USA lead Group B at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 with a 2-0 win over Slovakia

SAN JUAN, Argentina (May 26, 2023) – The USA U-20 national youth team defeated Slovakia 2-0 to secure first place in Group B of the FIFA U-20 Championship with a perfect nine points from three games. World Championship. It’s the first time in the USA’s 17 tournament appearances that they finish with a 3-0-0 record in the group stage.

Striker Cade Cowell threatened the Sokoli defense all afternoon and scored the opening goal in the 38th minute with an impressive individual effort, firing past several Slovakian defenders down the left wing. His San Jose Earthquakes club-mate Niko Tsakiris scored a crucial goal in the closing moments of the game and caused a stir again when he came on as a substitute. After securing victory and first place in Group B, the USA will meet third-place finishers from Group A, C or D in the round of 16 on Tuesday, May 30 (1:30 p.m. ET; FS2). All three groups will be played on Saturday finished their game.
































After leading the way from the start and controlling possession, the US attack began to take hold midway through the first half as the young Americans knocked on the door several times. There was real danger for the first time from a US corner in the 24th minute when defender Justin Che headed in on the box and then fired another try from inside the six after the rebound.

Cowell was often the trigger for the Americans, making several threatening attacks down the left flank. In the 25th minute, he helped set up midfielder Obed Vargas for an attack from outside the box, which was deflected by goalkeeper Adam Hrdina before defender Caleb Wiley almost converted the rebound into the game’s first goal.

The San Jose Earthquakes forward had the best opportunity to score in the 28th minute when he was sent wide by a masterful long ball from center back Brandan Craig. Cowell used a touch of the ball to play it over the keeper at the top of the box and had an open net in front of him but was unable to control the ball and midfielder Diego Luna’s ensuing shot went over the bar. In the 35th minute, Cowell appeared to have put America ahead, but his attempt was ruled offside.

The winger more than made up for the misses with his remarkable run and goal in the 38th minute. He pounced on a misplayed back pass from Slovakia and maneuvered through the Sokoli defence, staying strong on the ball after a first attempt at tackling, dodging a slipping defender and then rolling past a final pair of Slovakians at the top of the box and flicking a shot to the right side of the net. After missing USA’s opening game against Ecuador through suspension, Cowell has since scored in both games and is one of ten players in Argentina to have scored multiple goals.

Slovakia reacted shortly after the first goal and fired a shot from outside the box in the 41st minute, but US goalkeeper Gaga Slonina was up to the task and jumped to the right to save. Slonina and the US defense kept a third straight clean sheet in Argentina and finished the group stage with just 23 shots allowed.

Cowell picked up where he left off after half-time, causing problems for the Slovakian defence. He made another dangerous run down the left touchline in the 48th minute before Luna stormed into the six yard box, but the midfielder’s first shot hit the post. Luna hit Holzwerk again in the 67th minute, this time crashing off the bar after a long break in Slovakia’s 18th minute.

The Sokoli continued to look for an equalizer as the game went on, but the USA put the game out of reach in the sixth minute of overtime. Striker Quinn Sullivan found Tsakiris, once again a spark off the bench, in the box where he controlled his fourth U-20 international goal and got the ball on target.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Cowell’s goal was his fourth in nine U-20 internationals and his second at the World Cup. Tsakiris’ tally was his fourth in seven U-20 appearances. Born in 2005, Tsakiris is the second youngest player in the squad and is also eligible to play for the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup. His father Shaun represented the USA at the 1999 U-20 World Cup and is an assistant coach at the U-20 MYNT. Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and defender Brandan Craig have played every 270 minutes for the USA in Argentina. -US U20 MEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-

Match: United States U20 youth national team vs Slovakia
Date: May 26, 2023
Competition: FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 – Group B
Venue: Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario; San Juan, Argentina
Number of visitors: 15,059
Kick-off: 2:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. local time)
Weather: 63 degrees, clear

Points overview: 1 2 F

United States 1 0 1
SVK 0 0 0

USA – Cade Cowell 38th minute
USA – Niko Tsakiris (Quinn Sullivan) 90+6


USA: 1-Gaga Slonina; 17-Justin Che, 5-Brandan Craig, 4-Josh Wynder; 2-Michael Halliday, 6-Daniel Edelman (Capt.) (8-Jack McGlynn, 67), 18-Obed Vargas, 3-Caleb Wiley (13-Jonathan Gomez, 77); 16-Owen Wolff (15-Niko Tsakiris, 67), 10-Diego Luna (19-Darren Yapi, 73), 9-Cade Cowell (7-Quinn Sullivan, 73)

Unused substitutes: 12-Antonio Carrera, 21-Alex Borto, 14-Marcus Ferkranus

Head Coach: Mikey Varas

SVK: 12-Adam Hrdina; 5-David Ovsonka, 6-Sebastian Kosa (Capt.), 9-Adam Griger (10-Timotej Jambor, 46), 11-Adam Gazi (7-Balint Csoka, 46), 14-Mate Szolgai (4-Jan Murgas, 68), 16-Leo Sauer, 17-Dominik Snajder, 18-Nicolas Sikula, 19-Samuel Kopasek (2-Simon Micuda, 75), 20-Mario Sauer (8-Artur Gajdos, 46)

Unused substitutes: 1-Samuel Belanik, 21-Adam Danko, 3-Samuel Bagin, 13-Marek Ujlaky, 15-Nino Marcelli, 21-Adam Danko

Head coach: Albert Rusnak

Statistics overview: USA / SVK

Shots: 20/9
Shots on goal: 8/4
Saves: 4/6
Corners: 10/6
Fouls: 4/11
Offside: 4/0

Summary of Misconduct:



Referee: Ramon Abatti (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Alves (BRA)
Assistant referee 2: Guilherme Camilo (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ahmad Al Ali (KUW)
VAR: Rodolpho Toski Marques (BRA)
AVAR 1: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)


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