The United States will face a tall challenge in Turkey this summer as the draw for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup was held on Monday. The U.S. has been placed in Group A with European powers Spain and France, along with a yet to be determined African nation.
"We're welcome to any challenge," U.S. U-20s Assistant Coach and Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss said Monday. "It's obviously a very strong group with those two European teams. Whatever African team makes it, you know they're going to be good. Historically, [African nations] have been very good at the youth World Cup level."
Bliss and Homegrown midfielder Wil Trapp will head to Turkey in June, hoping to make an impact on the world stage.
"When you get to the World Cup, there are 24 teams and everybody is good," Bliss said. "It looks like a very difficult group, but we finished strong in CONCACAF and I think that will give us confidence heading into [the World Cup].
"I won't say I like our chances better than anybody, but I don't fear any of those teams for any reason."
The U.S. will hold a camp in April to reassess talent ahead of the tournament this summer.
Following the announcement from U.S. Soccer that Columbus Crew Stadium will host the USA vs. Mexico 2014 World Cup Qualifier on September 10, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman expressed his sentiments on the fixture’s positive impact on the city of Columbus.
"This is fantastic news for our soccer fans and for our entire community,” Mayor Coleman said. “This will not only be an exciting soccer match, but an outstanding opportunity to showcase the City of Columbus to the entire world.”
Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his 23-man roster on Monday for two crucial upcoming matches in Denver and Mexico City.
The US host Costa Rica on Friday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (10 pm ET, ESPN), before taking on Mexico in Mexico City on March 26 (10:30 pm ET, ESPN).
US ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England - 5/3 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire - 0/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake - 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake - 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City - 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England - 6/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy - 1/0), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/Denmark - 5/0), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes - 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico - 26/6), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake - 2/0), Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy - 20/5), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico - 1/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor/Turkey - 10/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany - 6/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium - 13/0), Brek Shea (Stoke City/England - 2/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City - 4/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands - 18/6), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria - 2/0), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur/England - 27/11), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna/Mexico - 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC - 12/10)
Playing in the biggest match of his young career, a massive weight was lifted off of Wil Trapp's shoulders as the United States handled Canada 4-2 in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship quarterfinal to qualify for this summer's 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey on Tuesday night. Trapp's deflected, long-distance volley to make it 3-1 just before haftime gave the U.S. the momentum it needed to hold of its rival to the North in the second half and secure the victory.
Trapp and the United States move on to face Cuba in the semifinal of the regional tournament on Friday, March 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
Crew midfielder Wil Trapp and the United States begin their 2013 U-20 World Cup Qualifying campaign against Haiti on Monday night in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships in Puebla, Mexico. The Homegrown product from Gahanna, Ohio has been a mainstay in Head Coach Tab Ramos' camp leading up to the tournament, and figures to be an influential figure in the United States' midfield.
The U.S. features in Group A of the 12-team tournament with Haiti and Costa Rica as the top four nations will advance to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer.
Monday night's match against Haiti can be found on FOX Soccer Channel, and will be shown live at 6:30 p.m. ET.
While Jairo Arrieta will join the Crew's preseason camp in Orlando, Fla. in the coming days, another player has left the Black & Gold for International duty.
Homegrown rookie midfielder Wil Trapp left Columbus Thursday morning for Puebla, Mexico, the site of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Trapp has been a mainstay in the U.S. U-20 National Team's midfield over the last two years, as the Stars and Stripes hope to qualify for 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer. The top four teams in Mexico will move on to the big stage in Turkey. The U.S. failed to qualify for the last World Cup in 2011.
"It's going to be big," Trapp said before leaving Columbus. "I'm excited just because the 20s as team last time did not qualify [for the World Cup]. We want to kind of make-up for that and do well and qualify for the World Cup. It's a huge stage. I just want to make it, big time."
Trapp spent 10 days with the U.S. U-20 National Team in Puebla in January to prepare for the altitude issues the team will face in the tournament before joining the Crew for its preseason trip to Bradenton, Fla. The United States has been placed in Group A of the tournament with Costa Rica and Haiti. Trapp and the U-20s will kick off play on February 18 against Haiti.
Crew striker Jairo Arrieta and Costa Rica will begin the Hexagonal round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying for the CONCACAF Region on Wednesday night against Panama at 9:30 p.m. ET. La Sele enters the match in Panama City fresh off winning the 2013 Copa Centroamericana where Arrieta won the tournament's Golden Boot award, tallying twice in group play.
Costa Rica's Heach Coach, Jorge Luís Pinto, wlll likely deploy Arrieta as a strike option off the bench as Real Betis' Joel Campbell and Real Salt Lake's Álvaro Saborío are expected to start up top for the Ticos.
Arrieta made his Senior Team debut in 2011 and has made nine caps for Costa Rica, scoring two goals for his country in the process. The striker is expected to re-join the Black & Gold in Orlando for preseason training later this week.
Fantastic atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. AO watch parties looked to be well-attended too! #UniteAndStrengthen
— The American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws) September 12, 2012
Klinsmann, U.S. players gushing over #Crew96 Stadium atmosphere. Obvious they want to play here as much as possible.
— Shawn Mitchell (@smitchcd) September 12, 2012
USA still undefeated at Crew Stadium! USA - when you need 3, come home to Crew Stadium - we will deliver! twitter.com/CrewPrez/statu…
— Mark McCullers (@CrewPrez) September 12, 2012
Well deserved 3 points! Amazing crowd tonight! Great effort all around from the boys!!#USA
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) September 12, 2012
Well done, Columbus. We see you.
— Nike Soccer (@nikesoccer) September 12, 2012
— Don Garber (@thesoccerdon) September 12, 2012
Great crowd here in Columbus tonight! Thanks for your support and making it that much more special! #9/11
— Brek Shea (@BrekShea) September 12, 2012
Danny Williams: "I have played before emotional fans in Germany but never anything like this. The 24,000 felt like 50 or 60,000 in here"
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) September 12, 2012
Cherundolo: USSF "should put thought into playing more games here or venues that are similar." KC is next month, final round sites tbd
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) September 12, 2012
Tim Howard: "We were talking inside and there’s no bigger homefield advantage for us in America than here." #USMNT
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) September 12, 2012
— Dante Washington (@DanteWashington) September 12, 2012
— Dante Washington (@DanteWashington) September 12, 2012
— MassiveCity (@MassiveCityFFC) September 12, 2012
— MLS Insider (@MLS_Insider) September 12, 2012
— U.S. SOCCER (@ussoccer) September 12, 2012
The U.S. Men's National Team returned from Jamaica to hold a public training session at Crew Stadium. Over 3000 fans got to watch the USMNT up close and personal.
Costa Rican Olman Vargas rejoined the Crew at training in Obetz on Thursday after spending the past week and a half representing his country in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The striker feels he has grown with his experience on the International level.
"It was a really good experience, especially with World Cup Qualifying," Vargas said Thursday through a translator. "The games are different. It made me grow as a player. I hope I can help the team and be called-up for the next qualifying games."
The transition from the Costa Rican national team back to the Crew is a smooth one, Vargas said.
"It's not really difficult, because I know the way that Robert wants me to play," he explained. "The way the team plays is like the way the national team plays. It makes it easy because I was here earlier in the year and adapted to the system and with the group. The transition isn't that complicated."
Vargas came on as a substitute in La Sele's 2-2 draw against El Salvador last Friday, but was unused in Tuesday's win in Guyana.
The striker is fit and says he's ready if called upon by Robert Warzycha on Saturday night.