Two matches into the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup, the U.S. U-20 National Team is in a good a position going into the final match against Ghana on Thursday.
Playing in Turkey at the quadrennial tournament, the U.S. opened with matches against perennial powers Spain and France, testing a defense that features Sounders FC rightback DeAndre Yedlin from the opening kick.
While the U.S. struggled with Spain, dropping a 4-1 result on Friday, they bounced back with a strong performance against France on Monday to set up an opportunity to advance to the Knockout Stage against Ghana.
After a scoreless first half, France earned a 48th minute penalty, converted by Yaya Sanogo to put the U.S. behind, 1-0. Fortune was smiling on the U.S., though, as they earned a penalty of their own in the 64th minute. The attempt by Luis Gil – the lone American goalscorer against Spain – would be saved though, leaving the heroics to Daniel Cuevas. The Santos Laguna forward scored the equalizer in the 85th minute to give the U.S. their first point in the Group Stage.
Thus far, Yedlin has played all 90 minutes in both matches for Tab Ramos’ side. With one match left to play, the U.S. is in position to advance with a victory over Ghana, though they may need help. The top two teams from each of the six groups advance with the final four spots being taken by the four third-place teams with the best records.
The U.S. now depart Istanbul and will set-up base in Kayseri in preparation for its third and final Group A match against Ghana on Thursday, June 27, at Kadir Has Stadium. The match kicks off at 10 a.m. PT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU, WatchESPN, and Univision Deportes.