U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
Saturday, March 7, 2009
U.S. U-20 MNT LOOK TO CLINCH WORLD CUP BERTH AGAINST HONDURAS: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team can clinch a berth to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup (event page) with a victory against Honduras on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. local/ET at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago. Fans can follow the Group A match of the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. currently sits in first place in the group after a 3-0 win against Jamaica on March 6 while Honduras and El Salvador played to a 2-2 draw. The U.S. will round out group play against El Salvador on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET. Should the U.S. advance out of Group A as one of the top two finishers, they will advance to the semifinals on March 13 and either the third-place game or final on March 15. More importantly, the four semifinalists from Group A and B will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.
U.S. U-20 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
|Date||Opponent||Time / Result||U.S. Goal Scorers||Venue; City|
|March 6||Jamaica||3-0 W||Marosevic, Duka, Schuler||Dwight Yorke Stadium;
|March 8||Honduras||6 p.m. / 6 p.m.||Dwight Yorke Stadium;
|March 10||El Salvador||7 p.m. / 7 p.m.||Dwight Yorke Stadium;
|March 13||Semifinal||TBD||Marvin Lee Stadium;
|March 15||Final / Third Place||TBD||Marvin Lee Stadium;
ON TOP OF GROUP A: The U.S. effort against Jamaica gave the team sole possession of first place in Group A with three points and a +3 goal differential. Honduras played El Salvador to a 2-2 tie, with both teams scoring a pair of second-half goals in an entertaining tournament opener. With the top two teams from the group advancing to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the U.S. can clinch a berth with a victory against either Honduras on March 8 or El Salvador on March 10. The 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Egypt from Sept. 24-Oct. 16. Standings, schedule and results are available at the ussoccer.com U-20 qualifying page.
SPARKLING DEBUTS: Two players, Dilly Duka and Billy Schuler, made their respective U-20 international debuts against Jamaica and both players proved they belonged. Duka, a small but technical midfielder playing in his first-ever international game, went 90 minutes, setting up the first goal and scoring the second. Schuler, a veteran of the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, came off the bench in the 77th minute and scored five minutes later to make it a 3-0 game.
EVERYONE INVOLVED: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen used all three available substitutes against Jamaica, and with everyone eligible to play against Honduras, Rongen will once again have options off the bench. Despite the fact that it is a youth team, the roster features a combination of youth and experience. Seventeen-year-old Gale Agbossoumonde and Amobi Okugo, who both saw action against Jamaica and are age-eligible for the 2009 and 2011 U-20 World Cups. Starters Bryan Arguez, Brian Perk and Anthony Wallace bring experience as players who were part of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.
YELLOW CARD UPDATE: At the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, yellow cards carry over from game to game. Because Anthony Wallace and Kyle Davies each picked up cautions against Jamaica, if they are shown yellow again they will have to sit out the team’s next game.
GROUP B BEGINS TONIGHT IN TRINIDAD: Group B of the 2009 CONCACAF Championship, which is made up of Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago, kicks off tonight about 25 miles away from Bacolet at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. Mexico takes on Costa Rica in the Group B opener, which will be followed by the hosts against Canada. Mexico, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago all earned automatic berths to the final round of qualifying while Costa Rica came out on top of their group in Central American qualifying. Group B will play their games on the Group A off days, which makes for six straight days of football in Trinidad & Tobago. Standings, schedule and results are available at the ussoccer.com U-20 qualifying page.
LOOKING AT THE OPPONENT: Honduras was the eighth and final team to qualify for the final round of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship when they topped St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3-1 on Monday, March 2 in a one-game playoff. The Central American side will be looking for maximum points against the U.S. after draw with El Salvador in its opening game. Roger Rojas and Jose Valladares scored for Honduras en route to the 2-2 final.
Honduras Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Fransisco Javier Reyes, 12-Jose Alberto Mendoza
DEFENDERS (3): 2-Porfirio Andres Boquin, 5-Jose Israel Fonseca, 16-Johnny Harold Leveron
MIDFIELDERS (11): 3-Angel Gabriel Castro, 4-Wilmer Cristanto, 6-Esdras Isai Padilla, 7-Mario Roberto Martinez, 8-Reinieri Joel Mayorquin, 10-Erick Salvador Andino, 13-Ronald Edgardo Martinez, 14-Cristian Josue Altamirano, 17-Erick Ernesto Zepeda, 18-Julio de Jesus Ocampo, 20-Alfredo Antonio Mejia
FORWARDS (4): 9-Julio Ernesto Canales, 11-Roger Fabricio Rojas, 15-Anthony Ruben Lozano, 19-Jose Francisco Valladares
EYES ON EGYPT: The four CONCACAF teams will be the last qualifiers for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup as 20 other countries have already booked their place in Egypt. Asia will send four representatives in Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. Africa will have five teams in the tournament, including the hosts, as Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa have qualified. The 2008 U-19 European Championship served as the qualifying tournament that saw the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain advance. Oceania sends Tahiti to their first ever world championship, while Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela will represent South America.
Teams That Have Qualified For The FIFA U-20 World Cup
AFC: Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
CAF: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa
CONCACAF: Four teams to be determined
CONMEBOL: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
UEFA: Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain
CLOSE QUARTERS: All four teams are sharing the same resort in Tobago and with a shared dining area and lobby-only internet access, there is quite a bit of face time between the sides. Everything has of course been respectful in the tight spaces, but it’s hard to keep secrets in the open spaces. It’s also hard to complain about the accommodations, which are all open air to allow views of the ocean from just about everywhere.
STUDIO 90 STAYING ON TOP OF THE U-20S: Studio 90, ussoccer.com’s popular web show, is keeping up with the U-20 MNT on their road to Egypt and the U.S. WNT at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Check out the latest edition that includes a recap of the U.S. and Jamaica by clicking here.
YNT BLOG IS BACK IN ACTION: As the U.S. U-20s entering their qualifying campaign, the YNT Blog is with them every step of the way. Meet some of the new players, keep up with all the inside jokes and get a behind the scenes look at the preparations and life in the West Indies by clicking here.