U.S. U-20 MNT Face Panama for First Place in Group B at 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
April 1, 2011
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
Guatemala City, Guatemala
April 1, 2011
FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE: With both teams already qualified for the quarterfinals, the U.S. U-20 MNT and Panama will battle for the top place in Group B on Saturday, April 2, at 4 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) live on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. Fans can also follow the action from Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
HOW TO WIN THE GROUP: Either team can win Group B with a victory, but a draw would favor the United States. The U.S. topped Suriname 4-0, while Panama won 3-0 against the Caribbean side. That slight edge would be enough to separate the Americans should both teams finish with four points in group play. The quarterfinals will be played as a crossover, with the winner of the USA’s Group B matched up against the top two finishers in Group A, Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago. The four quarterfinal winners will seal a berth to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, set for July 29-Aug. 20 across eight cities in Colombia.
CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Group B Schedule and Results
Date Match / Result Kickoff (local/ET) Venue / U.S. Goalscorers TV
March 29 USA 4, Suriname 0 -- Wood, Gyau, Doyle, Garza ESPN Deportes / ESPN3.com
March 31 Panama 3, Suriname 0 -- Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores N/A
April 2 USA vs. Panama 4 p.m. / 6 p.m. Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores ESPN Deportes / ESPN3.com
Group B Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
USA* 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 3
PAN* 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 3
SUR 2 0 2 0 0 7 -7 0
*Qualified for quarterfinals
After 14 tournaments without facing each other, the U.S. and Panama have met twice in the past three qualifying events – in 2005 in the U.S. and in 2007 in Panama.
The U.S. beat Panama 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in January 2005, and 5-0 two years later in Panama City.
Panama has qualified for three of the past four FIFA U-20 World Cups, missing out on the 2009 event in Egypt.
The USA’s 4-0 win on Tuesday was its largest margin of victory in this event since the 5-0 win against Panama.
Of the four goal scorers against Suriname, only Joe Gyau had played in a qualifying tournament or World Cup before at any level. Gyau scored against Honduras at the 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
The 4-0 win is the largest margin of victory in the 2011 edition of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
The U.S. roster features a pair of CONCACAF U-20 Championship veterans in Gale Agbossoumonde and Amobi Okugo, who both helped the team to the finals of the 2009 tournament.
Agbossoumonde is the only player on the roster who has been capped at the Men’s National Team level.
Zac MacMath, Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget and Joe Gyau have experience at CONCACAF U-17 Championship. MacMath helped the U.S. U-17s qualify for Korea 2007 while the other four players won all three games to qualify for Nigeria 2009.
Ten alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy have made their way onto Rongen’s roster, including Dillon Powers who was the 2008-09 U-17/18 Player of the Year.
Two players on the U.S. team – goalkeeper Cody Cropper and forward Omar Salgado – were born in 1993 and are age eligible for the 2013 Under-20 cycle.
Eight players hail from clubs in Major League Soccer, including two from the Philadelphia Union in MacMath and Okugo.
THE REST OF THE FIELD: Seven of the eight quarterfinal teams have been decided heading into the final group games on Friday and Saturday evening, with one spot still to be determined from Group D. Mexico has sealed its place in the final eight, but Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago battled to a tie, so the final spot will depend on the score of the Trinidad & Tobago game against Mexico on April 1. The other three groups will be battling for positioning. The four quarterfinal winners will earn CONCACAF’s four places at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quarterfinalists
A PEEK AT PANAMA: Before Thursday night’s win against Suriname, Panama won its Central American preliminary qualifying group with a pair of 1-0 victories against Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Cecilio Waterman scored the winner in both matches, and all three goals against Suriname. Through its three qualifying games so far, Panama has yet to allow a goal. Jose Alfredo Poyatos brought a young team to Guatemala, with 11 players born in 1992 or later (the age cutoff for this tournament is Jan. 1, 1991), and one player born in 1994.
Panama Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kevin Melgar, Adnihell Adriano
DEFENDERS (8): Eric Davis, Harold Cummings, Algish Dixon, Oscar Linton, Jose Pimentel, Josue Flores, Francisco Vence, Edward Benitez
MIDFIELDERS (5): Josimar Gomez, Paul Cordero, Rolando Botello, Manuel Vargas, Roberto Chen
FORWARDS (5): Jose Diego Alvarez, Gabriel Avila, Jairo Jimenez, Javier Caicedo, Cecilio Waterman
Panama Preliminary Round Qualifying Results
Date Opponent Result Panama Goalscorer(s)
Nov. 25 Nicaragua 1-0 W Waterman
Nov. 27 Costa Rica 1-0 W Waterman
U.S. ROSTER BREAKDOWN: U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen’s 20-player roster features 16 professional players from leagues in five foreign countries – England, Germany, Mexico, Portugal and Sweden – in addition to eight representatives from Major League Soccer. Four college players round out the roster, including a pair of UCLA Bruins in Kelyn Rowe and Eder Arreola.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster By Position (
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union; St. Petersburg, Fla.), 18-Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (8): 2 - Gale Agbossoumonde (Djurgårdens IF; Syracuse, N.Y.), 13-Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), 4 - Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), 12-Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls; Fair Lawn, N.J.), 19 - Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke; Missouri City, Texas), 5-Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), 3-Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA; Lancaster, Pa.), 15-Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), 14-Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), 16-Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), 6-Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), 10-Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): 20-Eder Arreola (UCLA; Chino Hills, Calif.), 9-Conor Doyle (Derby County FC; McKinney, Texas), 7-Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), 17-Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas), 11-Bobby Wood (TSV 1860 München; Irvine, Calif.)
A PEEK AT HISTORY: The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for an eighth-consecutive FIFA Under-20 World Cup, having qualified for a CONCACAF-record 12 U-20 World Cups since the tournament began in 1977. The Americans have never won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, but the tournament format returned in 2009 after 13 years without crowning a champion.
CHOOSING A TEAM: If you've ever wondered how a roster gets put together, or how a starting XI is chosen at the national team level, here is your chance to find out. We've taken you behind the scenes to look at the decisions that the U.S. U-20 MNT coaches made in selecting their 20 player roster. Then we took you even further as an 11 emerged from the group to start the opening match against Suriname. We have a peek at how the coaching staff works to choose their best team.
WHO IS BOBBY WOOD: After moving to Germany at age 14, U.S. forward Bobby Wood wasn’t sure he was still on the national team radar. Called into his first training camp with the U-20s in the Netherlands in April, Wood has become a key part of the American attack and scored a goal in his first official match against Suriname. We talked to the 1860 Munich winger about growing up in Hawaii and transitioning to Germany at such a young age.
FOLLOW US 140 CHARACTERS AT A TIME: Stay in tune with the U.S. U-20 MNT during its qualifying campaign by following us on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. There you’ll get up-to-the-second information from behind the scenes in Guatemala City and keep track of your favorite players on their U.S. U-20 MNT journey.
THE YNT BLOG HAS IT ALL: With exclusive training photos, interviews and behind-the-scenes access, the YNT Blog is one-stop shopping for complete coverage of the U.S. team in Guatemala. Find out what’s going on at training at the team hotel on the Youth National Team blog on ussoccer.com.