January Summit: Who's who on the five new U.S. men's youth teams

The next cycles for the U.S. men's youth teams that will attempt to qualify for the 2019 Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups will begin with a mega-camp: 153 players spread over five teams invited to Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

U.S. Soccer youth technical director Tab Ramos will be in charge of the camp that runs Jan. 2-11 and features five teams: U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19 and U-20.

The players include 11 signed to MLS pro contracts and three signed to pro contracts with USL teams. Other players have played on academy contracts with USL teams.

A few notes:

-- Only one player affiliated with a U.S. youth club is not playing in the Development Academy, and that's because U-17 Anthony Rouse's Albany-based New York Soccer Club's DA program only goes up to U-15s.

-- There is no more residency program for the U-17s, but what stands out is how many players, especially in the older age groups, have moved out of area to enroll in MLS DA programs.

-- Of the 19 foreign-based players called in, three have already made their first-team debuts: Jonathan Amon, who starts at Denmark's FC Nordsjaelland, Juan Pablo Torres with Belgium's Lokeren and Nebiyou Perry with Sweden's AIK.

U-20s. Goalkeeper Brady Scott, who is in his first season at German club FC Cologne, is the only holdover from the U-20s who reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 World Cup in South Korea. Also eligible from the 2017 U-20 World Cup team are Tyler Adams, who had graduated to the senior national team, and Josh Sargent, who also attended the U.S. national team camp in November, while Monterrey star Jonathan Gonzalez, who is also eligible, played for the USA in Concacaf qualifying.

Amon has been sensational with FC Nordsjaelland, while Torres has played two games for Lokeren. Perry, who debuted for Swedish Allsvenskan runner-up AIK in the Europa League last summer, played for Sweden at the 2016 Under-17 European Championship. To represent the USA, he'll need to file for a switch of association.

Five players -- all pros on MLS teams -- have graduated from the 2017 U.S. U-17 World Cup team to the U-20s.

U-20 Men's National Team:
GOALKEEPERS (4):
Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy II)
George Marks (North Carolina FC Youth U-18/19)
Trey Muse (Indiana Univ.)
Brady Scott (FC Cologne/GER)
DEFENDERS (12):
Gedion Davis (AE Josep Maria Gene/ESP)
Jaylin Lindsay (Sporting KC)
Jack Maher (St. Louis FC U-18/19)
Mark McKenzie (Wake Forest Univ.)
Glademir Mendoza (Real Salt Lake U-18/19)
Manny Perez (N.C. State Univ.)
Matthew Real (Bethlehem Steel)
James Sands (New York City FC)
Aedan Stanley (St. Louis FC U-18/19)
Angel Uribe (Tijuana Sub 20/MEX)
Sam Vines (Charlotte Independence)
Carson Vom Steeg (Stanford Univ.)
MIDFIELDERS (12):
Christian Cappis (FC Dallas U-18/19)
Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United)
Jose Carranza (Unattached)
Chris Durkin (D.C. United)
Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union)
Chris Goslin (Atlanta United)
Brian Perez (Tijuana Sub 20/MEX)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas)
Brandon Servania (Wake Forest Univ.)
Greg Tracey (Colorado Rapids U-18/19)
Juan Pablo Torres (Lokeren/BEL)
Noah Verhoeven (Vancouver Whitecaps U-18/19).
FORWARDS (8):
Jonathan Amon (FC Nordsjaelland/DEN)
Simon Becher (Oakwood SC U-18/19)
Shaft Brewer (RB Leipzig U-19/GER)
Griffin Dorsey (Indiana Univ.)
Justin McMaster (Wake Forest Univ)
Chris Nicola (Pateadores U-18/19)
Nebiyou Perry (AIK/SWE)
Justin Rennicks (Indiana Univ.).
Target competition: 2019 Under-20 World Cup.


U-19s.  Seven players from the 2017 U.S. U-17 World Cup team, including Ayo Akinola, who just signed with Toronto FC, form the nucleus of the 2000 age group.

Callups include Sebastian Soto, who has scored 23 goals in 12 games for RSL's U-18/19 team in the Development Academy.

