Scouting Report: U.S. U-20 World Cup opponents

The USA will face New Zealand for the first time at the Under-20 World Cup, but the hosts will have some familiar faces.

Their player pool includes Jesse Edge and Bill Tuiloma, who started for New Zealand when it tied the USA, 0-0, at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup. Edge and Tuilima are the only holdovers from New Zealand's 2013 U-20 team and have both since moved on to Europe -- Edge to Vicenza in Italy and Tuiloma to Marseille in France after a stint in the LA Galaxy academy program.

Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi played for Real Salt Lake AZ before returning to New Zealand. Cory Brown was a 2014 Soccer America All-Freshman defender at Xavier, while Stuart Holthusen was a big contributor for Akron as a freshman and Daniel Bowkett was on Princeton's roster but did not play in 2014.

New Zealand Pool:
GOALKEEPERS: Damian Hirst (Birkenhead Utd.), Oliver Sail (Central Utd.), Zac Speedy (Three Kings Utd.).
DEFENDERS: Cory Brown (Xavier Univ.), Jesse Edge (Vicenza/ITA), Brock Messenger (Sunshine Coast Fire/AUS), Adam Mitchell (Central Utd.), Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi (Wanderers), Spiros Agathos (Sydney United 58/AUS), Deklan Wynne (East Coast Bays).
MIDFIELDERS: Daniel Bowkett (Princeton Univ.), Andre de Jong (East Coast Bays), Michael den Heijer (Kashiwa Reysol/JPN), Monty Patterson (Ipswich Town/ENG), Matthew Ridenton (Wellington Phoenix), Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix), Birhanu Taye (Braga/POR), Bill Tuiloma (Marseille/FRA), Andrew Blake (Miramar Rangers), Clayton Lewis (Wellington Olympic), Gowan Stares (Pulse Premier Academy).
FORWARDS: Judd Baker (East Coast Bays), Stuart Holthusen (Univ. of Akron), Elijah Neblett (Birkenhead Utd.), Joel Stevens (Miramar Rangers), Tomislav Trbuhovic (Whittlesea Rangers/AUS)

UKRAINE. Ukraine is the only one of the three opponents the USA has ever faced at the Under-20 World Cup. They played to a 1-1 tie in 2001. Kenny Arena's goal was enough to give the USA the point it needed to advanve to the round of 16.

Ukraine knocked England out of the 2014 UEFA U-19 championship in Hungary with a 1-0 win on the road in qualifying and then earned its berth at the Under-20 World Cup thanks to its quarterfinal finish.

Ukraine's top players are 20-year-old goalkeeper Bohdan Sarnavskyi and 18-year-old midfielder Viktor Kovalenko, who made their first-team debuts for Ukrainian powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk last fall and traveled with the first team to winter camp in Brazil. Defender Mykyta Burda, 19, plays for Dynamo Kyiv, which was in first place at the winter break. The Shakhtar and Dynamo academy teams provide the bulk of Ukraine's U-20s.

Ukraine Pool:
GOALKEEPERS: Bohdan Sarnavskyi (Shakhtar Donetsk), Roman Pidkivka (Karpaty Lviv).
DEFENDERS: Ihor Kalinin (Illichivets Mariupol), Taras Kacharaba (Shakhtar Donetsk), Yuriy Tkachuk (Metalist Kharkiv), Andriy Markovych (Karpaty Lviv), Pavlo Lukyanchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Mykyta Burda (Dynamo Kyiv), Eduard Sobol (Shakhtar Donetsk).
MIDFIELDERS: Viktor Kovalenko  (Shakhtar Donetsk), Vyacheslav Tankovskyi (Shakhtar Donetsk), Artem Habelok (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ihor Kharatin (Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Chumak (Dynamo Kyiv), Mykyta Adamenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Maksym Banasevych (Zorya Luhansk).
FORWARDS: Dmytro Lukanov (Zorya Luhansk), Artem Besyedin (Dynamo Kyiv), Roman Yaremchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Taras Zaviyskyi (Karpaty Lviv), Artem Radchenko (Metalist Kharkiv), Dmytro Bilonog (Shakhtar Donetsk).

MYANMAR. Myanmar (the former Burma) qualified for its first FIFA world championship when it reached the semifinals of the 2014 U-19 Asian championship it hosted.

A 1-0 win over the United Arab Emirates clinched the berth in the U-20 World Cup. Than Paing's goal was the difference in a match that drew 29,000 fans at Rangoon’s Thuwunna Youth Training Center Stadium. Myanmar then lost to eventual champion Qatar, 3-2, in overtime in the semifinals.

Myanmar Pool:
GOALKEEPERS: Myo Min Latt (Zeyar Shwe Myay), Pyae Sone Chit (Yadanarbon), Thant Zin Nyo (Yadanarbon).
DEFENDERS: Htike Htike Aung (Ayeyawady United), Naing Lin Tun (Magway), Nanda Kyaw (Magway), Aung Hein Soe Oo (Yadanarbon Youth), Nan Wai Min (Yangon United), Thiha Htet Aung (Zeyar Shwe Myay), Ye Yint Aung (MFF Mandalay Academy), Myo Ko Tun (Yadanarbon).
MIDFIELDERS: Yan Lin Aung (Yangon United), Kyaw Min Oo (Ayeyawady United), Nyein Chan Aung (Manaw Myay), Yan Naing Oo (Zeyar Shwe Myay), Maung Maung Lwin (Hantharwady United), Chit Hla Aung (Kanbawz), Swan Htet Aung (Yangon United), Shwe Win Tun (Nay Pyi Taw).
FORWARDS: Maung Maung Soe (Magway), Aung Thu (Yadanarbon), Shine Thura (Yadanarbon), Than Paing (Yangon United).
2 comments about "Scouting Report: U.S. U-20 World Cup opponents".
  1. Gus Keri, February 10, 2015 at 10:58 a.m.

    "The group of death."

  2. Kevin Sims, February 10, 2015 at 4:15 p.m.

    "The Group of Death" to USA if it fails to advance!! Finally, a "Group of Life" for the good guys.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications