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U.S. Under-20s face Canada with World Cup berth at stake


USA-Canada might not be regarded as much of a rivalry, but recent results on the soccer field, both in men’s and women’s soccer, have helped to cultivate a budding rivalry worthy of the proximity of the neighboring nations.

From Canada’s upset win over the U.S. Under-23 team a year ago (a win that ultimately helped keep the U.S. from going to the Olympics), to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team’s dramatic Olympic semifinal win against the Canadian women’s team, the past year has seen an increase in interest in clashes between the two countries (even if a pair of scoreless shutouts by the senior men’s teams in June and January were painfully boring).

The next chapter in this suddenly burgeoning rivalry takes place in Mexico today, when the U.S. Under-20 national team takes on Canada in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel). The winner books a place in the Under-20 World Cup.

The match is of vital importance for both countries. For the U.S., the match is an opportunity to avoid missing three international tournaments in two years (after missing the 2011 Under-20 World Cup and Olympics). For Canada, which has already seen its team eliminated from 2014 World Cup qualifying, this U-20 team is seen as a key squad in the development of the talent pool that Canada will draw from for the 2018 World Cup, Canada’s next target.

SBI will be providing live commentary so be sure to join us for the match.

What players are you looking forward to seeing? Do you like the U.S. Team’s chances of beating Canada, or do you fear another U.S. loss to Canada on the youth level?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. With a lot on the line I do not see Canada playing bunker ball. Counter attack maybe, but not bunker ball. This will put Tab Ramos under the microscope a bit, but players and coaches should rise to the occasion in this sort of game. 3-1 U.S. wins!!!

    • Yeah, but no time in camp and no team chemistry had been built. I have the 3 week camp, and some promising play from Gil, Joya, and Cuevas will see us through. I say 2-0 U.S. in a game controlled by us.

      • It’s not a “rope-a-dope” strategy. It’s the strategy that works against stronger teams that intend to try to play a possession-oriented, build-from-the-back style. It is a disadvantage of playing slow-building possession soccer (as opposed to quick, counter-attacking soccer), a HUGE disadvantage, that you play almost 100% of the time against a defense that has had time to get organized. Of course there are 10 men defending. What do you expect them to be doing? Should 2 of them go to the snack bar while you patiently build from the back, just to be fair? If you want to hit them before they organize, hit them faster. If you want to build slowly, you need a solution to how to break down the organized defense. Canada beat the US U23s by staying organized on defense, outnumbering the US and disrupting their possession in the midfield, and by taking their chances when they got them. Nothing dopey about that.

      • I can’t tell from your response if you think he is calling the strategy “dopey”, but rope-a-dope refers to Muhammed Ali’s epic win over George Foreman where he lured Foreman into thinking he was dominating by pinning Ali up against the ropes but meanwhile exhausting all his energy. It’s not really an insult.

  2. The only team to over achieve at the youth level was the U-17’s in 1999 with Landon, Gouch, Beaz and the boys taking 4th place at the WC Finals. We just aren’t able to play big boy soccer until they reach the full USMNT for some reason.


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