U20 Match Preview v. Fiji
2023 World Cup
The United States U20s go from playing their toughest group stage opponent to their weakest when they face Fiji on Tuesday. This is a game that the United States will look to dominate and run up the score. Goal differential might be a deciding factor in how they are seeded in the knockout round, so they need to be relentless.
The game is on Tuesday, May 23rd at 2pm EST and will be broadcasted on Fox Soccer Plus.
A little about Fiji
Fiji qualified for the U20 World Cup by reaching the finals of the Oceanic Football Federation Championships. They lost in the final to New Zealand 3-0. Before that they won four games and tied one in what is considered the weakest region in world soccer.
Fiji played Guatemala in the run up to the World Cup and lost 3-1. Guatemala made it to the semifinals of Concacaf Championships by beating Mexico in the quarterfinals. They lost to Dominican Republic in the semifinals.
Fiji played Slovakia in their first World Cup game and lost 4-0. From the highlights, it looks as though Slovakia dominated and created all of the chances in the game. Fiji looked shaky with the ball and very susceptible to crosses. Their goal keeping play was also very suspect.
Fiji will likely look to sit in a very low block and hope that they can capitalize on a United States mistake or catch them sleeping in transition.
U.S. lineup and tactics
I think Varas will go back to his 4-3-3 bread and butter for the game against Fiji. I think the change in tactics against Ecuador was made to prepare for the attacking talent that Ecuador had and the lack of options that Mikey had in attack.
I expect the United States to press high and relentlessly, testing Fiji's ability to play out of pressure. They will look to win second balls and transition quickly.
Offensively, Varas will likely deploy a 3-2-5 shape and will certainly dominate possession. I expect goals to come from turnovers and quick passes that disorganize and create numerical advantages.
Varas will get one more attacking option back in this game with Cade Cowell back from his red card suspension in the qualifying tournament. I think Varas will play a very offensive lineup and look to bury Fiji early. I expect to see some rotation to help save some legs and protect against yellow card accumulation. Josh Wynder didn't have his best game against Ecuador and he also received a yellow card, so I could a Craig and Ferkranus or Craig and Che center-back pairing. Here is what I hope to see:
Anything less than a 5-0 win would be a disappointment.
U20 v. Ecuador Recap
Understand the tactics and top performances from the United States' 1-0 victory over Ecuador.READ HERE