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US U-20 History

I have gotten a number of requests for a historical perspective on the US run at the U-20 World Cup. Contrary to what many may think, the US actually has quite a proud tradition of advancing in this competition but as the following table shows, typically the US finds a way to lose in either the Round of 16 or in the Quarterfinals. The point is, unlike the Senior World Cup, the US is accustomed to advancing into the knock out stage at this event, but the exception of a fluke qualification in 1989 (because Mexico was disqualified from this event and the 1990 FIFA World Cup for using ineligible players) the US has never gotten past the quarterfinals. This chart begins in 1983, which is not when the event began but is the first time the US qualified.

US u-20 History

1983

3rd in Group stage, did not advance

Key players: Hugo Perez, George Gelnovatch

1985- DNQ

1987

3rd in Group stage, did not advance

1989

2nd in Group stage,
SEMIFINALIST

Key players: Steve Snow, Eric Wynalda, Kasey Keller

1991- DNQ

1993

2nd in Group stage.
QUARTERFINALIST

Key Players: Imad Baba, Miles Joseph, Kerry Zavagnan

1995-DNQ

1997

3rd in Group stage; 2nd best 3rd place team- advanced

LOST in Round of 16

Key players: Ben Olsen, Brian West, Josh Wolff, John O’Brien

1999

2nd in Group Stage

LOST in Round of 16

Key players: Taylor Twellman, Carlos Bocanegra, Cory Gibbs, Tim Howard

2001

2nd in Group stage

LOST in Round of 16

Key players: Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey

2003

Won Group

Lost in QUARTERFINALS

Key players: Eddie Johnson (Golden ball winner), Clint Dempsey, Bobby Convey

2005

Won Group

Lost in Round of 16

Key players: Freddy Adu, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Jonathan Spector


This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, U-20 World Cup, US National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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