U-20 World Cup Preview: US takes on Serbia in quarterfinals

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The U.S. U-20 team is ready to go for a quarterfinal matchup against Serbia in Auckland kicking off at 12:30am ET.

After taking down Colombia on a goal from Rubio Rubin in their first knockout round match, the team is reaching new heights under Tab Ramos.

Captain Emerson Hyndman has emerged as an elite young passer, quarterbacking the side through the midfield and proving useful in front of goal as well. The central defensive partnership of Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers has been a revelation at the back. Arsenal youth product Gedion Zelalem has proven electric up front as a playmaker, and goalkeeper Zack Steffan has been a brick wall in net.

However, it will be a stiff test for the group in the quarters, as the Serbians haven’t lost a match since falling in the opener to Uruguay 1-0. They are coming into this match on a high, having taken down Hungary in a massive comeback, tying things up in injury time and winning on penalties.

They have a big prospect at playmaker as well in Andrija Zivkovic, an 18-year-old who last season became the youngest captain in Partizan Belgrade history and responded by scoring five league goals. He scored a brilliant free-kick goal against Mexico in the group stage.

Serbia’s defensive capabilities have also been fantastic, conceding just twice all tournament. The U.S. has been impressive so far, but they will need to get past their stiffest test yet to make the final four of the tournament and a possible matchup with heavyweights Germany, should they get past Mali.