U-19 Men's National Team:
GOALKEEPERS (4):
Alex Budnik (Sockers FC U-18/19)
Sam Fowler (Seattle Sounders FC U-18/19)
Justin Garces (Atlanta United U-18/19)
Johan Penaranda (New York City FC U-18/19)
DEFENDERS (8):
Charlie Asensio (Atlanta United U-18/19)
Sergino Dest (Ajax U19/NED)
Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus (San Jose Earthquakes U-18/19)
Chris Gloster (Unattached)
Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew  U-18/19)
Rayshaun McGann (Atlanta United U-18/19)
Chris Richards (FC Dallas U-18/19)
Akil Watts (Portland Timbers  U-18/19)
MIDFIELDERS (6):
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union U-18/19)
Franuel Amaya (Pateadores U-18/19)
Blaine Ferri (Solar SC  U-18/19)
Richard Ledezma (Real Salt Lake U-18/19)
Isaiah Parente (Columbus Crew  U-18/19)
AJ Seals (Orlando City U-18/19)
FORWARDS (6):
Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC)
Matt Hundley (Colorado Rapids U-18/19)
Zyen Jones (Atlanta United U-18/19)
Josh Penn (Sockers FC U-18/19)
Jeremy Rafanello (Philadelphia Union U-18/19)
Sebastian Soto (Real Salt Lake U-18/19)
Target competition: 2019 Under-20 World Cup.

U-18s. Eight European-based players headline the U-18 national team, which will form the nucleus of the U-20s when they attempt to qualify for the 2021 Under-20 World Cup.

They include three German-Americans: Justin Butler and Jalen Hawkins at Bayern Munich and Ian Hoffman, son of former Georgetown University star Andy Hoffman, at Karlsruher. Lawson Sunderland, the son of Portland Timbers youth technical director Larry Sunderland, is at Levante in Spain. Not in camp is one of the stars of the age group, Barcelona's Konrad de la Fuente.

The U.S.-based contingent features Jacob Akanyirige, who just signed a pro contract with the San Jose Earthquakes, and Leonardo Sepulveda and Ulysses Llanez from the LA Galaxy U-18/19s who made a run to the 2017 academy finals.

U-18 Men's National Team:
GOALKEEPERS (4):
Nick DeFreitas-Hansen (Everton U-18/ENG)
David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake U-18/19)
Kris Shakes (Philadelphia Union U-18/19)
Collin Travasos (San Diego Surf U-18/19)
DEFENDERS (11):
Jacob Akanyirige (San Jose Earthquakes)
Julian Araujo (Barca Academy U-18/19)
Nico Benalcazar (New York City FC U-18/19)
Kwabena Boateng (Sac Republic FC U-16/17)
Luke Hansen (Colorado Rapids U-16/17)
Ian Hoffman (Karlsruher U-17/GER)
Nelson Martinez (D.C. United U-18/19)
David Mendoza (Chicago Fire U-18/19)
Jose Olmos (Barca Academy U-16/17)
Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy U-18/19)
Nick Slonina (Chicago Fire U-18/19)
MIDFIELDERS (10):
Taylor Booth (Unattached)
Cameron Duke (Sporting KC U-16/17)
Hunter George (Sac Republic FC U-16/17)
Roberto Hategan (Sac Republic FC)
Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew U-18/19)
Owen Otasowie (Wolves U-18/ENG)
Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo U-18/19)
Stuart Ritchie (Groningen U-17/NED)
Lawson Sunderland (Levante U-17/ESP)
Will Vint (Manchester United U-16/ENG)
FORWARDS (8):
Justin Butler (Bayern Munich U-17/GER)
Quincy Butler (Sac Republic FC U-16/17)
Cameron Harper (Pateadores U-16/17)
Jalen Hawkins (Bayern Munich U-17/GER)
Jake LaCava (Barca Academy U-16/17)
Ulysses Llanez (LA Galaxy U-18/19)
Axel Picazo (Philadelphia Union U-18/19)
Stefan Stojanovic (Sockers FC U-16/17)
Target competition: 2021 Under-20 World Cup.

U-17s. This is the first time since 1999 that the USA will prepare for the Under-17 World Cup without a residency program so players are scattered around the country

Two players -- George Bello (Atlanta United) and Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC) -- have already signed Homegrown contracts with MLS teams. Perhaps the most intriguing prospect is Joshua Pynadath, whose mother's work first took him to Madrid, where he was at Real Madrid, and now resides in Amsterdam, where he plays for Ajax's under-16 team.

