January 4th, 20162015 Year in Review: U.S. Men’s, Women’s Youth National Teams
The United States youth national teams’ fortunes mirrored those of their senior counterparts in 2015. While the women won consistently, the men struggled.
Among the men’s teams, only the Under-20s performed close to their expected level in international competitions, with Tab Ramos’s men making a run to the quarterfinals of the World Cup before falling to eventual champion Serbia in penalties. The U-17s didn’t win a game at their World Cup, and the U-23s face a tough playoff against Colombia in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The women, on the other hand, lost just twice in 22 games across the U-17, U-20 and U-23 ages. The U-20s played 13 of those, winning their fourth consecutive CONCACAF U-20 Championship to qualify for the 2016 World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Still, it’s hard to look past the failures on the men’s side of the equation. The American women’s teams have always had, and continue to enjoy, the advantage that comes with an increased emphasis on women’s sports here, especially at the younger ages.