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United States U20s face must-win against Haiti

Anything but a win will spell disaster for World Cup qualifying

MLS: All Star Game-Homegrown Game Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a disastrous start to their U20 World Cup qualifying campaign on Saturday, the United States U20 team will look to rebound against a team it is expected to and will have to beat to keep its hopes of advancing alive.

The U.S. will be without starting midfielder Tyler Adams, who was injured in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Panama on a harsh challenge early in the 18th minute. The U.S. played a man up for the final 72 minutes after the play that deservedly earned Justin Simons a straight red, but were unable to capitalize, conceding the lone goal to Iowa Western Community College forward Leandro Ávila in the 37th minute of a dispiriting loss.

Haiti is coming off a 5-1 win over St. Kitts & Nevis in their first Group B match and will be looking to win two straight CONCACAF U20 Championship matches for the first time ever. Jimmy-Shammar Sanon, Brian Chevreuil, Alessandro Campoy (Florida International), Jonel Desire and Ronaldo Damus scored the goals in Saturday’s win for Haiti, which has never advanced past the first round of this competition.

Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty didn’t play in the opener for the U.S. with Tab Ramos electing to move central defender and captain Erik Palmer-Brown into the midfield while pairing Justen Glad and Tommy Redding in the middle of the defense.

Given the team’s performance on Saturday, changes will certainly need to be in order for head coach Tab Ramos as he looks for a steadier performance from an offense that despite being up a man for the better part of the game managed just two shots on goal and a third dangerous chance from Jeremy Ebobisse that hit the crossbar.

Game: United States U20 vs Haiti U20

Date: Tuesday, February 21

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Venue: Estadio Nacional; San Jose, Costa Rica

Television: Univision Deportes

Streaming: Facebook Live

Previous Meetings: The U.S. won 2-1 in their last meeting in this competition in 2013 and is 3-0 all-time.

What to Expect: With the pressure on, the U.S. need to get their mojo back by creating early chances and capitalizing on any mistakes Haiti makes. After playing 72 minutes up a man and finishing with nothing to show for it, an early goal will be key. The longer Haiti hangs around, the more likely it is that the U.S. will have to kiss a U20 World Cup berth goodbye.