The U.S. U-20 men's national team secured a place at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 win against El Salvador on Tuesday evening in their final Group A match of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Bacolet, Tobago.
Goals in the first half from Brek Shea and Tony Taylor combined with Brian Perk's third shutout provided the U.S. with a 2-0-1 record in group play. As Group A winner, the U.S. advances to the semifinals where they will face the second-place finisher from Group B.
Honduras, who defeated Jamaica 4-0 in the other Group A game of the night, clinched second place in the group and also advanced to the World Cup. The other two CONCACAF berths will come from the top two finishers in Group B.
The U.S. finished the game with only nine players after Shea was sent off in the 60th minute after receiving his second yellow card. Jorge Flores was sent off in the 84th minute on a straight red card for a foul that occurred away from the ball.
"Even though we only needed a tie tonight, we wanted to be aggressive," said U.S. U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen in a press release. "We did a very good job in the first half of playing together and scoring the two goals. We played three tough games and put ourselves in a position to get to Egypt, which we did. We were able to determine our own fate in this game and I couldn't be happier with this team as they showed a lot of character through some adversity tonight."
The victory marks the CONCACAF-record 12th qualification by the U.S. for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the seventh straight. The 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held from Sept. 24-Oct.16 in Egypt.