The US U-20 Men's National Team has moved from Australia to New Zealand as it enters the final stages of preparations for the U-20 World Cup.
The U-20 MNT has arrived in New Zealand! #U20WC #1N1T pic.twitter.com/a4t2HV2DnL— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) May 21, 2015
Those preparations have been relatively low key. US Soccer mentioned the U-20s would play a "closed-door" friendly against Serbia before the young Americans start their World Cup on May 30. True to its word, US Soccer appears to have issued no information about the U-20s' final warm-up.
Fortunately, the Serbian media has stepped in to fill the gap. If you have a working knowledge of Serbian, you'll find this match report enlightening (and please do fill us in on the details in the comments).
Serbia won 1-0, courtesy of a 65th-minute goal off a set-piece by Milos Veljkovic.
The 19-year-old defender is on Tottenham Hotspur's books (he had loan spells with Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic this season), and was part of the Serbia U-19 team that won the 2013 UEFA 2013 U-19 European Championship.
The USA lineup implied by that Serbian match report appears a little suspect: it suggests Tab Ramos started Jordan Allen, Maki Tall, Gedion Zelalem, Joel Sonora, Rubio Rubin, Bradford Jamieson IV, Emerson Hyndman, and Russell Canouse. That is a lot midfield and attacking talent, without much room for defenders.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kellyn Acosta are the only specialist defenders listed on what this observer assumes to be the starting lineup as described by Fudbalski Savez Srbije. This likely says more about trying to decipher match reports in languages one does not understand than the accuracy of the reporting on the Serbian soccer site.
Anyway, the New York Red Bulls' Matt Miazga may have played, but perhaps did not start. And the US U-20s lost a pre-tournament friendly. We will update this post if fresh information emerges.
The U-20 World Cup kicks for the USA on May 30 against Myanmar.