PREVIEW: U-20 MYNT AIMS FOR U-20 WORLD CUP BERTH VS. COSTA RICA IN CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTERFINALS ON TUESDAY, JUNE 28
U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team
2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship – Quarterfinal
Tuesday, June 28
7 p.m. ET (FS2, TUDN)
WORLD CUP BERTH AT STAKE: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team will face off with Costa Rica in the Concacaf U-20 Championship Quarterfinals for a spot in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday, June 28 (7 p.m.; FS2 and TUDN).
After topping Group E and defeating Nicaragua 5-0 in the Round of 16, the USA will continue the knockout stage against Los Ticos, aiming for one of four tickets to the U-20 World Cup in Indonesia and a spot in the tournament semifinals, which will qualify two teams to the 2024 Olympics. Costa Rica finished 2nd in Group H and downed Trinidad & Tobago 4-1 in the Round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals.
USA VS. COSTA RICA:
- The U.S. is 5-3-4 all-time vs. Costa Rica at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
- The teams last met in the 2018 tournament during the qualification group stage as the USA topped Los Ticos 4-0. Golden Ball winner Alex Mendez scored the opening goal.
- This year marks Costa Rica’s 21st appearance at the Concacaf U-20 Championship. The Central American nation has won the confederation crown twice, in 1988 and 2009.
- Los Ticos have qualified nine times for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, including four of the last seven tournaments. The nine appearances are good for third-most in Concacaf behind the USA and Mexico.
USA ADVANCES VS. NICARAGUA: As the first-place team in Group E, the U-20 MYNT faced Nicaragua in the Round of 16, who qualified directly to the knockout stage after topping its pre-qualifying group last November. The USA won 5-0 to advance to the quarterfinals, led by a brace from forward Quinn Sullivan and goals from midfielder Diego Luna and defender Jalen Neal.
Los Pinoleros put up a spirited effort in the first half, but the U.S. broke through in stoppage time just before the break when a nice run from Luna set up Sullivan to head home the opening goal. The floodgates opened after the half, as Luna scored from the spot and Sullivan netted his tournament-leading fifth goal. Second-half sub Caden Clark helped cause a Nicaragua own goal, while Neal was in the right place at the right time to tally his first U-20 international goal off a deflection to close things out.
COSTA RICA INTO FINAL EIGHT: Costa Rica qualified for the knockout stage by finishing second in Group H. In pool play, Los Ticos drew Jamaica 1-1, topped Antigua and Barbuda 3-0 and fell 1-0 to host Honduras on a second-half penalty kick.
In the Round of 16, Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. After taking a 1-0 lead into half on a penalty, the Central Americans put the game away in the second with three goals in 15 minutes. Forward Dorian Rodriguez bagged a brace and leads Costa Rica with four goals at the tournament.
2022 CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; HOMETOWN; U-20 CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christopher Brady (Chicago Fire FC; Naperville, Ill.; 4/0), Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Noah Allen (Inter Miami CF; Miramar, Fla.; 3/0), Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 3/0), Mauricio Cuevas (Club Brugge/BEL; Los Angeles, Calif.; 5/1), Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 4/0), Michael Halliday (Orlando City SC; Apopka, Fla.; 4/0), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; Lakewood, Calif.; 6/1)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, N.J.; 7/3), Alejandro Alvarado Jr. (FC Vizela/POR; Los Angeles, Calif.; 3/0), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls; Wayzata, Minn.; 7/2), Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, N.J.; 5/0), Jackson Hopkins (D.C. United; Fredericksburg, Va.; 1/0), Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 7/2), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.; 7/1), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Sillwater, Okla.; 6/1), Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 2/2)
FORWARDS (3): Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 6/2), Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 6/6), Tyler Wolff (Atlanta United FC; Braselton, Ga.; 5/1)
- Midfielder Jackson Hopkins replaced midfielder Obed Vargas on the U.S. roster and joined the team prior to the Round of 16. The 17-year-old made his U-20 debut vs. Nicaragua.
- Forward Quinn Sullivan’s five goals are tied for the tournament lead with Haiti’s Steevenson Jeudy.
- Eleven players have scored for the U.S. at the tournament: Sullivan (five goals), Paxten Aaronson, Cade Cowell, Niko Tsakiris (two goals each), Caden Clark, Mauricio Cuevas, Diego Luna, Jack McGlynn, Jalen Neal, Rokas Pukstas and Tyler Wolff.
- Six players have registered an assist for the U.S.: Diego Luna (four assists), Clark (three), Sullivan (two), Aaronson, Alejandro Alvarado Jr. and Cowell.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the 28th edition of the Concacaf U-20 Championship. The tournament began in 1962 as the Concacaf Youth Tournament, qualifying two teams to the FIFA U-20 World Cup from 1976-1994 and four teams from 1996 to now.
Following a myriad of different formats over the years, the 2022 competition introduces a new 20-team tournament akin to Concacaf’s most recent U-17 Men’s and U-20 and U-17 Women’s Championships. Sixteen countries are drawn into four groups of four, while four countries advance directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament: Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua.
The top three finishers in each group qualify to the Round of 16, where they will be joined by the four teams from pre-qualifying. From there, it’s a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The four winners of the quarterfinal matches will qualify to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, while the two winners of the semifinal matches will qualify to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The U.S. has participated in 25 of 28 Concacaf U-20 Championships, including each tournament since 1974, and qualified for the U-20 World Cup in 16 of 22 previous attempts. After missing the 2011 U-20 World Cup, the U.S. has played in the last four tournaments and is the only nation to reach the quarterfinals in the last three editions.