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USMNT U-20’s down Ecuador in World Cup opener


The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team opened play at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Saturday with Mikey Varas’ squad using a late winner from Jonathan Gomez to claim three points in Group B play.

Gomez’s long-range strike in the 92nd minute was all the Americans needed to earn a 1-0 opening day victory. Gilmar Napa made four saves to keep the USMNT U-20’s at bay, but the Americans eventually broke through Ecuador’s defense to take an early advantage in Group B.

Both teams had ample opportunities to break the deadlock in the first half but were unable to do so.

Caleb Wiley was denied in the 55th minute by Napa, which went down as the first shot for either team on net.

Darren Yapi came off the bench for the USMNT U-20’s later in the second half and became a handful for the Ecuadoran backline. Yapi’s long-range shot in the 80th minute was caught by Napa before the Colorado Rapids forward was also denied from close-range in the box three minutes later.

Gomez was denied in the early stages of stoppage time by Napa, but had the final say on his next offensive opportunity. After receiving a pass from Owen Wolff just outside of the box, Gomez unleashed a blistering effort which landed into the right side of the net.

It was Gomez’s first international goal with the USMNT U-20’s.

The USMNT U-20’s will next face Fiji on Tuesday before closing group stage play on Friday against Slovakia.


  1. i see the paywall on the senior team as erosion and i was able to watch the U20s live starting with ukraine 4 years ago. that too is erosion.

    • Opened the tournament on a Friday afternoon in 2019. Friday afternoons on FS1 and FS2 are filled with talk tv and game replays. Saturdays are filled with contracted live events, like USFL which Fox owns. You would have thought they could have preempted Horse Racing since most of those fans were more interested in the Belmont. Clearly ratings for 2019 U20 WC did not do better than horse racing.

  2. Gomez was a thorn in Ecuador’s left side the entire match. He is my choice for the USA’s MOM even. without the goal.

    • For real. USMNT couldn’t buy a leftie for years and now we have Wiley, Gomez, McGlynn, and Paredes with this u20 team.

      • but can they mark. dest is also technically a LB. we have had a lot of decent attacking LBs. it’s a defending position. if you finesse that you get exposed.

  3. Good win. Hopefully Yappi plays from the start against Fiji. Cowell on the left or right. With a decisive win against Fiji we are on to the knockout rounds.


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