U.S. Soccer

U-20 Men's National Team Claims First CONCACAF U-20 Championship with Shootout Win vs. Honduras

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (March 5, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team won the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship by defeating Honduras 5-3 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw in Sunday’s Final. After going perfect through the first four rounds of the shootout, Danny Acosta slotted the game-winning penalty kick into the lower left corner to earn the U.S. its first CONCACAF title at the U-20 level.

Following the match, U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper. Additionally, five U.S. players were named to the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI by the competition's Technical Study Group:
Goalkeeper: Jonathan Klinsman
Right Defender: Marlon Fossey
Central Defender: Justen Glad
Central Midfielder: Erik Palmer-Brown
Left Midfielder: Brooks Lennon

Honduras ceded much of the first-half possession to the USA, but the U-20 MNT’s best chances both came on dead-ball opportunities. In the ninth minute, Justen Glad’s glancing header off Brooks Lennon’s corner kick required a big stop out of Honduras goalkeeper Javier Delgado. In the 27th minute, Lennon’s direct free kick from just outside the box forced Delgado into an acrobatic stop.  

The U.S. came close again in the 50th minute when Emmanuel Sabbi’s header off Lennon’s free kick was kept out by Delgado at the right post. U-20 MNT captain Erik Palmer-Brown shut down Honduras’ best chance of the match, sweeping Darixon Vuelto’s breakaway in the 75th minute, while Honduras defender Dylan Andrade’s clearance on Sabbi’s 89th minute cross ensured the match would head to penalty kicks.

Both teams impressively converted each of their attempts through the first three rounds of the shootout. After Luca de la Torre placed his fourth round effort inside the top right corner, the U.S. received the break it needed as Rembrandt Flores fired his attempt high and wide of goal. That set up Acosta for the game-winning penalty, where the Real Salt Lake defender calmly placed his effort inside the lower left post.

Up Next: The U-20 MNT now prepares for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup set to take place May 20-June 11 in Korea Republic, and will learn their group opponents during the tournament draw on March 15.

U.S. U-20 MNT Social:
Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
HON – Javier Delgado, 9th minute:
Brooks Lennon’s driven corner kick from the right picked out Justen Glad whose snap header at the near post was desperately palmed away by Delgado.

HON – Javier Delgado, 27th minute: After a foul to Eryk Williamson about 20 yards from goal, Lennon belted a free kick that swerved over the Honduras wall and eyed the top right corner before Delgado got over to parry the ball out for a corner kick. 

USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 30th minute: A sustained bit of pressure from Los Catrachos resulted in midfielder Darixon Vuelto gaining space outside the box where he hit a quick effort to test Klinsmann, but the U.S. goalkeeper recovered to make the save at the right post. 

HON – Javier Delgado, 50th minute: The USA was awarded a free kick after Marlon Fossey was chopped down on the right by Foslyn Grant. On the ensuing take, Lennon swung his free kick to the far corner of the six-yard box where Emmanuel Sabbi strongly nodded his effort down before Delgado collected at the right post.

USA – Erik Palmer-Brown, 75th minute: After a giveaway at midfield, Vuelto charged alone down the right and into the U.S. penalty area where captain Erik Palmer-Brown swooped through to deny his shot before putting the ball out for a corner kick.

HON – Dylan Andrade, 89th minute: Klinsmann’s goal kick was met in the air by Sabbi, who headed down for Lennon. The Real Salt Lake attacker than rewarded Sabbi’s run into the box, where he centered looking for Luca de la Torre, only to have Andrade clear the danger.

