U-20 World Cup: USA draws Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Senegal

The USA will face Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Senegal at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

Coach Tab Ramos' U.S. team, which will open against South American runner-up Ecuador on May 22, qualified by winning the Concacaf U-20 Championship in early March, beating Haiti, St. Kitts & Nevis, Mexico, El Salvador and, in the final, Honduras.

The USA lost in the quarterfinals on PKs at the 2015 U-20 World Cup to eventual champion Serbia, which did not qualify for the 2017 U-20 World Cup. The USA’s best finish in the biennial tournament launched in 1977 was fourth place in 1989 in Saudi Arabia.

Diego Maradona helped out at the draw in Suwon.

Group A
South Korea

Group B

Group C
Costa Rica

Group D
South Africa

Group E
New Zealand

Group F
Saudi Arabia

36 comments about "U-20 World Cup: USA draws Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Senegal".
  1. Quarterback TD, March 15, 2017 at 9:46 a.m.

    There is no reason we should not win this World Cup.. The team is solid, quite a few pros and very experienced.. what more do we need ? I am tired of excuses and comparisons especially given the fact that we have the best facilities and financial backing.. to be honest if we don't win I am not going to follow soccer at youth level anymore.. i know some of you will be happy but will I.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 15, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    Oh will that mean no more comments from you? That will be a wonderful silver lining if we don't win the tournament.

  3. don Lamb replied, March 15, 2017 at 3:13 p.m.

    How in the world do we have the best financial backing? We might be the most prosperous country in the world, but the extent to which we compensate our soccer players compared to other countries is not in correlation with that wealth.

  4. Quarterback TD replied, March 15, 2017 at 7:40 p.m.

    Fire, yes it means absolutely no more comments from me.. I Have enough pro teams that I experience failure with (JETS, Mets, Knicks, Nets and Red Bulls) and don't want to start another with a bunch of junior soccer player.. does not mean I will not look at them but will not spend any of my time on blogs, subscriptions or internet media.. I hope that makes you happy but I can assure you I will be happier..

  5. Quarterback TD replied, March 15, 2017 at 7:57 p.m.

    Don, If you look at this in terms of dollars and cents only you will miss the point.. The US has more youth fields, tournaments and certified coaches than any country.. In addition the average youth player on the US youth national teams spend more time playing foreign competitions than any other country.. The US Soccer Club, ODP and other clones like NexGen etc are the biggest youth organize soccer that encourages a so call elite player environment .. this is only possible through financial backing.. It goes even further, there are also High School and College soccer that prep our youths and give them a second chance when the USDA fails which is quite often..I cannot confirm numbers but I have heard many foreign youth coaches said they are paid more in US that in Europe and South America.. And of course we cannot match soccer dollars for our professionals for the simple fact the MLS teams don't generate that type of revenue but we are speaking about youth teams and not Pro..

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 9:40 a.m.

    Brazil's youth system is highly organized but I wouldn't say they turn out the world's best players consistently any longer. Their national team is still strong but they didn't even qualify for this U-20 WC for instance and their Copa America performances weren't great.

  7. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 9:41 a.m.

    You just picked the wrong teams. If you picked the Giants and Yankees you would've celebrated numerous championships in your lifetime.

  8. don Lamb replied, March 16, 2017 at 11:19 a.m.

    It's just a bit silly to have expectations of win or bust at this point. Cultural significance is more important than money or infrastructure, and the game is still not as culturally significant here as it is in many other countries. We are closing the gap quickly, and I think we can be one of the favorites in the relatively near future, but for now, I'd be happy with a deep run. More than that, however, I want to see our players show skill and game intelligence. If we get bounced after playing four great games, I'm okay with that for a U20 event.

  9. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 1:51 p.m.

    Argentina, Spain, France, Germany for starters.

  10. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.

    To further elaborate, Brazil's last three world cups and last three Copa Americas have been pedestrian. And look at the squad they just called in for WCQs. It has some great players but it is a pretty old team.

  11. Quarterback TD replied, March 16, 2017 at 2:21 p.m.

    Fire, I am a big Giants fan and also a Yankee super fan.. basically I celebrate all teams NY.. anyway back to this topic Brazil youth ORGANIZE system is not that good unless you are picked up early by one of the academies.. Kids in the favelas literally play in small concrete quarry areas but they develop a lot of raw talent from playing morning till night sometimes till 2am in the morning under dim light.. they play in small organize tournaments that develope great footwork this is not by design but by product of the environment.. In the USA practicing morning till night will be impossible because the board of education and police will come knocking at your doors wondering why your kid is not in school and why is 2 hours of daily homework not done-- This form of relentless practicing in favelas and in country areas makes a player lethal and an excellent ball handler so by the time they reach academy they are ready for pro in a short space of time because their skills are awesome..Same is true for Argentina.. Messi and Maradona were in poor neighborhoods as well as many of their Brazilians peers.. there are no better youth organize soccer on the planet from 2 to 22 than the USA the question is how effective is it and that is a totally different topic.. bottom line it comes down to $$$ and parents in the USA loves to spend big $$$ to make sure their kids can get some trophies.. and $$$ get you the organizations.. which other country will you get parents driving 100 miles for a game that their kid may end up playing 5 mins or pay $3000 to $5000 for a trip to Europe to play soccer with an overseas youth club ? This is what the belief in organization soccer buys..

