USA’s U-20 side need draw against T&T to keep World Cup dream alive

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A huge day has arrived for the U.S. U-20 national team, as Tab Ramos’ side face a crucial clash against Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship as qualifying for the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer continues.

[ RELATED: Geoff Cameron’s column ]

The U.S. know a win or a draw on Wednesday down in Montego Bay, Jamaica, will secure them a spot in the playoff game of the CONCACAF tournament, which will take place on Saturday, but getting past T&T isn’t a forgone conclusion as the Caribbean side know a win would put them in the playoff game.

With the likes of Emerson Hyndman from Fulham buzzing around in midfield, Tottenham Hotspur youngster Cameron Carter-Vickers shinning in defense and talented San Jose Earthquakes man Tommy Thompson up top along with the tournament’s top scorer Romain Gall, the USA have showed their quality in fits and starts throughout their opening four matches in Group A. But a costly defeat to Panama means the U.S. youngsters must now get at least a point from their final group game to set up a playoff with either Cuba, El Salvador or Honduras on Saturday. The winner of that playoff match will head to the U-20 World Cup this summer.

Mexico are the only team to have sealed qualification to the U-20 World Cup, so far, as they breezed through Group B with four-straight wins to make the final on Sunday, while Panama tops Group A before their final match against Guatemala on Wednesday.

The two finalists but the two teams who win their respective playoff games will represent CONCACAF at the U-20 World Cup this summer. With Jurgen Klinsmann and the entire U.S. soccer staff putting a huge emphasis on the development of young players, qualifying for the U-20 World Cup is a huge must for the USA’s next crop of talented youngsters after their failure to get out of the Group Stage at the 2013 competition.

To see if they can get the job done, watch the U.S. U-20’s take on T&T on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 2.