NOTES:

  • With the win, the U.S. wins its first CONCACAF Championship at the U-20 level.
  • The U-20 MNT came away victorious for the first time in five attempts at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final.
  • Following the match, U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
  • U.S. forward Brooks Lennon finished tournament tied for second in goals with Panama’s Ricardo Ávila. The pair finished behind Golden Boot winner Ronaldo Cisneros of Mexico.
  • The result moves Tab Ramos’s all-time CONCACAF U-20 Championship record to 12-3-2.
  • The U.S. earned its second clean sheet of the tournament, having previously shutout Mexico 1-0 in the first match of the Classification stage. The USA finishes the tournament having scored 11 goals while conceding four.
  • Midfielder Sebastián Saucedo served a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in the 89th minute of Friday’s 2-1 win vs. El Salvador.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: March 5, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship – Final
Venue: Estadio Nacional; San José, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 74 degrees; mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F          PK
USA                             0          0          0          5
HON                            0          0          0          3

Penalty Summary:
USA: Brooks Lennon (goal), Coy Craft (goal), Emmanuel Sabbi (goal), Luca De La Torre (goal), Danny Acosta (goal)
HON: Jorge Álvarez (goal), Douglas Martínez (goal), Foslyn Grant (goal), Rembrandt Flores (miss)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding, 6-Justen Glad (13-Auston Trusty, 47), 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 7-Eryk Williamson (Emmanuel Sabbi, 26); 17-Brooks Lennon, 9-Jeremy Ebobisse (19-Coy Craft, 79), 10-Luca De La Torre
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan González, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 18-Emmanuel Sabbi
Not eligible: 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos

HON: 1-Javier Delgado; 2-Denil Maldonado, 3-Wesley Decas, 5-Dylan Andrade (Capt.), 16-Jose García; 8-Carlos Pineda, 9-Foslyn Grant, 18-Darixon Vuelto, 20-Jorge Álvarez; 17-Byron Rodríguez (10-Rembrandt Flores, 72), 19-Douglas Martínez
Subs not used: 12-Michael Perello, 4-Kenneth Hernández, 6-Riky Zapata, 7-Jose Reyes, 11-Jose Pinto, 13-Jose Quiroz, 14-Sendel Cruz, 15-Jalex Sanchez
Head coach: Carlos Tabora

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 22
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials:
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Sanchez (CUB)
4th Official: Kevin Morrisson (JAM)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Danny Acosta

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U-20 MNT Mar 5, 2017

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

 Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: March 5, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship – Final
Venue: Estadio Nacional; San José, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 74 degrees; mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:             1               2               F                PK
USA                                             0               0               0               5
HON                                            0               0               0               3

Penalty Summary:
USA: Brooks Lennon (goal), Coy Craft (goal), Emmanuel Sabbi (goal), Luca De La Torre (goal), Danny Acosta (goal)
HON: Jorge Álvarez (goal), Douglas Martínez (goal), Foslyn Grant (goal), Rembrandt Flores (miss)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding, 6-Justen Glad (13-Auston Trusty, 47), 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 7-Eryk Williamson (Emmanuel Sabbi, 26); 17-Brooks Lennon, 9-Jeremy Ebobisse (19-Coy Craft, 79), 10-Luca De La Torre
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan González, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 18-Emmanuel Sabbi
Not eligible: 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos

HON: 1-Javier Delgado; 2-Denil Maldonado, 3-Wesley Decas, 5-Dylan Andrade (Capt.), 16-Jose García; 8-Carlos Pineda, 9-Foslyn Grant, 18-Darixon Vuelto, 20-Jorge Álvarez; 17-Byron Rodríguez (10-Rembrandt Flores, 72), 19-Douglas Martínez
Subs not used: 12-Michael Perello, 4-Kenneth Hernández, 6-Riky Zapata, 7-Jose Reyes, 11-Jose Pinto, 13-Jose Quiroz, 14-Sendel Cruz, 15-Jalex Sanchez
Head coach: Carlos Tabora

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 22
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials: 
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Sanchez (CUB)
4th Official: Kevin Morrisson (JAM)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Danny Acosta

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GALLERY: U-20 MNT Makes History by Winning First CONCACAF U-20 Championship Title

Photos from the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team's 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final victory over Honduras at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, in San Jose. Following a 0-0 draw, the U-20 MNT defeated Honduras 5-3 on penalty kicks, with the winning PK successfully taken by Real Salt Lake defender Danny Acosta. The USA entered the game with a 0-5 record in CONCACAF U-20 tournament championship games. Following the match, U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper. The U-20 MNT now prepares for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup set to take place May 20-June 11 in Korea Republic, and will learn their group opponents during the tournament draw on March 15. Read more
U-20 MNT Mar 5, 2017

U-20 Men's National Team Claims First CONCACAF U-20 Championship with Shootout Win vs. Honduras

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (March 5, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team won the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship by defeating Honduras 5-3 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw in Sunday’s Final. After going perfect through the first four rounds of the shootout, Danny Acosta slotted the game-winning penalty kick into the lower left corner to earn the U.S. its first CONCACAF title at the U-20 level.

