Monday, July 9, 2007

US U-20's to Meet Uruguay in Round of 16

The Round of 16 was finalized yesterday as group play finished off in Groups A and C. The US, as the winner of Group D, earned the right to play a third place team in the Round of 16, and their opponent will be South American side Uruguay.

Uruguay ended group play (Group B) with 4 points from 3 games and a -1 goal differential, which cost them second place as Zambia also had 4 points but a +1 goal differential. Uruguay was led by two goals from Palermo striker Edison Cavani and a goal and an assist from FC Gronigen midfielder Luis Suarez. Worth noting, however, is the fact that Uruguay will enter the match with the US without their starting goalkeeper, Mauro Goicoechea, who received a red card just 19 minutes into his country's final group match against Zambia (a 2-0 loss). This surely will be a huge advantage for the US, whose dynamic offense gives starting goalkeepers fits, much less their backups.

The US heads into the knockout stages as the winner of Group D with 7 points. A comfortable goal differential of +6, buoyed by 3 goals apiece from Danny Szetela, Freddy Adu, and Josmer Altidore. Sal Zizzo contributed 3 assists as well, and the US led all countries in goals scored during the group stage with 9.

The match will be played in Toronto on Wednesday, July 11. It's tentatively scheduled to be televised on ESPN U, though interest across the country forced ESPN executives to move the match against Brazil to ESPN and the same may be done again. The winner of this match will play the winner of the Austria-Gambia game in Toronto on July 14.

Check back here for a full recap of this match and if results go the US' way, a preview of their quarterfinal game.

For the complete knockout bracket, see:

No comments: