(Brek Shea photo from MLSNET.com)
The United States U-20 National Team secured passage to its twelfth U-20 World Cup by winning its group at the CONCACAF U-20 Championships. The US has advanced out of the group stage of the last six U-20 World Cups, but has not reached the semifinals even once in that stretch losing three times in the second round and three times in the Quarterfinals.
The 2009 U-20 World Cup will be held this summer in Egypt. Honduras has also secured passage to the tournament from CONCACAF.
Brian Perk kept a clean sheet in all three group games and Brek Shea who a year ago attracted interest from Manchester United has been playing very well for the US. Tony Taylor of Jacksonville University scored a goal in his first international appearance on Tuesday versus El Salvador.
Brian Ownby, a right sided midfielder has provided a spark this entire tournament and is a player to watch going forward. The US now advances to the semifinals later this week. Jared Jeffery has also been outstanding in this tournament.
While the US and Honduras will be joined by two other CONCACAF nations, Mexico will not be one of them. El Tri has crashed out of the tournament losing its first two group games and are now mathematically eliminated from advancing.