U-20 MYNT Ready To Take On Concacaf U-20 Championship

Preview: U-20 MYNT Ready To Take On Concacaf U-20 Championship

US Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team

2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship

National Stadium; Tegucigalpa, Honduras

June 18 – July 3, 2022

U-20 MYNT KICKS OFF CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP:

The US Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team will start its journey at the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship on Saturday, June 18 vs. St. Kitts and Nevis (4 p.m. ET). The match serves as the USA’s first step towards qualification for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The U-20 MYNT continues Group E play on Monday, June 20 when it faces regional rival Canada (8:30 pm ET) and finishes the group stage on Wednesday, June 22 against Cuba (8:30 pm ET).

All three of the USA’s group stage matches will be broadcast on TUDN and Concacaf’s App, Facebook and YouTube.

2022 CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP

GROUP E – SCHEDULE

Date

match up

Kickoff (ET)

TV news

coming

Saturday, June 18

USA vs. St. Kitts and Nevis

4 p.m.

TUDN, Concacaf App, Facebook & YouTube

National Stadium; Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Monday, June 20

USA vs. Canada

8:30 p.m.

TUDN, Concacaf App, Facebook & YouTube

National Stadium; Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Wednesday, June 22

USA vs. Cuba

8:30 p.m. ET

TUDN, Concacaf App, Facebook & YouTube

National Stadium; Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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 for 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.

The top three finishers in each group qualify for 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 final tournament. The four winners of the quarterfinal matches will qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, while the two winners of the semifinal matches will qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The US has participated in 25 of 28 Concacaf U-20 Championships, including each tournament since 1974, and qualified for the World Cup in 16 of 23 attempts. After missing the 2011 tournament, the US has played in the last four U-20 World Cups and is the only nation to reach the quarterfinals in the last three competitions/meetings.

Concacaf and UEFA will be the first confederations to host qualifying tournaments for the 2023 U-20 World Cup.

2022 CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (COLLEGE OR CLUB; HOMETOWN; U-20 CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (2): Christopher Brady (Chicago Fire FC; Naperville, Ill.; 1/0), Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Noah Allen (Inter Miami CF; Miramar, Fla.; 0/0), Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 1/0), Mauricio Cuevas (Club Brugge/BEL; Los Angeles, Calif.; 1/0 ), Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 1/0), Michael Halliday (Orlando City SC; Apopka, Fla.; 0/0), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; Lakewood, Calif.; 3/0 )

MIDFIELDERS (9): Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, NJ; 3/1), Alejandro Alvarado Jr. (FC Vizela/POR; Los Angeles, Calif.; 0/0), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls; Wayzata, Minn.; 3 /1) Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, NJ; 3/0), Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 3/1), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, NY; 3/ 0), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Sillwater, Okla.; 3/0), Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 0/0), Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC; Anchorage, Alaska; 1 /0)

FORWARDS (3): Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 2/0), Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 2/1), Tyler Wolff (Atlanta United FC; Braselton, Ga.; 1/0)

ROSTER NOTES

  • Midfielder Obed Vargas will join the team in Honduras following the conclusion of the group stage.
  • Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003 are age-eligible for the Concacaf U-20 Championship and Varas selected 14 players born in 2003, eight born in 2004 and two born in 2005.
  • The roster features players from 11 clubs, including eight from Major League Soccer. Four players come from the Philadelphia Union, while 16 are MLS Homegrown Players.
  • Three players are based abroad in Belgium, Croatia and Portugal.
  • Twelve states are represented on the roster, with seven players coming from California.
  • Midfielder Caden Clark and forward Cade Cowell both have previous experience with the senior USMNT as the pair received call-ups to the full team’s December training camp in Carson, Calif.
  • Cowell made his senior international debut in the USMNT’s friendly vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Defender Mauricio Cuevas is the lone player with Concacaf World Cup qualifying experience, as he helped the U-17 MYNT reach a record 17th FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2019.
  • Midfielder Rokas Pukstas played for the US at the 2019 Concacaf U-15 Boys’ Championship, helping the team to reach the semifinals.
  • Midfielder Alejandro Alvarado Jr. is the only player receiving his first U-20 MYNT call-up for World Cup qualifying.
  • Every other player has appeared in at least one other training camp since the cycle kicked off in November 2021, led by four call-ups for midfielders Paxten Aaronson, Caden Clark, Daniel Edelman, Diego Luna and Jack McGlynn as well as forward Quinn Sullivan.
  • Midfielder Diego Luna moved to Real Salt Lake from the USL Championship’s El Paso Locomotive the week before departing for U-20 MYNT camp. Luna made his MLS debut on June 5.
  • Three other players have made their MLS debut this season: defender Noah Allen plus midfielders Daniel Edelman and Niko Tsakiris.
  • Pukstas made his professional debut for Hajduk Split towards the end of the Croatian first division season.
  • Vargas played a key role during Seattle Sounders FC’s run to the Concacaf Champions League title, the first for a MLS team in the competition’s history. He played in seven of Seattle’s eight matches, including the second leg of the final vs. Cougars.