  12. Quarterback TD replied, March 16, 2017 at 3:14 p.m.

    Fire, Brazil currently has the best team in the world and will win the World Cup in 2018.. The Brazilian team is relatively young and will most likely peak by 2018 WC. There are a few older players but they will not start. They also have who I consider the most opportunistic player on the planet "Neymar" who can create, penetrate, defend and score.. Right now there is no player more effective than Neymar and that will not change for another 5 years.. That is why Brazil is so dominating in WCQ including the trashing of Argentina when Messi was shutout.. Also Brazil current coach is not doing any so call political picks like the previous coach so there is no pressure to play a less effective player..

  13. Quarterback TD replied, March 16, 2017 at 3:49 p.m.

    Fire, One question you need to ask "Is FIFA WC U20 still relevant ?" Given the fact that Brazil did not make the WC U20 is that a reflection on the youths that went for U20 qualification or because Brazil top young players peak so quickly that they move onto Pro ? Europe, Brazil and USA over the last 15 years in its quest to develope club soccer and pay large salaries have been pulling young players globally into their programs and leaving a lot of countries without their best starting lineups.. the current US U20 squad is not the best, we currently have 6 pro U20 players that can easily be starters not on the team due to club committment. Brazil has over 45 youth players in pro teams globally while the remaining ones are left to play for the country. That is what is causing results you currently see. One simply need to compare the FIFA U20 against the Europe U21 and see the difference in quality.. the EU21 are all pro players and level is much better-- that is really the Europe U20 champion teams and not what they are sending to FIFA U20.. maybe now Brazil may look to do something about it or maybe not as money talks and bs walks.

  14. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 4:06 p.m.

    Brazil is the best team in the world? By what metric? 20 years ago sure. Today? Not even close. And look at the actual roster they just selected this week. It is old!

    Of course the U-20 WC is relevant tournament even without them. It isn't as important as some people make out (i.e. Serbia won it last time but I don't think Serbia is going to win a senior world cup any time soon) but it's still great experience for our young guys.

  15. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 4:08 p.m.

    You are clearly not aware of the fact that pro players are allowed to play in the U-20 WC. It is not an amateur competition. Sure, if a guy is on the senior national team, like Pulisic, he may not go but otherwise the squads there will be everyone's best.

  16. Quarterback TD replied, March 16, 2017 at 5:17 p.m.

    Fire, who is better than Brazil current side right now ? Also the team is young and balance for the 2018 WC and will win the World Cup.. You think a team with U25 players will win the World Cup ? This is the most balance and skillful team Brazil has put out since Zico, Falcao and Socrates in 82.. stay tune and watch..

    Also I am fully aware of the the Pro being in U20 but apparently you are not aware how much cannot play because their clubs don't let them and not for the reason you give.. FIFA U20 is not relevant as one would think.. Any non-pro player whose playing already missed the pro opportunity.. U17 will be different as there may be true opportunities there..

  17. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

    Better than Brazil right now? Argentina (yes I know Brazil beat them recently), Chile, Germany, France, maybe Belgium. Probably a few others.

  18. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 16, 2017 at 5:35 p.m.

    And don't get me wrong - Brazil is still one of the best around - certainly top 6-8 or so. But I just don't see any evidence to support calling them the absolute best at this moment in time.

  19. Quarterback TD replied, March 16, 2017 at 6:06 p.m.

    I fully understand why you and anyone will put Brazil out the top 5 but in most World Cup there is always that special player and his strong teammates that will surprise and win the most coverted trophy on the planet. Pele, Beckenbaur, Kempis, Rossi, Maradona, Zidane, Iniesta etc and sometimes it's a completly experienced team that will neutralize that special player like Germany shutting down Messi in 2014 WC..in Brazil case it's Both Neymar is that special player and the remaining team is that experience team.. take a look at Brazil vs Uruguay next week and remember Neymar has not peaked yet..
    Also please don't think France, Belgium or Germany will defeat Brazil.. that will never happen in 2018.. also you not including Portugal who is European Champions ?? Where is your logic if any ??

  20. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 17, 2017 at 10:13 a.m.

    No I'm not including Portugal. Did you watch them in Euro 2016? Total anti-football, created one chance in 120 minutes and happened to score it. Obviously they have that special player but I wouldn't rate them above Brazil or the other teams I mentioned in my previous posts.

