Following a 2-2 draw in a friendly against France on March 22, 2019, Columbus Crew SC's Aboubacar Keita and the rest of the United States Under-20 squad are set to face 2013 U-20 champion France in the Round of 16 of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Tuesday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m. ET at Bydgoszcz Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Notably, after going down 0-2 in the teams’ first meeting in March, Barcelona Academy product Konrad de la Fuente netted USA’s opener before Keita provided the game-tying assist to Christian Cappis in second-half stoppage time to earn the draw as part of the final training camp before the World Cup.
Tuesday’s match marks the second meeting all-time against France at this tournament, after USA drew France 1-1 in the Group Stage of the 2013 rendition, head coach Tab Ramos’ first World Cup at the helm of the team. It was Ramos’ first result at the U-20 World Cup while France went on to win the tournament.
Interesting, fellow Homegrown Player and current Crew SC captain Wil Trapp captained that 2013 USA side against a Paul Pogba-led Les Bleus, making Keita the second Crew Homegrown Player on the current roster to start against France in the U-20 World Cup. Throughout the Group Stage, Keita has started and played a full 90 minutes in each of the three matches as a center back.
As for the opposition, 16 players from that March 22 France team return, including seven who started against the U.S.
In looking to play up, the U.S. U-20s also played France’s U-21 squad twice at the start of the cycle in 2018, going 1-1-0.
Ahead of Tuesday's match, USA’s Tim Weah will again meet France forward Moussa Diaby, as both play for French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, though Weah was loaned to Celtic FC of the Scottish Premiership through the end of the season.
How They Got Here:
USA battled back from a Cup-opening 2-1 loss to Ukraine en route to a 2-0 win over Nigeria and a 1-0 win over Qatar to claim second in Group D, while France was one of two teams to claim all nine available points in the Group Stage with hard-fought victories over Saudi Arabia (2-0), Panama (2-0), and Mali (3-2) to win Group E.
How to Watch:
11:30 a.m. ET (FS2, Universo)