U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has called in 24 players to training camp from Dec. 15-22 in Sunrise, Fla. The training camp will be the last of the year for the team, made up primarily of players born in 1993.
It will be the first camp since learning its 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship opponents as the team begins preparations in earnest for the tournament. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which takes place Feb. 18-March 3 in Puebla, Mexico, serves as the regional qualifying tournament for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Seven players on the roster were born in 1994, with the remaining 17 born in 1993. Throughout the course of the week, the team will play two closed-door matches – an intrasquad game on Dec. 18 and a match against Venezuela on Dec. 21. Both games will be closed to the public.
Half the players hail from college teams, including Brandon Allen and Tomas Gomez, who recently competed with Georgetown for the NCAA National Championship on Sunday against Indiana.
Eleven players ply their trade in the professional ranks, including defender Oscar Sorto, who recently signed a Homegrown Player contract with the LA Galaxy, and goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who signed with Premier League club Southampton FC after spending time with Ipswich Town in the English Football League Championship.
Major League Soccer is represented with five players: Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Sorto (LA Galaxy) and Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy). Cropper and Marc Pelosi (Liverpool) travel to Florida from England, while Mario Rodriguez joins the team from 1. FC Kaiserslautern in Germany. Daniel Cuevas and Benji Joya head to Florida from Santos Laguna in Mexico’s Liga MX. Of the 24 players on the roster, 19 have Development Academy ties, with McBean currently listed on the LA Galaxy Academy roster.
Last month, the U.S. U-20 MNT was drawn into Group A of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship alongside Costa Rica and Haiti. The U.S. will play all of its group matches at Estadio Olímpico C.U. in Puebla. In the group stage, each team will play the other teams once, with the top two teams from each of the four groups advancing to the quarterfinals to be played Feb. 26 and 27. The semifinals are scheduled for March 1, with the final and third-place game slated for March 3. All four semifinalists qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup from June 21-July 13, 2013, in Turkey.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Dakota Edwards (Maryland; Sayville, N.Y.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Unattached; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Darius Madison (Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)