(Throughout the week, we will go through every group and let you know what to look for and what to expect in the U-20 World Cup)
We wrap up the U-20 World Cup group previews with Group F. The four teams in Group F have a wide range of experience both in the U-20 World Cup and other tournaments as well. While other things within FIFA have taken higher precedence, there’s still a tournament to be played and these games go on.
Group F Teams:
Fiji (1st appearance), Germany (10th appearance), Honduras (6th appearance), Uzbekistan (4th appearance)
Group F Schedule (All Games on FOX Networks):
Saturday, May 30 – Mexico vs. Mali, 9:00 PM ET, Fox Sports 2
Sunday, May 31 – Uruguay vs. Serbia – Midnight ET, Fox Sports 2
Wednesday, June 3 – Mexico vs. Uruguay – Midnight ET, Fox Sports 1
Wednesday, June 3 – Mali vs. Serbia – 3:00 AM ET, Fox Sports 2
Saturday, June 6 – Mexico vs. Serbia – Midnight ET, Fox Sports 1
Saturday, June 6 – Mali vs. Uruguay – Midnight ET, Fox Sports 2
Player to Watch in Group F: Bryan Rochez-Honduras
Bryan Rochez is a Designated Player for Orlando City SC in MLS. The forward joins Kaka and Carlos Rivas as the DP’s for the team. Usually, the Designated Player slots are reserved for established players and those who make the biggest impact for their team since they usually get paid way more money than the rest of the team. For Rochez, the 20 year old is a long term project for Orlando.
Since signing on at Orlando the beginning of this year, Rochez has only made three appearances and has yet to score a goal in MLS. He also has made six appearances for the Honduras senior team and also has yet to score a goal. This isn’t a cause for worry but a great tournament by Rochez may result in future success with Orlando and the Honduras senior team.
X-Factor in Group F: Fiji
Fiji enters the U-20 World Cup for the first time and, let’s not mince words, they’re lucky they’re in this tournament. Because New Zealand is hosting the tournament, that opened another Oceanic spot and Fiji got the spot. If New Zealand hadn’t become host, they would’ve kicked Fiji out.
This doesn’t mean Fiji has to roll over and let Germany, Honduras and Uzbekistan beat them. Fiji is playing for pride and hope that this is the start of something better. And besides, if Fiji can somehow get points or just score against these teams, that will be an unforgettable experience for those players and the Fiji people.
Most Important Game: Honduras vs. Uzbekistan
Typically, the most important game of the group features the teams most likely to be fighting for the 2nd and 3rd place spots in the group. In this group, Honduras and Uzbekistan will be fighting for that 2nd place spot. Germany should be able to win the group and Fiji is just glad they’re there.
Teams To Automatically Move On: Germany and Honduras
Germany is absolutely certain to move on so that leaves Honduras and Uzbekistan. I’m going to have to give Honduras the edge. They have a better history in the senior tournaments and have a rather impressive youth system. While it’ll be close, Honduras will move on.