U.S. Under-20 National Team

U.S. U-20s settle for fourth, Mexico takes title at Milk Cup

U.S. Soccer Federation

The U.S. Under-20 men's national team settled for fourth place at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, falling to Chile 4-3 in the third-place game Thursday.

Furman University centerback Walker Zimmerman scored in the first minute, Santos Laguna's Benji Joya scored and assisted on a goal, and Chicago Fire Homegrown Player Victor Pineda scored his second goal of the tournament to spearhead the U.S. attack.

Conceding three consecutive goals in a four-minute span midway through the second half immediately after Joya's goal was ultimately the U-20s' undoing, as it turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit in a flash. Pineda tallied from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute to create some late drama, but the Americans could not find the late equalizer and fell, sealing a tournament in which it lost to Denmark and defeated Turkey.

Here is the lineup that U-20 coach Tab Ramos used for the match:


Cody Cropper; Boyd Okwuonu (Eric Miller, 79), Walker Zimmerman, Holden Fender, Juan Pablo Ocegueda; Benji Joya, Wil Trapp, Mikey Lopez (Collin Martin, 69); Victor Pineda (Dillon Serna, 88), Daniel Cuevas, Alfred Koroma (Mario Rodriguez, 73) 


Mexico, meanwhile, cruised to the tournament championship, coming up with a 3-0 win over defending champion Denmark in the title game. Tournament MVP Jesus Corona, Julio Enrique Gomez, Arturo Alfonso Gomez scored the goals for El Tri.

For Mexico, the Milk Cup title is another accomplishment on the international stage after winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup and finishing third at the U-20 World Cup in 2011.


Are you disappointed with the U.S. U-20s' finish at the Milk Cup? Are you more concerned that Mexico won another international youth title?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Lampard in the End Zone

    The Sky is falling! We suck and Mexico is the awesome-est!

    We won the Milk Cup two years ago and finished 3rd last year (to Mexico’s 5th).

    We also were missing quite a few of our best players as they are training with first teams and U-23s. So perhaps not the best result, but we will be ok.


  • beachbum

    conceded 3 goals in four minutes? wow, that sucks, no way to sugarcoat that

    anybody see it? was it a formational problem, a specific weak link that got exploited…what the F happened???

    I like Tab and all, but geez


  • 2tone

    Tab really needs to find a very good CDM like Shane O’Neil of the Rapids.

    Still haven’t seen first choice CB’s Packwood and Brooks with this U-20 squad. No Luis Gil, no Marc Pelosi, no Bijev, No Keisewetter, no Salgado,
    no Villarreal among many more first choice players that were not with this team. I think with the team Tab was able to construct they had a decent tournament.

    I would imagine he has been able to identify which players that he see’s from this Milk Cup U-20 side that he wants to ultimately take to the U-20 WC Qualifying tournament.

    Hopefully USSF will schedule more friendly’s from here until the U-20 qualifying tournament begins. Oh and hopefully Tab can persuade striker Julian Green Of Bayern Munich to suit up for the U.S. U-20’s.

    If Tab can get mostly all of our big hitter’s for the Qualifying tournament then this U-20 side will be stacked with talent.


  • otergod

    it’s youth development with a B-team U20 squad, B+ at best, in a glorified friendly tournament. I’ll start worrying about Tab as a coach when i see them in Quals.


  • chris

    it also should be noted Chile’s 4 goals were scored by 2 of Chile’s most promising prospects that should be world class players in the future


  • Ski Fast!

    We used to win that tournament. I remember watching Charlie Davies tear it up in Ireland.


  • b

    That is all true, and yet conceding three goals in four minutes is still shocking. Both can be true. It can be embarrassing to be cut apart like that even if many of our top guys are with their clubs and this is the B team.


  • Rivaldo

    Not a good sign if they cannot get these guys released to play in a tournament in July. And this is a good tournament.
    How long do you think their clubs will be willing to release them for qualifying? Ramos has 1 win in 3 foreign trips.


  • fortunate only

    It’s easy to hide behind the fact that a lot of the “top” players in this age group weren’t a part of this squad but the reality is that those same “top” players will more than likely not be released for qualifying in February of next year.


  • Rivaldo

    You nailed it and “top” is exactly the way I would phrase. It is not like we were missing young superstars getting minutes in the Champions League


  • ThatGirl

    USA youth teams needs another really old African player with a fake birth certificate to come in and ball up these tournaments.


  • luke

    will be interesting to see how they fit brooks, packwood and cunningham. cunningham can play LB, but ocugueda seems a good fit there. maybe packwood will play CDM for the u20s?


  • Moe

    which means theyre all too old for this process. This was a u19 tournament, for example the majority of mexico’s squad was 17 and 18. As teams are prepping for next years u20 qualifiers and world cup.


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