U-17 Men's National Team:
GOALKEEPERS (4):
Aiden Hanes (Arsenal FC U-16/17)
John Harms (Shattuck-Saint Mary's U-18/19)
Damian Las (Chicago Fire U-18/19)
Marzuq Puckerin (FC Greater Boston Bolts U-16/17)
DEFENDERS (12):
Axel Alejandre (FC United U-16/17)
Michael Barragan (Atlas Sub 17/MEX)
George Bello (Atlanta United)
Amir Daley (NY Red Bulls U-16/17)
Zackery Farnsworth (Real Salt Lake U-18-19)
Tayvon Gray (New York City FC U-16/17)
Owen Guske (Portland Timbers U-18-19)
Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy U-18/19)
Mason Judge (Chargers SC U-16/17)
Kenneth Nielsen (Pateadores U-16/17)
Joseph Scally (New York City FC U-18/19)
John Tolkin (NY Red Bulls U-16/17)
MIDFIELDERS (10):
Emmanuel Ameres (Chargers SC U-16/17)
Julian Anderson (Philadelphia Union U-16/17)
Luis Flores (Shattuck-Saint Mary's U-16/17)
Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes U-18/19)
Bryang Kayo (D.C. United U-16/17)
Benjamin Redzic (FC Dallas U-16/17)
Louis Rogers (De Anza Force U-16/17)
Anthony Rouse (New York SC U-16)
Adam Saldana (Real So Cal U-16/17)
Peter Stroud (NY Red Bulls U-16/17)
FORWARDS (10):
Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC)
Aboubacar Camara (Philadelphia Union U-16/17)
Cade Hagan (Sockers FC U-16/17)
Andres Jasson (New York City FC U-18/19)
Diego Lopez (FC Golden State U-16/17)
Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders U-18/19)
Joshua Pynadath (Ajax U-16/NED)
Gio Reyna (New York City FC U-18/19)
Wasswa Robbins (Atlanta United U-16/17)
Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC U-16/17)
Target competition: 2019 Under-17 World Cup.

U-16s. In another era, the readiest players in this group would slowly be moved into the residency program in Bradenton. How many of them compete for spots on the U-17 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2019 Under-17 World Cup remains to be seen.

Dante Sealy, the son of former MLS player Scott Sealy, was the only 2003 player picked for the U-17s' first big test, the Nike Friendlies in Florida four weeks ago.

The player to watch is Dantouma Toure, who was the top scorer at the prestigious U-16 Next Generation tournament in Austria this summer while playing for the New York Red Bulls. He has played up with PDA's U-18/19s this fall.

The top scorer on the U-16s is Selmir Miscic, who has scored 17 goals in 11 games for the Philadelphia Union's U-15s.

U-16 Boys' National Team:
GOALKEEPERS (2):
Gavin Krenecki (Sac Republic FC U-16/17)
Jacob Morris (Real Colorado U-15)
DEFENDERS (8):
Adrian Aguilar (LA Galaxy U-15)
Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy U-16/17)
Jacob Greene (D.C. United U-15)
Isaac Homer (Portland Timbers U-16/17)
Ulysses Martinez (Portland Timbers U-16/17)
Morris Matthews (New England Revolution U-16/17)
Nico McMillan (Seattle Sounders U-15)
Casey Walls (San Jose Earthquakes U-15)
MIDFIELDERS (8):
Javier Casas (Chicago Fire U-16/17)
Elton Chifamba (Crew SC Academy U-16/17)
Caden Clark (Barca Academy U-15)
Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders U-16/17)
Diego Luna (San Jose Earthquakes U-16/17)
Jack McGlynn (BW Gottschee Academy U-16/17)
Alex Monis (FC United U-16/17)
Nicholas Pariano (Philadelphia Union U-15)
FORWARDS (6):
Andres Cardenas (Weston FC U-15)
Tyler Freeman (Sporting KC U-16/17)
Selmir Miscic (Philadelphia Union U-15)
Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas U-16/17)
Dante Sealy (FC Dallas U-16/17)
Dantouma Toure (PDA U-18/19)
Target competitions: 2019 Under-17 World Cup, 2013 Under-20 World Cup.

3 comments about "January Summit: Who's who on the five new U.S. men's youth teams".
  1. Wallace Wade, December 30, 2017 at 10:31 a.m.

    Almost no players from non DA clubs or programs. That’s a big problem! What about talented economically challenged players that don’t live close to a DA? Look at the number of DA’s in the US! Look at where they are located. The majority of this country is being missed. As long as US Soccer scouts only focus on DA players, USNT is going to stay a closed, exclusive group. We can’t compete on the world stage with this mentality. 

  2. Joseph Pratt replied, December 30, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    Yup. It's an exclusive club. The only hope is that scouts for DA clubs find talented players and invite them in, but that seems a slim chance.

  3. R2 Dad replied, January 2, 2018 at 11:43 a.m.

    It's not the invite that is difficult--lots of players can get that. But if you don't live near the practice fields, who is going to get the player there 4 days per week? Yes, you're going to pay $3K upfront, but that's just a fraction of the costs. The travel, the disruption to the normal Friday schedule as the player buses (or jets) off to play--very difficult to live a normal life until the transition to professional can be determined. OK, this is better than nothing, but compare the system to how the Bundesliga and Liga MX do it. The integration into the full senior side is missing and is a critical component.

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