How to watch and stream
- English: FS2
- Spanish: Telemundo, Universo
- Sunday, June 4 | 5 pm ET/2 pm PT
- Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades | Santiago del Estero, Argentina
The US, after topping Group B and dispatching New Zealand in the Round of 16, are the only nation to reach the quarterfinals of the last four U-20 World Cups. They're also the only team to not concede a goal at this year’s Argentina-based tournament.
The US, winners of three straight Concacaf U-20 Championships, feature 14 MLS homegrown players on their roster and several prominent alumni. Head coach Mikey Varas navigated several call-up challenges, like most programs, so this isn’t their A-level team.
Whoever wins between the US and Uruguay will meet Israel (beat Brazil 3-2) in a June 8 semifinal. Those latter nations competed Saturday afternoon.
The US, with a plus-10 goal differential, have grown into the tournament with each game. They also have a Golden Boot contender in San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell, whose three goals put him in a tie for third place. Real Salt Lake attacker Diego Luna boasts a team-leading three assists.
The biggest question facing Varas and his staff is if they introduce Wolfsburg winger Kevin Paredes (D.C. United homegrown product) and Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukštas (ex-Sporting Kansas City academy) into the starting XI. Both players joined the US for the knockout stage following pre-arranged agreements with their European teams, and bring a difference-making ability that could tilt the scales.
Two guarantees may be Chelsea goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and Philadelphia Union center back Brandan Craig, who have played all 360 minutes for the USA thus far in Argentina. Slonina, a Chicago Fire FC homegrown product, is among the best youth-level goalkeepers in the world. Craig is one of three Union homegrowns at the tournament (midfielder Jack McGlynn and attacker Quinn Sullivan are the others), and they're only missing a fourth because Eintracht Frankfurt didn't release attacker Paxten Aaronson.
Big picture, the US are hoping to avoid a third straight U-20 World Cup quarterfinal exit against a South American nation. They were bounced in 2019 by Ecuador and in 2017 by Venezuela (the 2021 edition wasn't held because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Group E: 4-0 win vs. Iraq
- Group E: 3-2 loss vs. England
- Group E: 1-0 win vs. Tunisia
- Round of 16: 1-0 win vs. Gambia
Uruguay will enter on short rest, getting two days off after beating Gambia on Thursday in the Round 16. They also played the entire second half down a man after forward Luciano Rodríguez was shown a red card, only for forward Anderson Duarte to snag a 65th-minute winner.
Heavy legs may work in the US’s favor, but they certainly won’t overlook this Uruguay side that’s mirrored the senior team's strength in recent years. La Celeste finished second in South American U-20 qualifiers, plus have made six U-20 World Cup semifinals and twice finished second (as recently as 2013). This year, they placed second in Group E.
The majority of Uruguay’s roster is domestic-based, led by captain and Liverpool Montevideo midfielder Fabricio Díaz. Genoa defender Alan Matturro and Valencia defender Facundo González are their two overseas-based players.
Uruguay, even if they’re missing talisman Rodríguez up top, bring the toughest test the US have faced at the U-20 World Cup. Can they pass it?