The U-20 World Cup will take place in New Zealand from May 30th to June 20th with 24 teams. This tournament is a great opportunity for players to showcase what their skills and get the attention from the public and clubs. The U.S. team had a tough time qualifying for this World Cup, as they slogged through a series of cumbersome performances at the CONCACAF Championships in Jamaica. Many of the players in this squad were also part of the U-17 team who did not qualify for the World Cup last 2013, o this will be another chance for them to prove their ability.
The U.S. U-20 team will confront Myanmar, Ukraine and New Zealand in the first group phase, which for many seems to be an ‘easy’ group, however head coach Ramos said: [quote_box_center]”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.”[/quote_box_center]
Mexico, on the other hand, got into the dreaded “group of death” that includes Uruguay, Serbia, and the runners up of the U20 African Championships. Notable Uruguayan star players include Diego Fagundez who plays for the New England Revolution, and also Rodrigo Amaral who plays in an Uruguayan first division team.
Some of the U.S. players worth keeping an eye on are Romain Gall from Colombus Crew, Bradford Jamieson IV from LA Galaxy, and Tommy Thompson from the San Jose Earthquakes. Zack Steffen, the U.S. goal keeper is also among the players to be watched. Emerson Hyndman is named the captain leading this team, who moved to England at a young age to join Fulham FC’s youth academy.
The U.S. team key points is their strength in depth, starting all the way with goalkeeper Steffen who has been a very important player leading to the U.S. qualification. The mid-field is probably the strongest part of this team with quality prospects like Hyndman, Canouse and Thompson.
[quote_box_center]Coach Ramos said “What I really like about this team is the fact that it’s one of those teams that is really able to work together and to focus on goals. At no time [during qualifying] did we have players pulling in different directions. We were a united group from the beginning.”[/quote_box_center]