2017 U-20 World Cup

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Mourinho: Man Utd defense “in trouble”, drafting in Tuanzebe

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Eric Bailly better be ready to roll.

Aside from youngsters, Bailly and Daley Blind are the only fit senior center backs in Manchester United’s set-up after Marcos Rojo joined Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the injured list during Thursday’s UEFA Europa League win over Anderlecht.

[ MORE: Mourinho gushes over Rashford ]

And manager Jose Mourinho isn’t mincing words about his team’s plight. While Ander Herrera and Ashley Young sat out Thursday’s match and will be ready for Sunday’s match at Burnley, Mourinho looks set to call upon 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe for help.

From ManUtd.com:

“We are in trouble,” Mourinho said. “We are in trouble.

“Herrera is fresh to play. Ashley Young is fresh to play and who else? Nobody else is fresh to play! Now we need absolutely everyone and I don’t have to think about Axel Tuanzebe going to the Under-20 World Cup in Korea because maybe Axel has to come now. We need everybody.”

Mourinho also lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a knee injury on Thursday, and United’s run-in toward the Top Four is anything but easy. With the Europa League also in play to qualify for next season’s UCL, how will Mourinho use his players?

Earlier this week we discussed whether United should focus on Europa for UCL qualification… now that discussion intensifies.

U.S. to play Ecuador, Senegal, Saudi Arabia at U-20 World Cup

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SUWON, South Korea (AP) The U.S. will play Ecuador, Senegal and Saudi Arabia in the first round of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | MLS ]

Coached by former national team star Tab Ramos, the Americans were drawn Wednesday to open against Ecuador on May 22, meet Senegal three days later and close Group F against Saudi Arabia on May 28. The first two games will be at Incheon and the third at Daejeon.

There are six groups in the 24-nation tournament, which runs through June 11, and the top two in each group advance along with the top four third-place teams.

[ MORE: Arena names 24 to senior roster ahead of WCQs next week ]

Two years ago in New Zealand, the U.S. was eliminated by eventual champion Serbia on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

Group A: South Korea (host), Guinea, Argentina, England

Group B: Venezuela, Germany, Vanuatu, Mexico

Group C: Zambia, Portugal, Iran, Costa Rica

Group D: South Africa, Japan, Italy, Uruguay

Group E: France, Honduras, Vietnam, New Zealand

Group F: Ecuador, United States, Saudi Arabia, Senegal

US advances in qualifying for Under-20 World Cup

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The United States advanced to the second round of qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup as Sebastian Saucedo scored twice Friday in a 4-1 win over St. Kitts and Nevis at Tibas, Costa Rica.

Brooks Lennon and Jonathan Lewis also scored for the U.S., which plays Mexico on Monday and El Salvador on March 3 in the second round. The top two teams in each second-round group of the North and Central American and Caribbean region qualify for the Under-20 World Cup, to be played in South Korea from May 20 to June 11.

Lennon, loaned this month from Liverpool to Real Salt Lake, put the Americans ahead in the 16th minute with his fourth goal of the tournament, poking in Jeremy Ebobisse’s cross from 7 yards. Lewis, who is with New York City FC, doubled the lead four minutes later after Lennon’s corner kick to the top of the penalty area was volleyed toward goal by Eryk Williamson. Justen Glad missed an attempted shot from near the penalty spot, and the ball rolled to an unmarked Lewis.

Salt Lake’s Saucedo added goals in the 35th and 41st minute on a 25-yard shot and a 27-yard free kick.

Romario Martin beat U.S. goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski in the 77th after a poor American backpass. Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, started the first two games for the U.S.

The U.S. (2-1) and Group B winner Panama (3-0), which beat the Americans 1-0 last weekend, both advanced.

U.S. U-20s awaken in 2nd half vs. Haiti, keep WCQ hopes alive

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With many thanks to the hat trick scored by Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake, on loan from Liverpool), the U.S. U-20 national team’s hopes of qualifying for the 2017 U-20 World Cup remain intact.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | MLS ]

After dropping all three points in their opening group-stage game against Panama on Saturday, Tab Ramos’ young Yanks faced elimination from CONCACAF’s U-20 Championship in Costa Rica with a defeat to Haiti on Tuesday. After 15 minutes, the Americans found themselves a goal down, the prospect of winning zero points from their first two games a terrifying possibility.

Then, Lennon struck from the penalty spot. A draw wouldn’t be enough, realistically, though, as they’d still trail Haiti by three points ahead of the final group game, against Saint Kitts and Nevis, with the top two sides from each team advancing to the classification stage.

The score remained 1-1 until halftime, after which point the Yanks roared to life with three goals in a seven-minute span. Luca de la Torre (Fulham) scored the first of the bunch, an empty-net finish after a failed punch by the goalkeeper. Lennon quickly followed suit with two more to make it 4-1.

With three points from two games and a goal differential that now sits at +2, the Yanks are second in Group B, just ahead of Haiti on goal differential (+1). Panama sit atop the group with six points and a +5 goal differential. A U.S. victory over Saint Kitts and Nevis, to go with a Haitian upset of Panama, would see the Americans finish top of the group go into Group E in the classification stage, which would see them accompanied by a pair of second-place sides. The first-place side in each classification group qualifies for May’s tournament in South Korea.

U.S. U-20s fall to Panama to open CONCACAF Championship

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Well, that didn’t go according to plan.

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Panama to open Group B play in Saturday’s CONCACAF Championship match.

[ MORE: Burnley upset by fifth-division Lincoln in FA Cup ]

Despite playing down a man for over 70 minutes, Panama managed to find a winner in the first half when Leandro Avila beat Jonathan Klinsmann off of a lobbed effort inside the penalty area.

The U.S. was dealt a further blow in its first match of the tournament as captain and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was forced off at halftime with an apparent ankle injury.

Adams was seen hobbling on crutches at the start of the second stanza, leaving his status for the rest of the competition uncertain.

Jeremy Ebobisse gave Tab Ramos’ team their best chance to score in the 49th minute when the Portland Timbers forward nodded an effort off the crossbar from close range.

In all, the U.S. hit six shots on target to Panama’s one, but Ramos and co. now find themselves in a precarious position after dropping the opening match.

The U.S. will meet Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis in its two final group stage matches on Feb. 21 and Feb. 24, respectively. Haiti blasted St. Kitts, 5-1, in its opening fixture to give the island nation control of Group B.