The only collegians on the USA's 2015 U-20 World Cup roster were two backup goalkeepers. And en route to its quarterfinal finish, the USA for the first time in 14 U-20 World Cup appearances, dating back to 1981, fielded a starting lineup without any field players who ever played college ball.
The next U-20 World Cup is a year away -- to be hosted by South Korea May 20-June 11 -- and the qualifying tournament is likely to be held early in 2017.
Last weekend, the U.S. U-20s won the NTC Invitational in Carson, California with wins over Japan (2-1), Panama (4-0) and Costa Rica (2-0).
Coach Tab Ramos’ roster for the NTC Invitational was comprised of nine collegians, five MLS players, four foreign-based players, two Development Academy players and one USL player.
Two of the collegians were goalkeepers. Cal’s Jonathan Klinsmann started against Japan and Costa Rica and Georgetown's JT Marcinkowski against Panama.
Duke University’s Jeremy Ebobisse, who hails from Maryland and played youth ball at Bethesda-Olney, scored a goal in each game. He also assisted on Sebastian Saucedo’s opening goal against Japan and set up Saucedo’s goal against Costa Rica. (Saucedo is at Mexico’s Veracruz on loan from Real Salt Lake.)
At the 2015 U-20 World Cup, only three of the field players had some college experience and all three of them left college after one season to join MLS teams -- Jordan Allen (Virginia), Tommy Thompson (Indiana) and Conor Donovan (N.C. State).
Because professional clubs aren’t obligated to release players for youth championships, Ramos may not have the services of players such as 2015 starters Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur) and Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal), or Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), who played for the USA at the 2015 U-17 World Cup.
The NTC Invitational gave Ramos a chance to rate players who have yet to go pro.
Isaiah Young, of New Jersey club PDA, scored against Panama and assisted Ebobisse’s gamewinner against Japan. Eryk Williamson, a rising sophomore at Maryland, started all three games.
Ebobisse made the best case. His stellar performance came after he scored twice for the USA at the Dallas Cup, against German club Hoffenheim and Mexico’s Monterrey. He took the spring semester off at Duke and trained at Hoffenheim and with the NASL's Jacksonville Armada.
July 3 in Carson, Calif.
USA 2 Japan 1. Goals: Saucedo (Ebobisse) 20, Ebobisse (Young) 56, Doan 6.
USA -- Klinsmann; Fossey (Herrera, 58), Robinson, Trusty, Borges; Acosta (Yueill, 31), Williamson, Saucedo (Akale, 81); Young (Mansaray, 81), Craft (Vazquez, 58), Ebobisse (Arellano, 89).
Japan -- Yamaguchi, Yanagi, Tomiyasu, Machida (Ominami, 46), Urata, Doan, Kamiya (Watanabe, 46), Ichimaru (Kubota, 82), Endo (Kakita, 82), Kishimoto (Iwasaki, 66), Ogawa.
July 1 in Carson, Calif.
USA 4 Panama 0. Goals: Young (de la Torre) 43, Acosta 56, Ebobisse 58, Craft (Vazquez) 82.
USA -- Marcinkowski; Fossey, Robinson, Trusty (Lombard, 68), Arellano; Acosta, De La Torre (Akale, 68), Young (Vazquez, 79); Williamson (Yueill, 79), Saucedo (Craft, 60), Ebobisse (Mansaray, 60).
Panama -- Iguala; Blackman, Diaz, Cedeno (Rivera, 63), Conejo; Avila, Alcazar (Del Busto, 54), Samaniego (Molina, 63), Alarcon; Gil (Zuniga, 46), Avila.
Back row (L-R) Jonathan Klinsmann, Jeremy Ebobisse, Miles Robinson, Auston Trusty, Marcello Borges.
Front row: Luca De La Torre, Eryk Williamson, Sebastian Saucedo, Auston Trusty, Mukwelle Akale, Eryk Williamson. (Courtesy U.S. Soccer)
June 29 in Carson, Calif.
