USA U20s have been perfect so far; can they make a knockout run to a World Cup title?

The US men’s U20s won all three of their group-stage matches in Group B. They took the top spot in the group and now look to make a knockout round run against third-place finishers in Group A, New Zeland. Just four knockout games stand between this USA side and a championship; can the US U20s make a run for their first-ever World Cup title?

ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 21: A detailed view of the United States Soccer Federation crest logo is seen in the player and team tunnel in game action during an International friendly match between the United States and the Ecuador men’s national teams on March 21, 2019 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

A perfect group stage for US U20s

The US U20s finished the group stage with a perfect record for the first time ever in this interaction of the tournament. On top of that, they were the only nation in the field to not concede a single goal. This team is a strong organized side that focuses on defense first but can also tear teams apart with their attack.

So how did this USA side get here? They began their group stage play by going up against the side that knocked them out of the last U20 World Cup, Ecuador. That match was one that seemed destined for a draw, until an inspired effort by Jonathan Gomez to get a goal in the 90+3 minute. Those three points kickstarted the belief that this team could be something special.

The US then went on to thrash Fiji 3-0 in the second game. Star attackers Diego Luna and Cade Cowell found goals in the second half and Caleb Wiley added a third just before the end of the match. Heading into the final match against Slovakia, the USA U20s needed a win or draw to secure the top spot in Group B. The team was solid defensively once again and Cowell was able to find a first-half goal to keep the vibes high. A second half stoppage time goal from Niko Tsakiris secured the win and perfect record.

Philly’s standout stars

As the US U20s move on, they will rely on the trio of Union homegrowns, Brandan Craig, Jack McGlynn, and Quinn Sullivan, to help them reach for glory. The main man from this trio has been centerback Brandan Craig; he has been balling with his defensive work, and also his passing distribution and set piece taking ability. Craig started all three matches, and is in line to start in the knockout rounds against New Zeland. His stock is defenitly rising as a result of his play with the U20s at this World Cup.

Jack McGlynn has also showed very well in his time at this World Cup. He has been the main man in the midfield in his two starts for the USA. His ability on the ball and his crafty passing make him a top player and vital for this U20 sides hopes of going far in the knockout rounds.

Quinn Sullivan has played well also in the minutes that he’s gotten at this World Cup. Two starts in the first two matches gave him the oppertunity to get goal contributions, but he fell short in that department. One cameo off the bench in the final game saw him change the game late on to get an assist on the goal that secured the US’s spot atop Group B.

All three of these players could prove to be crucial in the knockouot rounds for this US U20 side that has their sights set on winning the World Cup for the first time ever.

A run to the Cup will start against New Zeland

USA’s U20s will start the knockout round action against New Zeland. New Zeland finshed third in Group A with a 1-1-1 record. They opened the tournament with a win against Guatamala, drew Uzbekistan, and lost their final group match against hosts Argentina. While the All Whites will be up for the match, this is a game that is ripe for the taking for the USYNT.

The way the USA is orgainzed defensivly will be the key to victory in this match. If they can keep the level that hey hav shown throughtout the Group Stage, then this side will be on to the Quarterfinals. The US U20s belives in itself, they want to breakout and get past where they perenially fall: the quarterfinals. This team looks primed for a run to the Cup. Should the US U20s win, their quarterfinal matchup would be against Gambia or Uruguay. If they can make the semis then you’d assume they’d face Brazil.

This U20s team is primed to show that they are the best in the world. They can take a huge step forward to do that today against New Zeland. Kickoff is at 1:30 pm EST You can catch that match on FS2! Will we see the start of a run to the Cup, or a huge disaapointment for hte Red, White, and Blue?

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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire