The U-20 World Cup kicked off in New Zealand over the weekend, and three of the four CONCACAF entrants have already seen action.
The USA came back from an early goal down to defeat Myanmar 2-1 early Saturday morning (Saturday evening New Zealand time). I watched the game and it seemed that the US team also suffer from similar maladies of other US national teams, particularly when it comes to maintaining possession, but they also have the physicality, athleticism, and will to win of those teams. Both of the USA's goals were well taken -- Maki Tall's side-footed volley at the end of Emerson Hyndman's corner, and Hyndman clinically finished a well-executed counter. The USA didn't play anywhere close to their best game, as Tab Ramos acknowledged, but they'll be happy to lead the group and have a chance to secure passage against the hosts.
In a match played at the same time, Panama drew 2-2 with Argentina in a pulsating match. Atlético Madrid's Ángel Correa announced himself as the next young Argentina star with a brace, but Panama fought back to equalize with two excellent goals. The long-range shot by Jhamal Rodríguez was the better of the two. After the match, Panama's U-20 coach Leonardo Pipino says that his objective remains to win a U-20 World Cup match (Panama has never won one). Argentina's coach Humberto Grondona expressed disappointment that his players couldn't take advantage of their many chances to seal the game. As it is, all teams in the group are on one point, and Panama have a chance to control their destiny against Austria on Monday.
Mexico's debut in the World Cup was disappointing to say the least, going down 2-0 to Mali in a match that involved wasted chances, rushes of blood, three players sent off, and two daggers in two minutes. It's not over yet for Mexico, but with two starting Mexican players suspended for at least a game, and Uruguay and Serbia to face, their chances look difficult.
Honduras kick off their World Cup against Uzbekistan late today/early morning tomorrow.