Coach Tab Ramos, who in June guided the USA to a quarterfinal appearance at the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, has named the first roster of the new U-20 cycle. Ramos, who was also at the helm of the 2013 squad that was eliminated in the first round from a group that included eventual winner France and third-place finisher Ghana, aims to become the first coach to qualify the USA for three straight U-20 World Cups.
Ramos is taking a squad of 23 players to Serbia for the Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament. The USA, which will begin training in Serbia Aug. 30, will face Serbia (Sept. 3) and France (Sept. 4) and play a placement game Sept. 7.
“We’re giving a bunch of players an opportunity here to make an impression in the beginning, and I’m excited to be starting a new cycle that will hopefully end in the World Cup in South Korea in 2017,” Ramos told USSoccer.com. “We’re taking 23 players in this camp, and the main reason for that is that we have back-to-back games. … So those will be two completely different lineups and everybody will be able to get on the field and show themselves and show themselves against excellent competition.”
All 23 players from this group were born in 1997. Erik Palmer-Brown played for the USA at the 2015 U-20 World Cup. Two other players from the 2015 squad are eligible for the 2017 U-20 World Cup: Gedion Zelalem and Cameron Carter-Vickers, who were called into Coach Andi Herzog's U.S. U-23 national team that's preparing for the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament.
Included in the squad is Los Angeles Galaxy academy defender Christian Onalfo, whose father Curt Onalfo played on the U.S. team that finished fourth at the 1989 U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The squad includes two foreign-based players. England-born Kyle Scott plays for Chelsea's U-21 team. Abuchi Obinwa, previously with the Chicago Magic, signed with Hannover 96 in January and plays for its U-19 team.
On his roster selection for the Serbia trip, Ramos said:
“With all of our youth national teams we’re pretty much integrated, so we’re familiar with the players that we all get coming up, so in this case I’m familiar with this particular group. I think in this camp I’m giving an opportunity to the full depth chart that [U.S. U-18 head coach] Javier Perez passed along."
U.S. U-20 men’s national
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christian Herrera (Real Monarchs; Las Cruces, N.M.), Justin Vom Steeg (UC Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls Academy; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Nicholas Hinds (Seattle Sounders FC Academy; Seattle, Wash.), Andrew Lombard (Northeastern Univ.; Montclair, N.J.), Christian Onalfo (LA Galaxy Academy; Redondo Beach, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire Academy; Bolingbrook, Ill.).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amir Bashti (Stanford Univ.; Cupertino, Calif.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire, Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire Academy; Carmel, Ind.), Abuchi Obinwa (Hannover 96; Orlando, Fla.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic PSG; Libertyville, Ill.), Martin Salas (Univ. of North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Kyle Scott (Chelsea; Winterbourne, Bristol), Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew SC; Grove City, Ohio).
FORWARDS (5): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Nebojsa Popovic (Saint Louis Univ.; Rochester Hills, Mich.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.).
Roster: U.S. U-15 girls convene in Carson
The U.S. U-15 girls national team gathers for its third camp of 2015. A 24-player squad will convene at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., from Sept. 5-12 with U.S. Soccer Women's Development Coach Mark Carr in charge.
Twenty-one of the players were born in 2001 and three born in 2002. This age group will form the core of the squad aiming to to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
U.S. U-15 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ryan Campbell (SoCal Blues; Dana Point, Calif.), Julia Dohle (NYSC; Scarsdale, N.Y.), Vianey Lopez (Legends FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (7): Sade Adamolekun (Lonestar SC; Spicewood, Texas), Tori Hansen (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), Samantha Kroeger (Match Fit Academy; West Milford, N.J.), Makenna Morris (Bethesda Tempo; Germantown, Md.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Marietta, Ga.), Kennedy Wesley (SoCal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Julia Burnell (Penn Fusion; Glen Mills, Pa.), Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Sophia Jones (DeAnza Force; Menlo Park, Calif.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas).
FORWARDS (7): Isabella D’Aquila (SoCal Blues; Orange, Calif.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Savianna Gomez (Beach Academy; Torrance, Calif.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Balch Springs, Texas), Gabrielle Robinson (BRYC; Springfield, Va.), Alexandra Russell (Albion Hurricanes; Katy, Texas), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.).
Around the Net
Liviu Bird, who in June broke the story on youth club Crossfire Premier's quest to receive from Tottenham Hotspur a portion of the transfer fee for DeAndre Yedlin that instead went to MLS, reports that U.S. Soccer has called a meeting in Chicago on Oct. 16 with American youth clubs that are frustrated about being denied the training compensation and "solidarity" payments stipulated by FIFA. U.S. Soccer has claimed a confidential consent decree that arose from the Fraser v. MLS antitrust case in the U.S. District Court in 1996 precludes American youth clubs from receiving solidarity payments. "U.S. Soccer calls meeting with youth clubs over compensation dispute"
Tim Froh speaks with Fullerton Rangers coach and club director Jimmy Obleda about American youth clubs not being compensated for players who end up going pro. “I can tell you, our club, for the number of players that have gone on to play at the professional level, with the money we would make from those players getting compensated back, we would be able to fund some other programs we want to make,” says Obleda, who also addresses MLS clubs claiming credit for producing players. “Just because you have them one year in your academy does not mean that you developed them,” said Obleda. "Fullerton Rangers’ Jimmy Obleda calls out poaching: 'Big academy clubs fish by net'"
Skye Eddy Bruce lists possible adverse effects of U.S. Soccer's mandate to change the birth-year registration from an August-July format to January-December. "What are Madison or Michael’s parents going to think when they are told their child can’t play with 52% their First Grade classmates, but instead, their 6-year-old First Grader, because of their late birthday, has to play on a team made up of 52% of Second Grade children?" "4 Real Issues to Consider Before Switching to Birth Year Registration"