Following the match, U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper. Additionally, five U.S. players were named to the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI by the competition's Technical Study Group:
Goalkeeper: Jonathan Klinsman
Right Defender: Marlon Fossey
Central Defender: Justen Glad
Central Midfielder: Erik Palmer-Brown
Left Midfielder: Brooks Lennon

Honduras ceded much of the first-half possession to the USA, but the U-20 MNT’s best chances both came on dead-ball opportunities. In the ninth minute, Justen Glad’s glancing header off Brooks Lennon’s corner kick required a big stop out of Honduras goalkeeper Javier Delgado. In the 27th minute, Lennon’s direct free kick from just outside the box forced Delgado into an acrobatic stop.  

The U.S. came close again in the 50th minute when Emmanuel Sabbi’s header off Lennon’s free kick was kept out by Delgado at the right post. U-20 MNT captain Erik Palmer-Brown shut down Honduras’ best chance of the match, sweeping Darixon Vuelto’s breakaway in the 75th minute, while Honduras defender Dylan Andrade’s clearance on Sabbi’s 89th minute cross ensured the match would head to penalty kicks.

Both teams impressively converted each of their attempts through the first three rounds of the shootout. After Luca de la Torre placed his fourth round effort inside the top right corner, the U.S. received the break it needed as Rembrandt Flores fired his attempt high and wide of goal. That set up Acosta for the game-winning penalty, where the Real Salt Lake defender calmly placed his effort inside the lower left post.

Up Next: The U-20 MNT now prepares for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup set to take place May 20-June 11 in Korea Republic, and will learn their group opponents during the tournament draw on March 15.

U.S. U-20 MNT Social:
Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
HON – Javier Delgado, 9th minute:
Brooks Lennon’s driven corner kick from the right picked out Justen Glad whose snap header at the near post was desperately palmed away by Delgado.

HON – Javier Delgado, 27th minute: After a foul to Eryk Williamson about 20 yards from goal, Lennon belted a free kick that swerved over the Honduras wall and eyed the top right corner before Delgado got over to parry the ball out for a corner kick. 

USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 30th minute: A sustained bit of pressure from Los Catrachos resulted in midfielder Darixon Vuelto gaining space outside the box where he hit a quick effort to test Klinsmann, but the U.S. goalkeeper recovered to make the save at the right post. 

HON – Javier Delgado, 50th minute: The USA was awarded a free kick after Marlon Fossey was chopped down on the right by Foslyn Grant. On the ensuing take, Lennon swung his free kick to the far corner of the six-yard box where Emmanuel Sabbi strongly nodded his effort down before Delgado collected at the right post.

USA – Erik Palmer-Brown, 75th minute: After a giveaway at midfield, Vuelto charged alone down the right and into the U.S. penalty area where captain Erik Palmer-Brown swooped through to deny his shot before putting the ball out for a corner kick.

HON – Dylan Andrade, 89th minute: Klinsmann’s goal kick was met in the air by Sabbi, who headed down for Lennon. The Real Salt Lake attacker than rewarded Sabbi’s run into the box, where he centered looking for Luca de la Torre, only to have Andrade clear the danger.

