Preview: USA Kicks Off Knockout Stage Vs. New Zealand In Round Of 16

U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team vs. New Zealand 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup - Round of 16 Tuesday, May 30 | Estadio Malvinas Argentinas; Mendoza, Argentina 1:30 p.m. ET FS2, Universo

WIN OR GO HOME FOR THE U-20 MYNT: After a stellar 3-0-0 showing in the group stage to finish atop Group B, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team will start the knockout stage of the FIFA U-20 World Cup against New Zealand in the Round of 16. The U.S. is the only team to not allow a goal in the group stage of the competition and finished pool play with three wins for the first time in 17 appearances at the tournament.

It's the third meeting between the USA and New Zealand in the last four U-20 World Cups as the U.S. is aiming to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth-straight tournament. New Zealand qualified for the knockout stage as one of the four best third-placed teams, finishing behind Argentina and Uzbekistan in Group A. The Junior All Whites have reached the Round of 16 in the last three World Cups and are seeking their best-ever finish with a quarterfinal appearance.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be broadcast in English on Fox Sports platforms and on the Fox Sports app with corresponding authentication. Matches will be broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo platforms and the Telemundo app.

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GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Alex Borto (Fulham/ENG; South Plainfield, N.J.; 2/0), 12-Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 4/0), 1-Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.; 8/0)

DEFENDERS (7): 17-Justin Che (Hoffenheim/GER; Dallas, Texas; 8/0), 5-Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 13/1), 14-Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 12/0), 13-Jonathan Gómez (Real Sociedad/ESP; Keller, Texas; 9/1), 2-Michael Halliday (Orlando City SC; Apopka, Fla.; 10/0), 3-Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.; 8/1), 4-Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC; Louisville, Ky.; 4/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, N.J.; 13/0), 10-Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 19/5), 8-Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.; 19/2), 20-Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.; 12/1), 15-Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 8/4), 18-Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC; Anchorage, Alaska; 7/0), 16-Owen Wolff (Austin FC; Austin, Texas; 6/1)

FORWARDS (4): 9-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 9/4), 11-Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.; 6/2), 7-Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 18/7), 19-Darren Yapi (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.; 6/0)

THREE GAMES, THREE WINS: The U.S. capped off its strong start to the tournament with a 2-0 victory against Slovakia in its group stage finale. The win secured the top spot in Group B for the USA, finishing the group 3-0-0 for the first time in 17 appearances at the U-20 World Cup and as the lone team to not allow a goal in the group stage. For the third-straight game, the U.S. held the better of possession and was knocking on the door for a goal when forward Cade Cowell opened the scoring in the 38th. He made an impressive run downfield, maneuvering around the Slovakia defense before ripping a shot for the game’s opening goal. The U.S. continued to push after the half, and midfielder Niko Tsakiris added an insurance goal in the sixth minute of extra time.

NEW ZEALAND ONTO KNOCKOUTS: Finishing third in Group A, New Zealand reached the knockout stage for the third-straight tournament as one of the four best third-placed teams. The Junior All Whites opened the tournament with a late 1-0 win against Guatemela as forward Norman Garbett netted the game’s lone goal in the 80th minute. New Zealand went up 2-0 on Uzbekistan in the first half of its second match on goals from forward Ben Wallace and midfielder Jay Herdman, but conceded in the 51st and the third minute of stoppage time to settle for a 2-2 draw. Host Argentina rolled New Zealand in the group stage finale, topping the island nation 5-0 before a sellout crowd in San Juan.


  • Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and defender Brandan Craig have played all 270 minutes for the USA thus far in Argentina.
  • Five players have scored for the U.S. in Argentina: forward Cade Cowell (two goals), defenders Jonathan Gómez and Caleb Wiley plus midfielders Diego Luna and Niko Tsakiris.
  • Three players have logged assists: midfielders Luna and Owen Wolff as well as forward Quinn Sullivan.
  • Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003, are age-eligible for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Head coach Mikey Varas selected 10 players born in 2003, eight born in 2004 and three born in 2005.
  • The three players born in 2005 -- defender Joshua Wynder as well as midfielders Tsakiris and Obed Vargas -- are also age-eligible for the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • The roster features players from 18 clubs, including 11 from Major League Soccer, led by three players from the Philadelphia Union and two from the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Six players are based abroad: two each in England and Germany and one player each in Croatia and Spain. 
  • A total of 13 states are represented on the roster, with four players hailing from both California and Texas. A native of Anchorage, Vargas is a rare World Cup roster selection from Alaska.
  • Six players have earned call-ups with the full USMNT, including four who have already made their debut with the senior squad. Forward Cowell (three caps) and defender Gómez (two caps) lead the charge, while goalkeeper Slonina made his debut last January against Serbia. More recently, defender Wiley picked up his first cap as a substitute in April’s Allstate Continental Clásico against Mexico.
  • Defenders Justin Che and Wynder have been called into USMNT camp and are still in search of their full international debut.
  • The USA qualified for the 2023 U-20 World Cup as it took home its third straight confederation crown at last summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras.
  • Forward Sullivan was named to the tournament Best XI after netting six goals in Honduras. Sullivan and goalkeeper Antonio Carrera, defenders Craig, Marcus Ferkranus and Michael Halliday, midfielders Daniel Edelman, Luna, Jack McGlynn, Rokas Pukstas and Tsakiris and forward Cowell all return from that World Cup qualifying squad.
  • Every player on the roster has been capped at the U-20 level, led by Luna and McGlynn’s 19 appearances.
  • Sullivan is the squad’s leading scorer with seven international goals, six coming at World Cup qualifying. 
  • Four players have appeared in eight of the 10 training camps held since the cycle kicked off in November 2021: Ferkranus, Luna, McGlynn and Sullivan.


