After a nervy two hours for the United States U20 team where they lost by a goal to Panama while up a man and fell behind to Haiti early, a Brooks Lennon hat trick and Luca De La Torre goal have set up a final Group B match where even a loss might be enough for them to advance in World Cup qualifying.
The U.S. takes on a St. Kitts & Nevis team that has been outscored 9-1 through the first two matches while Haiti will play group leaders Panama in the earlier Group B match.
By the time their game kicks off, the U.S. could potentially just need to avoid a blowout loss to miss out on advancing (a Panama win over Haiti would leave the teams tied for second on three points).
But anything but a lopsided win will be viewed as another dagger to a team and manager that hasn’t instilled any confidence in the early going of the CONCACAF U20 Championship tournament.
Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty, who has been an unused sub the first two matches, could be in line to make his tournament debut should Tab Ramos look to make changes to his back line. After the opening game loss to Panama, he made two changes to the lineup with Eryk Williamson taking the place of the injured Tyler Adams and Jonathan Lewis adding a much-needed punch to the offense in place of Sebastian Saucedo.
While Adams’ status for the game isn’t clear, St. Kitts will be without defender Xavier French, who was sent off with a second yellow card against Panama on Tuesday.
Game: United States U20 vs St. Kitts & Nevis U20
Date: Friday, February 24
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; Tibas, Costa Rica
Television: Univision Deportes
Streaming: Facebook Live
Previous Meetings: This is the first ever meeting between the two teams in the CONCACAF U20 Championship
What to Expect: After dropping four goals on Haiti, the U.S. offense should have some confidence going into a game against a team that lost 5-1 to Haiti and 4-0 to Panama. A blowout win should be expected, but not without some head-scratching moments that have been all too common in Costa Rica over the past week.
Group B Advancement Scenarios
If Panama beats Haiti: the U.S. would advance with a win or a tie.
If Panama beats Haiti and the U.S. loses to St. Kitts and Nevis: the U.S. would sit in a three-way tie for second place with Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis, based on total group points (three). The greater goal difference in matches between the three (tied) teams would serve as the tie breaker.
If Panama and Haiti tie: the U.S. would advance with a win or a tie.
If Haiti beats Panama: the U.S. would need a win vs. St. Kitts and Nevis to take part in a three-way tie for first place with Haiti and Panama. The greater goal difference in matches between the three teams would again serve as the tie breaker.
CONCACAF tie breaker procedure used to rank teams:
a) Greater number of points in matches between the tied teams.
b) Greater goal difference in matches between the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points).
c) Greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points).
d) Greater goal difference in all group matches
e) Greater number of goals scored in all group matches
f) Drawing of lots