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England, Austria Trips Highlight U-20 MNT World Cup Preparation

With the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Draw in the books, the entire focus of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is now on the preparation phase for the tournament.

The U-20 MNT reconvenes with a March 23-30 trip to London that will include matches against Tottenham’s U-21s and England’s U-20s. Following that camp, the U-20s travel to Austria for an April 18-26 session that will feature games against Qatar’s and Greece’s U-20 sides. Further game and roster details will be announced at later dates.

“Our preparation is going to be good,” U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos said. “It will be the right preparation for the teams we’re playing in the World Cup, so I’ve been very happy with our planning.”

Looking Ahead to U-20 World Cup Group Opponents:
On Tuesday, the USA was drawn into Group A against host New Zealand, Ukraine and first-time side Myanmar. The U.S. opens the tournament May 30 against Myanmar.

“I think the draw went very well, and it’s a draw where we can be successful if we play at the best level possible,” Ramos said. “These are teams who have eliminated other great teams to get here, and sometimes just reading the names doesn’t do fair justice.”

The June 2 game against host New Zealand certainly stands out as the All Whites look to make a strong run in front of their home base.

“New Zealand has been training together and should be very well prepared,” Ramos said. “They will want to do well at home since they will have the support of the home crowd. Soccer is an up-and-coming sport there, and they will have that weight on their shoulders to go along with the excitement of the tournament. All of that will make them a dangerous side.”

The USA caps off the group stage against Ukraine on June 5. Ukraine is the only side the USA has faced in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, tracing back to a 1-1 draw on June 23, 2001, on a goal by Bruce Arena’s son Kenny Arena in the first half.

“Ukraine consists of all professional players, and they’re similar to a Russia in terms of playing style,” Ramos said. “With the type of players they have, they are experienced in the world game in general.”

Myanmar is a different story as a virtual unknown at the moment but established its presence with a run to the semifinals of the 2014 Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championship to qualify for the World Cup. Myanmar clinched a spot with a 1-0 victory against United Arab Emirates on Oct. 17.

“I really don’t know much about Myanmar, and all you can really look at is the teams they have left behind,” Ramos said. “In the youth game, sometimes it only takes two or three really good players to make a difference in the team, which makes it different than senior teams. So we will focus and prepare for Myanmar in the same way we would prepare for a Germany.”

Reflecting on Qualifying Stage:
The USA is coming off a third-place performance at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. After a slow start with a draw against Guatemala and a 1-0 loss to Group A winner and fellow FIFA U-20 World Cup participant Panama, the U.S. mounted a strong run with four consecutive shutout victories, capped off by a 2-0 win against El Salvador to book a spot to New Zealand.

“I feel good about how we defend with this team,” Ramos said. “Our center backs were excellent, and I think we have good complementary players all over the field. I think that gives us some liberty to attack with a lot of players. We led the tournament in shots, so we feel secure in the back to be able to take more chances. I like taking chances, but we also have to improve on our finishing.”

That was Ramos’ main talking point following the tournament as the USA looks to have a balanced attack to coincide with the defensive play.

“I told them that it was important that we are good in front of the goal, because at the World Cup you won’t have as many chances as we did in qualifying,” Ramos said. “We have to get better, and I asked all of our players to go back to their clubs to focus on this. It’s important for their future.”

U-20 MNT Drawn into Group A for 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2015) – The U.S .Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into Group A with host New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The USA opens group play against Myanmar on May 30 in Whangarei, followed by New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland.

“It’s always an exciting moment to know your group as the reality sets in for the World Cup stage,” said U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos. “New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar will certainly prove to be formidable opponents. At this phase, every country is a challenge, so we will need to be clicking on all cylinders tactically, physically and mentally. We made great strides during the qualifying tournament, and we’re confident that with our deep pool of players that we can have a successful run at the World Cup.”

The FIFA U-20 World Cup runs May 30-June 20 among seven sites in New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei. The championship and third-place matches take place Saturday, June 20, at the 25,000-capacity QBE Stadium in Auckland.

A total of 24 countries participate in the tournament. The top two teams in each group, as well as the best four third-place teams, advance to the Round of 16 on June 10 and 11.

At the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA drew a difficult Group A that included group winner Spain, Ghana and eventual World Cup winner France, which the U.S. drew 1-1 on June 24. The U.S. went 0-2-1 and did not advance to the knockout round.

This is the 14th occasion that the USA has advanced to a FIFA World Youth Championship or World Cup at this age group. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the seventh FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989 that included wins against East Germany and Iraq and was capped off by a 2-0 loss to Brazil in the third-place match in front of 65,000 spectators at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. earned third place at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in January. The USA went 3-1-1 in the Group A stage for second behind Panama to earn the top seed in the playoff stage. The U-20 MNT defeated fourth-seeded El Salvador 2-0 on Jan. 24 to clinch its spot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U.S. defender Shaquell Moore and midfielder Romain Gall earned CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI honors, and Gall shared the tournament’s golden boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano after scoring five goals in qualifying.

2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Group A: New Zealand (host), Ukraine, USA, Myanmar
Group B: Argentina, Panama, CAF 3, Austria
Group C: Qatar, Colombia, Portugal, CAF 4
Group D: Mexico, CAF 2, Uruguay, Serbia
Group E: CAF champion, Brazil, Korea DPR, Hungary
Group F: Germany, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Honduras

U.S. U-20 MNT’s Group A Schedule:
May 30: USA vs. Myanmar; Northland Events Center, Whangarei
June 2: New Zealand vs. USA; QBE Stadium, Auckland
June 5: Ukraine vs. USA, QBE Stadium, Auckland

U-20 MNT vs. El Salvador: Highlights - Jan. 24, 2015

The U.S. U-20 MNT defeated El Salvador behind goals from Ben Spencer and Paul Arriola to grab a spot in the 2015 U-20 World Cup.

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. El Salvador – 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 1, SLV 0
Jan. 24, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On accomplishing the goal of qualifying for the World Cup:
“Obviously the Guatemala game changed our plan a little bit for the Panama game, which put us behind the 8-ball for the rest of the tournament. I’m really happy for the boys because it was really difficult in the last four games to have to eliminate an opponent, and they did it. We pushed them hard and they did a good job. Today’s game, we knew it was going to be very difficult. I thought we were well prepared because we’ve played in particular the last two games were very difficult for us as well. The boys did a good job. Defensively we’re playing really well, very organized. And when you limit other teams to very few opportunities to score, when you do that and you have the sort of firepower that we have up front, we always feel that at some point we’re going to get the game going in our direction. And today that’s just the way it went.”

On Zack Steffen’s penalty kick save and the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“Zack made a great save at the right time for us, although I felt El Salvador really was not dangerous throughout the game. They did have some possession on our side of the field, which is not really what we wanted. But these are difficult games.”

“In general, the defense played very well. We have Cameron [Carter-Vickers] and Matt [Miazga] in the middle and I think they’re a great pair of center backs. They play well together. And with Zack in goal – we’re very fortunate in that way. The U.S., we have very good goalkeepers and Zack is definitely one of the next ones to come up. And so between the two center backs and the goalkeeper I think they did a amazing job throughout the whole tournament.”

On how you compare this team to the 2013 team that also advanced to the World Cup:
“Well, this team is better. This team is just as technical as the last group, but they’re more dynamic and we have speed on this team. And also anxious going in to the World Cup, in getting guys like possibly Rubio Rubin back, and other guys that may come in to the fold at that point that may get released and that will help us up front as well.”

On how the second-half substitutes made a difference again:
“We feel fortunate with this particular group because I’ve been speaking about the depth of this group in general. I felt as if I really had 14 starters, and the other guys also play well. I felt like there were 14 guys that really could have started tonight’s game, and last game and the game before. And when I brought them off the bench, to have that type of attitude to come in and be willing to change the game, they did an amazing job. At the end of the day, they may be the guys that made the difference for us.”

On the character of the team to bounce back after a rocky start:
“It’s definitely not easy. I think you need good leadership in the group. I thought we had that. I thought we had humble players who were willing to work hard. It’s not easy because the expectations are so high for us. We came here with no other desire than to be champions of CONCACAF, and after two games that dream was already over. It was hard to regroup, but we regrouped and we got to this game. And as everybody knows, it’s always difficult to qualify to the World Cup. So for them to have won four straight games and to go to another World Cup, I think it’s just really an amazing job, considering where we were after two games.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward BEN SPENCER
On his first-half goal:
“Emerson [Hyndman] put in a ball and I knew I had to get something on the end of it. I got on the end of the cross and it hit off the crossbar and sort of followed up and was able to put it in.”

On scoring in such an important game:
“It was a huge game for all of us, and we knew that coming into the game. So to be able to score in a game like this is definitely big. But the most important thing is that we won and we’re going to New Zealand.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder RUSSELL CANOUSE
On not starting the first two games and then taking the captain’s responsibility to lead the team:
“In a couple of camps when Kellyn [Acosta] wasn’t in, I tried to take lead of the team the best I could. So when he went out injured, I just tried to step and lead the team, and try to get everyone to fight for what our goal was and it worked out well. We were able to win our last four games and made our dreams come true.”

On how all 20 players played in the tournament and were able to contribute:
“Tab said from the beginning that depth was important and we used all our guys. And offensively everyone was able to contribute. That was definitely one positive that we can take from this tournament.”

On how it feels to know the U-20 MNT is going to the World Cup:
“It’s a dream come true. That was one of my goals from the beginning of this cycle. You don’t want to think of it too far in advance, but it was definitely one of my goals and I’m glad we achieved it.”

U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN
On saving the penalty kick:
“I knew it was a PK, so I didn’t even try to argue it. I went back, got a sip of water and relax myself. We did a little bit of scouting on No. 11 on his previous PKs, that he went to my right side. So it was kind of a little mind game to see if he would switch it up and go to the left side. But I saw him look to the left side, and players usually try to trick the goalkeeper by looking one way and going the other. So I saw him look one way and I had a strong feeling he’d go right. And I was able to save it.”

On how he prepared for penalty kicks at training the day before:
“After he took it, I was thinking about yesterday and how we practiced them and how I was feeling good. The practice helped get me in the zone. If we didn’t practice I think I would have been a lot more nervous.”

On helping the team return to the World Cup:
“It’s awesome. To be the No. 1 and be able to carry the team with Russ [Canouse] and Kellyn [Acosta] to the World Cup, it’s very exciting.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender MATT MIAZGA
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“Obviously it’s a good moment for us and U.S. Soccer. To be able to represent our country to the World Cup is a huge achievement. We’re going to work hard in the next few months and make that dream come true.”

On if there were any doubts after the first two games that the team would qualify:
“No. We’re a very confident group. We know we made our mistakes but we knew that we could correct them. And we knew that we had the chance to fix them in the upcoming games, and that’s what we did. We took each game one game at a time and we got the results. And it all came down to today against El Salvador and I thought we played a very good game and we got the result. All that matters now is that we booked our ticket to New Zealand.”

On the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“We’re a tight knit group of guys. We all get along really well, we all have each other’s backs, we all cover each other. If one guy makes a mistake, the other guy has his back. And I think we’re all very good players. So together we’ve played well and it showed in the results.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“I think in the first games, we didn’t perform that well. But we improved. I think by the end, even though our performance may not have been the best, I always knew that we were going to win. I always knew that we had it in us to do what needed to be done.”