NOTES:

  • With the win, the U.S. wins its first CONCACAF Championship at the U-20 level.
  • The U-20 MNT came away victorious for the first time in five attempts at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final.
  • Following the match, U.S. captain Erik Palmer-Brown was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, while Jonathan Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
  • U.S. forward Brooks Lennon finished tournament tied for second in goals with Panama’s Ricardo Ávila. The pair finished behind Golden Boot winner Ronaldo Cisneros of Mexico.
  • The result moves Tab Ramos’s all-time CONCACAF U-20 Championship record to 12-3-2.
  • The U.S. earned its second clean sheet of the tournament, having previously shutout Mexico 1-0 in the first match of the Classification stage. The USA finishes the tournament having scored 11 goals while conceding four.
  • Midfielder Sebastián Saucedo served a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in the 89th minute of Friday’s 2-1 win vs. El Salvador.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: March 5, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship – Final
Venue: Estadio Nacional; San José, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 74 degrees; mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F          PK
USA                             0          0          0          5
HON                            0          0          0          3

Penalty Summary:
USA: Brooks Lennon (goal), Coy Craft (goal), Emmanuel Sabbi (goal), Luca De La Torre (goal), Danny Acosta (goal)
HON: Jorge Álvarez (goal), Douglas Martínez (goal), Foslyn Grant (goal), Rembrandt Flores (miss)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding, 6-Justen Glad (13-Auston Trusty, 47), 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 7-Eryk Williamson (Emmanuel Sabbi, 26); 17-Brooks Lennon, 9-Jeremy Ebobisse (19-Coy Craft, 79), 10-Luca De La Torre
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan González, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 18-Emmanuel Sabbi
Not eligible: 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos

HON: 1-Javier Delgado; 2-Denil Maldonado, 3-Wesley Decas, 5-Dylan Andrade (Capt.), 16-Jose García; 8-Carlos Pineda, 9-Foslyn Grant, 18-Darixon Vuelto, 20-Jorge Álvarez; 17-Byron Rodríguez (10-Rembrandt Flores, 72), 19-Douglas Martínez
Subs not used: 12-Michael Perello, 4-Kenneth Hernández, 6-Riky Zapata, 7-Jose Reyes, 11-Jose Pinto, 13-Jose Quiroz, 14-Sendel Cruz, 15-Jalex Sanchez
Head coach: Carlos Tabora

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 22
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials:
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Sanchez (CUB)
4th Official: Kevin Morrisson (JAM)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Danny Acosta

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U-20 MNT Mar 5, 2017

Five Things to Know: Honduras U-20 MNT

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will take on Honduras in the Final of the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Sunday, March 5 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. The match will determine the 21st outright CONCACAF tournament winner since 1962, when Mexico won took home the inaugural hardware against Guatemala. Both Honduras and the U.S., along Mexico and Costa Rica, have qualified for the 2017 U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic. Sunday’s game can be seen live at 4 p.m. ET on Univision Deportes Network or via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page.

Here are five things you should know about the USA’s championship match opponent:

The Roster

A total of 18 players on the Honduras roster play domestically, with historic league power Olimpia placing five players on the squad, while Motagua and Real EspaƄa have two each.

One player, midfielder Darixon Vuelto, plays outside Honduras with Spanish Segunda División club CD Tenerife.

Take a look at the full roster:

Goalkeepers (2): Javier Delgado (CD Honduras Progreso/HON), Michael Perello (CD Marathon/HON)

Defenders (7): Dylan Andrade (Platense FC/HON), Wesly Decas (Pumas/HON), Jose García (CD Victoria/HON), Kenneth Hernández (CD Victoria/HON), Denil Maldonado (CD Motagua/HON), Jalex Sánchez (Real CD España/HON), Riky Zapata (CD Real Sociedad/HON)

Midfielders (8): Jorge Álvarez (CD Olimpia/HON), Sendel Cruz (Juticalpa FC/HON), Rembrandt Flores (CD Olimpia/HON), Foslyn Grant (CD Motagua/HON), Carlos Pineda (CD Olimpia/HON), Jose Quiroz (Real CD España/HON), Jose Reyes (CD Olimpia/HON), Darixon Vuelto (CD Tenerife/ESP)

Forwards (3): Douglas Martínez (CSD Vida/HON), Jose Pinto (CD Olimpia/HON), Byron Rodriguez (Parrillas One/HON)

2016 UNCAF Champions

Honduras began its ramp up to the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in July of 2016 during La Eliminatoria Sub-20 de Centroamérica. Held from July 8-16 in Panama, the Central American Football Union’s (UNCAF) qualifying tournament featured five teams after Costa Rica automatically qualified to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship as the host nation and Belize withdrew.

