U.S. U-20s Off To Mexico.
It is not a coincidence that the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National team coach Tab Ramos has scheduled a training camp from Jan. 14-22 in Puebla, Mexico.
That just happens to be the host site for the upcoming 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. That is set for Feb. 18-March 3.
The U.S. is drawn into Group A of the regionals with Costa Rica and Haiti. The top two teams from each of four goups will advance to the quarterfinals on Feb. 26 & 27.
The quarter-finals are the key matches in the tournament as the winners advance to the semifinals and all four of those teams qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. That will be played in Turkey, June 21-July 13.
“As we get closer to qualifying, I think these last couple camps are basically to get a better look at all the best guys we’ve seen so far,” said Ramos just before a week-long camp in December, “and to continue to build a group that’s going to be the final group to lead us into qualifying.”
The U.S. has a pair of games scheduled against Panama in Puebla as Ramos tries to get his team acclimated to what they will see in the qualifiers.
“In the four or five days that we’re in Puebla, we’re going to be living sort of the same way that we live during qualifiers, so that we have no surprises when we get there a month later.”