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Global Feb 21, 2017

USA facing Haiti today in CONCACAF U-20 Championship group play

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team continues the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship with its second Group B game against Haiti on Tuesday, February 21. The match kicks off at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, at 5:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page.

The U.S. comes in on the heels of a disappointing 1-0 loss against Panama last Saturday. Panama’s lone goal, which came in the 37th minute, was a half-cross, half-shot that took a slight deflection off a U.S. defender before dipping into the far left side of the goal.

Earlier that day, Haiti comfortably defeated St. Kitts and Nevis 5-1 and now sits atop Group B with three points and a +3 goal differential over Panama. The U.S. needs to quickly regroup and get a favorable result against Haiti in order to keep their hopes alive of advancing to the second, six-team qualification stage where the top four teams will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

+READ: Boehm – US U-20 men lay an egg of historic proportions vs. Panama

After its match against Haiti, the USA will close out Group B play against St. Kitts and Nevis on Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. ET. That game can also be seen on Univision Deportes Network and via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page.

The USA is 3-0-0 all-time against Haiti in U-20 qualifying, leading by a combined 8-2 goal margin. The U.S. defeated Haiti 2-0 in the 2003 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament on Nov. 13, 2002, in Charleston, S.C. In 2007, the USA were matched up with Haiti again, in the group stage of the CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament in Panama City. During that game played on Jan. 17 2007, the U.S. used a hat trick from Andre Akpan to defeat Haiti 4-1. At the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, the U.S. used goals from Luis Gil and Daniel Cuevas to scrape past Haiti 2-1 on Feb. 18, 2013.

2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Group B Standings
Team GP W L D Pts. GF GA GD
Haiti 1 1 0 0 3 5 1 +4
Panama 1 1 0 0 3 1 0 +1
USA 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 -1
St. Kitts & Nevis 1 0 1 0 0 1 5 -4

Tyler Adams ruled out for USA
After taking a hard challenge in the 18th minute against Panama’s Justin Simons, who earned a red card and was later handed a two-game suspension, U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams has been ruled out for Tuesday’s match against Haiti. Adams, who had a stellar 2016 season with USL Champions New York Red Bulls II, stayed in the game but was unable to continue and was replaced by forward Emmanuel Sabbi in the 31st minute.

Reaching the Big Stage
Since 1962, Haiti has participated in seven CONCACAF U-20 tournaments. During that time, Haiti has made it out of the group stage once, in 1978, although they were unable to finish the tournament with a qualifying bid. In their 24 games played since 1962, Haiti has a 15-15-5 record.

Since 1976, when the CONCACAF tournament became the qualification funnel to the U-20 World Cup, the United States has advanced to 17 World Cups out of 20 qualification opportunities and nine of the last 10.

The USA’s best World Cup finish came at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, where they fell 2-0 to Brazil in the third-place game.

Qualifying Format Change
The CONCACAF U-20 Championship format has changed for 2017 with 12 teams split into three, four-team groups. Previous tournaments featured two groups of six teams or four groups of three teams. Under the new 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.)

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).

Eyes on South Korea 2017
The U.S. has qualified for 14 FIFA U-20 World Cups and has its sights set on No. 15 in 2017. The 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic will be held from May 20-June 11 in Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Seogwipo, Jeonju and Suwon, with the final draw for the tournament to be held on March 15.

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