On Steffen’s PK save:
“It was excellent. I gave away the PK, so I was a bit nervous. And when he saved it I was relieved. I thought he was going to save it; I had a feeling he would and believed in his ability. We were practicing penalties yesterday in training and he saved quite a few, so I thought he had it in him.”

U-20 MNT Earns FIFA U-20 World Cup Berth with 2-0 Victory against El Salvador

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 24, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team clinched a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 victory against El Salvador in its playoff match at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Ben Spencer scored a first-half goal and Paul Arriola added a tally in the second half to help the USA advance to its 14th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which takes place May 30-June 20 in New Zealand. The tournament draw will be held Feb. 10. With the win, the USA earns third place for the qualifying tournament.

The U.S. U-20 MNT capped off the tournament with four straight shutout victories to clinch its World Cup berth. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half against El Salvador to maintain the USA’s one-goal lead at the time.

Earlier Saturday, Honduras defeated Guatemala 2-1 in the other playoff match to clinch a World Cup berth. Later Saturday, Group A winner Panama and Group B winner Mexico competed in the title match of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Mexico earned its 13th CONCACAF title at this age group, defeating Panama 4-2 in a shootout after playing to a 1-1 score line in regulation. Heading into the match, both teams clinched a berth to the U-20 World Cup by winning their respective groups.

Romain Gall scored five goals in the tournament and shared the golden boot honors with Mexico's Hirving Lozano. Gall and Shaquell Moore were also named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team. The USA as a group won the tournament's Fair Play award.

Sixteen of the 24 spots are now set for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup:

  • CONCACAF (4): Mexico, Panama, Honduras, USA
  • AFC (4): Korea DPR, Myanmar, Qatar, Uzbekistan
  • CAF (4): Teams qualify from the 2015 African U-20 Championship
  • CONMEBOL (4): Teams will qualify from the 2015 South American Youth Championship
  • OFC (2): Fiji, New Zealand (host)
  • UEFA (6): Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ben Spencer, 37th minute: After a slow first half that featured just one USA shot up to that point, the USA capitalized on a set piece. Emerson Hyndman took his free kick from the right side and found Spencer in the middle of the box, Spencer’s header struck off of the crossbar. The U.S. striker followed his own rebound, heading the ball back in from eight yards out into the upper left corner of the frame for his second goal of the tournament. USA 1, SLV 0

USA – Paul Arriola, 68th minute: Second-half sub Junior Flores had an immediate impact with the attack down the right side of the box, dribbling near the end line and crossing in for Bradford Jamieson IV who one-timed his shot. Carlos Cañas reacted to make the save, and the ball bounced to Arriola above the box. Arriola followed with a left-footed shot that trickled past two El Salvador defenders and Cañas and into the net for his first goal of the tournament. USA 2, SLV 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
SLV – Carlos Cañas, 13th minute: El Salvador’s defense had to back track on a USA counter attack, led by Emerson Hyndman’s through ball to Romain Gall. Gall’s touch was a tad too heavy and Cañas read the sequence well, rushing up from his line and disrupting the U.S. offense near the top of the box to clear before Gall could get a shot off.

USA – Zack Steffen, 52nd minute: El Salvador did not have a single shot through the first half, but the team earned a penalty kick chance when the USA committed a hand ball in the box. Jose Villavicencio went to the spot, and Steffen dove to his right for his biggest save of the tournament. El Salvador did have a corner kick chance afterward, but the U.S. eventually cleared.

SLV – Carlos Cañas, 62nd minute: Off of Emerson Hyndman’s free kick from the right, he drove the ball over to a lunging Matt Miazga who headed the ball from 10 yards out. Cañas deflected the shot just enough as the ball clanked off of the crossbar.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 4-3-1 all-time against El Salvador in this tournament. Saturday’s win also marked the third time in the past seven CONCACAF U-20 Championships that the U.S. directly clinched a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot by virtue of a victory against El Salvador. The previous meetings clinched berths to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup .
  • For a third straight game, U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos went with the identical lineup as the USA’s Group A wins against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Zack Steffen earned his fourth cap of the event with the start in goal.
  • The defense featured John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back combination of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga.
  • The midfield of the USA’s 4-4-2 formation included Tommy Thompson on the right, Romain Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband for the fourth time in the tournament.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a fourth-straight match.
  • During a 42nd-minute attacking sequence, Spencer collided with El Salvador goalkeeper Carlos Cañas, forcing medical staff to take a look at his leg. Spencer was able to trudge through the remainder of the half, but Ramos utilized his team’s first substitution to open the second half, bringing in Paul Arriola.
  • Junior Flores entered the match in the 62nd minute for Gall, the USA’s leading goal scorer with five tallies in the tournament.
  • The USA’s final substitution was Lynden Gooch for Hyndman, who was receiving attention from the medical staff shortly after the U-20 MNT’s second goal.
  • El Salvador played the final 12 minutes and stoppage time down a man when Andres Flores was called for an intentional foul from behind against the USA’s Junior Flores in the 79th minute.
  • The USA outscored its opponents 14-2 during the qualifying stage.
  • Hyndman led the team with three assists.
  • Carter-Vickers and Requejo played in all 540 minutes of six games at the tournament.
  • Heading into Saturday night’s final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Gall is tied with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano for the tournament goal-scoring lead with his five goals.
  • Gall has nine-career goals with the U-20s in 14 international matches.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador
Date: Jan. 24, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Playoff
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 81 degrees, light rain

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 1 2
SLV                         0 0 0

USA – Ben Spencer   37th minute
USA – Paul Arriola    68

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse (capt.), 8-Emerson Hyndman (18-Lynden Gooch, 70), 9-Romain Gall (10-Junior Flores, 62), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (7-Paul Arriola, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos

SLV: 1-Carlos Cañas; 2-Nelson Moreno, 4-Bryan Tamacas, 12-Cesar Flores (20-Romilio Hernandez, 46), 17-Juan Barahona; 6-Narciso Orellana (capt.), 8-Alvaro Guardado (16-Eduardo Merino, 65), 9-Byan Perez, 11-Jose Villavicencio (19-Julio Amaya, 85), 14-Andres Flores; 15-William Canales
Subs Not Used: 5-Edwin Cuellar, 10-Josue Martinez, 13-Jonathan Miranda, 18-Nicolas Pacheco
Head coach: Mauricio Alfaro

Stats Summary: USA / SLV
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 25 / 17
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Ben Spencer (caution)                    38th minute
SLV – Narciso Orellana (caution)              38
SLV – Eduardo Merino (caution)               71
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution)          73
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution)  76
SLV – Andres Flores (sent off)                   79

Officials:
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Rangel (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Emerson Hyndman

U-20 MNT Ready for World Cup Playoff

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team faces El Salvador with the winner earning a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Zack Steffen Takes the Next Step

ussoccer.com hears from U-20 MNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen who discusses his development as a player and his path to signing a professional contract. Teammate Russell Canouse and goalkeeper coach Russell Payne also talk about working with Zack.

U-20 MNT Faces El Salvador with World Cup Berth on Line

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, which earned a top seed in the playoff stage of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, will face fourth-seeded El Salvador on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Jamaica (5 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer Plus and FOXSoccer2Go). The winner earns a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Should the USA secure a berth, it would also mark the third time in the past seven CONCACAF U-20 Championships that the U.S. would directly clinch a spot by virtue of a win against El Salvador. In the past two meetings at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament between these sides, the U.S. defeated El Salvador and clinched a berth in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

In addition to FOX Soccer Plus and FOXSoccer2Go, the USA-El Salvador playoff match will be available on the FOX Sports Go app on phones, tablets and computers. Anyone authenticated as a FOX Sports 1 or FOX Sports 2 subscriber and has a provider that has FOX Sports Go can watch the game for free.

The U.S. finished in second place in Group A with a 3-1-1 record and claimed the top spot among the four playoff seeded teams. El Salvador finished third in Group B with a 2-1-2 record and was seeded fourth. The U.S. enters Saturday’s match having won three straight and outscoring its opponents by a combined 11-0 during this stretch. For the tournament, the U.S. has scored 12 goals and conceded two.

In group play, El Salvador drew Honduras (2-2) and Haiti (1-1), defeated Canada (3-1), lost to Mexico (3-1) and closed with a win against Cuba (2-0).

Group B winner Mexico and Group A winner Panama have already clinched berths to the World Cup and will play Saturday night to decide the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title. Before the USA-El Salvador match, Guatemala faces Honduras in the other playoff to determine the other berth from CONCACAF for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

USA vs. El Salvador (5 p.m. ET, Jan. 24; Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica; FOX Soccer Plus):

  • The U.S. U-20 MNT is 3-3-1 all-time against El Salvador in U-20 qualifying.
  • The first meeting between the two was in the 2nd CONCACAF Youth Championship in Guatemala on April 10, 1964, where the U.S. lost 4-2.
  • The U.S. defeated El Salvador 2-0 in its next match in the eighth edition of the tournament on Aug. 7, 1980, in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Four years later, the teams met twice at the 10th CONCACAF Youth Championship held at the National Stadium in Trinidad. Following a 1-1 draw in group play on Aug. 27, 1984, El Salvador then defeated the USA in the third-place match with a 3-0 win on Sept. 8, 1984.
  • The U.S. lost to El Salvador in group play on Aug. 20, 1994. Chad Barrett scored the lone goal in the 3-1 loss in Puerto Cortes, Honduras.
  • The U.S. has won its past two encounters with El Salvador – and with each win advanced to that year’s U-20 Youth Championship / World Cup. On Nov. 15, 2002, the U.S. – playing with 10 men for 71 minutes – needed an 85th-minute own goal to defeat El Salvador 1-0 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The victory was the second for the U.S., following a 2-0 win against Haiti, and guaranteed the team at least a second-place finish in the four-team group, and therefore, one of the tournament’s two automatic berths for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.
  • On March 10, 2009, the U.S. secured a place at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 win against El Salvador in its final Group A match of the 22nd CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Bacolet, Tobago. First-half goals from Brek Shea and Tony Taylor secured the win as the U.S. finished with nine men after two ejections.

U-20 MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Highlights - Jan. 21, 2015

The U-20 MNT got a crucial win to qualify for a playoff match for the 2015 U-20 World Cup. Bradford Jamieson IV scored late in the second half to give the USA a 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago.

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago - 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 1, TRI 0
Jan. 21, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS

On his assessment of the match:
"It was a very difficult match. We knew Trinidad had quite a few good players that we had to be careful with, and they played like it was their last game. We’re happy to get the three points. I know in general terms we played poorly compared to the way we’ve been playing. Having said that we took 19 shots which is very positive for us. Unfortunately we just couldn’t cash in. That’s kind of been the story for us in this tournament. We’ve taken a lot of shots – I think we’re leading the tournament in shots and yet we’re not getting the goals. We’ve got to do better for the next game if we’re going to go to the World Cup, that’s for sure.”

On the play of Bradford Jamieson and his goal:
"I think he made a good effort. I’m not disappointed with the effort of the team in general. Bradford made a good effort, and I think the whole team made a good effort. I just think in general we didn’t play well today. I thought it was a poor game on our side. Obviously some of it has to do with the fact that Trinidad played really hard and didn’t give us an opportunity to get forward too much. But like I said, we did create a lot of chances and Bradford was responsible for a lot of them. I’m happy with his work.”

