FOOTBALL Preview: U.S. women finish pre-World Cup prep vs. Mexico; FIFA U-20 World Cup starts in Poland

Mallory Pugh celebrates one of her two goals in the 5-3 win over Australia (Photo: U.S. Soccer)

The U.S. Women’s National Team has its final tune-up game on Sunday prior to leaving for France and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

After a rough start in January, the U.S. has rebounded and now has a 6-1-2 record for the year, with five wins in a row and a combined score in those games of 20-3.

Mexico’s women’s team did not qualify for the World Cup and has a 3-4-1 record in 2019, losing to Italy, Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand. The U.S. pummeled the Football Ferns, 5-0, on 16 May, but the Mexicans lost, 2-1, on 22 May.

Sunday’s game begins at noon Eastern time and will be shown on ESPN and UDN.

The U.S. women start their World Cup title defense on 11 June against Thailand in Reims (FRA) and then has group games against Chile and Sweden.

The FIFA men’s U-20 World Cup is underway in Poland, with 24 teams doing battle in the 22nd edition of the tournament for the top junior teams in the world. The groups:

Group A: Colombia, Poland, Senegal, Tahiti
Group B: Ecuador, Italy, Japan, Mexico
Group C: Honduras, New Zealand, Norway, Uruguay
Group D: Nigeria, Qatar, Ukraine, United States
Group E: France, Mali, Panama, Saudi Arabia
Group F: Argentina, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea

The top two teams in each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the elimination round of 16. Those games will begin on 2 June and continue with the quarterfinals on 7-8 June, the semis on 11 June and the third-place match on 14 June (in Gdynia) and the title match on 15 June (in Lodz).

The tournament was originally known as the FIFA World Youth Championship and first held in 1977. It was changed to the U-20 World Cup for the 2007 edition. Historically, the event has been dominated by Argentina (six wins) and Brazil (five wins), but the last three winners have come from France (2013), Serbia (2015) and England (2017). The best-ever U.S. finish was fourth, way back in 1989.

Look for results here.