U.S. U-20 Side Could Have a Good Tournament, Miss Out on Second Round

Over at our sister site Mad About Fútbol, I walk through the scenario we are all aware of (but not talking about). The U.S. U-20 side could play very well tomorrow, but matched up against a good and resourceful Korea team, could lose and be sent home early:

Coupled with a U.S. loss, Cameroon would have to beat Germany. Then Cameroon would win the group with six points, Germany and Korea would finish with four, and the United States, despite their impressive win over Cameroon, would not be eligible for the second round, even though they would be better than a team like England or Uzbekistan (one of whom could advance as a third place team out of their group).

You can read the rest of the article at Mad About Fútbol. More thoughts:

This is turning out to be a very tough group, something Kartik and I discussed on the latest edition of the Major League Soccer Talk podcast. If the United States plays well, they could still lose to Korea. These things happen.

If the team plays hard and intelligently, I will be happy with our U-20’s performance. Of course, I will be disappointed that a good team doesn’t advance over a team like England (if they make it), but I’m not going to take anybody to task. One of these four very good teams is going to be out, and if anything, it shows that instead of rounding out the final 16 with four third place teams, they should just take the four teams with the best record.

But all of this is moot if the U.S. wins, and even though I’m being a worrier, that’s where I could put my money.