March 25, 2013
INTO GROUP A
U.S. U20s to face Spain, France in World Cup
ISTANBUL, Turkey - The U.S. U-20 Men's National Team was drawn into Group A of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup starting on June 21 in Turkey.
Joining the U.S. in Group A will be Spain, France and a team from the Confederation of African Football, which is still finishing up qualification. Each group match for the U.S. will take place in Istanbul.
"I'm really excited for our players, to play against some of the best teams in the world." U.S. U-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos said. "This is the reason why you go to the World Cup - to play against the best. We get Spain and France right off the bat and we're going to start working toward our preparation for that."
Following the tournament's group stage, the schedule per each round is as follows: round of 16 (July 2 and 3), quarterfinals (July 6 and 7), semifinals (July 10), third-place match (July 13) and championship (July 13). The top two teams in the six groups, along with the top four third-place teams, advance to the round of 16.
Türk Telekom Arena, located in Istanbul, will be the host stadium for the championship, third-place match and several earlier knockout stage games. Türk Telekom Arena seats more than 52,000 spectators and is the home of Turkish professional club Galatasaray.
The U.S. U-20 MNT is coming off a second-place finish at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. The USA finished runner-up to Mexico as the shorthanded squad took the host team to overtime but fell 3-1 on March 3 at Estadio Cuauhtémoc.
The U.S. qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 4-2 victory against Canada on Feb. 23 at Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP, led by two goals from Jose Villarreal. Villarreal, Luis Gil and Wil Trapp were named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team as the USA advanced to its 13th World Cup at this age level.
The four semifinalists of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship advanced to the U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Joining the USA are Mexico and first-time U-20 World Cup qualifiers Cuba and El Salvador.
USA's Group A schedule:
• June 21 vs. Spain
• June 24 vs. France
• June 27 vs. CAF team