This left El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama vying for the three spots. In a single round-robin group phase, Honduras finished atop the group with eight points after defeating El Salvador (2-1) and Nicaragua (2-0), and drawing against Guatemala (2-2) and Panama (1-1). Midfielder Sendel Cruz was the only player to rack up multiple goals in the tournament, with two.

CONCACAF U-20 Championship performance

Honduras enters the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final with the same overall record as the United States, winning four games and losing one (4-1-0). Los Catrachos’ only loss came in their Group A finale, when they fell 1-0 to Mexico after defeating Canada 1-0 and Antigua and Barbuda 4-1.

In its first Classification Stage game against Panama, Honduras got off to a blazing start. In the sixth minute, Douglas Martínez slotted the ball past Panama’s left back, giving midfielder Darixon Vuelto enough space to cut inside and use his dominant left foot to send a rocket to the upper right corner. Seventy-five minutes later, Los Catrachos would seal their three points on a well-hit strike from midfielder Jorge Álvarez.

Honduras’ second Classification Stage clash against host nation Costa Rica would prove to be slightly more challenging. After conceding a goal in the 47th minute, Honduras quickly gathered themselves and retaliated two minutes later off the head of defender Denil Maldonado. In the 70th minute, Honduras found the winner thanks to another header from midfielder Foslyn Grant. The second successfully converted corner kick of the game would punch Honduras’ ticket to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final and U-20 World Cup.

Honduras U-20 History

Since 1962, Honduras has participated in 18 of the possible 26 CONCACAF U-20 tournaments, including 2017. Although they were originally crowned as Champions of the 1982 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament, after a 1-0 victory against the United States, the CONCACAF title and World Cup berth was taken away shortly thereafter when the team was disqualified for using overage players. Honduras was considered tournament champions in 1994 when it finished atop the final group stage, which sent the top two teams to the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship in Qatar. Los Catrachos were also runners up at the 1964 and 1976 CONCACAF tournaments.

Of the 17 CONCACAF U-20 tournaments Honduras has participated in prior to 2017, Los Catrachos have posted a 51-18-13 record and punched tickets to the FIFA U-20 World Cup six times: 1977, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2009 and 2015. Although a Honduras team has never made it out of the group stage during those six World Cup opportunities, it came closest to advancing out of its group at the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship in Tunisia when the team finished second to Uruguay.

Hondurans in M.L.S.

There is a long history of Honduran internationals playing a significant role in M.L.S. clubs, and this year is no different. A total of seven Hondurans national team players are in the league this year, including four who were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad: Víctor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes), Roger Espinoza (Sporting Kansas City), Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas), and Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo).

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U-20 MNT Mar 5, 2017

Match Preview: U-20 MNT Seeks First CONCACAF Championship Sunday vs. Honduras

After qualifying for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic with its decisive 2-1 Classification Stage win against El Salvador on Friday, the USA now looks for its first CONCACAF U-20 Championship title, and first regional youth crown for the USA since the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, when they take on Honduras in Sunday’s Final. The match kicks off at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose at 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Sunday’s match marks the fourth Final appearance by the U.S. and second for Honduras in the history of the CONCACAF U-20 tournament. In all four of their outright championship games, the USA has finished as runners up to Mexico twice (1980, 2009), Honduras (1982), and Costa Rica (2009). Before defeating the U.S. for the title in 1982, Honduras lost to Mexico, 4-3, on penalty kicks in the 1976 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament Final, after playing to a 0-0 draw in regulation.

The USA enters the game following its victory against El Salvador, which saw Emmanuel Sabbi and Eryk Williamson’s first-half finishes followed by a physical second half in which referee Jafeth Parea issued nine cards and sent three players off. Of the 11 total bookings during the match, four U.S. players were shown yellow cards, while Sebastián Saucedo, sent off in the 89th minute, will miss Sunday’s Final due to suspension.

