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Global Mar 03, 2017

USA set to face El Salvador tonight in CONCACAF U-20 Championship

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team continues the task of qualifying for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic on Friday, March 3 with its decisive Classification Stage match against El Salvador. The match kicks off at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Univision Deportes Network and via live stream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page.

The U.S. enters the game after an historic 1-0 win against rivals Mexico, handing El Trí their first defeat at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship since 2009, ending an unbeaten streak that spanned 20 matches. The win was also the USA’s their first against Mexico at the tournament since a 3-0 victory on Aug. 17, 1986 in Trinidad & Tobago.

+READ: Roster announced for U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team training camp

After finishing second in Group B to Panama, the U.S. entered Classification Stage Group D with Mexico and El Salvador, winners of Groups A and C, respectively. After the USA’s win vs. Mexico, El Trí rebounded with ferocity on Wednesday, defeating Los Cuscatlecos 6-1 to book their ticket to the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Entering the final Classification Stage match, the USA controls its own destiny both to qualify for the World Cup and clinch a place in Sunday’s Final against Honduras.

Group Standings and Advancement Scenarios

2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Classification Stage Group D
Team GP W L D Pts. GF GA GD
USA 1 1 0 0 3 1 0 +1
(x)-Mexico 2 1 1 0 3 6 2 +4
El Salvador 1 0 1 0 0 1 6 -5

For the USA to Qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup

  • Win or draw vs. El Salvador -OR-
  • Lose by two goals or less vs. El Salvador

For the USA to Clinch a Berth in the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final

  • Win or draw vs. El Salvador

For El Salvador to Qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup

  • Win vs. USA by three goals

For El Salvador to Clinch a Berth in the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final

  • Win vs. USA by nine or more goals

Per CONCACAF’s tournament regulations, tie-breaking procedures are determined as follows:

  • Greater number of points in matches between the tied teams.
  • Greater goal difference in matches between the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points).
  • Greater number of goals scored in matches among the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points).
  • Greater goal difference in all group matches
  • Greater number of goals scored in all group matches.
  • Drawing of lots.

USA vs. El Salvador History

The USA and El Salvador Under-20 National Teams have faced each other eight times in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying competition. The U.S. holds a 4-3-1 advantage in the series, including winning the last three meetings in 2003, 2009 and 2015.

The 2015 meeting came in a one-match playoff to determine advancement to that year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup. Ben Spencer scored a first-half goal and current U.S. international Paul Arriola added a tally in the second half to help the USA advance to its 14th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half to maintain the USA’s one-goal lead at the time, helping the U.S. cap the tournament with four-straight shutout victories.

+READ: USWNT shuts out Germany 1-0 in SheBelieves Cup opener

Tyler Adams Back in Action

After taking a hard challenge in the 18th minute of the U-20 MNT’s 1-0 opening loss to Panama, Tyler Adams was ruled out for the USA’s match against Haiti. Adams, who had a stellar 2016 season with USL Champions New York Red Bulls II, initially stayed in the game, but was eventually replaced by forward Emmanuel Sabbi in the 31st minute.

After Tab Ramos hinted at a possible return for Adams during his post-game media gathering after the USA’s 4-1 victory against St. Kitts and Nevis, the biggest lineup shock came against Mexico, when Adams was not only cleared to play, but was named a starter. The speedy recovery turned out to be an invaluable asset to the U.S., as Adams went the full 90 minutes and played a critical part in the U.S. shutting down Mexico’s attacking threats.

In an interview with on Wednesday, Adams spoke about the team’s ability to control their own destiny:

“Now we don’t have to rely on any results, we control our own destiny,” he said. “Against El Salvador on Friday we are looking for a win and that’s it, and then go to the Championship.”

Keep An Eye on Yellow Cards

Per the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship rules and regulations, single yellow cards were eliminated at the end of the Group Stage. This allowed both the USA and El Salvador to play with clean slates against Mexico. With both teams vying for a spot in the CONCACAF Final, the two rosters must now keep an eye on any additional yellow cards received during Friday’s match, which would result in an absence from the Final.

For the USA, captain Erik Palmer-Brown must tread carefully Friday after receiving a yellow card in second-half stoppage time vs. Mexico. For El Salvador, Marvin Marquez also received a caution in the 30th minute of Wednesday’s match.

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 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. In the history of the CONCACAF U-20 tournament, the U.S. have reached the Championship match or Final Group six times: 1980, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2009 and 2013.

Since 1962, El Salvador has participated in 15 of the possible 25 CONCACAF U-20 tournaments, with their only championship coming in the 1964 CONCACAF Youth Tournament. During the competitions before 2017, Los Cuscatlecos posted a 25-14-29 record and qualified for one World Cup. At the 1993 World Cup in Turkey, El Salvador failed to advance from the Group Stage.

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:


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 Korea Republic 2017

The U.S. has qualified for 14 FIFA U-20 World Cups and has their 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. The final draw for the tournament will be held March 15.

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