Meet Tab Ramos' 20 players for U-20 World Cup qualifying

By Mike Woitalla

The USA's quest to qualify for a third straight U-20 World Cup begins Feb. 18 against Panama, the first of three first-round opponents at the Concacaf U-20 Championship in Costa Rica from which four teams will qualify for the World Cup in South Korea May 20-June 11. Coach Tab Ramos' 20-player roster for the qualifying tournament, at which also faces Haiti (Feb. 21) and Saint Kitts & Nevis (Feb. 24) in first-round group play, is comprised of 11 MLS players, five collegians and three European-based and one Mexico-based player.

• Fifteen of the players were born in 1997, three in 1998, and two born in 1999 -- Tyler Adams and Jonathan Gonzalez  being the youngest players on the roster for a tournament for players born in 1997 or later.

• Three played in the 2015 U-17 World Cup: Adams, Luca De La Torre, Auston Trusty.

• One played in the 2015 U-20 World Cup: Erik Palmer-Brown.

• Real Salt Lake is the best represented club with four players (Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad, Sebastian Saucedo, Danny Acosta) and the rights to one player collegian Aaron Herrera.

• Six players have already made their MLS debuts.

U.S. U-20 men’s national team
Player (birth year) club/hometown
Jonathan Klinsmann (1997) Univ. of California/Newport Beach, Calif.
Has played 22 games for the Cal Bears. Played youth ball for Strikers FC. Son of 1990 World Cup-winning forward and former U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Jonathan Klinsmann

JT Marcinkowski (1997) Georgetown Univ./Alamo, Calif.
Has played 37 games for Georgetown Hoyas and was Big East Freshman of the Year in 2015. Youth clubs included for Mustang and San Jose Earthquakes.

Danny Acosta (1997) Real Salt Lake/Salt Lake City, Utah
RSL-Arizona product signed Real Salt Lake Homegrown contract in December 2015 and logged 18 games with USL club Real Monarchs SLC in 2016.

Marlon Fossey (1998) Fulham/Surbiton, England
Moved to England from New Jersey at age 11. Right back has played 14 games for Fulham’s Premier League 2 (U-23) team this season.

Marlon Fossey

Justen Glad (1997) Real Salt Lake/Tucson, Ariz.
Has played 36 MLS games for Real Salt Lake since debuting in 2015 after signing Homegrown contract in 2014 and was RSL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Joined RSL-Arizona in 2012 and played on 2013 Development Academy championship team.

Aaron Herrera (1997) Univ. of New Mexico/Casa Grande, Ariz.
Played 37 games for the New Mexico Lobos. Starred on RSL-Arizona’s 2015 U-18 Development Academy runner-up team. Bicycle-kick goal against Arsenal FC in 2015 went viral.

Erik Palmer-Brown (1997) Sporting Kansas City/Lee's Summit, Mo.
Only player who was on roster for 2015 U-20 World Cup, in which he appeared in one game during USA’s run to quarterfinals. Has played 10 MLS games for Sporting Kansas City, for which he debuted at age 17 in 2014. Spent 2016 on loan with Porto’s second division team. Named captained by Ramos.

Tommy Redding (1997) Orlando City SC/Oviedo, Fla.
Orlando City’s first Homegrown signing became club’s youngest player to see MLS minutes with his debut in 2015 at age 18 after playing in USL in 2014. Played 18 MLS games (16 starts) in 2016.

Auston Trusty (1998) Philadelphia Union/Media, Pa.
Signed Homegrown contract with Philadelphia Union after playing for USA at 2015 U-17 World Cup and played 16 games for Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel in 2016.

Tyler Adams (1999) New York Red Bulls/Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Youngest field player on USA’s squad for 2015 U-17 World Cup, at which he played all three games. Appeared in one MLS game for the Red Bulls in 2016.

Luca De la Torre (1998) Fulham/San Diego, Calif.
Started all three games for USA at 2015 U-17 World Cup. Moved from Nomads in 2013 to Fulham, with which he signed a pro contract in 2015. Has made three first-team appearances with the Cottagers, in the English League Cup. Played in 14 games (two goals) this season in Premier League 2 (U-23).

Jonathan Gonzalez (1999) CF Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.
Signed with Monterrey in 2014 after receiving trial offers from 14 Liga MX clubs at 2013 Alianza National Finals. Played for Los Rayados’ U-15s and U-17s, and now starts for their U-20 team.

Jeremiah Gutjahr (1997) Indiana Univ./Bloomington, Ind.
Played in 37 games in first two seasons at IU. Youth clubs include Indiana Fire and Chicago Fire.

