U-20 World Cup: US coach Tab Ramos says there's "no reason" team can't upset Spain in opener
Though US Under-20 national team boss Tab Ramos admits the team will be greatly tested by Spain's famous tiki-taka style in their FIFA U-20 World Cup opener, he says the plan is to take them onto the field at Istanbul's Ali Sami Yen Stadium looking for the upset.
Speaking on a conference call from Turkey on Tuesday, the coach stated that American fans familiar with the style of Spain's senior side – the reigning World Cup champions – will know what to expect from the junior version in Friday's Group A icebreaker (2 pm ET, ESPN2/Univision Deportes).
"The thing about Spain is they play the same way in all age groups," Ramos, who played for the US in the 1983 edition of this tournament, told reporters. "We just saw the U-21 team win the European Championships [in a 4-2 victory over Italy] a few hours ago, playing the same way as the first team.
"We've gotten to know this particular U-20 team in the way they play. It's something that is very difficult for us and something we're going to have to deal with."
The senior US side scored a famous 2-0 win over Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup, snapping La Furia Roja's 35-game unbeaten streak. While Ramos will be pointing to that upset during Thursday's pregame prep, it will be more for inspiration than for learning tactical lessons.
"It's a game we'd like to go back to," he declared. "We're probably going to show a little bit of that video to the players to make sure they remember. Our first team upset Spain four years ago, and there's no reason we can't do that same thing on Friday."