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USA will face pressure-packed test against Canada
by Paul Kennedy, February 26th, 2013 12:12AM
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TAGS:  canada, under-20 world cup


[CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP] The pressure will be on the USA when it faces Canada Tuesday in Puebla, Mexico, for one of four berths at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup  (TV: Fox Soccer, Univision Deportes, 6 p.m. ET). Since first qualifying for the World Youth Championship in 1981,  the USA has never failed twice in a row to qualify for the U-20 championships. Canada split in its first two games at the 2013 Concacaf U-20 Championship but has had recent success against the USA.

The USA opened with a 2-1 win over Haiti and 1-0 victory over Costa Rica but was hardly convincing. It played with much more cohesion and patience Friday night against the Ticos than it did in the opener against Haiti but created few chances.

Tab Ramos dropped the 4-3-3 formation he opened with and went with a 4-2-3-1 lineup against Costa Rica.

He will need to decide who to play in midfield as Mikey Lopez, whose insertion into the lineup was one of the reasons for the turnaround against Costa Rica, is suspended. The Sporting Kansas City rookie, who picked up yellow cards in both games, was otherwise much more stable the other holding midfielder, Wil Trapp, who was taken off at halftime against Costa Rica.

Canada finished second in Group B behind Cuba, dropping its opener 2-1 but easily beating Nicaragua, 5-1. It features two starters -- Doneil Henry and Samuel Piette -- from the team that beat the USA, 2-0, in Concacaf under-23 qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.

In the only meeting between the current under-20 teams, Canada beat the USA, 2-1, in Marbella, Spain, in 2012.

Tuesday's meeting is the ninth between the two teams in Concacaf qualifying. The USA leads the series 4-2-2.

Concacaf U-20 Qualifying:
1976: USA 4 Canada 2
1978: USA 0 Canada 0
USA 3 Canada 2
USA 1 Canada 1
1992: USA 2 Canada 1
1996: Canada 2 USA 0
1998: USA 5 Canada 1
2002: Canada 3 USA 2

USA Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Cody Cropper (Southampton/ENG), 12-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara Univ.), 22-Zack Steffen (FC Delco).
DEFENDERS (6): 18-Eric Miller (Creighton Univ.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara/MEX), 2-Boyd Okwuonu (Univ. of North Carolina), 5-Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), 4-Caleb Stanko (Freiburg/GER), 14-Javan Torre (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 10-Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), 8-Benji Joya (Santos/MEX), 15-Mikey Lopez (Sporting KC), 16-Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): 19-Brandon Allen (Georgetown Univ.), 20-Daniel Cuevas (Santos/MEX, 17-Danny Garcia (Univ. of North Carolina), 11-Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart/GER), 9-Mario Rodriguez (Kaiserslautern/GER) 7-Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy)

Canada Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Richard Gomes (Mirandela/POR), 18-Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact academy).
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Jon Dollery (Crawley Town/ENG, 3-Marco Lapenna (Erzgenirge Aue/GER), 4-Doneil Henry (Toronto FC), 5-Daniel Stanese (Nuremberg/GER), 15-Manjrekar James (PMFC-Matias/HUN), 23-Allan Zebie (FC Edmonton).
MIDFIELDERS (9): 6-Samuel Piette (Fortuna Duesseldorf/GER), 7-Ben Fisk (Vancouver Whitecaps academy), 8-Zakaria Messoudi (Montreal Impact academy), 10-Kevin Aleman (Real Valladolid/SPA), 11-Michael Petrasso (Queens Park Rangers/ENG), 12-Dylan Carreiro (Queens Park Rangers/ENG), 13-Alessandro Riggi (Celta/SPA), 16-Mauro Eustaquio (Sporting/POR), 21-Ben McKendry (Univ. of New Mexico).
FORWARDS (3): 9-Caleb Clarke (Vancouver Whitecaps), 17-Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact academy), 22-Stefan Vukovic (unattached).

  1. Eric Schmitt
    commented on: February 26, 2013 at 9:25 a.m.
    Both US Soccer and Fox Soccer showing that this game starts at 6, not 6:30 as reported here. I'm pretty sure its 6.
  1. Jamie Nicewander
    commented on: February 26, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.
    Good Luck U.S.!

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