The USA Under-20 Men's National Team will play Colombia in the Round of 16 at the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The match will be played in Wellington on June 10 (3:30 am Eastern).
Los Cafeteros are the Group C runners-up, despite slumping to a 1-3 defeat to Portugal, who march into the knockout rounds with three wins from three games, 10 goals scored and just one conceded. Senegal had a chance to overhaul Colombia, but fell short of second place in the group on goal difference - and almost fell short of third place, requiring two late goals to sneak by Qatar, 2-1.
Colombia is a tough opponent on paper for USA. Los Cafeteros have had a strong U-20 program for several years: winner of the Toulon Tournament in 2011 (and second in 2013); winner of the 2013 South American Youth Championship, and runner-up in the 2015 edition.
But CONMEBOL teams have been somewhat lackluster in New Zealand. With the exception of Brazil, the likely winner of Group E, the South American teams have struggled. Reigning CONMEBOL U-20 champion, Argentina, is out of the tournament, having failed to win a game in the group stage. Uruguay is the second-placed team in Group D thanks to the drawing of lots - it was level with Mali on all tiebreaking metrics. And Colombia is in the second round of the tournament despite a negative goal difference.
Nonetheless, Colombia's group - Portugal, Senegal and Qatar - was arguably more challenging than that of USA - Myanmar, New Zealand and Ukraine. So Los Cafeteros will likely be regarded as favorites for the knockout round match against USMNT.
But Tab Ramos and the U-20s will know their opponent has not appeared to be in top form yet in New Zealand, and will hope those struggles persist into the Round of 16.