)
Subs Not Used: 12-Sebastian Villate, 11-Duvan Zapata
Head Coach: Eduardo Lara
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.