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United States opens CONCACAF U-20 Championship with loss to Panama



The United States under-20 team suffered a 1-0 defeat to 10-man Panama on Saturday, a disappointing start in the Americans' quest to qualify for this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Panama was down to 10 men in the 17th minute after Justin Simons caught U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams with a late tackle and was shown a straight red card. Adams, of the New York Red Bulls, was injured on the play and could not continue.

But Panama took the lead 20 minutes later when Leandro Avila's shot took a deflection and looped over the head of U.S. goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The closest the U.S. came to an equalizer was when Portland Timbers rookie Jeremy Ebobisse struck the crossbar with a header in the 48th minute.

The U.S. continues in Group B on Tuesday against Haiti, who beat Saint Kitts and Nevis 5-1 earlier on Saturday.

The top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to a second classification stage consisting of two three-team groups The top two finishers in those groups will qualify for this summer's U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

In Group A On Friday, Mexico beat Antigua and Barbuda 3-0 with two goals from Ronaldo Cisneros, while Honduras beat Canada 1-0. On Sunday, host Costa Rica opens Group C with El Salvador, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago.

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