Today, the United States Men’s U-20 National Team will begin the Classification Stage of the U-20 CONCACAF Championship, taking on rival Mexico. After advancing out of Group B during the Group Stage — finishing second — the team will look to qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup by finishing in the top two of the three-team group.
The U.S. started its quest for qualification on Feb. 18 when it lost to Panama, 1-0. That was followed by a pair of 4-1 wins over Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis to advance to the Classification Stage. The star of the stage for the U.S. was Brooks Lennon, currently at Real Salt Lake on loan from Liverpool, who scored a hat trick against Haiti and a fourth tournament goal against St. Kitts and Nevis. He is currently tied for second in the race for top goal scorer with Panama’s Ricardo Avila and is just one goal behind Mexico’s Ronaldo Cisneros.
Orlando City Homegrown central defender Tommy Redding has started all three games for Tab Ramos’ side in the tournament. He played 69 minutes against Panama before being replaced by Eryk Williamson and played all 90 minutes against Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis. He will likely start again this afternoon when the Yanks take on their biggest rivals.
The Classification Stage can also be thought of as the qualification stage. There are two groups of three teams (Group D: U.S., Mexico, El Salvador; and Group E: Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica), with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the World Cup. The top two teams in each group will also advance to the final of the tournament.
Goalkeepers: Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown).
Defenders: Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Marlon Fossey (Fulham FC), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union).
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Luca De La Torre (Fulham FC), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey), Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana University), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland).
Forwards: Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC), Emmanuel Sabbi (UD Las Palmas).
How to Watch:
Match Time: 5 p.m. ET.
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa – Tibas, Costa Rica.
TV: MLSSoccer.com says it’s on UDN but we haven’t seen that anywhere else so don’t bank on it.
Streaming: CONCACAF Facebook Live.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @ussoccer_ynt.
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