The legend of Cade Cowell continues to grow during the U-20 World Cup as he scored his third goal of the tournament in a 2-0 victory over Slovakia to push the United States through to the knockout stages of the tournament. Cowell scored the team's first goal in the first half of a game this tournament to put the U.S. ahead 38 minutes in the half before Niko Tsakiris scored an insurance goal in stoppage time.
Yet again, the team were able to hold their opposition without a goal although Slovakia were the first team to test Gabriel Slonina in net with four shots finding the target but the shutout streak has now reached 270 minutes this tournament. While Cowell has been getting deserved plaudits for his work in attack since returning from suspension, Micky Varas' defense has been stellar even with needing to make a change ahead of the World Cup.
Caleb Wiley has floated between attack and defense while Josh Wynder, Michael Halliday, Brandon Craig, and Justin Che have kept teams at bay. Che specifically has a lot to gain returning to FC Dallas during the summer from Hoffenheim after the team declined their purchase option on him. With a strong tournament, his stay in Dallas could be a short one. This is an important tournament in the global sphere as scouts are watching from everywhere.
Attackers are doing their best to show out and with Ecuador and Slovakia both scoring against their other opposition in the tournament, it only makes the United States defense look better. Now Kevin Paredes and Rokas Pukstas will join from club commitments and likely will need to earn their spots in the lineup.
With the team performing well, Varas won't want to upset the chemistry ahead of win-or-go-home matches but having more depth available will only increase the team's potency late.