The soccer news starts with a simple presumption that it's hard to call any result an upset at the U-20 World Cup. It's a different type of soccer than the senior tournament, with the age restrictions lacking the sense of familiarity and experience. That's part of the point, of course. It takes nothing away from the teams that do their job by advancing to the next round. The USMNT did that, beating France 3-2 in Bydgoszcz, Poland to make the quarterfinals.
Sebastian Soto put the USMNT up in the 25th minute with France's Amine Gouiri equalizing in the 41st. Nabil Alioui gave France the lead in the 55th minute with Soto equalizing in the 74th. Justin Rennicks scored the USA's winner in the 83rd minute.
What the USMNT showed on the field was composure. When they needed to absorb the French attack, they did. When they saw opportunities, they took them. France's inability to put their shots on goal or take full advantage of 62% of possession and a sizable lead in passes ended up being France's problem. That was the USMNT's job done over 90 minutes.
The USMNT now faces Ecuador in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Gdynia (FS2 - 11:30am). Ecuador overran Uruguay in a round of 16 game where they weren't considered the favorite.
2019 U-20 World Cup semifinals
Colombia vs Ukraine - June 7
Italy vs Mali - June 7
USA vs Ecuador - June 8
South Korea vs Senegal - June 8
Also in the soccer news, FIFA president Gianni Infantino officially got a second term in office. Infantino won election unopposed earlier today at the FIFA Congress in Paris by unanimous consent rather than conducting a vote.
"In just over three years, this organization went from being toxic, almost criminal, to being what it should be: an institution that develops football," Infantino said. "This new FIFA has a mission and a plan for it, which is why the next four years have, in fact, already started: we have laid solid building blocks for the future."
There remain significant issues facing Infantino's version of FIFA, specifically the push for more. That includes moving the 2022 World Cup to November and December, World Cup expansion in 2026, the revamped Club World Cup, the potential for a global Nations League, gender equity, and issues with Europe's super clubs. It's a checklist that would consume any organization. How FIFA deals with all of it over the next four years includes figuring out the issues on that list that are of their own making.
ESPN's Jeff Carlisle has USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter talking about the Jamaica friendly and Gold Cup decisions. SI.com's Brian Straus's look at the USMNT camp in advance of the Jamaica friendly and the Gold Cup roster announcement.
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