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Beneath the Crust: U-20s to face Mexico for Concacaf 2018 Championship on Wednesday

Maryland and Akron move on to the 3rd round in 2018 College Cup

Midfielder Amar Sejdic celebrates with midfielder William James Herve
Midfielder Amar Sejdic celebrates with midfielder William James Herve after scoring a goal in the first half of Maryland’s 2-0 win over NC State in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Ludwig Field on Nov. 18, 2018.
Courtesy of Corey Hart

2019 U-20 Concacaf Championship

With a 4-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday and a 1-0 victory over Honduras last night the U-20s kept a clean sheet through the qualification round of the 2018 Concacaf Championship and will be travelling to Poland next May and June for the 2019 U-20 World Cup. However, before that they will meet Mexico on Wednesday as they attempt to repeat as U-20 Champions. This match will kickoff at 5 PM MST and once again be streamed for free on Concacaf Go as part of a free trial.

Sebastian Soto went for the full 90 minutes in both of these matches proving his worth to the side and creating several good chances although he failed to score personally. Despite the glossy scorelines and the apparent ease of this competition, the young Americans continue to show a lack of familiarity with each other and frequently fall back into a “throw the ball out and let them play” mindset featuring individual creativity and lack of a concentrated attack on the ball on defense.

David Ochoa got his second start against Honduras due to the close spacing between matches and faced only two shots off goal to earn his second clean sheet in two appearances.

2018 NCAA College Cup

Senior captain Amar Sejdic got Maryland off to a quick start in their 2nd round match against North Carolina State on Sunday. At 10:39 in the first half he intercepted a hurried clearance by the keeper on top of the 18 yard box and drove in for a clinical finish with his left foot. Although Maryland added another goal early in the second half, they really didn’t need it as their stout defense held a tired North Carolina State to a single shot. Maryland will face another ACC team in 3rd round as they travel to Durham to take on #6 seed Duke this Saturday at 5 PM MST.

Freshman Sam Tojada went for the full 90 minutes in Akron’s 3-1 victory over Rider and the strikingly similar 3-1 victory over Syracuse to move his side on into the 3rd round. In both games played in very cold weather with snow, Akron scored first only to let in an easy goal to tie it up before pushing on in the second half with two more goals. in the 3rd round Akron will also face an ACC opponent in Wake Forest who held down the #1 ranking for much of the past two seasons. This match will be played in Winston-Salem on Sunday at 3 PM and streamed on ESPN 3.

UCLA fell out of the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Portland on Thursday at Merlo Field. Portland forced the only goal in the 31st minute and then stubbornly held on despite allowing UCLA long stretches of possession and more shots and chances during a lively 2nd half which saw 4 saves by the Portland keeper and one shot go off the bar. Senior Erik Holt and sophomores Eric Iloski and Milan Iloski all started the match for the Bruins, however Eric was force off the field very early on with a hamstring injury.

Louisville also lost a tight 2-1 match on Sunday when Michigan State pulled ahead to stay in the 93rd following a confusing struggle in the box after Louisville fought back to tie the match at 1-1 in the 77th minute. Senior Tate Schmitt had two shots including one on goal in his final appearance as a Cardinal.