The United States are out of the U-20 World Cup following a 2-0 loss to Uruguay on Sunday, ending an impressive run to the quarterfinals. The South American side where playing undermanned after a suspension to Luciano Rodriguez but that wouldn't stop them from breaching the United States' defense for the first time during the tournament going ahead in the 21st minute. A United States defense which had gone 360 minutes without conceding a goal looked out of their depth allowing Anderson Durate to slip in behind to put Uruguay ahead 21 minutes in.
Head coach Mickey Varas tried to jolt the attack after the half introducing Kevin Paredes for Owen Wolff but it wasn't enough as Uruguay would double their lead in the 56th minute, this time following an own goal from defender Joshua Wynder. The victory will see Uruguay and Israel square off for a place in the World Cup final while the road will end for the United States following a successful World Cup that ends with disappointment.
For the Baby Yanks, Uruguay were their toughest test of the tournament so far and to see them comprehensively outclassed during the match is a disappointment but the team also can't hang their heads after advancing to this point with key players like Paxten Aaronson not in the squad due to club commitments.
Rather than thinking about what could have been, it's important to focus on the good of the tournament that saw the defense gel, Cade Cowell, Elijah Wynder, and Daniel Edelman all register breakout performances that could earn them summer moves and so much more. It's always sad to see a run end at the World Cup but this is a story that is far from over with a generation of players who can make a lot of noise moving forward.
Each member of this squad has a bright future ahead of them. Some will make the upcoming Gold Cup roster for the senior national team, others will end up at the 2024 Olympics that they qualified for as part of winning the Concacaf U-20 Men's Championship but for everyone, it's about what they make of this defeat. Using it as fuel to not be in this position again will make sure that everyone improves as there is plenty of talent and space for them to play, both at their clubs and with the senior national team.