On how the team adjusted to Trinidad attacking from the left side:
“Actually Trinidad is a stronger right-sided team than they are a left-sided team.  So we actually wanted them to play out of the left side, so that was part of the plan to have them come out of their left side. We just didn’t think they’d have as much success. They did have some success down that line, but we rathered that the game was played down that side.”

On how to prepare for the playoff game against a team still to be determined:
“We know that whoever we play against is going to obviously be a good opponent, an opponent that’s going to be looking to go to the World Cup. But I think after the game we played today, especially because I’m thinking that we played poorly, we have to play a lot better on Saturday. And I think this gives us a little bit more motivation going towards that game. We came to this tournament to try to be champions of CONCACAF. Unfortunately it didn’t happen for us; we started slow. But we want to end on a high note and see if we can take third place.”

U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN

On his thoughts on the game:
"I think we played well, battled hard. [Trinidad & Tobago] played well, they pressed us, they’re physical and fast, but I thought all and all we did well. We got the result which was the most important thing and it’s on to the next one.”

On being more involved in this game compared to previous ones:
“Yea, I had more crosses and touched the ball with my feet a little more. It’s nicer – to stay in the game and get more action. Mentally you’re more focused and can be off your line. You’re more awake and ready for other plays than when you don’t have as much action.”

On keeping a shutout in close games:
“It’s obviously what we aim to do, get shutouts. I know the goals are coming – we have a lot of confidence in our forwards and attacking players. They’ll come when we need them, really. But shutouts are our goal regardless.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward PAUL ARRIOLA

On his thoughts on the game:
"It definitely wasn’t easy. I give a lot of credit to Trinidad – they were a good team and they definitely gave us a run for our money. But from the beginning we knew what we had to do. We knew that a tie would get us through, but we wouldn’t’ be through how wanted to be.  So we went out with a winning mentality that we had to win. In the second half we were able to put a little more pressure on them and got more chances to score, and we were able to get one.”

On his instructions coming in off the bench:
"The coaches made it clear from the beginning of the game to be ready, to be loose. The way the game kind of ended up being back-and-forth, not how we really wanted it to be. I went out to warm up at halftime. Anytime you’re a substitute you have to go out – no matter how many minutes you get – you have to make the most of it. Today I was able to make the most of it, and get down the line and get an assist which provided the game-winner.”

On how the goal came about and his assist:
“Junior (Flores) had the ball in our own half and he started dribbling. I noticed there were two defenders only, and so I knew I had to make that run since I was kind of fresh, and I knew that out of everyone on the team that I’d be able to get to that. We had a pretty good chemistry in that moment and he was able to leave it off to me. I knew I had wait for the defender to catch up to me a little bit so I could play it backwards. Junior went in front and took the first defender which left BJ (Jamieson) wide open in the middle to tap it to the other side. Anytime I get an assist, it’s like I scored the goal. It’s an amazing feeling, I was celebrating just as much as BJ was.”

On if there’s relief when a goal comes late:
“I think specifically in this game, where it was kind of back and forth, we knew that if we made one mistake and they were able to get a goal and win the game that we would be out completely. So I would say there was a big sigh of relief after the goal. We felt a lot more comfortable.”

England, Austria Trips Highlight U-20 MNT World Cup Preparation

With the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Draw in the books, the entire focus of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is now on the preparation phase for the tournament.

The U-20 MNT reconvenes with a March 23-30 trip to London that will include matches against Tottenham’s U-21s and England’s U-20s. Following that camp, the U-20s travel to Austria for an April 18-26 session that will feature games against Qatar’s and Greece’s U-20 sides. Further game and roster details will be announced at later dates.

“Our preparation is going to be good,” U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos said. “It will be the right preparation for the teams we’re playing in the World Cup, so I’ve been very happy with our planning.”

Looking Ahead to U-20 World Cup Group Opponents:
On Tuesday, the USA was drawn into Group A against host New Zealand, Ukraine and first-time side Myanmar. The U.S. opens the tournament May 30 against Myanmar.

“I think the draw went very well, and it’s a draw where we can be successful if we play at the best level possible,” Ramos said. “These are teams who have eliminated other great teams to get here, and sometimes just reading the names doesn’t do fair justice.”

The June 2 game against host New Zealand certainly stands out as the All Whites look to make a strong run in front of their home base.

“New Zealand has been training together and should be very well prepared,” Ramos said. “They will want to do well at home since they will have the support of the home crowd. Soccer is an up-and-coming sport there, and they will have that weight on their shoulders to go along with the excitement of the tournament. All of that will make them a dangerous side.”

The USA caps off the group stage against Ukraine on June 5. Ukraine is the only side the USA has faced in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, tracing back to a 1-1 draw on June 23, 2001, on a goal by Bruce Arena’s son Kenny Arena in the first half.

“Ukraine consists of all professional players, and they’re similar to a Russia in terms of playing style,” Ramos said. “With the type of players they have, they are experienced in the world game in general.”

Myanmar is a different story as a virtual unknown at the moment but established its presence with a run to the semifinals of the 2014 Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championship to qualify for the World Cup. Myanmar clinched a spot with a 1-0 victory against United Arab Emirates on Oct. 17.

“I really don’t know much about Myanmar, and all you can really look at is the teams they have left behind,” Ramos said. “In the youth game, sometimes it only takes two or three really good players to make a difference in the team, which makes it different than senior teams. So we will focus and prepare for Myanmar in the same way we would prepare for a Germany.”

Reflecting on Qualifying Stage:
The USA is coming off a third-place performance at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. After a slow start with a draw against Guatemala and a 1-0 loss to Group A winner and fellow FIFA U-20 World Cup participant Panama, the U.S. mounted a strong run with four consecutive shutout victories, capped off by a 2-0 win against El Salvador to book a spot to New Zealand.

“I feel good about how we defend with this team,” Ramos said. “Our center backs were excellent, and I think we have good complementary players all over the field. I think that gives us some liberty to attack with a lot of players. We led the tournament in shots, so we feel secure in the back to be able to take more chances. I like taking chances, but we also have to improve on our finishing.”

That was Ramos’ main talking point following the tournament as the USA looks to have a balanced attack to coincide with the defensive play.

“I told them that it was important that we are good in front of the goal, because at the World Cup you won’t have as many chances as we did in qualifying,” Ramos said. “We have to get better, and I asked all of our players to go back to their clubs to focus on this. It’s important for their future.”

Touchline Tommy

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team forward Tommy Thompson has soccer in his DNA.

Along with their father, Gregg, who played for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 1980s, brothers Tyler, Tanner and Tommy Thompson – all one year apart – could never get enough of the sport.

As youngsters, Dad didn’t just support the brothers from the sidelines – he was also on the field. The four would go early to practices and play 2-vs.-2 and then each of the boys would participate in the other team’s practices. Oftentimes, they’d train three times a day.

Now 19, Tommy is walking much the same path his father took some 30 years ago.

In 1982, Gregg co-captained Indiana University to its first NCAA title. He went on to have a seven-year professional career and also represent the United States at the 1984 Olympics and in a number of World Cup qualifiers.

Photo Gallery: U-20 MNT vs. Aruba 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Photos from the U.S. U-20 MNT's 8-0 victory against Aruba at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The win was the second largest margin of victory the USA has won by in the history of the tournament.

Photo Gallery: U-20 MNT vs. Guatemala

Photos from the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team's 1-1 draw against Guatemala in the teams' opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

Building a Tradition of Success

Two years ago, when head coach Tab Ramos led the U.S. U-20 MNT to the 2013 CONCACAF Championship in Mexico, he wanted to give his players a little extra motivation, a little more inspiration. 

Before the team checked into its hotel room in Puebla, the staff placed a U.S. flag and placard featuring the name of a former U.S. player who had been part of both a FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup above each player’s bed. 

That team proceeded to qualify for the 2013 U-20 World Cup. With that background, Ramos is keeping the tradition going this time around in Jamaica, hoping for the same result. 

On Monday as the U-20 MNT arrived in Kingston ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Championship, the new batch of youngsters walked into their hotel rooms to also find the names of current and former USMNT stars above their beds. 

“It’s very important for us to know the tradition of U.S. Soccer and the past players that these players this time represent,” Ramos said. “Because we do represent the Michael Bradley’s and the Clint Dempsey’s and Landon Donovan’s who have been here before in their shoes. So I’m hoping that they are as excited as I am because we truly feel fortunate to be here.”

The names are familiar to long-time U.S. soccer fans: Chris Henderson, Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, Damarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, and so forth; players who were once in the sames roles as the current group, trying to qualify for a U-20 World Cup, before eventually playing in one and later at the biggest soccer event in the world. 

Emerson Hyndman, rooming with Lynden Gooch, said they each claimed a bed once they walked in their room. When Emerson looked up, he noticed Clint Dempsey’s name above his bed. Dempsey played at the 2003 U-20 World Cup before competing at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. 

“It’s kind of funny ‘cause I actually know Clint, from his time at Fulham,” Hyndman said. “To see all the World Cups he’s been to, and what he’s achieved with the U.S., it can’t help but inspire me.” 

Forward Paul Arriola wound up with Michael Bradley, who played at the 2007 U-20 World Cup and the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. And like others, Arriola is familiar with the recent success of Bradley on the senior National Team. 

“I was in residency with the Under-17 team, and we all knew that Michael Bradley was one of those guys who had been there a couple years but he was one of those guys that didn’t get picked for his World Cup cycle,” Arriola said. “So for us, it’s a big deal, because it’s kind of saying that we shouldn’t give up hope. There’s going to be times when maybe we’re not the best player at the right time…but it doesn’t mean that we have to get discouraged or stop believing in ourselves. I think he’s a perfect example.” 

Center back Matt Miazga walked in and saw Marcelo Balboa’s name on his wall. While it’s been more than 10 years since Balboa retired, Miazga passed his test of knowing the former star defender who made over 100 appearances at the senior level. Balboa also represented the U.S. at the 1997 U-20 World Cup and the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups. 

“He was obviously a center back, like I am, and a year ago, he was one of the assistants at our January camp,” Miazga said. “He worked with the center backs intensively and gave us a lot of pointers on what to do better in certain situations, and how to better defend and play that position.” 

Hyndman and Dempsey have more in common than having played for Fulham, where Emerson currently plies his trade and Dempsey starred from 2007-12. The two also grew up playing club soccer in Texas. 

“All of us, our goal is to be a part of the senior National Team at some point and to go to an actual senior World Cup,” Hyndman said. “To see a player like him achieve it – especially from my area – it really just motivates me to be that much better.” 

Ramos is hoping this team can replicate the successes of previous U-20 teams at the CONCACAF Championship and qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup, which will be held this June in New Zealand. 

“I’m very excited. I get excited every time we go, whether it was when I was playing or when I came as assistant coach or now as head coach for the last couple cycles,” said Ramos. “I’m excited to go to the tournament. I can’t wait for it. I hope I’ve been passing that down to the players.” 

