U.S. Under-20 Men’s National TeamHead Coach: Tab Ramos
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will open its 2015 campaign at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship from Jan. 9-24, with group matches taking place at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica, and Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay. Led by U-20 head coach Tab Ramos, the USA’s primary goal is to qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The USA has been drawn with Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Panama and Guatemala in Group A. The U.S. opens against Guatemala on Jan. 9, followed by Panama (Jan. 11), Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21). The tournament will qualify four teams to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
This year marks the 25th occasion in which the U.S. U-20 MNT is competing in the CONCACAF Youth Tournament or Championship. The USA has earned second place in the qualification tournament six times (1980, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2009, 2013), but has yet to win a CONCACAF U-20 Championship title.
Qualifying Format Change: The CONCACAF U-20 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams. Under the new setup, the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Eyes on New Zealand 2015: The U.S. has qualified for 13 FIFA World Youth Championships/FIFA U-20 World Cups and has its sights set on No. 14 in 2015. The 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand is being held from May 30-June 20 in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei. The final draw will be held on Feb. 10. The USA’s best World Cup finish was a fourth-place performance at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.
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