CUBA TO FACE USMNT IN CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS • Latino Sports

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CUBA TO FACE USMNT IN CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

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Image Credit: US Soccer

Image Credit: US Soccer

U.S. U-20 MNT FACES CUBA IN CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team attained its goal of earning a berth to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Now the squad looks to maintain its winning ways in the semifinals of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship when it faces Cuba at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, March 1, at Estadio Cuauhtémoc in Puebla, Mexico. The match will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer and Univision Deportes. Fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

The USA-Cuba semifinal match originally was scheduled to be played at Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP, the site of the U.S. U-20 MNT’s two group matches and quarterfinal.

The U.S. qualified for its 13th FIFA U-20 World Cup. Cuba, on the other hand, has just qualified for its first FIFA U-20 World Cup. Cuba defeated Canada 2-1 and Nicaragua 3-0 to win Group B, and then edged Costa Rica 2-1 in the quarterfinals. This anticipated semifinal clash features two 3-0-0 teams. The U.S. won Group A of the CONCACAF tournament with a 2-1 victory against Haiti and a 1-0 shutout against Costa Rica, followed by a 4-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals that resulted in the team’s qualification to the World Cup later this year.

SEVERAL U.S. U-20 MNT PLAYERS RETURN TO CLUB TEAMS: The U.S. U-20 MNT will be a little shorthanded for the remaining two matches of the tournament. Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart) and captain Caleb Stanko (Freiburg) have returned to their respective club teams . Goalkeeper Cody Cropper is expected to stay with the team through Saturday, meaning he should be available for selection for Friday’s semifinal but unavailable for the final placement game on Sunday, March 3.

CONCACAF WORLD CUP BERTHS SET: In addition to the U.S. U-20 MNT and Cuba earning berths to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup with their wins on Tuesday, two more CONCACAF teams joined the fray on Wednesday. El Salvador topped Panama 3-1 to qualify for its first World Cup at this age group and host Mexico blanked Jamaica 4-0 to move on to the World Cup and into the CONCACAF semifinal stage.

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