Current U-20 players (left) and the former players (right) picked to inspire them: 

Kellyn Acosta - Landon Donovan
Fernando Arce – Bobby Convey
Paul Arriola - Michael Bradley
Russell Canouse - DeAndre Yedlin
Cameron Carter-Vickers - Chris Henderson
Conor Donovan – Carlos Bocanegra
Junior Flores – Bobby Convey
Romain Gall – Oguchi Onyewu
Lynden Gooch – Benny Feilhaber
Ethan Horvath – Kasey Keller
Emerson Hyndman – Clint Dempsey
Bradford Jamieson IV – Eddie Johnson
Matt Miazga - Marcelo Balboa
Amando Moreno – Ben Olsen
Shaquell Moore – Jozy Altidore
John Requejo – DaMarcus Beasley
Ben Spencer – Gregg Berhalter
Tommy Thompson – Jeff Agoos
Tyler Turner – Tony Meola
Zack Steffen – Tim Howard

Acosta to Captain U-20 MNT at 2015 CONCACAF Championship

As the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team prepared to board its flight from Florida to Kingston, Jamaica, in the early afternoon of January 5, midfielder Kellyn Acosta gathered his teammates for a group selfie. It was a simple, fun exercise, but a clear sign that Acosta is the leader of the team at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. 

Before the team departed, U-20 National Team head coach Tab Ramos named Acosta as the team’s captain for the tournament that will serve as the qualifying competition for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

“Naming someone captain is not as easy as just saying ‘ok, you wear the captain’s band’,” Ramos said. “I think by naming Kellyn captain, I’m challenging him a little bit to take responsibility and to take control of the team.” 

Acosta is arguably the most experienced player on the 20-man roster. He was involved in the previous U-20 cycle and already has three years of professional experience with FC Dallas in Major League Soccer. 

“It’s a great honor. I’m glad Tab gave it to me,” Acosta said. “I want to make the most of it and help my teammates in any way possible – not being only a vocal leader but also showing with my actions. I’m glad to play the role and I can’t wait for it.” 

Tab Ramos Q&A: U-20 MNT Ready for U-20 World Cup Qualifying

ussoccer.com: Take us through the final decisions to select the final roster. 

Tab Ramos: "Selecting the final 20 players was extremely difficult. This is a group that has a lot of depth. It's a group that has gotten good results throughout the last 12 to 14 months, regardless of the players we've had in. A lot of players have made a good case for being on the team, but in the end, unfortunately, you can only take so many midfielders and you can only take so many forwards. I am very happy with the group we've selected, but at the same time I know there's a couple of guys out there that we didn't select that possibly could have helped us." 

ussoccer.com: What are some of your overall impressions and strengths of this group for qualifying? 

TR: “Overall, this is a group made up mostly with professional players, and that's a strength. These are players who are completely dedicated to the sport; players who 100 percent of the time prepare to do well, to get better, and be on the National Team. I believe this particular group has that part of their development as a strength. At the same time, I feel we have enough talent in this group, in particular in midfield, where we could have selected a number of different players who could have played those positions, who are all very technical on the ball, who all can chase and cover ground. Overall, I feel this group is stronger than groups in the past from top to bottom.” 

ussoccer.com: You capped off the Honduras trip in December with two wins against the host side. What did you take away from those games and that camp overall? 

TR: “We selected to go to Honduras because it’s a very difficult place to play. Honduras is an excellent team and they’re always very competitive. So we wanted to measure our players, and base our final decision on how well we perform against good teams in a tough environment. There were a couple of players in that camp that certainly made their case stronger than other guys and I think tilted the balance towards them.” 

ussoccer.com: Having had a regular playing schedule for the past month, what is your impression of the team's game fitness and readiness for qualifying? 

TR: “I think overall our game fitness is probably better than ever before. Brian O’Donnell (fitness coach) has done a great job in maintaining the players and allowing me time to push them, and at the same time selecting the times when we have to give them time to rest. So it’s been well monitored. U.S. Soccer has invested some more resources into protecting our players that way. We’ve been able to stay basically injury-free, at least through the camps that we’ve had at the time that we’ve had the players. I think overall Brian O’Donnell has done a great job with that, and I feel that the team has certainly benefitted from that.” 

ussoccer.com: What are some of the key focal points you emphasize to the players as they approach this important tournament? 

TR: “The focal point is knowing that this is the time to suffer for each other now. We're a good team, but at the end of the day, no matter what we say about our team - whether we say that maybe this cycle is a little more talented or less than another one - in the end we're probably going to be involved in all one-goal games. And if we're willing to suffer for each other, we're going to get through and we're going to do things well. And if we're not we're going to get run over. CONCACAF competition is always very difficult…Every game is going to be tough from beginning to end.”  

ussoccer.com: Kellyn Acosta and Zack Steffen were part of the 2013 U-20 World Cup. How vital will their past involvement be in terms of their leadership among this group? 

TR: “Very important, because that’s an experience that they can pass on to the other guys. Kellyn is one of those guys that’s been involved with U.S. Soccer at every level, so he’s experienced it all. I think for us and for the future of our senior National Team it’s good to bring young players along and give them experiences so that hopefully they can one day be 10-15 year National
Team players. In both Kellyn and Zack, we have two experienced players who I believe have a good future with the National Team.” 

ussoccer.com: Cameron Carter-Vickers and Emerson Hyndman started for the U-23 side in Brazil last October, and Hyndman also debuted with the full Men's National Team. Can you talk about what these players can bring to this group? 

TR: “Both Cameron and Emerson bring a lot to this group, because even though they are young players they both are experienced players playing at a high level. I think they certainly bring that experience to the group. At the same time, they are two players who are very excited to come to the group and help the National Team. That’s what we need. Sometimes, when you bring a player down from an older age group and have them play in their own age group, they don’t always react the right way. But I think these are two players that can be leaders, two players who are excited, and two players who will help us be better.” 

ussoccer.com: Can you tell us about Brad Friedel’s role on the coaching staff and what he can bring to the group? 

TR: “Brad is one who’s been working on all his coaching licenses overseas. I asked Brad if he would consider coming because I think he would be a great value for us. Unfortunately, he can’t be with us the whole time, but he works with one of the best academy programs in England at Tottenham. He knows Cam (Carter-Vickers) really well, which helps us. I think he’s going to add great value to our staff. I’m sure his opinion is one that will make us think out of the box a little bit. Sometimes as coaches you need to be challenged as well. And so I’m looking forward to having Brad with us.” 

ussoccer.com: You have been a big part with this U-20 age group, both as coach and early on in your playing days. How exciting is this stage for you as this team and the players are looking to stamp their impact on the international front? 

TR: “I’m very excited. I get excited every time we go, whether it was when I was playing or when I came as assistant coach or now as head coach for the last couple cycles. I’m excited to go to the tournament. I can’t wait for it. I hope I’ve been passing that down to the players. It’s very important for us to know the tradition of U.S. Soccer and the (past) players that these players this time represent. Because we do represent the Michael Bradley’s and the Clint Dempsey’s and Landon Donovan’s who have been here before in their shoes. So I’m hoping that they are as excited as I am because we truly feel fortunate to be here.”

U-20 MNT’s Depth Bodes Well for Qualifying

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos is well aware of the availability – or unavailability – of his players throughout each year and cycle. At any moment, a portion of the U-20 MNT pool could be absent due to their professional club schedules.

Over the past year, 37 players have earned an international cap and approximately 60 players have been called into a U-20 MNT camps during a 2014 schedule that featured only nine international matches. The necessity of calling in a large number of players has added some significant depth to the pool competing for spots on the World Cup qualifying roster and Ramos says that bodes well for tournament.

“This is a deep group, particularly in the midfield, so we will have some tough decisions to make,” said Ramos, who played in the U-20 World Cup in 1983. “There will be players left out who could certainly help the team, and players off of the 35-player provisional list who have pro potential. We also have the luxury of players who can play a number of different positions. We expect that every player on the qualifying roster will play a significant role in this tournament.”

Having been through a previous U-20 cycle with a team that took second at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and earned a trip to that year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, Ramos says that this current cycle is ahead of the curve.

“No question – U.S. Soccer has been tremendous as far as providing the resources for us to prepare as much as we can for the U-20 qualifying in January,” Ramos said. “Everything that we’ve asked for has been laid out in front of me, and I’m very excited about that. Once January rolls around, our team will be as prepared as it can be.”

The 2013 qualifying tournament took place in Puebla, Mexico, using excellent facilities and was capped off by a 40,000-plus capacity crowd that watched the USA and Mexico in the final at Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Ramos says this year’s qualifying matches will not be played on such pristine pitches, which could pose a challenge for countries such as the U.S. and defending CONCACAF U-20 Championship title-winner Mexico.

“We are certainly ahead of the game compared to the last cycle as far as preparation,” Ramos said. “I think that the biggest challenge for us in this cycle is that the last qualifiers were played in Mexico and we were guaranteed of games on very good fields. That always benefits the good teams. This time around, because the facilities in Jamaica will be more difficult to play on, I think that evens out the competition a lot more. That’s something that we’ll have to adjust to.”

U-20 MNT Gathers for Final Foreign Camp Before Qualifying

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has reached its final stretch of international friendlies before the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Head coach Tab Ramos and his U-20 side is less than a month away from kicking off the qualifying tournament in Jamaica.

The USA originally was set to hold its final international camp in Jamaica. But with both countries in the same qualifying group, Ramos said it made most sense to find a different locale. Honduras fit the bill for the U-20 MNT’s preparation purposes.

“When we drew Jamaica in our group, we didn’t want to be playing Jamaica right before the qualifiers and then play them at qualifiers, as well,” Ramos said. “That’s not good for either team. So we decided to pull out of that match. … I think going to Honduras, we’re taking the players to a very difficult environment in San Pedro Sula, which we all know from World Cup Qualifying with our senior team. I think this is a good place for us to prepare our team and make them mentally ready to confront the qualifying in January.”

The December camp will feature two games against Honduras and will be the U-20 MNT’s final international games of 2014. The USA last played international competition in Marbella, Spain, where the team earned two victories in three games. The U-20s defeated Russia’s U-21 national team 4-3 on Nov. 12, followed by a 1-0 win against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 15 and a 1-0 loss against Canada on Nov. 18.

Photo Gallery: U-20 MNT at the 2014 Marbella Cup

Photos from the U-20 MNT's first week of training and games against Russia and Ireland at the 2014 U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain.

U-20 MNT Drawn into Group A for 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2015) – The U.S .Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into Group A with host New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The USA opens group play against Myanmar on May 30 in Whangarei, followed by New Zealand on June 2 and Ukraine on June 5, both of which will be played in Auckland.

“It’s always an exciting moment to know your group as the reality sets in for the World Cup stage,” said U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos. “New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar will certainly prove to be formidable opponents. At this phase, every country is a challenge, so we will need to be clicking on all cylinders tactically, physically and mentally. We made great strides during the qualifying tournament, and we’re confident that with our deep pool of players that we can have a successful run at the World Cup.”

The FIFA U-20 World Cup runs May 30-June 20 among seven sites in New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei. The championship and third-place matches take place Saturday, June 20, at the 25,000-capacity QBE Stadium in Auckland.

A total of 24 countries participate in the tournament. The top two teams in each group, as well as the best four third-place teams, advance to the Round of 16 on June 10 and 11.

