Soccer

USMNT wins group at U-20 World Cup, sets stage for knockout stage run

The United States are the winners of Group F at the U-20 World Cup. The Americans clinched first place with a 1-1 draw against Saudi Arabia on Sunday, an impressive result considering they played the entire second half down a man after Cameron Carter-Vickers was sent off.

The Americans started the tournament with a stoppage time equalizer against Ecuador, to earn them an opening draw. A 1-0 win over Senegal then put them into first place and the point against Saudi Arabia was enough to push them onto the top of the group.

With first place in the group now in hand, there's reason to believe that the U.S. can make a deep run in the knockout stages. They will play New Zealand in the round of 16 (Wednesday, 7 a.m. ET on FS1), a match they will be favorites in. Should they beat New Zealand, they'll take on Japan or Venezuela in another match they very well could win.That would put the Americans in the semifinals, matching the 1989 team for the best showing ever by a U.S. team at the U-20 World Cup.

It's still entirely too early to start putting the Americans in the semifinals -- Venezuela in particular has been stupendous at the World Cup -- but with first place in the group secure, there's a path. Josh Sargent is second in the tournament with three goals, Tyler Adams has been a dominant midfield force, Brooks Lennon is a terror on the wings and Luca de la Torre has been a threat every time he gets on the ball.

There is reason to be excited about the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup. They've won the group -- now it's time to see how far they can take things.

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