  21. Liane Sims replied, March 18, 2017 at 8:40 p.m.

    Brazil historically the best. Only country 5 world cup champs. Always a top contender to win world cup. Seems to always have either the world's best player or up an coming best player. For sure always the most creative players. No one even comes close on consistency level of developing players. Spain had a good run for less than 5 years and many here called them the best in the world with only one world cup run. Their best Academy, Barcelona, can't produce better players than Suarez, Neymar, Messi, Ronaldhino, etc. Or do you honestly think they want to pay their nonproducts the most money of all players? They have to.

  22. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 19, 2017 at 11:24 a.m.

    That's a great story but we were talking about who is best right now, not historically. I fail to see what world cup wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970 have to do with that. Brazil hasn't achieved all that much in the past ten years and others have passed them by. Also, did Suarez and Messi become Brazilian and I missed it? Also the Barca academy produced a couple of guy name Xavi and Iniesta. They aren't too bad.

  23. Liane Sims replied, March 19, 2017 at 5:01 p.m.

    Xavi and Iniesta are very good but not the best in the world. Brazil seems ro produce the best in the world consistently. No one else is that consistent. Neymar is next in line for "the" greatest in the world. Brazil is tops in the most competitive federation of any, currently. They haven't done anything is 10 years? Didn't they win Confeds recently? So you are saying that if they haven't done much in 10 years they are on a decline? What have we done in 10 years? Just curious to your response according to your logic.

  24. Fire Paul Gardner Now, March 15, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    Considering that even four of the six third place teams go through there should be no issues reaching the knockout stages from this group.

    Be interesting to see how many of our guys playing in Europe will be added to the squad that qualified.

  25. Nick Daverese, March 15, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.

    If compensation matters Saudi Arabia's incentives offered might be the best. I would love to know what they are offering their players.

    But it looks good for the US to at least get out of the first round of play. You have to take it one step at a time.

  26. Quarterback TD replied, March 15, 2017 at 8:08 p.m.

    The US government may be the only country on the planet that does not spend money on sports regardless of how well the player does.. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing but it has allow pro organizations like NBA, MLB, NFL to strive but with respect to other sports including many Olympic events the athletes can go bankrupt trying to get that medal.. Saudia Arabia like other countries has always given money to their athletes who achieve success..

  27. Nick Daverese, March 15, 2017 at 8:46 p.m.

    Iraq I believe Saddams son used to torture the players if they lost. :)

  28. Fire Paul Gardner Now, March 16, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    We don't need government involvement in sports. I have no idea whether it's true that Saudi Arabia pays its Olympic athletes a lot of money but even if it is how many medals have they won? Not nearly as many as we have, that's for sure.

  29. Bob Ashpole replied, March 17, 2017 at 10:05 a.m.

    Where do you think infrastructure comes from? Even when stadiums are privately funded, there are still associated public infrastructure costs. It is not simply a matter of who pays the athletes.

  30. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 17, 2017 at 4:04 p.m.

    Yes, thank you for the civics lesson but I'm talking about the government actually paying athletes, which is what some on this thread are advocating.

  31. Bob Ashpole replied, March 18, 2017 at 2:59 p.m.

    I read carefully and didn't see anyone advocating that governments pay athletes wages or bonuses. Q TD expressly stated that he didn't know if the practice was good or bad. I agree that countries with strong economies and affordable health care don't need to pay their athletes. Health care is particularly important to athletes. The US is now in a situation where both health care and health insurance are outrageously expensive in terms of percentage of income. I suppose now you are going to say that subsidized health care is also something you are not talking about. The government is involved in its citizen's lives. What the government should be doing is making the country a good place to live and raise a family for athletes and the rest of its citizens. Americans want opportunities, not subsidies.

  32. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 19, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    Please read QTD's comments above. Thanks.

  33. Nick Daverese, March 17, 2017 at 12:50 p.m.

    Hey the Cosmos will be moving to Coney Island for the next year or two. They should stay there it's near all kinds of transportation. The Cyclones baseball team plays there.if they are smart they will let their baseball people run all their promotions.

    Best thing about the place it is just a block from my favorite Italian restaurant in Brooklyn Gargilio's.

  34. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 17, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.

    Enjoy it while you can. NASL is not long for this world...

  35. Nick Daverese, March 17, 2017 at 5:45 p.m.

    I can see the Cosmos one day moving to the MLS. especially if DeBlasio the fake Italian gets reelected. They never could build a stadium here in Manhattan before because Madison square garden kept it from happpening. DeBlasio can be bought that is how we got MMA here and Uber. He is not being indicted so he dodged a bullet in that regard. But if private concerns pay him anything is possible. It hard to trust any Italian who eats pizza with a knife and fork :)

  36. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 19, 2017 at 11:26 a.m.

    Never happening. The team and league will likely be bankrupt in a year or two. Cosmos made a big mistake thumbing their nose at MLS. Their "brand" isn't nearly as big as they believe.

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