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RSL players feature in US U-20 MNT December friendlies in Costa Rica

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Sebastian Saucedo, Justen Glad, Danny Acosta and Aaron Herrera all saw substantial minutes in the field as the US continues to prepare for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship which will begin in February 2017.

MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Saucedo, Justen Glad, and Aaron Herrera (an RSL Academy alumnus) started in each of the recent friendlies played by the US U-20 MNT in Costa Rica. Saucedo also scored two PK goals in the 4-0 victory in first match while going the full 90 minutes in both matches. Glad and Herrera were both substituted out in the 68th minute of the first game before returning to play the full 90 minutes in the second. Danny Acosta started and played the first half of the initial match, but did not see the field in the second.

With these performances it becomes increasingly likely that several if not all four could be called in for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship which will run from the 17th of February to the 5th of March. The US U-20 team have been drawn into Group B and will have the following Group B matches:

18 February 2017 United States vs. Panama

21 February 2017 United States vs. Haiti

24 February 2017 United States vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis

If the US finishes top two in Group B, they will then have three additional matches in a qualifying group to determine qualification for the U-20 World Cup. Finishing first in Group B will have them in qualifying Group E with the second place teams from the other two groups. Finishing second in Group B will put them into qualifying Group D with the first place teams from the other two groups. Regardless, their qualifying group matches will take place on:

27 February 2017

1 March 2017

3 March 2017

Finishing first or second in this qualifying group is sufficient to qualify for the U-20 World Cup. However, if they finish first in the qualifying group they will have a championship final on 5 March 2017.

Possible Conflicts with RSL Preseason and Opening Day

The U-20 Group B matches begin shortly after the three preseason matches which RSL has scheduled in the Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament and during the final preseason segment in California where RSL has another couple of matches scheduled:

9 February 2017 RSL vs. Portland Timbers

12 February 2017 RSL vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

15 February 2017 RSL vs. Minnesota United FC

21 February 2017 RSL vs. LA Galaxy

25 February 2017 RSL vs. TBD

More importantly RSL’s home opener against Toronto FC will take place on 4 March 2017 - the day after the final match of the second qualifying group and the day before the championship match.

However it turns out for these young players, they are sure to have a busy run up to the new season as they attempt to fulfill a World Cup dream.