At the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the USA drew a difficult Group A that included group winner Spain, Ghana and eventual World Cup winner France, which the U.S. drew 1-1 on June 24. The U.S. went 0-2-1 and did not advance to the knockout round.

This is the 14th occasion that the USA has advanced to a FIFA World Youth Championship or World Cup at this age group. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the seventh FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989 that included wins against East Germany and Iraq and was capped off by a 2-0 loss to Brazil in the third-place match in front of 65,000 spectators at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. earned third place at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in January. The USA went 3-1-1 in the Group A stage for second behind Panama to earn the top seed in the playoff stage. The U-20 MNT defeated fourth-seeded El Salvador 2-0 on Jan. 24 to clinch its spot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U.S. defender Shaquell Moore and midfielder Romain Gall earned CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI honors, and Gall shared the tournament’s golden boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano after scoring five goals in qualifying.

2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Group A: New Zealand (host), Ukraine, USA, Myanmar
Group B: Argentina, Panama, CAF 3, Austria
Group C: Qatar, Colombia, Portugal, CAF 4
Group D: Mexico, CAF 2, Uruguay, Serbia
Group E: CAF champion, Brazil, Korea DPR, Hungary
Group F: Germany, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Honduras

U.S. U-20 MNT’s Group A Schedule:
May 30: USA vs. Myanmar; Northland Events Center, Whangarei
June 2: New Zealand vs. USA; QBE Stadium, Auckland
June 5: Ukraine vs. USA, QBE Stadium, Auckland

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. El Salvador – 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 1, SLV 0
Jan. 24, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On accomplishing the goal of qualifying for the World Cup:
“Obviously the Guatemala game changed our plan a little bit for the Panama game, which put us behind the 8-ball for the rest of the tournament. I’m really happy for the boys because it was really difficult in the last four games to have to eliminate an opponent, and they did it. We pushed them hard and they did a good job. Today’s game, we knew it was going to be very difficult. I thought we were well prepared because we’ve played in particular the last two games were very difficult for us as well. The boys did a good job. Defensively we’re playing really well, very organized. And when you limit other teams to very few opportunities to score, when you do that and you have the sort of firepower that we have up front, we always feel that at some point we’re going to get the game going in our direction. And today that’s just the way it went.”

On Zack Steffen’s penalty kick save and the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“Zack made a great save at the right time for us, although I felt El Salvador really was not dangerous throughout the game. They did have some possession on our side of the field, which is not really what we wanted. But these are difficult games.”

“In general, the defense played very well. We have Cameron [Carter-Vickers] and Matt [Miazga] in the middle and I think they’re a great pair of center backs. They play well together. And with Zack in goal – we’re very fortunate in that way. The U.S., we have very good goalkeepers and Zack is definitely one of the next ones to come up. And so between the two center backs and the goalkeeper I think they did a amazing job throughout the whole tournament.”

On how you compare this team to the 2013 team that also advanced to the World Cup:
“Well, this team is better. This team is just as technical as the last group, but they’re more dynamic and we have speed on this team. And also anxious going in to the World Cup, in getting guys like possibly Rubio Rubin back, and other guys that may come in to the fold at that point that may get released and that will help us up front as well.”

On how the second-half substitutes made a difference again:
“We feel fortunate with this particular group because I’ve been speaking about the depth of this group in general. I felt as if I really had 14 starters, and the other guys also play well. I felt like there were 14 guys that really could have started tonight’s game, and last game and the game before. And when I brought them off the bench, to have that type of attitude to come in and be willing to change the game, they did an amazing job. At the end of the day, they may be the guys that made the difference for us.”

On the character of the team to bounce back after a rocky start:
“It’s definitely not easy. I think you need good leadership in the group. I thought we had that. I thought we had humble players who were willing to work hard. It’s not easy because the expectations are so high for us. We came here with no other desire than to be champions of CONCACAF, and after two games that dream was already over. It was hard to regroup, but we regrouped and we got to this game. And as everybody knows, it’s always difficult to qualify to the World Cup. So for them to have won four straight games and to go to another World Cup, I think it’s just really an amazing job, considering where we were after two games.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward BEN SPENCER
On his first-half goal:
“Emerson [Hyndman] put in a ball and I knew I had to get something on the end of it. I got on the end of the cross and it hit off the crossbar and sort of followed up and was able to put it in.”

On scoring in such an important game:
“It was a huge game for all of us, and we knew that coming into the game. So to be able to score in a game like this is definitely big. But the most important thing is that we won and we’re going to New Zealand.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder RUSSELL CANOUSE
On not starting the first two games and then taking the captain’s responsibility to lead the team:
“In a couple of camps when Kellyn [Acosta] wasn’t in, I tried to take lead of the team the best I could. So when he went out injured, I just tried to step and lead the team, and try to get everyone to fight for what our goal was and it worked out well. We were able to win our last four games and made our dreams come true.”

On how all 20 players played in the tournament and were able to contribute:
“Tab said from the beginning that depth was important and we used all our guys. And offensively everyone was able to contribute. That was definitely one positive that we can take from this tournament.”

On how it feels to know the U-20 MNT is going to the World Cup:
“It’s a dream come true. That was one of my goals from the beginning of this cycle. You don’t want to think of it too far in advance, but it was definitely one of my goals and I’m glad we achieved it.”

U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN
On saving the penalty kick:
“I knew it was a PK, so I didn’t even try to argue it. I went back, got a sip of water and relax myself. We did a little bit of scouting on No. 11 on his previous PKs, that he went to my right side. So it was kind of a little mind game to see if he would switch it up and go to the left side. But I saw him look to the left side, and players usually try to trick the goalkeeper by looking one way and going the other. So I saw him look one way and I had a strong feeling he’d go right. And I was able to save it.”

On how he prepared for penalty kicks at training the day before:
“After he took it, I was thinking about yesterday and how we practiced them and how I was feeling good. The practice helped get me in the zone. If we didn’t practice I think I would have been a lot more nervous.”

On helping the team return to the World Cup:
“It’s awesome. To be the No. 1 and be able to carry the team with Russ [Canouse] and Kellyn [Acosta] to the World Cup, it’s very exciting.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender MATT MIAZGA
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“Obviously it’s a good moment for us and U.S. Soccer. To be able to represent our country to the World Cup is a huge achievement. We’re going to work hard in the next few months and make that dream come true.”

On if there were any doubts after the first two games that the team would qualify:
“No. We’re a very confident group. We know we made our mistakes but we knew that we could correct them. And we knew that we had the chance to fix them in the upcoming games, and that’s what we did. We took each game one game at a time and we got the results. And it all came down to today against El Salvador and I thought we played a very good game and we got the result. All that matters now is that we booked our ticket to New Zealand.”

On the defense posting four straight shutouts:
“We’re a tight knit group of guys. We all get along really well, we all have each other’s backs, we all cover each other. If one guy makes a mistake, the other guy has his back. And I think we’re all very good players. So together we’ve played well and it showed in the results.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS
On qualifying for the U-20 World Cup:
“I think in the first games, we didn’t perform that well. But we improved. I think by the end, even though our performance may not have been the best, I always knew that we were going to win. I always knew that we had it in us to do what needed to be done.”

On Steffen’s PK save:
“It was excellent. I gave away the PK, so I was a bit nervous. And when he saved it I was relieved. I thought he was going to save it; I had a feeling he would and believed in his ability. We were practicing penalties yesterday in training and he saved quite a few, so I thought he had it in him.”

U-20 MNT Earns FIFA U-20 World Cup Berth with 2-0 Victory against El Salvador

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 24, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team clinched a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 victory against El Salvador in its playoff match at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Ben Spencer scored a first-half goal and Paul Arriola added a tally in the second half to help the USA advance to its 14th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which takes place May 30-June 20 in New Zealand. The tournament draw will be held Feb. 10. With the win, the USA earns third place for the qualifying tournament.

The U.S. U-20 MNT capped off the tournament with four straight shutout victories to clinch its World Cup berth. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half against El Salvador to maintain the USA’s one-goal lead at the time.

Earlier Saturday, Honduras defeated Guatemala 2-1 in the other playoff match to clinch a World Cup berth. Later Saturday, Group A winner Panama and Group B winner Mexico competed in the title match of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Mexico earned its 13th CONCACAF title at this age group, defeating Panama 4-2 in a shootout after playing to a 1-1 score line in regulation. Heading into the match, both teams clinched a berth to the U-20 World Cup by winning their respective groups.

Romain Gall scored five goals in the tournament and shared the golden boot honors with Mexico's Hirving Lozano. Gall and Shaquell Moore were also named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team. The USA as a group won the tournament's Fair Play award.

Sixteen of the 24 spots are now set for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup:

  • CONCACAF (4): Mexico, Panama, Honduras, USA
  • AFC (4): Korea DPR, Myanmar, Qatar, Uzbekistan
  • CAF (4): Teams qualify from the 2015 African U-20 Championship
  • CONMEBOL (4): Teams will qualify from the 2015 South American Youth Championship
  • OFC (2): Fiji, New Zealand (host)
  • UEFA (6): Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ben Spencer, 37th minute: After a slow first half that featured just one USA shot up to that point, the USA capitalized on a set piece. Emerson Hyndman took his free kick from the right side and found Spencer in the middle of the box, Spencer’s header struck off of the crossbar. The U.S. striker followed his own rebound, heading the ball back in from eight yards out into the upper left corner of the frame for his second goal of the tournament. USA 1, SLV 0

USA – Paul Arriola, 68th minute: Second-half sub Junior Flores had an immediate impact with the attack down the right side of the box, dribbling near the end line and crossing in for Bradford Jamieson IV who one-timed his shot. Carlos Cañas reacted to make the save, and the ball bounced to Arriola above the box. Arriola followed with a left-footed shot that trickled past two El Salvador defenders and Cañas and into the net for his first goal of the tournament. USA 2, SLV 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
SLV – Carlos Cañas, 13th minute: El Salvador’s defense had to back track on a USA counter attack, led by Emerson Hyndman’s through ball to Romain Gall. Gall’s touch was a tad too heavy and Cañas read the sequence well, rushing up from his line and disrupting the U.S. offense near the top of the box to clear before Gall could get a shot off.

USA – Zack Steffen, 52nd minute: El Salvador did not have a single shot through the first half, but the team earned a penalty kick chance when the USA committed a hand ball in the box. Jose Villavicencio went to the spot, and Steffen dove to his right for his biggest save of the tournament. El Salvador did have a corner kick chance afterward, but the U.S. eventually cleared.

