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U.S. drawn with Senegal, Ecuador, South Africa at U20 World Cup

United States U20 celeb
United States U20 players celebrate after winning the CONCACAF U20 championship.

SUWON, South Korea -- The United States will play Ecuador, Senegal and Saudi Arabia in the first round of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The United States qualified for the World Cup at the CONCACAF U20 Championships, an event the team won for the first-time ever at U20 level.

Coached by former national team star Tab Ramos, the Americans were drawn Wednesday to open against Ecuador on May 22, meet Senegal three days later and close Group F against Saudi Arabia on May 28. The first two games...

 By Tim Vickery

Brazil's under-20 side show limitations as World Cup hopes end

Lyanco shows his disappointment after a 0-0 draw with Colombia ended Brazil's U-20 World Cup hopes.

For the second time in three competitions, Brazil have failed to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which this year will be held in South Korea in May.

South America has four slots. Brazil managed to finish fifth in the South American Youth Football Championship, which came to a conclusion in Ecuador on Saturday. And Brazil's loss was Argentina's gain. When the two old rivals met on Wednesday, it seemed clear that one or the other would miss out.

With some 10 seconds to go before the end of the...

 By Noah Davis

Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup first and foremost for Arena, the USMNT

The FC crew assess Bruce Arena's call-ups for the U.S. January camp, highlighted by several newcomers and the return of Benny Feilhaber.
ESPN FC's Doug McIntyre assesses where Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones will fit best in Bruce Arena's team.
Bruce Arena joins Taylor Twellman to discuss what he hopes to accomplish as the new U.S. men's national team coach.

The United States men's national team will kick off their 2017 campaign with the traditional January camp, which opens on Friday. It's a squad in the midst of a rebrand with new (and old) manager Bruce Arena now at the helm after the up and down Jurgen Klinsmann era came to an end in November. There's plenty to accomplish, and little time to do so. Here are 17 goals for the Americans in 2017.

1. Qualify for the 2018 World Cup

Klinsmann's ouster occurred at least in part because the Stars and Stripes...

Next steps for rising U.S. stars

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann may have valued experience over youth on his roster for next month's Gold Cup, but June 2015 will still go down as a banner month for some of America's brightest young prospects.

The U.S. team's stirring run at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand ended in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Serbia on penalty kicks. A shorthanded U23 side finished third at the prestigious Toulon Tournament in France. And of course, a host of blue-chippers helped Klinsmann's varsity squad notch historic friendly wins on the road against Germany and the Netherlands.

Some of the young standouts who impressed on foreign soil will surely go on to represent the U.S. at senior World Cups (a couple already have, last summer in Brazil).

But even the ones who make it to Russia 2018 still have a long road ahead of them to get there. Here are the next steps for 15 players, all of them 23 years old or younger, who were in action for one of the three aforementioned national teams this month.

...

Adama Traore shines brightest at under-20 World Cup

Mali midfielder Adama Traore scored four goals and collected three assists in seven matches at the Under-20 World Cup.
Mali midfielder Adama Traore scored four goals and collected three assists in seven matches at the Under-20 World Cup.

Adama Traore was relegated to the side-stage on the final day of the 2015 under-20 World Cup in New Zealand. But not to be outdone, he produced a performance and two wonderful goals that were more than worthy of the main event to inspire Mali to a 3-1 victory over Senegal in the third-place playoff, and to cement Traore's status as the player of the tournament.

His first was a perfectly curled free kick into the top corner, while his second saw him neatly turn away from a challenge before drilling...