PUEBLA, Mexico – With the first hurdle of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship successfully cleared, US coach Tab Ramos is considering switching his team up for Friday’s second game against Costa Rica (6:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
“Depending on the opponent, we make changes, so there is a very good chance there will be some changes going into Friday,” Ramos told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
Monday’s stop-start 2-1 victory over Haiti raised some concerns for the US and Ramos is adamant, after reflecting on the performance, that his side has to improve moving forward in the competition.
“We are disappointed with our performance, but as everyone knows nowadays, it’s not easy to get a win against anyone,” explained Ramos. “I think this competition is going to be very close among all the teams.”
One area of the field unlikely to be broken up is central defense. Ramos declared himself delighted with the performance of makeshift center back pairing of captain Caleb Stanko and Shane O’Neill.
“I was very happy with the center backs, I think they just had too much work,” said Ramos. “I really give them a lot of credit. They fought hard considering they had balls coming from all angles.”
Mario Rodriguez, Daniel Cuevas and Benji Joya (above) all picked up knocks in that first game, but are in contention for Friday.
The US could advance to the decisive quarterfinal stage of the competition Wednesday night if Haiti fail to win against Costa Rica.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.