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USMNT U-20’s paired with Ecuador, Fiji, and Slovakia at FIFA U-20 World Cup


The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team has learned its opponents for this spring’s 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Ecuador, Fiji, and Slovakia will face off with Mikey Varas’ side in Group B of the upcoming youth tournament. The FIFA U-20 World Cup will run from May 20 to June 11 in Argentina after FIFA pulled the hosting rights from Indonesia.

The USMNT U-20’s are the only team to reach the quarterfinals of the last three FIFA U-20 World Cups. The Americans are also one of three countries to qualify to each of the last five U-20 World Cups alongside New Zealand and Uruguay.

The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup features 24 countries divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-place teams advance to the Round of 16.

A knockout bracket will be used for the remainder of the tournament.

The USMNT U-20’s will square off with Ecuador for the third-consecutive edition of the tournament. Ecuador eliminated the Americans from the 2019 tournament with a 2-1 defeat in the quarterfinals.

Ecuador clinched South America’s final World Cup spot with a fourth-place finish in the final group stage at the 2023 CONMEBOL U-20 Championship.

The USMNT U-20’s have never faced Fiji or Slovakia in U-20 World Cup play as both are appearing in their second tournaments. Fiji finished as runner-up at the 2022 OFC U-19 Championship and Slovakia won a playoff match against Austria to secure UEFA’s fifth and final World Cup berth.

Kevin Paredes, Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan, and Jack McGlyn headline the top talent in the USMNT U-20 player pool ahead of the tournament.


  1. in terms of the U20 youth release discussion, it’s an early summer tournament — strictly speak still spring — it’s not usually been a problem for them. maybe a team or two get snippy. otherwise last time they played it was full of dests and weahs and such. people have this confused with regional U23 and/or U20 qualifying. those are more of a “hand tied behind back” exercise with many european based refused.

    the more subtle reason we lag at U20 is we “graduate” our pulisic type players out of the age groups. i think technically pepi, scally, tolkin, musah, reyna, cowell, and others could play U20 this summer. if we wanted to trophy hunt. but we graduate them to senior and that’s that.

    comes across to me as a fairly friendly schedule. ecuador did knock us out last time but this is age group soccer and that was 2 cycles ago. the third place team from D and the might be pretty good as might the second place from F and that’s when the trouble would start.

    • Times are changing as MLS clubs play more and more youth players. If a large number of MLS players aren’t released it would be a first. I also think it’s hilarious that you think Cowell has graduated because he’s played in 2 camp cupcakes. No one is talking about Reyna or Scally they’re talking about Clark, Aaronson, Wiley, Brady, Gutierrez, McGlynn, Sullivan, the Wolfes, Neal, Pukstas, Edelman, Paredes, Yapi, Esmir, Buck, and “Buff Arriola”. All of those guys are either regular starters or often used backups (except Clark). That’s 15+ guys that should be on the roster that very easily could be held out. The Concacaf CL final takes place May 31 & June 4 so that would cancel out Sullivan and McGlynn.
      2019: the big two non releases were Sargent who had played 10 Bundesliga matches and 6 NT and Jonathan Amon (who with all the injuries doesn’t seem that big).
      2017: Pulisic who by that time had 50 app for Dortmund and had definitely graduated, but McKennie, Wright, and Taitague (another lost to injury) all were held out for the U19 Bundesliga A playoffs, as was Josh Perez who was with Fiorentina at the time and McKinzie Gaines (who that season had 7g 9a for Wolfsburg U19). I think Olesunde would have been eligible too so perhaps ManU didn’t release him.

  2. Varas needs to find a 9 for this tournament. Be it Yappi from the Rapids, Malick Sanogo at Union Berlin u19’s, playing Cowell as a striker, maybe calling in Keyrol Figueroa from the u17’s or calling in u-19 top American scorer from Atletico Madrid youth team Rodigo Neri, or Marcos Zambrano from Benficas youth team. Quite frankly Varas needs to play with a 9. Can’t go to this tournament with out a 9. Paxten Aaronson much more lethal as an attacking midfielder or wide attacker.

      • Well that’s unfortunate. Slonina will be the starter. Gutierrez will be missed but this team has a plethora of attacking midfielders.

      • Just read Caden Clark has a back injury. Yikes that could be a big loss for the U20’s. That roster selection will be coming quick In about two weeks.

      • Che is hurt as well. Paredes is hurt. Will Pukstas be released since he’s been playing so much for Split. Pax has been seeing minutes. Neal, Wiley, Cowell will they be released? This could be a really good roster or a really weak one at this point. Thank goodness Mastroeni can’t figure out how to use Diego.

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