Sebastian Saucedo (1997) Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah
Appeared in nine MLS games for RSL in 2015 before going on loan to Veracruz, for which he played in four Liga MX games, one Concacaf Champions League game and five Copa MX games (1 goal).

Eryk Williamson (1997) Univ. of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.
Played 39 games in two seasons at Maryland after youth ball with D.C. United Academy.

Coy Craft (1997) FC Dallas/Glade Spring, Va.
Member of FC Dallas’ 2015 U-18 Development Academy championship team signed Homegrown contract in 2014 and has played five MLS games, two in 2016.

Jeremy Ebobisse (1997) Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.
The U-15/16 Development Academy Player of the Year with Bethesda-Olney, played two seasons at Duke before joining USL’s Charleston Battery. Was the fourth overall pick by the Portland Timbers in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Brooks Lennon (1997) Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.
RSL-Arizona product moved in 2015 to Liverpool, for whose U-23 team he played 21 games before rejoining Real Salt Lake this month on loan from the English club.

Brooks Lennon

Jonathan Lewis (1997) New York City FC; Plantation, Fla.
The third overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by NYCFC after freshman season (2 goals, 12 assists) at Akron during which he was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016. Played youth ball for Plantation FC, Kendall SC and Chicago Fire Academy.

Emmanuel Sabbi (1997) UD Las Palmas; Libertyville, Ill.
Committed to the University of Akron after starring for Chicago Magic PSG but signed with Spain’s Las Palmas last August.

European-based players not picked include: Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham), midfielders Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal), McKinze Gaines (Wolfsburg), Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) and Gedion Zelalem (VVV) and forward Haji Wright (Schalke 04) -- all of whom have made their first-team debuts in league, cup or friendly play.

2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship Groups
Group A: Mexico, Antigua & Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad & Tobago

The top two finishers in each of the three groups will advance to the second round, which will comprise of two groups of three teams. The top two finishers of each group of the second stage will qualify for the U-20 World Cup in South Korea May 20-June 11.

9 comments about "Meet Tab Ramos' 20 players for U-20 World Cup qualifying".
  1. Quarterback TD, February 10, 2017 at 7:29 p.m.

    Good team but too many pros with nothing to prove and will find themselves not taking too much risk against big defenders from Africa and Eastern European teams, for the simple fact injury and being out performed by unknowns can mean career ending even if signed.. We need hungry unsigned players that just not only want to play in FIFA WC but want to showcase for a full time job. In any case good luck..

  2. R2 Dad replied, February 11, 2017 at 11:51 p.m.

    Wait--before we used to complain there weren't enough pros at this level. You may be right about not wanting to risk injury against crappy CONCACAF teams, but once you get to the world cup finals a good tournament can mean good things for these players. It's unfortunate those 7 euro-based players aren't participating, but maybe their clubs will release them later in the qualification process.

  3. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, February 12, 2017 at 3:53 p.m.

    Huh? Won't the players on other countries' teams be pros too? Generally, really good 18-20 year old players will be pros. Instead of rich pros like Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, Barca should find some "hungry" unsigned guys and play them instead!

  4. Quarterback TD, February 13, 2017 at 10:11 a.m.

    The World Cup U20 is generally a recruiter candy land for young talent-- very few professional play at that level-- Personally I think US Soccer is doing an injustice to unsign playeys by not selecting only unsigned players but I guess they want to try to justify their bloated organization. Regardless a large number of young people will selected as it was originally intended by FIFA 40 something years ago--

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, February 13, 2017 at 2:12 p.m.

    Sorry - that's simply not true. Here are the squads from the last world cup. Virtually everyone is a pro. They may not all be in the first team of their respective clubs but they are not amateurs, with the exception of NCAA guys are our team.

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, February 13, 2017 at 2:13 p.m.

    Forgot to include the link in my previous comment.

  7. Wooden Ships, February 13, 2017 at 1:23 p.m.

    Back in my playing days, going into a match thinking of minimizing risk usually increased risk-injury. Play to win using the best. Wearing the US jersey provides sufficient hunger.

  8. Mitch Mitchy, February 14, 2017 at 8:50 a.m.

    Not wanting to risk injury.
    You must be joking.
    You live to play in tournaments like this and prove yourself against the best.
    A great showing here can mean a big money move.

  9. Bob Ashpole, February 14, 2017 at 9:13 a.m.

    QTD, what country are you talking about? You cannot be suggesting that US athletes don't have a competitive nature.

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