CONCACAF U-20 Championship Preview | Miazga, Etienne begin group play for USMNT and Haiti

KINGSTON, JAMAICA (January 8, 2015) – Two New York Red Bulls are set to begin play in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship this weekend. Red Bulls center back Matt Miazga and the U.S. U-20s will begin their campaign through Group A on Friday with a game against Guatemala at 5:30 p.m. (TV: Fox Sports 2). Derrick Etienne, captain of the Red Bulls U-18 academy team, will begin play with Haiti in Group B on Saturday, taking on Canada at 8 p.m.

The tournament consists of two groups of six teams. At the end of the tournament, four teams will qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will take place this May in New Zealand. Full schedules for both the U.S. and Haiti, including all available broadcast information, is listed below.

Miazga appeared in seven league games, including six starts in 2014, his first full season after signing with the Red Bulls as a homegrown player in May of 2013. Miazga also made appearances for the first team in CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup matches.

The Clifton, NJ, native progressed through the Red Bulls academy starting as a U-14 player in 2009. He represented both the U.S. and Poland in younger age groups. Miazga, a mainstay in U.S. camps during 2014, is one of six defenders on the U.S. roster. The 19-year-old seems poised to play a prominent role for head coach Tab Ramos, as he did throughout 2014 for both the U-20 and U-23 national teams.

Etienne, who hails from Paterson, N.J., is eligible to compete for both the U.S. and his father’s native Haiti. His father, Derrick Sr., and uncle, Darrell, both played for the Haiti Men’s National Team. The dynamic midfielder has been with the Red Bulls academy for six years, and blazed through the 2014 Fall schedule with nine goals and 13 assists, both team-highs, as he led the U-18s to a 9-1-3 record and the second overall rank in the nation for their age group. He is listed as a forward on Haiti’s roster, but has demonstrated with the Red Bulls that he can control the midfield and spark an offense through in either a striking or supporting role.

After the opener Friday, The Americans then face Panama two days later, followed by Aruba on January 14, Jamaica on January 18 and Trinidad & Tobago on January 21. The U.S. has never won a CONCACAF Championship, but has finished as the runner up six times, including the last tournament in 2013.

Haiti will progress through the rest of the Group B with games against El Salvador, Cuba and Honduras before finishing against Mexico, defending tournament champions, on January 22.

Per CONCACAF, the winner of each group qualifies directly to the U-20 World Cup, and those two teams will square off in the CONCACAF final. The second- and third-place teams from each group compete in two playoff matches to determine the final two representatives at the U-20 World Cup. Both playoff games, along with the final, will take place on Saturday, January 24.

United States Schedule (Group A)

  • Friday 1/9 – US vs. Guatamala, 5:30 p.m. (TV: Fox Sports 2)
  • Sunday 1/11 – Panama vs. US (Fox Sports 2)
  • Wednesday 1/14 – Aruba vs. US (Fox Sports 2)
  • Sunday 1/18 – Jamaica vs. US (Fox Sports 2)
  • Wednesday 1/21 – US vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Fox Sports 2)

Haiti Schedule (Group B)

  • Saturday 1/10 – Haiti vs. Canada
  • Monday 1/12 – El Salvador vs. Haiti
  • Thursday 1/15 – Haiti vs. Cuba
  • Monday 1/19 – Haiti vs. Honduras
  • Thursday 1/22 – Haiti vs. Mexico

U-20 World Cup Playoffs

Saturday 1/24

  • Seeds 2 vs. 3
  • Seeds 1 vs. 4

CONCACAF U-20 Championship Game

  • Saturday 1/24 – Winner, Group A vs. Winner, Group B