◀ Anchor ▶
After reaching the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup for the second consecutive year, the U.S. National Team will face Italy in the semifinals in three days.
With a tight defense that has kept them unbeaten in the tournament, they are looking beyond the myth of their runner-up finish four years ago.
Jang Hoon Son is a reporter.
◀ Report ▶
Three wins and two draws in five matches.
The national team is the only unbeaten team among the 24 participating nations.
In particular, the three wins were the result of a well-prepared tactical strategy.
Despite being outplayed in possession every time and facing over 20 shots on goal, the team hasn’t conceded a goal except from penalties and set pieces. 메이저놀이터
Their organizational skills in maintaining a tight, cooperative defense, as well as their physical defense of throwing their bodies around without succumbing to their physical limitations, were met with dazzling saves by their goalkeepers.
[Seo Hyung-wook/MBC commentator]
“(Our national team) plays a very patient style of soccer based on defensive organization, and our players did a good job of playing their roles, and it paid off to reach the quarterfinals.”
Defense has also been key in the quarterfinals.
A place in the final will hinge on Italy’s explosiveness – they’ve scored 11 goals in five games of the tournament – and how effectively they contain Cassaday, who tops the scoring charts with six goals on his own.
[Steady Hwan/MBC commentator]
“It may not be more fun (against Italy), but I think we need to use physical soccer to endure and play a little more fast-paced counterattack.”
With each passing match, the team has fully embraced Kim Eun-joong’s system of “football that doesn’t lose.
[Lee Seung-won/U-20 captain].
“Even if we don’t keep the ball for a long time, when we use our strength, we use it well, and I think playing effective football is the best way to show our colors.”
Expectations are growing that the team can go even higher than the runner-up myth of four years ago.
I’m Jang Hoon Son of MBC News.