U-20 World Cup: USA continue their perfect start by topping their group after a 2-0 win over Slovakia
Team USA continues their perfect start to the U-20 World Cup by topping their group after a 2-0 win over Slovakia, with MLS top prospect Cade Cowell among the scorers.
- Cowell’s made 11 MLS appearances for the San Jose Earthquakes so far this year
- The 19-year-old winger’s club mate Niko Tsakiris added a second on 90 minutes
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The USA completed a perfect group stage at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and will be joined in the knockout stage of the tournament by second-place Ecuador after both teams won on Friday.
The Group B leading Americans beat Slovakia 2-0 at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina. Second-ranked Ecuador beat Fiji 9-0 in Santiago del Estero.
The USA had already clinched a spot in the knockout stage, but finished the group stage with three wins from three games and no goals conceded. They are the only team left in the competition with three clean sheets in as many games played.
Cade Cowell scored before half time from a counter-attack, past several Slovak defenders, before Niko Tsakiris added a second goal in stoppage time.
Both players are teammates on MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes and are highly rated by the United States Soccer Federation.
19-year-old winger Cade Cowell scored his second U-20 World Cup goal against Slovakia on Friday.
Cowell celebrates with his teammates after his first half goal in the USA’s final Group B game.
Cowell made his debut for the USMNT senior team as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021.
The 19-year-old winger is yet to score a goal for Anthony Hudson’s side, and his last cap for the senior team came in April, when he started for the Stars and Stripes in a friendly against rivals Mexico.
Cowell has yet to stand out for his club after playing in 11 MLS games so far this season, though he did record one league assist.
The California native previously said he was “more than ready” to move abroad, with MLS All-Star 2021 attracting interest from top European clubs. He, too, is expected to be selected for the USA’s Gold Cup campaign, which begins in June against Jamaica.
NIKO TSAKIRIS GOAL FOR UNITED STATES San Jose Earthquakes midfielder scores USA 2-0 win in U-20 World Cup group stage win over Slovakia. The seventeen-year-old father from Saratoga, CA is an assistant coach on this Argentina Under-20 team.pic.twitter.com/DsXBUkGO27
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) May 26, 2023
Niko Tsakiris, 17, and Cowell’s San Jose teammate, scored a second in stoppage time
On the other hand, Tsakiris – a 17-year-old midfielder – appeared for the Earthquakes in one MLS game this season.
He is destined for great things after becoming the third-youngest player to appear in a league game for San Jose in an away game against Philadelphia in March 2022.
Elsewhere in the World Cup, Ecuador led Fiji 4-0 at half time, including a brace from Justin Cuero, nearly ending the game in double figures.
Alan Minda also scored twice in the second half, and Cristhoper Zambrano netted both times in stoppage time.
England’s Under-20s are also set to qualify for the World Cup round of 16 if they beat Iraq on Sunday. The Three Lions will come out first in their group with a victory.