The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team has been paired with Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Panama and Guatemala in Group A for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Thursday.
The tournament will take place in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica from January 9-24.
It will also act as the qualifier for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, to be held in May and June 2015 in New Zealand, and to which four CONCACAF teams will advance.
During group play, the U.S. will face Guatemala on January 9, Panama on January 11, Aruba on January 14, Jamaica on January 18 and Trinidad & Tobago January 21.
"I think getting drawn with Jamaica and Panama in particular, those will be some difficult opponents." U-20 Men's National Team coach Tab Ramos said. "At the end of the day, if you want to advance to the World Cup, you need to beat good teams, so we're looking forward to the tournament."
The team will travel to Marbella, Spain, to face Russia's U-20 national team on November 12, Ireland's U-21 national team on November 15 and Canada's U-20 national squad on November 18.
The U.S. roster for the trip, however, has yet to be announced.
"Come December, when we are putting things together, I believe we will have a group that will help us qualify for the World Cup," Ramos continued. "It is a deep group, so we will definitely have some difficult decisions to make."
The U.S. finished second to Mexico in the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. That team moved on to the FIFA World Cup and played eventual champion France to 1-1 tie, but ultimately did not advance past group play.
The U.S. team's best World Cup performance was in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, when it finished fourth.
- Christopher Woody