USA makes three roster changes at Concacaf U-20 Championship
CHICAGO (via U.S. Soccer) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos made three changes to the team’s roster ahead of the Qualification Stage of the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship, bringing in defenders Sergiño Dest and Chris Richards as well as forward Sebastian Soto to replace Isaac Angking, Griffin Dorsey and Anthony Fontana.
“We needed to make a couple of moves at this time to address depth needed in certain positions for specific situations which may arise in the second round,” Ramos said. “We certainly feel that the players we let go were highly productive in helping to get the team to this point and will continue to be part of our process moving forward.”
The USA swept its five Group A matches of the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico , U.S. Virgin Islands , Trinidad & Tobago , Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , and Suriname by a combined 39-2 score.
As group winner, the USA now moves on to the Qualification Stage, along with the winners of the other five groups: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Panama. Per tournament rules, teams could make up to six roster changes following the group stage.
As determined at the tournament draw in September, the USA, winner of Group A, is matched with the winners of Group C (Honduras) and E (Costa Rica) in the Qualification Stage, forming Group G. Group H will consist of Panama (winner, Group D), El Salvador (winner, Group F), and Mexico (winner, Group B). After the triangular round robin, the top two from each group will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the winners will meet in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship final on Nov. 21.
Up Next: The U-20 MNT will face Costa Rica on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET and Honduras on Monday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, Fla. The matches can be watched live on Univision Deportes Network and the Concacaf GO App. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, twitter (ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (ussoccer_ynt) accounts.
USA Roster for 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualification Stage:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), 1-Brady Scott (FC Koln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): 22-Sergiño Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands), 3-Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.), 2-Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting KC; Charlotte, N.C.), 4-Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), 14-Manny Perez (N.C. State; Garner, N.C.), 5-Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), 26-Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Hoover, Ala.), 19-Sam Rogers (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 20-Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.), 16-Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), 8-Alex Mendez (SC Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.), 10-Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Tex.), 6-Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.), 7-Juan Pablo Torres (K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen/BEL; Lilburn, Ga.)
FORWARDS (4): 17-Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.), 11-Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.), 9-Justin Rennicks (Indiana Univ.; Hamilton, Mass.), 23-Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.)
Prior to the start of the tournament, the USA made one change from the initial roster. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa replaced CJ Dos Santos, who was recalled by his club, Benfica.
- The USA roster consists of 16 players representing pro clubs from five different countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA.
- Nine players represent seven MLS clubs: FC Dallas (2), Philadelphia Union (2), LA Galaxy (1), Real Salt Lake (1), Seattle Sounders (1), Sporting KC (1), and Toronto FC (1).
- Five players represent clubs in Germany: Chris Gloster (Hannover 96), Alex Mendez (SC Freiburg), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Brady Scott (FC Koln), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96)
- Defender Chris Richards is a FC Dallas homegrown player on loan to Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. He is the third FC Dallas player on the roster, along with Brandon Servania and Paxton Pomykal.
- Three players are NCAA athletes: Justin Rennicks (Indiana), Manny Perez (N.C. State), and Frankie Amaya (UCLA).
- Julian Araujo, Ulysses Llanez and David Ochoa, all 17, are the youngest players on the roster and are age-eligible for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- Goalkeeper Brady Scott is the only returning player from the USA’s 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup team after serving as the team’s third ‘keeper in Korea Republic.
- Four players were part of the USA’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup team that fell to eventual champion England in the quarterfinals in India: defenders Chris Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey and Sergiño Dest, and forward Ayo Akinola.
- Lindsey was named to the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship Best XI after helping the USA to a second-place finish and a World Cup berth.
- Eighteen of 20 players have spent time playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
- In addition to eight players from U.S.-based MLS teams that came up through their respective academies, ten other players last played for the following DA sides: Amaya (Pateadores), Gloster (New York Red Bulls), Llanez (LA Galaxy), Mendez (LA Galaxy), Perez (Capital Area Railhawks Academy), Rennicks (New England Revolution), Richards (FC Dallas), Scott (De Anza Force), Soto (Real Salt Lake), Torres (Georgia United).
- Ulysses Llanez was named 2018 U-16/17 Development Academy West Conference Player of the Year and Manny Perez was the 2015/16 East Conference Player of the Year.
- Paxton Pomykal and Brandon Servania were part of the FC Dallas U-15/16 team that won the 2016 Development Academy Championship. Pomykal was also part of the club’s U17/18 team that also won the championship that year.
- Before joining the FC Dallas youth set-up, Chris Richards won the 2017 DA U-18 Championship as a member of Texans SC Houston.