Tab Ramos names U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team roster for April training camp
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has called 24 players for an April 22-29 training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The team is preparing for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which takes place June 21-July 13 in Turkey.
The USA’s weeklong camp concludes with an April 28 match against the reserve team of Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA.
This camp marks the first for the U-20s since their strong runner-up performance at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The U-20 MNT qualified for the U-20 World Cup when it defeated Canada 4-2 on Feb. 26 to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA took second place in the tournament, which was capped off by a hard fought 3-1 overtime loss to host Mexico in the title match at Estadio Cuauhtémoc in Puebla.
“This is a very important camp for us and is a segue toward selecting our final group for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup,” Ramos said. “Because it is a domestic camp, we get to have 24 players on hand. We have some players who haven’t been seen and others who were part of the tournament, so we’re really looking forward to seeing how they perform.” (QUOTE SHEET)
The April training camp roster features 12 players who were part of the USA’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship squad. Among the group is forward Benji Joya, who captained the USA’s final two matches of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and scored a big penalty kick goal against Mexico in the title game – the only tally allowed by Mexico in the entire tournament.
Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp is one of nine U-20 players with current MLS ties. Trapp was named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team.
LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal will be with the U-20 MNT roster this week. Villarreal was the USA’s leading scorer in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship with three goals in four games while earning recognition on the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team.
Twenty players have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including three current registered Academy players – forward Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), midfielder Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) and defender Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy).
- CONCACAF U-20 Championship goalkeepers Cody Cropper and Kendall McIntosh are on hand for this weeklong camp. Cropper played in all five matches (4-1-0) in the tournament and posted two shutouts.
- Cropper and midfielder Benji Joya were the only two players to play all 480 minutes in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico.
- Joya tied for the team lead with two assists in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
- Forward Daniel Cuevas had two goals and an assist in three matches in the tournament, but a meniscus injury late in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship kept him out of the title game against Mexico.
- Cuevas and Joya are teammates at Santos Laguna.
- Kellyn Acosta joins this U-20 cycle for the first time. He previously captained the U-18 MNT against France and Romania last year.
- Acosta and U-20 MNT forward Danny Garcia were members of the FC Dallas U-17/18 Academy championship team in 2012. Garcia had a goal and assisted the game-winner as FC Dallas captured its first Academy title with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
- Forward Victor Pineda of the Chicago Fire, who tore his left meniscus in late 2012, returns to the U-20s. He had three goals and an assist in six games for the U-20 MNT in 2012.
- Seattle Sounders Academy forward Jordan Morris and former IMG Academy midfielder Marlon Hairston join their first Youth National Team camps at any age level.
- Former U.S. MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a four-time FIFA World Cup participant and a three-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, joins the U-20 staff as an assistant coach alongside assistant coach Brian Bliss and goalkeeper coach Russell Payne.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): AJ Cochran (Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), Sean Cunningham (Molde FK; Troy, Mich.), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Jeffrey Payeras (C.S.D. Municipal; Hawthorne, Calif.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marlon Hairston (Louisville; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Alfred Koroma (Akron; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)