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.