  • CAUTION WATCH: Defender Josh Wynder plus midfielder Diego Luna and Jack McGlynn picked up yellow cards during the USA’s three group stage matches. Should any of the three be shown a second caution against New Zealand, they will be suspended for the USA’s potential quarterfinal match. 
  • Tuesday marks the third meeting between the U.S. and New Zealand. The USA is 2-0-0 with a plus-10 goal differential against the Junior All Whites.
  • The teams clashed in the Round of 16 at Korea Republic 2017, a 6-0 victory for the U.S. Current senior USMNT players Josh Sargent and Auston Trusty scored.
  • At New Zealand 2015, the U.S. defeated the host nation in the group stage 4-0 as Paul Arriola tallied a goal.
  • This year is New Zealand’s seventh appearance at the U-20 World Cup. After not qualifying for the first 15 tournaments, the Junior All Whites have participated in seven of eight editions since 2007.
  • New Zealand has reached the Round of 16 at the last three tournaments. It finished 11th in 2019, its high watermark at the U-20 World Cup.
  • Thirteen of 21 players are based domestically in New Zealand, while six are playing abroad in Canada, Sweden (two each), Italy and Netherlands (one each).
  • Midfielder Jay Herdman is the son of Canada senior national team head coach John Herdman.
  • Head coach Darren Bazeley is in his second stint working in the New Zealand national team set-up. He previously led the Junior All Whites at the 2015 and 2017 U-20 World Cups as well as the 2009, 2011 and 2013 U-17 World Cups. He led both squads to their first knockout stage appearances, in 2009 and 2015, respectively.
  • He worked under current USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson during his tenure at the helm of the New Zealand senior national team.


GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Henry Gray (Unattached), 21-Alby Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix), 1-Kees Sims (Ljungskile SK/SWE)

): 4-Isaac Hughes (Wellington Phoenix), 2-Jackson Jarvie (Eastern Suburbs), 20-Lukas Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix), 14-Finn Linder (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN), 12-Everton O’Leary (Birkenhead United), 15-Aaryan Raj (Eastern Suburbs), 3-Adam Supyk (Eastern Suburbs), 5-Finn Surman (Wellington Phoenix)

6-Fin Conchie (Wellington Phoenix), 10-Jay Herdman (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 7-Noah Karunaratne (Wellington Phoenix), 8-Jackson Manuel (Western Springs), 16-Dan McKay (Wellington Phoenix)

9-Oliver Colloty (Unattached), 19-Kian Donkers (NEC Nijmegen/NED), 17-Oliver Fay (Ljungskile SK/SWE), 11-Norman Garbett (Potenza/ITA), 18-Ben Wallace (Wellington Phoenix)


  • New Zealand qualified for its fifth-straight U-20 World Cup after winning the 2022 OFC U-19 Championship in Tahiti.
  • The Junior All Whites cruised through the group stage, topping Cook Islands, American Samoa and Solomon Islands by a combined score of 23-0.
  • In the knockout stage, New Zealand downed Papua New Guinea 5-0 in the quarterfinals before defeating Tahiti 2-0 in the semis to clinch its World Cup spot.
  • In the final, New Zealand beat Fiji 3-0 as forward Oliver Colloty bagged a brace and midfielder Jay Herdman added a late insurance goal.
  • Colloty and forward Kian Donkers led New Zealand in scoring with nine goals a piece and shared the Golden Boot as the competition’s top scorers.
  • Herdman won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top players while goalkeeper Henry Gray took home the Golden Glove as top goalkeeper.


The United States has qualified for 17 of 23 all-time U-20 World Cups, tied for second-most all-time with Argentina. The biennial tournament was staged for the first time in 1977 and Tunisia hosted the inaugural event, originally held as the FIFA World Youth Championship before becoming the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007. The USA’s first qualification came at the 1981 tournament, which was held in Australia.

The USA has made it out of the group stage 11 times at the competition with the high watermark coming in 1989. Led by future legendary USMNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller, the U.S. finished fourth place in Saudi Arabia that year. Keller took home the Silver Ball at the tournament, while fellow future senior team players Mike Burns, Neil Covone and Chris Henderson also played key roles. While the U-20s advanced from group play with just one win, the USA took down Iraq in the quarterfinals before falling in extra time to Nigeria in the semis.