SLV – Carlos Cañas, 62nd minute: Off of Emerson Hyndman’s free kick from the right, he drove the ball over to a lunging Matt Miazga who headed the ball from 10 yards out. Cañas deflected the shot just enough as the ball clanked off of the crossbar.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 4-3-1 all-time against El Salvador in this tournament. Saturday’s win also marked the third time in the past seven CONCACAF U-20 Championships that the U.S. directly clinched a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot by virtue of a victory against El Salvador. The previous meetings clinched berths to the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup .
  • For a third straight game, U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos went with the identical lineup as the USA’s Group A wins against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Zack Steffen earned his fourth cap of the event with the start in goal.
  • The defense featured John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back combination of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga.
  • The midfield of the USA’s 4-4-2 formation included Tommy Thompson on the right, Romain Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband for the fourth time in the tournament.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a fourth-straight match.
  • During a 42nd-minute attacking sequence, Spencer collided with El Salvador goalkeeper Carlos Cañas, forcing medical staff to take a look at his leg. Spencer was able to trudge through the remainder of the half, but Ramos utilized his team’s first substitution to open the second half, bringing in Paul Arriola.
  • Junior Flores entered the match in the 62nd minute for Gall, the USA’s leading goal scorer with five tallies in the tournament.
  • The USA’s final substitution was Lynden Gooch for Hyndman, who was receiving attention from the medical staff shortly after the U-20 MNT’s second goal.
  • El Salvador played the final 12 minutes and stoppage time down a man when Andres Flores was called for an intentional foul from behind against the USA’s Junior Flores in the 79th minute.
  • The USA outscored its opponents 14-2 during the qualifying stage.
  • Hyndman led the team with three assists.
  • Carter-Vickers and Requejo played in all 540 minutes of six games at the tournament.
  • Heading into Saturday night’s final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Gall is tied with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano for the tournament goal-scoring lead with his five goals.
  • Gall has nine-career goals with the U-20s in 14 international matches.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador
Date: Jan. 24, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Playoff
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 81 degrees, light rain

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 1 2
SLV                         0 0 0

USA – Ben Spencer   37th minute
USA – Paul Arriola    68

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse (capt.), 8-Emerson Hyndman (18-Lynden Gooch, 70), 9-Romain Gall (10-Junior Flores, 62), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (7-Paul Arriola, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos

SLV: 1-Carlos Cañas; 2-Nelson Moreno, 4-Bryan Tamacas, 12-Cesar Flores (20-Romilio Hernandez, 46), 17-Juan Barahona; 6-Narciso Orellana (capt.), 8-Alvaro Guardado (16-Eduardo Merino, 65), 9-Byan Perez, 11-Jose Villavicencio (19-Julio Amaya, 85), 14-Andres Flores; 15-William Canales
Subs Not Used: 5-Edwin Cuellar, 10-Josue Martinez, 13-Jonathan Miranda, 18-Nicolas Pacheco
Head coach: Mauricio Alfaro

Stats Summary: USA / SLV
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 25 / 17
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Ben Spencer (caution)                    38th minute
SLV – Narciso Orellana (caution)              38
SLV – Eduardo Merino (caution)               71
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution)          73
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution)  76
SLV – Andres Flores (sent off)                   79

Officials:
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Rangel (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Emerson Hyndman

U-20 MNT Faces El Salvador with World Cup Berth on Line

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, which earned a top seed in the playoff stage of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, will face fourth-seeded El Salvador on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Jamaica (5 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer Plus and FOXSoccer2Go). The winner earns a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Should the USA secure a berth, it would also mark the third time in the past seven CONCACAF U-20 Championships that the U.S. would directly clinch a spot by virtue of a win against El Salvador. In the past two meetings at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament between these sides, the U.S. defeated El Salvador and clinched a berth in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

In addition to FOX Soccer Plus and FOXSoccer2Go, the USA-El Salvador playoff match will be available on the FOX Sports Go app on phones, tablets and computers. Anyone authenticated as a FOX Sports 1 or FOX Sports 2 subscriber and has a provider that has FOX Sports Go can watch the game for free.

The U.S. finished in second place in Group A with a 3-1-1 record and claimed the top spot among the four playoff seeded teams. El Salvador finished third in Group B with a 2-1-2 record and was seeded fourth. The U.S. enters Saturday’s match having won three straight and outscoring its opponents by a combined 11-0 during this stretch. For the tournament, the U.S. has scored 12 goals and conceded two.

In group play, El Salvador drew Honduras (2-2) and Haiti (1-1), defeated Canada (3-1), lost to Mexico (3-1) and closed with a win against Cuba (2-0).

Group B winner Mexico and Group A winner Panama have already clinched berths to the World Cup and will play Saturday night to decide the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title. Before the USA-El Salvador match, Guatemala faces Honduras in the other playoff to determine the other berth from CONCACAF for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

USA vs. El Salvador (5 p.m. ET, Jan. 24; Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica; FOX Soccer Plus):

  • The U.S. U-20 MNT is 3-3-1 all-time against El Salvador in U-20 qualifying.
  • The first meeting between the two was in the 2nd CONCACAF Youth Championship in Guatemala on April 10, 1964, where the U.S. lost 4-2.
  • The U.S. defeated El Salvador 2-0 in its next match in the eighth edition of the tournament on Aug. 7, 1980, in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Four years later, the teams met twice at the 10th CONCACAF Youth Championship held at the National Stadium in Trinidad. Following a 1-1 draw in group play on Aug. 27, 1984, El Salvador then defeated the USA in the third-place match with a 3-0 win on Sept. 8, 1984.
  • The U.S. lost to El Salvador in group play on Aug. 20, 1994. Chad Barrett scored the lone goal in the 3-1 loss in Puerto Cortes, Honduras.
  • The U.S. has won its past two encounters with El Salvador – and with each win advanced to that year’s U-20 Youth Championship / World Cup. On Nov. 15, 2002, the U.S. – playing with 10 men for 71 minutes – needed an 85th-minute own goal to defeat El Salvador 1-0 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The victory was the second for the U.S., following a 2-0 win against Haiti, and guaranteed the team at least a second-place finish in the four-team group, and therefore, one of the tournament’s two automatic berths for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.
  • On March 10, 2009, the U.S. secured a place at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 win against El Salvador in its final Group A match of the 22nd CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Bacolet, Tobago. First-half goals from Brek Shea and Tony Taylor secured the win as the U.S. finished with nine men after two ejections.

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago - 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 1, TRI 0
Jan. 21, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS

On his assessment of the match:
"It was a very difficult match. We knew Trinidad had quite a few good players that we had to be careful with, and they played like it was their last game. We’re happy to get the three points. I know in general terms we played poorly compared to the way we’ve been playing. Having said that we took 19 shots which is very positive for us. Unfortunately we just couldn’t cash in. That’s kind of been the story for us in this tournament. We’ve taken a lot of shots – I think we’re leading the tournament in shots and yet we’re not getting the goals. We’ve got to do better for the next game if we’re going to go to the World Cup, that’s for sure.”

On the play of Bradford Jamieson and his goal:
"I think he made a good effort. I’m not disappointed with the effort of the team in general. Bradford made a good effort, and I think the whole team made a good effort. I just think in general we didn’t play well today. I thought it was a poor game on our side. Obviously some of it has to do with the fact that Trinidad played really hard and didn’t give us an opportunity to get forward too much. But like I said, we did create a lot of chances and Bradford was responsible for a lot of them. I’m happy with his work.”

On how the team adjusted to Trinidad attacking from the left side:
“Actually Trinidad is a stronger right-sided team than they are a left-sided team.  So we actually wanted them to play out of the left side, so that was part of the plan to have them come out of their left side. We just didn’t think they’d have as much success. They did have some success down that line, but we rathered that the game was played down that side.”

On how to prepare for the playoff game against a team still to be determined:
“We know that whoever we play against is going to obviously be a good opponent, an opponent that’s going to be looking to go to the World Cup. But I think after the game we played today, especially because I’m thinking that we played poorly, we have to play a lot better on Saturday. And I think this gives us a little bit more motivation going towards that game. We came to this tournament to try to be champions of CONCACAF. Unfortunately it didn’t happen for us; we started slow. But we want to end on a high note and see if we can take third place.”

U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN

On his thoughts on the game:
"I think we played well, battled hard. [Trinidad & Tobago] played well, they pressed us, they’re physical and fast, but I thought all and all we did well. We got the result which was the most important thing and it’s on to the next one.”

On being more involved in this game compared to previous ones:
“Yea, I had more crosses and touched the ball with my feet a little more. It’s nicer – to stay in the game and get more action. Mentally you’re more focused and can be off your line. You’re more awake and ready for other plays than when you don’t have as much action.”

On keeping a shutout in close games:
“It’s obviously what we aim to do, get shutouts. I know the goals are coming – we have a lot of confidence in our forwards and attacking players. They’ll come when we need them, really. But shutouts are our goal regardless.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward PAUL ARRIOLA

On his thoughts on the game:
"It definitely wasn’t easy. I give a lot of credit to Trinidad – they were a good team and they definitely gave us a run for our money. But from the beginning we knew what we had to do. We knew that a tie would get us through, but we wouldn’t’ be through how wanted to be.  So we went out with a winning mentality that we had to win. In the second half we were able to put a little more pressure on them and got more chances to score, and we were able to get one.”

On his instructions coming in off the bench:
"The coaches made it clear from the beginning of the game to be ready, to be loose. The way the game kind of ended up being back-and-forth, not how we really wanted it to be. I went out to warm up at halftime. Anytime you’re a substitute you have to go out – no matter how many minutes you get – you have to make the most of it. Today I was able to make the most of it, and get down the line and get an assist which provided the game-winner.”

On how the goal came about and his assist:
“Junior (Flores) had the ball in our own half and he started dribbling. I noticed there were two defenders only, and so I knew I had to make that run since I was kind of fresh, and I knew that out of everyone on the team that I’d be able to get to that. We had a pretty good chemistry in that moment and he was able to leave it off to me. I knew I had wait for the defender to catch up to me a little bit so I could play it backwards. Junior went in front and took the first defender which left BJ (Jamieson) wide open in the middle to tap it to the other side. Anytime I get an assist, it’s like I scored the goal. It’s an amazing feeling, I was celebrating just as much as BJ was.”

On if there’s relief when a goal comes late:
“I think specifically in this game, where it was kind of back and forth, we knew that if we made one mistake and they were able to get a goal and win the game that we would be out completely. So I would say there was a big sigh of relief after the goal. We felt a lot more comfortable.”

U-20 MNT Earns Playoff Berth with 1-0 Win against Trinidad & Tobago at 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 21, 2015) – Bradford Jamieson IV scored his second goal of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. 

With the victory, the USA earned second place in Group A to advance to the playoff stage of the tournament. The U.S. (3-1-1, 10 points) and Guatemala tied with 10 points apiece, but the USA earned the tiebreaker advantage by virtue of scoring more goals in the tournament (12) than Guatemala (6). Both sides have earned playoff spots and will be joined by two playoff qualifiers out of Group B. CONCACAF will then reseed the four tournament playoff teams based on group-stage results to determine Saturday’s matchups. The two playoff winners will earn the remaining berths to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. 

Earlier Wednesday, Panama (5-0-0, 15 points) clinched first place in Group A and earned an automatic berth to the FIFA U-20 World Cup following its 1-0 victory against Guatemala (3-1-1, 10 points). Panama and Group B winner Mexico will play in Saturday’s final of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Group B wraps up play Thursday, after which the second- and third-place teams from that group will advance to the playoff stage. 

The USA’s playoff game will take place either at 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex and will be live on FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp

After the reseeding process takes place for the four playoff teams, the second-seeded team will face the third-seeded team in the 2 p.m. match and the top-seeded and fourth-seeded teams square off in the 5 p.m. game. Those matches will be followed by the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship final between Group A winner Panama and Group B winner Mexico at 8 p.m. 