In reaching the Final, Honduras posted two wins in Classification Stage Group E, defeating Panama 2-0 and Costa Rica 2-1. Honduras advanced to the Classification Stage with a second place finish in Group A, where a 1-0 win against Canada and 5-1 victory vs. Antigua and Barbuda preceded a close 1-0 defeat to Mexico.

The final draw for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic will be held March 15. The tournament will be played from May 20-June 11 in Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Seogwipo, Jeonju and Suwon. The U.S. has now qualified for 15 FIFA U-20 World Cups, while Honduras is headed to their seventh.

USA vs. Honduras History

The USA and Honduras Under-20 National Teams have faced each other eight times in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying competitions. Honduras holds a 4-1-3 advantage in the series, although the last two meetings in 1996 and 2009 both ended in 0-0 draws. The USA’s only win against Honduras came in a 4-0 victory in the Final Round of the

1992 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament in Canada.

Golden Opportunity for Lennon

Forward Brooks Lennon has paced the U-20 MNT through much of the tournament, popping up with a hat trick in a 4-1 win vs. Haiti, another goal in the 4-1 victory vs. St. Kitts and Nevis and the game-winning assist in Monday’s 1-0 result against Mexico. 

With four goals heading into Sunday’s Final, Lennon sits tied for second with Panama’s Ricardo Ávila in the tournament’s Golden Boot standings, still within striking range of Mexico’s Ronaldo Cisneros who ended the competition with six.

Reaching the Big Stage

Since 1976, when the CONCACAF tournament became the qualification funnel to the

U-20 FIFA World Cup, the United States has advanced to 15 World Cups out of 21 qualification opportunities and nine of the last 10 before the 2017 tournament. The USA’s best World Cup finish came at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, in which they fell 2-0 to Brazil in the Third Place Game. In the history of the CONCACAF U-20 tournament, the U.S. has reached the Championship match or Final Group seven times: 1980, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2009, 2013 and 2017.

Since 1962, Honduras has participated in 18 of the possible 26 CONCACAF U-20 tournaments, including 2017. Although they were originally crowned as Champions of the 1982 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament following a 1-0 win against U.S., the recognition and World Cup berth were taken away shortly thereafter when the team was disqualified for using overage players.

Of the 17 CONCACAF U-20 tournaments Honduras has participated in prior to 2017, Los Catrachos have posted a 51-18-13 record and punched tickets to the U-20 FIFA World Cup six times. Although a Honduras team has never made it out of the Group Stage during those six

U-20 World Cup opportunities, they came closest to advancing at the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship in Tunisia when they finished second in their group behind Uruguay.

Qualifying Format Change

The CONCACAF U-20 Championship format changed for 2017, with 12 teams split into three, four-team groups. Under the current setup, the top two teams from each group advance to a Classification Stage, featuring two groups with three teams each. In that second group stage, the top two finishers in each group qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the first-place teams in each group move on to play for the tournament title.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position:

ROSTER GALLERY

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (7): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Marlon Fossey (Fulham FC; Surbiton, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y), Luca de la Torre (Fulham FC; San Diego, Calif.), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana University; Bloomington, Ind.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.)

FORWARDS (5): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; Plantation, Fla.), Emmanuel Sabbi (UD Las Palmas; Libertyville, Ill.)

USA ROSTER BREAKDOWN:

On Feb. 9, U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos named a 20-player roster for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The roster includes one member of the USA’s 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup team in defender Erik Palmer-Brown. Ramos named Palmer-Brown the team captain a few days prior to the qualifying tournament.

Eleven players represent clubs in Major League Soccer: defenders Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC) and Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union), midfielders Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC) and Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), and forwards Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) and Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake).

Midfielder Luca de la Torre and defender Marlon Fossey are teammates with English side Fulham FC, while Jonathan Gonzalez represents Liga MX side Monterrey and forward Emmanuel Sabbi is attached to Spanish club Las Palmas.

The remaining five players play collegiately: goalkeepers Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California) and JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown), defender Aaron Herrera (New Mexico), and midfielders Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana University) and Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland).

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U-20 MNT Mar 5, 2017
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