Team USA continues its perfect start to U-20 World Cup by topping its group after 2-0 win over Slovakia, with top MLS prospect Cade Cowell among the goal scorers
- Cowell’s made 11 MLS appearances for the San Jose Earthquakes so far this year
- The 19-year-old winger’s club teammate, Niko Tsakiris, added a second in the 90′
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The US completed a perfect group stage at the Under-20 World Cup and will be joined at the tournament’s knockout stage with second-place Ecuador after both teams won on Friday.
The Group B-leading Americans beat Slovakia 2-0 at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina. Second-placed Ecuador hit Fiji 9-0 in Santiago del Estero.
The U.S. had already secured a spot in the knockout stage but finished the group stage with three wins from three games, and no goals conceded. They are the only team left in the competition with three clean sheets in as many games played.
Cade Cowell scored before halftime from a counterattack, dribbling past several Slovakian defenders, before Niko Tsakiris added a second goal in injury time.
Both players are teammates on the San Jose Earthquakes, of the MLS, and are highly-rated by the US Soccer Federation.
Winger Cade Cowell, 19, scored his second goal of the U-20 World Cup vs. Slovakia on Friday
Cowell celebrates with the teammates after his first-half goal in the US final Group B match
Cowell made his debut for the USMNT’s senior squad as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021.
The 19-year-old winger has yet to score a goal for Anthony Hudson’s side, with his last senior cap coming in April when he started for the Star and Stripes in a friendly against rivals Mexico.
Cowell has also yet to get off the mark for his club after playing in 11 MLS matches so far this season, though he did register an assist in the league.
The California native previously said he was ‘more than ready’ to move abroad, with the 2021 MLS All-Star attracting interest from top European clubs. He’s also expected to be selected for the US’ Gold Cup campaign, starting in June against Jamaica.
NIKO TSAKIRIS USA GOAL ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ San Jose Earthquakes midfielder scores to make it 2-0 for US in U20 World Cup group play win over Slovakia. Seventeen-year-old from Saratoga, CA’s father is an assistant coach on this U20 team in Argentina.pic.twitter.com/DsXBUkGO27
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) May 26, 2023
Niko Tsakiris, 17, and who’s teammates with Cowell in San Jose, netted a second in injury time
On the other hand, Tsakiris – a 17 year old midfielder- appeared for the Earthquakes in one MLS match this season.
He’s tipped to be destined for great things after becoming the third youngest player to appear in a league match for San Jose in an away match against Philadelphia in March, 2022.
Elsewhere at the World Cup, Ecuador led Fiji 4-0 by halftime, including a brace by Justin Cuero, almost ending the game in double figures.
Alan Minda also scored twice in the second half, and Cristhoper Zambrano bagged both of his in injury time.
England’s U-20s are also set to qualify for the World Cup’s knockout stages if they beat Iraq on Sunday. The Three Lions will come out top of their group with a win.