The USA is in strong position for the top seed among the playoff teams. With one final day of Group B matches on the docket, the other potential playoff teams are Honduras (2-1-1, 7 points), El Salvador (1-1-2, 5 points) and Cuba (1-2-1, 4 points). Honduras is the only team that can mathematically overtake the U.S. for the top seed but would need a win and make up a significant goal differential when it plays Cuba.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Bradford Jamieson IV (Paul Arriola), 78th minute: The USA sustained a couple offensive sequences by Trinidad and countered with the fresh legs of Junior Flores down the middle of the pitch. He worked the ball out wide right to Arriola, who cut the ball into the box to Jamieson at the edge of the six-yard box. Jamieson tapped the ball past Johan Welch and between the legs of a defender into the left side of the frame for his second goal of the tournament. USA 1, TRI 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Zack Steffen, 30th minute: Though Trinidad & Tobago did not threaten with a shot on goal through much of the first half, a potential opportunity presented itself with a free kick from the right side. Matthew Woo Ling’s left-footed kick was dangerously placed in the middle of the box, and Steffen fought through for the interception as Trinidad tried to make a run toward the far left post. 

TRI – Johan Welch, 42nd minute: USA midfielder Emerson Hyndman eluded multiple defenders near the top of the box, particularly getting past Neveal Hackshaw, to get the ball to his right foot. Hyndman then shot right-footed and Welch leapt straight up for the save, batting the ball up in the air and collecting safely. 

TRI – Jesus Perez, 43rd minute: Right back Shaquell Moore pushed up toward the edge of the box and had a good look at goal only to have Trinidad defender Perez block the attempt and surrender a U.S. corner kick.

TRI – Neveal Hackshaw, 49th minute: The most clear cut scoring opportunity for either team led to a clutch block at the goal line. From an Emerson Hyndman free kick, Ben Spencer headed the ball inbounds from the end line toward Bradford Jamieson IV in the middle of the box. Jamieson shot with Trinidad goalkeeper Johan Welch out of position, but it was cleared off of the line by Hackshaw.

USA – Zack Steffen, 54th minute: Shortly after a Matthew Woo Ling free kick, the ball bounced out to Trinidad’s Duane Muckette well outside of the box. Muckette’s dangerous strike eluded USA center back Cameron Carter-Vickers, but Steffen lined himself up for the save.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 10-2-2 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago in this tournament.
  • For the first time in this year’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship, USA head coach Tab Ramos went with the identical starting lineup in back-to-back games.
  • Zack Steffen earned his fourth cap of the event with the start in goal.
  • The defense featured John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back combination of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga. Requejo and Carter-Vickers have played every minute of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • The midfield group in the USA’s 4-4-2 formation included Tommy Thompson on the right, Romain Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband, and Thompson earned his fifth start in qualifying. He is the only USA midfielder to start in every match.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a third straight match.
  • The USA brought in Paul Arriola for Spencer in the 60th minute, earning his fifth cap off the tournament and third appearance in a reserve role.
  • Junior Flores replaced Gall in the 69th minute.
  • U.S. defender Conor Donovan made his second appearance of the tournament, replacing Thompson in the 84th minute for the USA’s final sub. 

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: January 21, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 750
Weather: 82 degrees, clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          1          1
TRI                              0          0          0

USA – Bradford Jamieson IV (Paul Arriola) 79th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman, 9-Romain Gall (10-Junior Flores, 69), 11-Tommy Thompson (14-Conor Donovan, 84), 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (7-Paul Arriola, 60)
Subs Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno, 18-Lynden Gooch
Head coach: Tab Ramos 

TRI: 1-Yohan Welch; 2-Shannon Gomez, 3-Martieon Watson, 4-Jesus Perez, 5-Leland Archer; 6-Duane Muckette (10-Jabari Mitchell, 76), 7-Akeem Garcia, 8-Neveal Hackshaw, 12-Kishun Seecharan; 14-Matthew Woo Ling (11-Levi Garcia, 65) 15-Aikim Andrews (16-Ricardo John, 70)
Substitutions Not Used: 21-Javon Sample, 13-Brendon Creed, 18-Kevon Goddard, 19-Maurice Ford
Head coach: Derek King

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 19 / 8
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 17 / 16
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Russell Canouse (caution) 1st minute
TRI – Aikim Andrews (caution) 39
TRI - Kishun Seecharan (caution) 84 

Officials:
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ronaldo De La Cruz (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hiran Dopico (CUB)
Fourth Official: Yadel Martinez (CUB) 

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Bradford Jamieson IV

U-20 MNT Looks to Clinch Playoff Spot at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is one step away from clinching a playoff spot at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship when it faces Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Jamaica.

The USA has won back-to-back games against Aruba and Jamaica and is third in Group A with a 2-1-1 record and seven points behind Panama (4-0-0, 12 points) and Guatemala (3-0-1, 10 points). Trinidad & Tobago is fourth in the group at 1-2-1 (4 points), Jamaica is fifth at 0-3-1 (1 point) and Aruba is sixth (0-4-0, 0 points).

If these standings hold, Panama would win the group and earn automatic qualification to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The second- and third-place teams, currently Guatemala and the USA, would advance to a playoff match on Saturday. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship’s four playoff-bound teams will be reseeded to determine the matchups, and the two playoff winners would then qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The U.S. will clinch a playoff berth with either a win or a draw against Trinidad & Tobago.

The U.S. U-20 MNT is coming off a 2-0 win against Jamaica on Sunday, Jan. 18, highlighted by two penalty kick goals from Romain Gall. Gall is tied with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano with five goals in this tournament.

Trinidad & Tobago opened the qualifying stage with a 2-2 draw against Jamaica and a 5-1 victory against Aruba. Trinidad then lost 2-0 to Guatemala on Jan. 14 and group leader Panama 1-0 on Sunday, Jan. 18. Aikim Andrews and Kadeem Corbin have scored two goals apiece to lead Trinidad & Tobago in this tournament.

USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago Notes:

  • The USA has faced Trinidad & Tobago more than any other Group A opponent with 13 previous meetings in either a CONCACAF Youth Tournament or Championship.
  • The U.S. is 9-2-2 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago and enters the Jan. 21 match with a six-game unbeaten streak head-to-head (5-0-1).
  • During the six-game unbeaten run, the USA has outscored Trinidad & Tobago 23-3. Despite the flurry of goals, the USA most recently played host Trinidad to a scoreless draw through regulation at the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, advancing with a 4-3 shootout victory.
  • Other recent wins included a 6-1 victory on Jan. 12, 2005, in Carson, California. Eddie Gaven notched a hat trick while a 15-year-old Freddy Adu and Will John also scored a goal apiece. The USA also benefited from a Trinidad own goal. The U-20s built a 5-1 lead through the game’s first 25 minutes.
  • The U.S. earned a berth for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with a 5-1 win against Trinidad in qualifying on March 20, 2001. DaMarcus Beasley scored twice, and Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey and Brad Davis each contributed a goal.
  • Other memorable wins during this unbeaten streak feature a 6-1 clobbering to win its group at the 17th CONCACAF Youth Championship on Aug. 9, 1998, with Chris Albright and Nick Garcia scoring two goals apiece in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. On Aug. 22, 1994, Chad Barrett’s two goals led the way for a 4-0 USA win in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. That was preceded by a 2-0 win on May 5, 1992, that included goals from Gregg Berhalter and Chris Faklaris in the 14th CONCACAF Youth Tournament.
  • The USA’s first match against Trinidad & Tobago was at the fifth CONCACAF Youth Tournament in 1974. After winning Group C with a 2-0-1 record, the U.S. played Trinidad to a 1-1 draw through regulation but fell 4-3 in penalties on Aug. 28.
  • The U.S. took on Trinidad & Tobago twice in the CONCACAF Youth Tournament in Honduras in 1978, earning a 4-0 win in the first round and a 3-0 victory in the second round.
  • Additional USA triumphs included the 10th CONCACAF Youth Tournament, with a Dave Smyth goal leading the U.S. to a 1-0 victory on Sept. 3, 1984, and a convincing 4-1 win at the 12th CONCACAF Youth Tournament on April 9, 1988. Ben Crawley led the way with two goals in Guatemala City.

Quote Sheet: U-20 MNT vs. Jamaica – 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 2, JAM 0
Jan. 18, 2015

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On his assessment of the match:
“The assessment is good. I can only say the team made a great effort and I’m very happy with the performance. I wish that with all the chances we create that we could score a few more goals and put games away early. But overall this was a very difficult match. Obviously the home team, when they’re on the verge of getting eliminated, they’re always very tough. So it was a difficult match and I’m glad that we came out on top.”

On the improvement over the past two games after a slow start:
“Guatemala is a very difficult team to play. We dominated the whole game. That should have been a 2-0 or 3-0 game that we couldn’t get that second goal. And obviously, the way that game ended – that’s not a normal ending. It was an amazing goal in the last minute against the run of play when they had pretty much already conceded the victory. In general, I’m very happy with the team the whole tournament. We lost a game against Panama, and Panama is a great team. So really I don’t have any objections about anything.”

On how he sizes the team’s performance from Sunday moving forward into the remainder of the tournament:
“I think we’re starting to gear up. We believe we have two more games, but the last game will only depend on whether we win the next one. I think the important part is that the team is playing better together and is playing better as the tournament goes on, and I fully expect for us to have our last game be our strongest one.”

On Romain Gall’s improved performance in the past two matches and taking his opportunities”
“Sometimes you need to be shaken a little bit, and I think that’s what happened with him. When he found himself off the team against Panama, not playing in an important game, I think he wanted to get back to an important game. He did a good job against Aruba and earned a spot for tonight’s match, and in a big game tonight he came up big. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

On the shift to starting two forwards:
“Ben (Spencer) came into the tournament a little bit injured, so we knew that we couldn’t use him too much in the first couple games. And as he became ready we were able to change into the type of play that we wanted to have. Ben is good now, and he gives us a lot up front. Because he’s a target forward, it’s important to play for him a little bit.”

On preparing for Trinidad & Tobago:
“We’re going to start preparing tonight. We know them very well and we’ve watched all their matches. Trinidad is a very good team. I think they’ve been very unfortunate in this group, because I think they’re probably a team – just like we are – they’re a team that should be fighting for that second or third spot. I like their team. I think it’s going to be an incredibly difficult match for us. But that’s the way it goes; it’s going to be tough for both.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder RUSSELL CANOUSE
On his thoughts on the game:
“We fought hard together. We got the three points, which were important, and I think we can use this moving into the next game – and hopefully the next two games. The team worked well defensively, and offensively we countered quickly, and the ref called two penalties that we were able to convert. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into the next game.”

On if a second consecutive win helps validate that the team has played well during the tournament:
“The first two games we were a little unlucky that we didn’t get the results we wanted, so we were definitely disappointed. But now we had our chance to prove ourselves again, and each game we want to keep improving ourselves.”

On the physical nature of the game:
“That’s the name of the game. As a holding midfielder, I need to get stuck in on tackles. I was glad I was able to go hard and win the tackles and fight for the team.”

U.S. U-20 MNT forward BRADFORD JAMIESON IV
On his thoughts on the game:
“I think it was a good performance overall by the team, and it was a good battle. Obviously Jamaica was going to want to show up to their fans, but I think we matched them well and were able to get the win.”

