The world's best youth players again take the stage with the 2013 Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Less than a week ago, Spain were being crowned winners of the 2013 Under-21 European Championships. Now they've got a chance to conquer the world, this time at the U-20 level.
In their way in the first match of the tournament will be the United States. The U.S. has generally had trouble at the youth level and is coming off a rather poor performance at the Toulon Tournament. A lot of those players will be looking to rebound at the World Cup.
Here's a quick preview for the match.
When: Friday, June 21, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Turk-Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey
Live Stream: ESPN3
What's at Stake
Spain will be the prohibitive favorite coming into the tournament. The Under-21 side is just coming off a win in the U-21 European Championship, and La Roja will likely be the kings on the U-20 level as well. This shouldn't be a major test for Spain, considering all of the young talent they possess. They should have no trouble qualifying first in Group A.
The United States won't be doomed with a loss, but they'll want to concede as few goals as possible. The third-place teams in some groups will advance. That depends on points, goal difference and goals scored. If the U.S. can walk away with a 1-0 or 2-0 loss, that's not the worst thing in the world.
USA Player to Watch: Caleb Stanko
The only hope for Tab Ramos will be to keep the score low. He should be playing for the draw while trying to snatch whatever his team can on the counter.
Caleb Stanko will be the anchor for the back four. The 19-year-old centre-back will also be the captain for the U.S.
Ramos has really had to shift around his defense because of injury. Just when he thinks he'll be able to call upon a player, his plans fly right out the window.
Stanko has shown improvement over the past year or so, but he's going to have to be at his best against Spain.
Spain Player to Watch: Gerard Deulofeu
Gerard Deulofeu is a name that fans have been hearing about for the past couple of seasons, but this will be the first time many will actually see him in action.
Deulofeu has only appeared in the Barcelona first team twice in Liga and three times in the Champions League. It's only a matter of time before he features regularly for Tito Vilanova's side.
A very skilled player, Deulofeu is just another in the factory line that has become the Spain national team. The 19-year-old is capable of playing on either wing, but he's probably at his best on the right.
He's got great control on the ball and could carve through the U.S. back four. If you've yet to hear about Deulofeu or see him in action, this is a great chance to see his immense talent.
Spain will win. It's just a matter of how many goals they score.
The United States will need a massive performance from their defenders and everything else to go perfectly in order to walk away with even a draw. They simply don't match up against Spain and lack the same kind of talent.
La Roja's U-20 side is not quite as experienced as their U-20 side, but there's still plenty of skilled players there who are on the books of the biggest clubs in the world.
Spain will be the aggressors from start to finish. The U.S. might be able to hit back on the counter occasionally.
Still, there's no way the Spanish walk out with anything less than a win.
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