The US U-20 Men's National Team will be in Costa Rica in February for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Sensibly, the U-20s are in Costa Rica at the moment for a training camp, which includes a couple of friendlies against the Costa Rican U-20 national team.
The draw for the CONCACAF U-20 tournament makes it unlikely the US and Costa Rica will face each other in the competition, unless both teams make the final. But playing the host team of a major international tournament on its own soil (CONCACAF's representatives at the 2017 U-20 World Cup will come out of the competition in Costa Rica) is never bad preparation.
The first of the two friendlies went well for the US U-20s, and the two Red Bulls in the squad. RBNY Academy grad Marcello Borges started the match.
U-20 Starting XI vs. Costa Rica: Marcinkowski; Herrera, Redding (c), Glad, Borges; Williamson, Acosta, Mansaray; Saucedo, Vazquez, Taitague pic.twitter.com/hbT4ZcsjBB— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 17, 2016
Tyler Adams - young for this age group - scored in the second half of a game that seemed to tilt decisively the USA's way after half-time.
Final score: U-20 #USMNT 4, Costa Rica 0. Goal scorers: Saucedo (45'+1, 56), Ebobisse (61'), Adams (67'). Next game: Dec. 19 vs. Costa Rica.— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 17, 2016
Adams isn't traditionally regarded as a goalscorer, largely because he generally plays a position (holding midfielder) that isn't asking him to get forward and fire at goal. Even his club teammates seemed a touch surprised to see him on the score sheet for the U-20s.
Maybe he just saves his goals for the big games.
The match also saw highly-rated forward Jeremy Ebobisse tally another goal at the youth national team level. And we learned that he too has a connection to RBNY:
Ebobisse is expected to be snapped up early in the 2017 SuperDraft, well before the Red Bulls use their 17th pick of the first round. But good to know the nation's top youth players are enlivening the occasional RBNY training session.
The U-20s play Costa Rica again on December 19.