On playing as a second forward for the second straight match compared to the first two:
“Being matched up with Ben (Spencer) I think has worked out great. He’s nice to play off of, and I like to play off a higher striker. It’s worked out well between us, and obviously it’s good coaching for Tab to notice that we were well together up top.”

On drawing the penalty kick that led to the second goal:
“Tab has been talking to us about attacking vigorously and following plays. I just followed through. Their center back made a mistake and I followed up on it. I knew I was going to either score or take a PK. I knew that if I was to shoot it, the center back may have gotten to it to clear it, so I wanted to tap it over the goalkeeper and brace myself for what was about to come.”

U.S. U-20 MNT Blanks Jamaica 2-0 at 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Jan. 18, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned its second straight win in Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defeating host side Jamaica 2-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. 

Romain Gall scored two penalty-kick goals to lead the way for the USA, which is 2-1-1 (7 points) in the tournament and in third place. With one group game remaining, the U.S. is currently in position to earn a playoff spot. The tournament’s two group winners and two playoff winners advance directly to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. 

The U.S. wraps up Group A play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Montego Bay. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. A victory or draw would assure the U.S. advances to the playoff stage. However, a Trinidad & Tobago win against the USA would equal the overall point totals, and Trinidad would earn the tiebreaker against the U.S. by virtue of head-to-head competition. 

Earlier Sunday in Group A action, Panama (4-0-0) defeated Trinidad & Tobago (1-2-1) by a 1-0 margin, while Guatemala (3-0-1) topped Aruba (0-4-0) by a 2-0 score line. Panama is in strong position to win the group and can clinch with a draw or win against Guatemala, or even a loss if it maintains its advantage in goal differential (currently three goals ahead of Guatemala). 

With his two goals, Gall now has five for the tournament to lead all scorers. He is one goal ahead of Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, who has four goals through three games. 

Jamaica played the final five minutes and change down a man as Daniel Roberts was issued a red card in the 84th minute. Roberts will miss Jamaica’s remaining Group A game against Aruba on Jan. 21. Jamaica fell to 0-3-1 in the tournament. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Romain Gall, 34th minute: The effective play of Tommy Thompson and his strong runs in the first half created the USA’s scoring chance as he drew a foul against Jamaica defender Allando Brown in the box. Brown was shown a yellow card on the play, with an argument to be made that Brown was the final defender. Nevertheless, Gall stutter-stepped with his approach on the PK to freeze Jamaica goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson. Gall slotted to the right side of the net as Nelson guessed the opposite direction. USA 1, JAM 0 

USA – Romain Gall, 70th minute: Bradford Jamieson IV intercepted a poor back pass from Jamaica’s defense and found himself one-on-one against Jamaica goalkeeper Nelson. Jamieson flicked the ball up during his run and was tripped by Nelson in the box. Similar to the play that led to the USA’s first-half score, a red card was a distinct possibility, but Nelson was issued a yellow. Gall took the subsequent penalty kick and switched up the direction, shooting to the left side while Nelson anticipated the shot going the opposite way. USA 2, JAM 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 7th minute: The USA created a couple of chances from the right flank, and the ball eventually found its way to Emerson Hyndman in the middle of the box. Stewart was in a good position in front of the six-yard box and blocked the attempt. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 14th minute: U.S. midfielder Emerson Hyndman shot above the 18-yard box, looking to drive his attempt into the left of the frame, but Nelson dove to his right for the save. Nelson also did a strong job securing the ball so the USA could not pounce on a rebound. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 40th and 43rd minutes: Jamaica’s goalkeeper was called upon twice more in the final five minutes of the opening half. Nelson’s foot save thwarted a Romain Gall attack from the left side. Then three minutes later, after Tommy Thompson’s run to set up Bradford Jamieson IV, the USA forward tried to shoot over Nelson. Nelson stuffed Jamieson’s attempt with his right glove to minimize the damage to one goal allowed in the first half. 

USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 48th minute: Jamaica stepped up its attack to open the second half, and defender Malcolm Stewart pushed up in the final third. Stewart briefly had an opening toward the right side of the box, but Carter-Vickers halted the run with the deflection for a Jamaica corner kick. 

JAM – Nicholas Nelson, 51st minute: Romain Gall eluded a couple of Jamaica defenders and shot right-footed from about 20 yards out, looking for the right side of the goal. Nelson once again made a key save, and though the ball trickled away, he was able to collect with ease. 

JAM – Malcolm Stewart, 88th minute: On a corner kick chance, the ball was whipped in to second-half sub Junior Flores, whose header was destined for the upper left corner of the goal. Stewart leapt to deflect the shot away for another U.S. corner kick. 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved to 6-0-2 against Jamaica in this tournament.
  • Zack Steffen returned for the start in goal, making his third appearance in four games in this tournament.
  • The defense was anchored by John Requejo at left back, Shaquell Moore at right back and the center back duo of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga. Requejo and Carter-Vickers have started all four matches in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • The midfield group in the USA’s 4-4-2 formation featured the same four players from the Aruba win: Tommy Thompson on the right, Gall on the left, Russell Canouse at defensive midfield and Emerson Hyndman in the attacking role. Canouse wore the captain’s armband. Thompson is the only midfield player to have started in all four games in the qualifying tournament.
  • Ben Spencer and Bradford Jamieson IV were paired up front together for a second straight match.
  • Lynden Gooch, who did not feature for the USA in the previous game against Aruba, replaced Spencer in the 64th minute to earn his third appearance in the tournament.
  • Paul Arriola subbed in for Gall in the 79th minute.
  • The USA used its final sub in the 85th minute with Junior Flores replacing Hyndman.
  • Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who captained the first two games and injured his knee late in the game against Panama, returned to Dallas for further evaluation by the FC Dallas staff. 

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship; Group A
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 1,670
Weather: 81 degrees, clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                           1          1          2
JAM                           0          0          0 

USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     34th minute
USA – Romain Gall (penalty kick)     70 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-Shaquell Moore, 3-John Requejo Jr., 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga; 16-Russell Canouse, 8-Emerson Hyndman (10-Junior Flores, 85), 9-Romain Gall (7-Paul Arriola, 78), 11-Tommy Thompson, 19-Bradford Jamieson IV, 20-Ben Spencer (18-Lynden Gooch, 64)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Tyler Turner, 14-Conor Donovan, 15-Fernando Arce, 17-Amando Moreno
Head coach: Tab Ramos 

JAM: 1-Nicholas Nelson, 12-Roberto Johnson (6-Martin Davis, 65), 7-Malcolm Stewart, 17-Shaquille Dyer, 5-Allando Brown, 15-Donja Smith (20-Isamnia Cohen, 74), 14-John Levee (8-Daniel Roberts, 58), 4-Rennico Clarke, 11-I'ishmale Currie, 19-Cardel Benbow, 2-Khallil Stewart
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Dane Chambers, 16-Shamar Nicholson, 18-Joel Cunningham.
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore 

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Allando Brown (caution)          33rd minute
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution)       68
JAM – Daniel Roberts (sent off)         84
JAM – Shaquille Dyer (caution)         90+2
USA – Tommy Thompson (caution) 90+2 

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN) 

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Cameron Carter-Vickers

U-20 MNT Set for Jamaica on Jan. 18 at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team prepares for its fourth Group A match at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship when it faces host side Jamaica on Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be live on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

The USA is coming off a dominant 8-0 victory against Aruba on Jan. 14 to move to 1-1-1 in the group stage, in third place behind Panama (3-0-0) and Guatemala (2-0-1). The USA is ahead of Trinidad & Tobago (1-1-1) based on goal differential, while Jamaica is fifth at 0-1-2 and Aruba is last at 0-0-3.

Romain Gall is the USA’s leading goal scorer in the tournament following his hat trick effort against Aruba. Gall is tied with three other players with three goals in the tournament, while Mexico’s Hirving Lozano leads with four goals.

This is the USA’s first match in Montego Bay after three games at Independence Park in Kingston. There, the USA opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Guatemala on Jan. 9, fell 1-0 to Panama on Jan. 11 and then routed Aruba three days later.

Jamaica started the event with a 2-2 draw against Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 9, lost to Guatemala 1-0 on Jan. 11 and most recently fell 2-0 to group leader Panama. Donja Smith and Junior Flemmings scored Jamaica’s two second-half goals to rally from a two-goal deficit against against Trinidad & Tobago.

U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Jamaica Notes:

  • The U.S. U-20 MNT is unbeaten against Jamaica in qualifying with a 4-0-2 all-time record.
  • The USA’s first qualifying match was against Jamaica on April 2, 1964, at the second CONCACAF Youth Tournament in Guatemala. The USA and Jamaica drew 1-1.
  • The U.S. earned a 2-1 victory against Jamaica to wrap up the group stage of the fifth CONCACAF Youth Tournament on Aug. 24, 1974, in Canada.
  • The two sides met three times in qualifying during the 1980s. Following a scoreless draw on Aug. 19, 1982, in Guatemala City, the USA earned its most lopsided win against Jamaica, a 5-0 decision on Aug. 21, 1986. The U.S. then posted a 2-1 win on April 15, 1988, that featured a brace from Steve Snow.
  • The USA’s most recent qualifying game against Jamaica was a 3-0 victory on March 6, 2009, in Bacolet, Tobago. Peri Marosevic, Dilly Duka and Billy Schuler each scored a goal, with Danny Cruz assisting the Marosevic and Duka tallies.

U-20 MNT vs. El Salvador: Highlights - Jan. 24, 2015

The U.S. U-20 MNT defeated El Salvador behind goals from Ben Spencer and Paul Arriola to grab a spot in the 2015 U-20 World Cup.

U-20 MNT Ready for World Cup Playoff

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team faces El Salvador with the winner earning a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Zack Steffen Takes the Next Step

ussoccer.com hears from U-20 MNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen who discusses his development as a player and his path to signing a professional contract. Teammate Russell Canouse and goalkeeper coach Russell Payne also talk about working with Zack.

U-20 MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Highlights - Jan. 21, 2015

The U-20 MNT got a crucial win to qualify for a playoff match for the 2015 U-20 World Cup. Bradford Jamieson IV scored late in the second half to give the USA a 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago.

U-20 MNT Controls its Destiny Heading into Showdown against Trinidad & Tobago

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Romain Gall and defender John Requejo speak about the team's growth over the course of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the opportunity to move on in the tournament by getting a result against a quality Trinidad & Tobago side.

U-20 MNT vs. Jamaica: Highlights - Jan. 18, 2015

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team earned an important victory at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, defeating host side Jamaica 2-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

U-20 MNT vs. Aruba: Highlights - Jan. 14, 2015

Six players scored when the U-20 MNT played Aruba.

U-20 MNT vs. Panama: Highlights - Jan. 11, 2015

The U.S. U-20 MNT fell to Panama 1-0 in the second match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

U-20 MNT vs. Guatemala: Highlights - Jan. 9, 2015

Guatemala's Andy Ruiz stunned the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team with a spectacular late equalizing volley. Cameron Carter-Vickers had put the USA on top early in the second half, but Ruiz's late strike snatched a point for Guatemala in the opening match for both teams the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

U-20 MNT Ready for Opening Match of 2015 CONCACAF Championship

Tab Ramos, Lynden Gooch, and Bradford Jamieson IV discuss the team’s preparations and what to expect in their first match of the 2015 CONCACAF Championship against Guatemala.
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