USA 2 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Ebobisse (De La Torre), Saucedo (Ebobisse) 52.
USA -- Klinsmann; Herrera (Fossey, 68), Robinson, Trusty, Borges; Acosta (Yueill, 68), De La Torre (Arellano, 79), Akale (Young, 79); Ebobisse (Mansaray, 84), Williamson, Saucedo.
Costa Rica -- Barrientos; Morales, Phillips (Gonzalez), Carmona, Espinoza (Alfaro, 75); Sequeira, Cordoba (Vargas, 83), Juarez; Espinoza (Villegas, 75), Loria (Masis 66), Marin (Zapata, 66).
U.S. U-20 men’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Univ. of California), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown Univ.).
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy academy), Marcello Borges (Univ. of Michigan), Marlon Fossey (Fulham/ENG), Aaron Herrera (Univ. of New Mexico), Andrew Lombard (Northeastern Univ.), Miles Robinson (Syracuse Univ), Auston Trusty (Bethlehem Steel).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Mukwelle Akale (Villarrea/SPA), Luca De La Torre (Fulham/ENG), Weston McKinnie (FC Dallas academy), Eryk Williamson (Univ. of Maryland), Jackson Yueill (UCLA).
FORWARDS (6): Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Jeremy Ebobisse (Duke Univ.), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic), Sebastian Saucedo (Veracruz/MEX), Brandon Vazquez (Tijuana/MEX), Isaiah Young (PDA).
U.S. U-18 women head to England
U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs has named a 20-player roster for the U.S. U-18 women’s national team's July 6-15 training camp in England that will include games against England's U-18s July 12 and 14.
The roster is comprised 19 youth club players and one collegian, Penn State goalkeeper Amanda Dennis.
All the players were born in 1998 and they are aiming to be part of the USA’s quest to qualify for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
U-18 women’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Amanda Dennis (Penn State; Palmetto, Fla.), Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.).
DEFENDERS (7): Julie Doyle (San Diego Surf; Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Samantha Hiatt (Crossfire SC; Newcastle, Wash.), Julie Mackin (Real Colorado; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kaiya McCullough (San Diego Surf; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Taylor Mitchell (Real So Cal; Tarzana, Calif.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Natalie Winters (Michigan Hawks; Plymouth, Mich.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Olivia Athens (PSV Union FC; Atherton, Calif.), Haley Berg (Solar Chelsea; Celina, Texas), Samantha Coffey (New York Soccer Club; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Surf; Henderson, Nev.), Shea Moyer (FC Revolution; Wyomissing, Pa.), Nicole Whitley (PDA; Freehold, N.J.).
FORWARDS (5): Malia Berkely (Michigan Hawks; Liberty Township, Ohio), Sunny Dunphy (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.), Cecilia Gee (Lamarinda United; Orinda, Calif.), Kennedy Goins (TSC Hurricane; Broken Arrow, Okla.), Abigail Kim (Pacific NW SC; Vashon, Wash.)
U.S. U-17s prep for World Cup
Coach B.J. Snow, who is prepping his team for the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan (Sept. 30-Oct. 21), has called in 26 players for a July 6-13 training camp in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Nineteen of the players were part of the team that won the Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament in March. Fifteen of the players were born in 1999, the age-cut for the 2016 World Cup, seven players were born in 2000, and four were born in 2001, including three who were on the qualifying squad: defenders Kennedy Wesley and Kate Wiesner and forward Jordan Canniff.
U.S. U-17 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Hillary Beall (So Cal Blues; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Laurel Ivory (West Florida Flames; Surfside Fla.), Katie Meyer (Real SoCal; Newbury Park, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (9): Maycee Bell (Sporting KC; Wichita, Kan.), Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Joanna Harber (Eastside FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles SC; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Emily Smith (De Anza Force; Los Gatos, Calif.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tiana Caffey (Space Coast United; Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.).
FORWARDS (8): Briana Atterbury (Sereno SC; Gilbert, Ariz.), Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Adrienne Richardson (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Oakdale, Minn.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.).