Are you suffering from World Cup withdrawals? Do you find yourself chanting USA USA USA under your breath at work? Do you book two hour meetings that aren’t real on your work calendar in hopes that it might coax the World Cup to start again? Have you walked by a bar longingly on Saturday morning, wishing you weren’t outside in the sun and instead surrounded by sweaty Americans, all covered in beer? Me too. It’s hard. I feel it too. Unfortunately nothing can actually replace the World Cup. Not even vodka (trust me). Instead, let’s look at some other solutions to attempt to fill that World Cup-sized hole (at least temporarily). Tomorrow, 7/18 (or today if you are out in the East) the USMNT U-20 team takes on the Australia U-20 team for the championship of the NTC Invitational. With the goal differential situation, the USA can win the event with a draw or victory against Australia. This tournament, held at the StubHub Center, has seen the US take on both Bermuda and Chile so far. The best part is this game is being streamed, Friday night at 7 PM PST on http://www.ussoccer.com/. Throw your US jersey on and put that withdrawal to rest for the evening.
The cool thing here is that it is very likely that you will see some of these guys work their way into the full national team setup within the next four years. This team is packed with future stars, just look at this roster and the clubs they currently play for.
On Wednesday the U-20 USMNT team squared off with Bermuda and walked away with a 4-0 win. Highlights below, these guys aren’t afraid to get forward and get after it offensively.
On Monday the U-20 USMNT rallied to come from a goal down to beat Chile 2-1. Highlights are pretty sparse for this one unfortunately.
A couple guys in particular to keep an eye on, Andrija Novakovich and Zach Pfeffer up top. Both have played quite well during this tournament, contributing two goals each through two games. If nothing else, this should help your World Cup cravings and give you the jump on your friends on who the young guys to watch are for the next cycle. Start name dropping Romain Gall, Lynden Gooch, and Paul Arriola’s names at the bar, and watch as people are instantly wowed and buy you alcoholic beverages for imparting them with such knowledge. Or not. Worth a shot though. USA USA USA USA USA!