Qualifying for major international tournaments has been a tougher challenge than expected for U.S. youth teams over the last year, and that quest won't get any easier in 2013, as qualification for two youth World Cups will take place on foreign soil.
Mexico and Panama have been selected to host the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 and Under-17 championships, respectively. The U-20 tournament will be held in Puebla from Feb. 18 to March 3, with the four teams that make it to the semifinal round qualifying for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The U.S. U-20s failed to qualify for the 2011 U-20 World Cup after falling in the quarterfinal round to tournament host Guatemala. The current batch of U-20s are presently in a training camp in Portland, Ore., led by coach Tab Ramos.
The U-17 tournament will take place in Panama City from April 6-19, with the four semifinalists making it to the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
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