The United States have played in two matches under manager Tab Ramos in the 2013 Toulon Tournament, but both have wound up proving that there's a long way to go before his under-20 squad is ready to contend at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey later this June.
USA will get back on the field in France on Saturday to face Congo DR.
Neither side has won a match so far in Group A play, with the US dropping two straight matches to the host nation and Colombia before getting ready for their third match of the draw.
Congo DR, meanwhile, managed to look more respectable than the United States did against France, playing the hosts to a 1-0 loss—their only match and decision of the tournament so far.
With both teams needing a win to crawl back into contention for one of the top two spots in group play and a shot to move on to the semifinals, this is a must-win match for both the USA and Congo DR. Here's a look at all the information you'll need to follow along with both side on Saturday morning.
USA vs. Congo DR: June 1 at 9:30 p.m. ET at Stade Du Ray; Nice, France
Tournament: May 28 - June 8
Where: France (Assorted Cities)
Watch: beIN Sport
Live Stream: beIN Sport Mobile
|Group A||W||L||D||Points||Group B||W||L||D||Points|
*Note: All times at ET, unless otherwise noted.
|Date||Time (ET)||Matchup||City (France)||Stadium|
|June 1||9:30 a.m||Congo DR vs. USA||Nice||Stade du Ray|
|June 1||1:30 p.m.||France vs. South Korea||Nice||Stade du Ray|
|June 2||11:30 a.m||Belgium vs. Nigeria||Avignon||Parc des Sports|
|June 2||1:30 p.m.||Brazil vs. Portugal||Avignon||Parc des Sports|
|June 3||11:30 a.m||Congo DR vs. South Korea||Avignon||Parc des Sports|
|June 3||1:30 p.m.||France vs. Colombia||Avignon||Parc des Sports|
|June 4||11:30 a.m||Mexico vs. Portugal||Saint-Raphaël||Stade L. Hon|
|June 4||1:30 p.m.||Brazil vs. Nigeria||Saint-Raphaël||Stade L. Hon|
|June 5||11:30 a.m||South Korea vs. USA||Saint-Raphaël||Stade L. Hon|
|June 5||1:30 p.m.||Colombia vs. Congo DR||Saint-Raphaël||Stade L. Hon|
|June 6||11:30 a.m||Nigeria vs. Portugal||Toulon||Stade Léo Lagrange|
|June 6||1:30 p.m.||Belgium vs. Mexico||Toulon||Stade Léo Lagrange|
|June 8||9:30 a.m.||3rd-4th place match||Nice||Stade du Ray|
|June 8||11:30 a.m.||Finals||Nice||Stade du Ray|
USA vs. Congo DR Match Preview
It's been a rough start for the Americans in France so far, but the Congo DR present a chance for the red, white and blue to get back on the horse and at least make things hard for the Group A leaders over the final few days of the tournament.
A 4-1 loss to France in the United States' opening match was a disappointing showing for Ramos' side, even though he and the coaching staff are still trying to tinker with the lineup prior to the World Cup.
That tinkering led to six new faces in the starting lineup against Colombia, and the Americans played much better in the 80-minute contest the last time they were on the pitch—two goals in a short span at the start of the second half doomed USA to an 0-2 start in the 41st edition of the tournament.
Here's what Ramos had to say about his team's performance after the Colombia loss (via USSoccer.com):
It was certainly a different game than the last one. I thought was a big matchup for us and in the first half we did enough to take the lead and hang onto the lead. I was a little concerned with the initial 15 minutes of the second half when we lost control of the game, but we also lost composure. That’s a little bit disappointing for us, but in terms of everything else that the team had to offer I think we were able to draw some good conclusions today.
Danny Garcia's corner kick for a goal was one of the highlights for the Americans against Colombia, as was the play of Alonso Hernandez. Both forwards are expected to play significant roles for USA moving forward and into the World Cup.
After Cody Cropper got the start in net the first game, Kendall McIntosh was the stopper for the match against Colombia. He fared better than his counterpart, giving up just two goals. We'll see who Ramos chooses to use for this must-win match.
For Congo DR, France got behind the defenders early for the game-winning goal, but the defense and speed of the opposing team for the USA will be something to watch for in this match.
Congo was unable to find the net against France, and they haven't won a match since last October against Cameroon. The African side has a chance against an inexperienced USA squad trying to find its way, and this should be a good gauge for both squads heading into the World Cup later this month.
United States U20 Roster (via Goal.com)
Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Defenders: Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), JeffreyPayeras (C.S.D. Municipal; Hawthorne, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marlon Hairston (Louisville; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), DillonSerna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
Forwards: Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma (Akron; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
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