CHICAGO – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named the 21-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey from June 21-July 13.
The group is a familiar one during the World Cup qualifying process with 17 of the 21 helping lead the U-20 MNT to a runner-up finish at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship earlier this year.
“We’re very happy about the group we selected,” said Ramos. “Obviously it’s always difficult. Wednesday night we were up till late selecting the final couple players. It’s always hard to let a player go who’s worked so hard to get here, and we know that we have 35 players who are deserving of going to the World Cup.”
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3) : 1-Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), 12-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 21-Zach Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7) : 13-Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), 5-Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), 18-Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 4-Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), 14-Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (5) : 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), 10-Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), 8-Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), 15-Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6) : 20-Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), 17-Danny Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), 7-Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 19-Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), 9-Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), 11-Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
The U.S. is coming off a four-game stretch at the Under-21 Toulon Tournament in France, where Ramos and his staff utilized the event to evaluate and finalize the U-20 World Cup roster. Sixteen of the players on the USA’s 22-player Toulon Tournament roster are part of the World Cup. The five who were not with the team in France include Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Zach Steffen, Seattle Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin, midfielder Luis Gil of Real Salt Lake, and forwards Mario Rodriguez of 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Jose Villarreal of the LA Galaxy.
As was his role in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and previous tournaments, SC Freiburg defender Caleb Stanko will serve as the team captain in Turkey. Two newcomers to the U-20 MNT were brought in for the Toulon Tournament – FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta and Monterrey forward Alonso Hernandez, having both performed well at the event.
The U-20 MNT was drawn into a difficult group for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U.S. opens Group A play against Spain on Friday, June 21, at Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul. The match will be broadcast at 1:45 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. That is followed by a June 24 game against France in Istanbul, live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN at 10:45 a.m. ET. The U.S. closes out group play with a June 27 match against Ghana at Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri, Turkey, at 12:45 p.m. ET, live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.
- The U-20 MNT World Cup roster features 17 players who have ties to the Development Academy, including three current Academy players in Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy) and Zach Steffen (FC DELCO).
- Acosta and forward Danny Garcia played on the FC Dallas U-17/18 Academy squad that won the 2011-12 Academy Finals Week title game against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. Both players started and Garcia had a goal and assisted the game-winner.
- Forward Jose Villarreal and defender Javan Torre were members of the 2010-11 Academy Finals Week champion Pateadores U-17/18 squad and defender Caleb Stanko played for the 2009-10 Academy champion Vardar U-17/18 side.
- Forward Daniel Cuevas is the team’s leading scorer with four goals this year. He scored twice during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, had the team’s first goal of 2013 during a 2-2 draw against Panama on Jan. 19 and scored the lone goal during the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 1 in the Toulon Tournament.
- Cuevas and Benji Joya are teammates at Santos Laguna.
- Alonso Hernandez made his U-20 MNT debut on May 28 against U-21 France in the opener of the Toulon Tournament.
- Nine players on the roster are signed by MLS clubs: Acosta (FC Dallas), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Villarreal (LA Galaxy) and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
- Gil, Trapp and Villarreal were named to the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team. In the tournament, the USA played host Mexico to overtime in the final but dropped a 3-1 decision on March 3 in Puebla.
- Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, forward Mario Rodriguez and Acosta were members of the U.S. U-17 squad during the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. Gil represented the USA at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Group A Schedule
|June 21||Spain||1:45 a.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|June 24||France||10:45 a.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|June 27||Ghana||12:45 a.m.||ESPNU, WatchEsPN|