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U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Qualifies for 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup with 4-2 Victory Against Canada

• U.S. Overpowers Canada in Quarterfinal With Three Goals in the First Half
• Jose Villarreal Scores Two and Wil Trapp Earns Man of the Match Honors
• USA Faces Winner of Cuba vs. Costa Rica Quarterfinal at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, March 1; Game Televised on FOX Soccer and Univision Deportes

PUEBLA, Mexico (Feb. 26, 2013) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team delivered its finest performance of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, overpowering Canada 4-2 in the quarterfinals at Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP.

With the win, the United States earned a berth to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will take place from June 21-July 13 in Turkey. The USA qualified for the 13th time at this age level.

The U.S. will face the winner of Tuesday’s late match between Cuba and Costa Rica on Friday, March 1 in the semifinals at Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP. The match will be televised on FOX Soccer and Univision Deportes, and fans can follow on’s MatchTracker and on twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

After falling behind 1-0, the U.S. exploded for three goals in a 17-minute span to close out the first half. Luis Gil opened the scoring, and Man of the Match Wil Trapp added one just before halftime. U.S. Soccer Development Academy product Jose Villarreal scored a pair of goals to increase his tournament total to three.

“I have to give the players so much credit for today,” said U.S. Under-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos. “Not only are they playing a very difficult game that has a lot of pressure, but at the same time they found themselves behind. I enjoyed seeing the satisfaction on the players’ faces when they accomplished something big. I'm glad to be a part of today’s result.”

The U.S. maintained the majority of possession in the opening minutes, while Canada stayed compact and looked to put their speedy forwards in behind the U.S. backline. As the U.S. sought ways to break through, it was Canada who struck first with a shock strike in the 23rd minute.

Dylan Carreiro found space 30 yards from goal and decided to have a go, unloading a wicked shot that whistled into the far right corner past a scrambling Cody Cropper.

The United States responded well and picked up the pace, with Mario Rodriguez and Daniel Cuevas consistently posing threats down the flanks. Just six minutes after going down, the U.S. leveled terms.

Cuevas sparked the play with a nifty solo effort that took him to the byline where he slipped a pass back across the six. Gil took a clever first touch to create space firing a left-footer low to the far post.

The goal sparked both teams, and a more open game benefitted the skilled U.S. attackers. Canada was dealt a big defensive blow when captain Doneil Henry left in the 32nd minute with an injury.

With its confidence growing, the U.S. remained aggressive in the attack. After nearly putting the U.S. ahead in the 34th minute, Villarreal finally broke through with five minutes remaining in the opening stanza. Rodriguez created space down the left flank and looked for an option inside the area. Villarreal sliced to top of six-yard box unnoticed and side-footed the entry pass into the goal from eight yards out.

The U.S. kept its foot on the pedal and added a third goal in first half stoppage time. Gil delivered a corner kick that goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau punched to the top of the area where Trapp lurked for a rebound. He ripped a full volley from 20 yards that deflected off Mauro Eustaquio and caromed past the helpless ‘keeper.

Buoyed by a two-goal lead, the United States came out flying in the second half and snatched a fourth goal in a display of precision and sophistication. After cleverly moving the ball around the area, Villarreal took a pass from Benji Joya and patiently waited for his defender to commit before taking a deceptive touch into space and firing low to the far post. The goal marked his seventh for the U-20 MNT.

Canada used another wonder strike to get back on the board in the 63rd minute off a corner kick. Trapp headed the Ben Fisk corner out of the penalty area, only to see Samuel Piette – now wearing the captain’s armband – rip an unstoppable half-volley from 25 yards into the upper 90.

The U.S. created several chances in the final quarter hour, only to be denied by Crépeau and the crossbar. Canada’s frustration grew evident, and in the 92nd minute they were reduced to 10 men when Manjrekar James head butted Joya and drew a red card.

Additional Notes:

  • The victory was the USA’s third in three games in the tournament.
  • U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos chose a starting lineup similar to the USA’s Group A opener against Haiti, using 10 of the 11 starters from that match. The only difference was at left back where Juan Pablo Ocegueda got the call for a second-straight match.
  • For a second-straight game, the U.S. went with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Jose Villarreal playing up top.
  • Luis Gil nabbed his second goal of the tournament, having opened the USA’s scoring in the 2-1 win against Haiti. He now has four goals at this age level, good for second-most on the squad.
  • The U.S. has moved to 5-2-2 all-time against Canada in CONCACAF Youth Tournaments and Championships.
  • The USA starting lineup on Tuesday featured seven players who had played in at least one game for a U.S. Soccer Development Academy team.
  • The U.S. played without midfielder Mikey Lopez, who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament against Costa Rica and was consequently suspended for Tuesday’s match.

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Competition: 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Quarterfinals
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP; Puebla, Mexico
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: --
Weather: 74 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1   2   F
USA       3   1   4
CAN       1   1   2

CAN – Dylan Carreiro 23rd minute
USA – Luis Gil (Daniel Cuevas) 29
USA – Jose Villarreal (Mario Rodriguez) 40
USA – Wil Trapp 45+1
USA – Jose Villarreal (Benji Joya) 54
CAN – Samuel Piette 64

USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-Boyd Okwuonu, 4-Caleb Stanko (capt.), 5-Shane O’Neill, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya, 6-Wil Trapp; 9-Mario Rodriguez (19-Brandon Allen, 90+2), 10-Luis Gil (17-Danny Garcia, 77), 20-Daniel Cuevas; 7-Jose Villarreal (16-Dillon Serna, 84)
Substitutions Not Used: 11-Jerome Kiesewetter, 12-Kendall McIntosh, 14-Javan Torre, 18-Eric Miller, 22-Zack Steffen
Not available: 15-Mikey Lopez
Head coach: Tab Ramos

CAN: 18-Maxime Crépeau; 2-Jon Dollery, 3-Marco Lapenna, 4-Doneil Henry (capt.) (15-Manjrekar James, 33), 5-Daniel Stanese, 6-Samuel Piette, 7-Ben Fisk, 9-Caleb Clarke, 12-Dylan Carreiro, 13-Alessandro Riggi (10-Kevin Aleman, 46), 16-Mauro Eustaquio (22-Stefan Vukovic, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Richard Gomes, 8-Zakaria Messoudi, 11-Michael Petrasso, 17-Anthony Jackson-Hamel, 21-Ben McKendry, 23-Allan Zebie
Head coach: Nick Dasovic

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 17 / 9
Shots on Goal: 12 / 5
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Jose Villarreal (caution) 58
CAN – Dylan Carreiro (caution) 12
CAN - Manjrekar James (sent off) 90+2

Referee: Javier Santos (PUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dion Neil (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Browne (SKN)
Fourth Official: Jairo Morales (PUR) Man of the Match: Wil Trapp