USA to face Honduras and Costa Rica in U-20 World Cup qualifying quest

After its fifth straight rout at the Concacaf U-20 Championship, a 7-0 win over Suriname on Friday, the USA advanced to a three-team classification stage group from which two teams will qualify for the 2019 U-20 World Cup.

Coach Tab Ramos' team, which outscored its first five foes 39-2, now faces stiffer competition in Costa Rica and Honduras, both of which qualified for the last U-20 World Cup in 2017. The Ticos reached the round of 16, Honduras exited in the group stage, and the USA fell to Venezuela in the quarterfinals at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The USA faces Costa Rica next Friday and Honduras on Nov. 19. While the top two qualify, finishing first would send the USA to the final for a chance to defend its 2017 Concacaf title, which it won with victory in the final over Honduras, on PKs after a scoreless tie.

In the win over Suriname, Alex Mendez gave the USA a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute with a superb 23-yard free kick, bending a left-footed shot over the wall and just inside the post. The former LA Galaxy academy star who recently signed with Bundesliga club Freiburg scored his fifth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute. Ayo Akinola  also upped his tournament goal total to five with two strikes on Friday.

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Central defender Mark McKenzie scored the USA's second in the 26th minute with a header, four minutes after Griffin Dorsey had a penalty kick saved. Both of Akinola's goals came shortly before halftime. Juan Pablo Torres scored his second of the tournament in the 67th minute and Justin Rennicksscored his fourth in the 79th minute.

The USA opened with wins over Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (6-0), Trinidad & Tobago (6-1), The U.S. Virgin Islands (13-0), Puerto Rico (7-1).

Nov. 9 in Bradenton, Fla.
USA 7 Suriname 0. Goals: Mendez 7, 83 (pen.), McKenzie 26, Akinola 43, 46+, Torres 60, Rennicks 79, Mendez (pen.) 83.
USA -- Scott; Lindsey, McKenzie, Dorsey (Perez, 72), Gloster; Torres, Mendez, Rogers; 1Pomykal, Akinola (Rennicks, 46), Amaya (1Angking, 83)
Suriname -- Soesman, Morris, Helstone (Vlijter, 51), Revales, Wijdenbosch (Deira, 82); Elshot, Graves, Godlieb (Rigters, 46); Doorson, Verwey, Vlijter.
Yellow cards: Graves 33, Doorson 58, Soesman 82.
Referee: Ismael Cornejo (El Salvador)

USA Scorers
(After five Concacaf U-20 Championship games)
6 Ulysses Llanez
5 Alex Mendez, Ayo Akinola.
4 Anthony Fontana, Justin Rennicks.
3 Mark McKenzie, Paxton Pomykal.
2 Brandon Servania, Juan Pablo Torres, own goals.
1 Griffin Dorsey, Manny Perez, Brandon Servania.

U.S. U-20 men's national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2)
Brady Scott (FC Cologne II/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)
David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake academy; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7)
Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting KC; Charlotte, N.C.)
Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.)
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.)
Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.)
Manny Perez (N.C. State; Garner, N.C.)
Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy academy; Lompac, Calif.)
Sam Rogers (Sounders FC 2; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (6)
Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)
Juan Pablo Torres (Lokeren/BEL; Lilburn, Ga.)
Alex Mendez (SC Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas.)
Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union; Newark, Del.)
Isaac Angking (New England Revolution; Providence, R.I.)
FORWARDS (5)
Justin Rennicks (Indiana Univ.; Hamilton, Mass.)
*Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.)
Griffin Dorsey (Indiana Univ.; Evergreen, Colo.)
Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC; Detroit, Mich.)
Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.)
* Llanez, formerly of the LA Galaxy academy, sign with Wolfsburg (Germany) when he turns 18 in 2019.

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