The United States reached the final of Spain's Torneo Internacional de La Alcudia, considered the top under-20 summer tournament in the world, with a 3-1 win over Uruguay Wednesday.
The Americans play Brazil, which beat them, 2-1, in their opening game, in Thursday's final.
The Americans played the last 28 minutes with 10 men after Devan Barclay's red card but prevailed thanks to an own goal, Indiana sophomore Ned Grabavoy's penalty and a sensational goal by Dallas Burn striker Eddie Johnson, who beat three defenders and scored from 30 yards.
The all-college defense of C.J. Klaas (Washington), Chad Marshall (Stanford), Ryan Cochrane (Santa Clara) and Chefik Simo (Furman) on the backline with help from Grabavoy and Ricardo Clark (Furman) in midfield took the pressure off goalie Steve Cronin (Santa Clara), who didn't have to make a save in the second half.
Cronin was involved in the own goal that gave the Americans an early lead. His long punt was headed by Uruguay sweeper Guillermo Rodriguez into his own net.
''Tonight our guys gave it every thing they had, and I am very proud of the effort they put forth to come away with a well-deserved victory,'' said U.S. U-20 coach Thomas Rongen. ''I think that we have grown as a team this week, and getting a result like this against such a strong Uruguay side shows that. Coming to one of the top youth tournaments in the world and bouncing back from an opening loss to win three straight games and advance to the final is impressive.''
The four U.S. games have featured 39 yellow cards and six red cards.
Brazil topped Costa Rica on penalties in a wild game. The Brazilians led 2-0, but the Ticos rallied for two second-half goals and could have won the game but for a missed penalty in regulation.
U.S. UNDER-20 SUMMARY:
Aug. 28 in La Alcudia
USA 3 Uruguay 1. Goals: Own goal 20, Grabavoy pen. 34, E.Johnson 65; Ferreira pen. 22.
USA -- Cronin, Simo, Cochrane, Marshall, Klaas, Mapp, Clark (Stone, 81+), Grabavoy, D.Johnson, Barclay, E.Johnson (Cameron, 79).
Uruguay -- Silva, Valdez (Fernandez, 59 ), Rodriguez, Semperena, Amado (Iturralde, 41), Lopez, Montenegro (Grosnile, 41), Diogo, Olivera (Aliberti, 68), Ferreira, Porta.
Red card: USA -- Barclay 52.