U-20 World Cup: Danny Garcia cleared to play, Mikey Lopez could feature vs. Ghana
KAYSERI, Turkey – United States Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos says that right winger Danny Garcia has been cleared to play in Thursday's all-important Group A closer against Ghana at the U-20 World Cup (1 pm ET, ESPNU), leaving midfielder Benji Joya as the lone unavailable squad member due to a yellow-card suspension.
Speculation has pointed to Sporting Kansas City's Mikey Lopez (above) as the player to replace the suspended Santos Laguna man, but the boss was keeping cards close to vest as to which player would step into his midfield place. Lopez was a second-half substitute in both of the US' previous games here in Turkey.
"We'll find out tomorrow," grinned Ramos during Wednesday's press conference. "At this point, everyone is available besides Benji. Danny has recovered and available to play."
Meanwhile, the US coach says he may repeat the impromptu tactical move that pushed starting right back DeAndre Yedlin into attack when the team needed a goal late in Monday's 1-1 draw with France. Ramos made the move not only to get the dynamic Seattle Sounders prodigy closer to goal, but also because of his faith in LA Galaxy Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto.
"We have two very good right backs," Ramos explained. "We felt that because the No. 12 of France [Lucas Digne] was able to get forward a lot, we also wanted to get forward on that side.
"We had not done that before, but we felt that because of the circumstances of the game, it was the right time to put those two players together. Those are two good players, so we felt there would be no issues and they could handle that situation."