EYES ON A THREE-PEAT:

The USA enters the Concacaf U-20 Championship as defending champion after taking home its first-ever two titles at this age level in 2017 and 2018. Both championship-winning squads featured a number of players that have progressed to the senior USMNT player pool and put on strong showings at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

In Costa Rica in 2017, the US won its first U-20 Concacaf title in dramatic fashion. After edging Mexico and El Salvador in the classification stage, the US topped Honduras in penalties, 5-3, in the tournament final. Current USMNT midfielder Luca de la Torre netted one of the PK’s, while defender Erik Palmer-Brown won the Golden Ball as the tourney’s best player. Midfielders Tyler Adams and Eryk Williamson also represented the US

In 2018, the USA ran the gauntlet in a 34-team qualifying tournament, Concacaf’s largest-ever. Scoring 46 goals in seven games, USMNT defenders Sergiño Dest, Mark McKenzie and Chris Richards all played for the US in Florida, with Dest and McKenzie being named to the tournament’s Best XI. The USA took home its second Concacaf title by defeating Mexico 2-0 in the final on a brace from Golden Ball winner Alex Mendez.

SPRINGBOARD TO SENIOR USMNT:

A number of players in the current senior USMNT player pool have played in the last six editions of this tournament, including Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Paul Arriola, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luca de la Torre, Sergiño Dest, Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson , Sebastian Lletget, Mark McKenzie, Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown, Chris Richards, Zack Steffen and Eryk Williamson.

Eight players called to the most-recent USMNT roster played in this tournament. From the 2018 and 2017 U-20 championship-winning teams, 17 players have debuted for the senior squad.

A number of players who have scored for the USA in this tournament have also gone on to appear for the full USMNT at the World Cup. Chris Albright, Desmond Armstrong, Marcelo Balboa, DaMarcus Beasley, Gregg Berhalter, Bobby Convey, Neil Covone, Brad Davis, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, Ben Olsen, Hugo Perez and Tab Ramos have all tallied goals in this competition and represented the US at the highest international stage.

ROAD TO HONDURAS:

The global COVID-19 pandemic canceled the planned 2020 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras and subsequent 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia while forcing a long layoff in overall Youth National Team programming. The U-20 MYNT finally returned to the field in November 2021 at the Revelations Cup in Mexico, facing off against top competition in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico under new head coach Mikey Varas.

Varas has run three training camps this year to prepare for World Cup qualifying. The team gathered in Florida in January for a domestic training camp and scrimmages against MLS teams and then traveled to Argentina during the March international window for games against the host and River Plate. In April, Varas held a training camp in Southern California with a goal to expand the player pool.

USA VS. SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS:

Saturday marks the second all-time meeting between the USA and St. Kitts and Nevis at the Concacaf U-20 Championship. In 2017, the US topped the Sugar Boyz 4-1 during group play in Costa Rica. Midfielder Sebastian Saucedo bagged a first-half brace.

Seventeen of St. Kitts’ 20-player roster are based domestically. Forward Micah Garnette plays for St. John’s University in the US, while goalkeeper Xander Parke is on the books at Wales’ Shrewsbury Town in the English third division.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

  • Each team will be allowed to make a maximum of five substitutions in a maximum of three opportunities throughout the match, not including halftime.
  • If both teams make a substitution at the same stoppage, both teams will be charged an opportunity.
  • Beyond the five normal subs, each team will be permitted to make up to two additional concussion substitutes when there is a possible or suspected concussion.
  • Concussion subs are permitted at any time during the game and can be made regardless of normal subs or opportunities that remain.
  • If teams are tied on points at the conclusion of the group stage, the following tiebreakers will be used:
  • Goal difference in all group matches
  • Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches
  • If teams are still tied, the following tiebreakers will be used:
  • 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)
  • Lower number of points based on yellow and red cards in all group matches (First yellow – 1 point, second yellow/indirect red – 3 points, direct red – 4 points, yellow and direct red – 5 points)
  • Two yellows received in different games during the competition will result in automatic suspension for the next game. Single yellow cards will be eliminated at the end of the group stage.
  • In the knockout stage, if teams are tied at the end of regulation, extra time will be played with two periods of 15 minutes.
  • In extra time, teams have the option to make one additional substitution.
  • If the score is tied at the end of extra time, the match will go straight to kicks from the penalty mark.
  • The US will play all three of its group stage matches at Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa. The stadium has previously hosted the Concacaf U-20 Championship in 1978 and 1994 and served as host to the Concacaf U-17 Championship in 1987 and 2007. The venue has also been home to three Concacaf Champions League Finals.

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