The CONCACAF Under-20 Championship returns to action on Friday with a semifinal doubleheader. Originally slated to be played at the Estadio Universitario BUAP, the twin bill was moved to the larger Estadio Cuauhtemoc due to high ticket demand. In the opener, the United States faces Cuba, followed by a group-stage rematch between host Mexico and El Salvador
FRIDAY - MARCH 1, 2013
United States v Cuba, 6:00 p.m. ET
Mexico v El Salvador, 9:00 p.m. ET
Here are some other storylines to watch:
• U.S. forward Jose Villarreal scored two goals in his team's 4-2 quarterfinal win over Canada. Can he continue to get good service and, in turn, provide the heroics? Additionally, midfield maestro Luis Gil has returned to his club side (Real Salt Lake) in the United States. Do the Americans have another player on their roster who can replicate his talent, drive and, perhaps more importantly, leadership?
• Cuba appears to have no shortage of talent anywhere on the field, but its flair in the offensive end has caught the eyes of many observers in Puebla. Maykel Reyes and Aricheell Hernandez have been scoring revelations, while Hector Morales pulls the strings from the middle of field. With a first-ever U-20 World Cup spot secured, can Cuba maintain the strength required to match its relentless style?
• Mexico continues to build from game to game, looking more impressive in each outing. It defeated El Salvador 3-0 in their group meeting on February 23. Since then, both sides have improved. Can the Mexican players stay motivated when they square off against the Cuscatlecos for a second time? The home fans won't allow them to let down.
• El Salvador certainly kicked it into another gear in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Panama. The second half performance in that game was its best 45 minutes of the tournament. Jairo Henriquez scored two goals, exhibiting the type of commitment that made him one of the players to watch heading into the tournament. He'll need others to step-up around him to pull off the upset.
The tournament's match for third place and final will be played on Sunday, also at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc.
For highlights, match articles, features, statistics and more…you can follow all the action at CONCACAF.com.