While the bulk of Division I men’s soccer players are preparing for the spring season, a lucky handful will spend the upcoming days in sunny Costa Rica.
The CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup qualifying tournament kicks off on Saturday, and a total of 14 players from U.S. based college soccer will be on hand to battle for a spot in the 2017 World Cup.
A variety of programs will be represented, from familiar Division I powers like Maryland, California, Indiana and Georgetown, to smaller schools like Iowa Western Community College and Roberts Wesleyan.
“It’s one of those things as a college coach you send them off with their blessing because what a great and unique experience it is for these guys to play with a great coaching staff looking after him and with great players training with him every day,” Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese told TopDrawerSoccer. “The competition is meaningful international games, so it’s a best-case scenario for all these guys developmentally, and being able to represent your country at any age group, at any level is a special thing.”
Five of the players from the U.S. Under-20 squad hail from college soccer. Goalkeepers James Marcinkowski (Georgetown), Jonathan Klinsmann (California), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico), Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana) and Eryk Williamson (Maryland) are set to help head coach Tab Ramos and the United States in their qualifying efforts.