U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 21-player roster for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic, which runs from May 20-June 11.
“We are very excited to once again provide a great competitive opportunity to our players and are looking forward to heading to Korea Republic,” Ramos said. “As always there were some extremely tough decisions to make. This is a talented age group.”
An initial portion of the team departs for training camp in Japan on May 10, where remaining players will meet the group prior to the team’s arrival in Korea Republic on May 17.
The U.S. was drawn into Group F with Ecuador, Senegal and Saudi Arabia. The team opens group play against Ecuador on May 22 (4 a.m. ET), followed by matches with Senegal on May 25 (7 a.m. ET) and Saudi Arabia on May 28 (5 a.m. ET). The first two games will be played at Incheon Stadium in Incheon, while the third and final group game will be played at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Daejeon. All of the U.S.’s group matches will be broadcast live on FS1.
DEFENDERS (7): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur FC; Westcliff-on-Sea, England), Marlon Fossey (Fulham FC; Surbiton, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (University of New Mexico; Las Cruces, N.M.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca De La Torre (Fulham FC; San Diego, Calif.), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal FC; Bethesda, Md.)
FORWARDS (6): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United FC Academy; Tucker, Ga.) Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Unattached; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallen, Mo.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah)
The U-20 MNT capped its qualifying run at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship with five-straight wins. After opening the tournament with a 1-0 loss against Panama, the team went on to defeat Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis by matching 4-1 score lines, earning first place in Group B and advancement to the Classification Stage. There, the U-20 MNT used a 29th minute header from Erik-Palmer Brown to earn a 1-0 victory against rivals Mexico, breaking El Trí’s 20-match unbeaten streak at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Ramos’ side followed up that victory with a 2-1 win against El Salvador to punch its ticket to Korea Republic and also advance to the tournament Final against Honduras.
Having played to a 0-0 draw, the U.S. was perfect in converting its penalty kicks, defeating Los Catrachos 5-3 in the shootout to clinch its first regional crown at U-20 level. Following the match, goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, defenders Marlon Fossey and Justen Glad, midfielder Erik Palmer-Brown and forward Brooks Lennon earned Best XI honors, with Palmer-Brown and Klinsmann receiving the Golden Ball and Golden Glove awards, respectively. Fifteen players that were part of the U-20 MNT’s successful qualifying run are part of the final World Cup roster.
In April, Ramos brought the U-20 player pool together one more time for an international training camp in London, England to continue World Cup preparations and evaluate new players, including World Cup choice Lagos Kunga.
The U-20 World Cup showcases some of the world’s best young talent. The USA’s roster at the last FIFA World Cup in 2014 featured nine players that had previously played in a U-20 World Cup: Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando and DeAndre Yedlin.
The USA’s best finish at the U-20 World Cup came in Saudi Arabia in 1989, where a team backstopped by future MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller finished fourth. Most recently under Ramos in 2015, the USA advanced from its group and defeated Colombia 1-0 in the Round of 16 before falling to eventual champions Serbia 6-5 on penalty kicks in the Quarterfinal.
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