USA bounced from U-20 World Cup with quarterfinal defeat to Uruguay

USAvUruguay U20 World Cup - 6.4.23

The United States have suffered a familiar fate at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, losing a fourth straight quarterfinal when dropping a 2-0 decision Sunday against Uruguay.

The Yanks, Group B champions, entered as the tournament’s only four-win team and the only country yet to concede down in Argentina. But head coach Mikey Varas’ group couldn’t carry that momentum forward, conceding on either side of halftime as La Celeste advanced to Thursday’s semifinal vs. Israel. 

The first blow arrived in the 21st minute when Uruguay broke down the right side of the US’s backline, followed by striker Anderson Duarte tapping home while unmarked centrally.

Comeback hopes turned south in the 56th minute when US center back Joshua Wynder inadvertently turned a routine cross into his own net, catching goalkeeper Gaga Slonina off guard.

San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell thought he pulled a goal back in the 78th minute, but teammate Rokas Pukštas accidentally blocked the curling effort that had Uruguay goalkeeper Randall Rodríguez beaten.


  • 21' - URU - Anderson Duarte | WATCH
  • 56' - URU - Joshua Wynder (OG) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The US stumbled in déjà vu-esque fashion, exiting the U-20 World Cup in the quarterfinals just like during the 2015 (Serbia), 2017 (Venezuela) and 2019 (Ecuador) editions. The last three eliminations occurred against South American opposition as well. Varas’ group can pride themselves on a strong tournament, but lacked the decisive edge in pressure-packed moments against Uruguay. Now, it’s a question of who progresses toward the senior USMNT and what the future holds for this talent-rich bunch.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Uruguay scored midway through the first half, causing the US to chase a game for the first time in Argentina. They never quite recovered and landed just three of 10 shots on target.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Uruguay attacking midfielder Franco González put in an incredible two-way shift. The Danubio man is surely on the scouting radar of MLS and European teams.

Next Up

  • USA: End of tournament
  • URU: Thursday, June 8 vs. Israel | U-20 World Cup semifinals