From U-20 World Cup to the national team (1981-2017)

The USA has been to the Under-20 World Cup 15 times, finishing fourth once and reaching the quarterfinals on five other occasions.

But just how prolific have been U.S. U-20 teams in sending players on to the senior national team?

-- The first 11 teams produced at least one player who went on to play in the World Cup, including Wolfgang Suhnholz's 2001 team with six future World Cup players.

-- Derek Armstrong's 1987 team didn't even make it out of the first round in Chile, but four players went on to earn 100 or more caps.

-- Both the Sigi Schmid teams (1999 and 2005) produced 10 U.S. internationals -- seven of the 10 players on the 1999 team going on to earn 20 or more caps.

Of the 84 players who played for the USA in 1990-2014 World Cups, 29 had played in the U-20 World Cup -- a little more than one in three players.

-- Fifteen players -- including three reserves -- the USA took to the 2006 World Cup had U-20 World Cup experience.

U-20 World Cup experience is less of a factor on the current national team. Just 10 of the 40 players on the preliminary Gold Cup roster went to the U-20 World Cup.

They include three players who started on the 2017 team: Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

*Played in World Cup.
Note:Players in bold are on preliminary Gold Cup roster.

1981 Under-20 World Cup (first round)
Coach: Walter Chyzowych

31 *John Stollmeyer
8  Amr Aly
5 Tom Kain

1983 Under-20 World Cup (first round)
Coach: Angus McAlpine

110 *Paul Caligiuri
81 *Tab Ramos
73 *Hugo Perez
12 Jeff Hooker
5 Dale Ervine
5 Troy Snyder
4 Jeff Duback
3 Michael Brady

1987 Under-20 World Cup (first round)
Coach: Derek Armstrong

134 *Jeff Agoos
127 *Marcelo Balboa
102 *Kasey Keller
100 *Tony Meola
8 Mark Santel
4 Brian Benedict
2 Lucas Martin
1 Hendrig Gutierrez

1989 Under-20 World Cup (fourth place)
Coach: Bob Gansler

102 *Kasey Keller
79 Chris Henderson
75 *Mike Burns
9 Troy Dayak
6 Neil Covone
4 Dario Brose
2 Steve Snow
1 Curt Onalfo

1993 Under-20 World Cup (quarterfinals)
Coach: Bobby Howe

44 *Gregg Berhalter
21 Kerry Zavagnin
4 Nelson Vargas
3 Miles Joseph
2 Matt McKeon
1 Imad Baba

1997 Under-20 World Cup (round of 16)
Coach: Jay Hoffman

52 *Josh Wolff
37 *Ben Olsen
32 *John O'Brien
7 Brian West
6 Ramiro Corrales
4 Sasha Victorine
1 Jorge Flores
1 Chad McCarty

1999 Under-20 World Cup (round of 16)
Coach: Sigi Schmid

121 *Tim Howard
110 *Carlos Bocanegra
87 *Steve Cherundolo
30 Taylor Twellman
23 Danny Califf
22 Chris Albright
22 Nick Rimando
19 Cory Gibbs
6 Nick Garcia
4 John Thorrington

2001 Under-20 World Cup (round of 16)
Coach: Wolfgang Suhnholz

157 *Landon Donovan
126 *DaMarcus Beasley
69 *Oguchi Onyewu
46 *Bobby Convey
19 Conor Casey
17 *Brad Davis
11 *Edson Buddle
8 Brian Carroll
8 Kyle Martino
1 Alecko Eskandarian

2003 Under-20 World Cup (quarterfinals)
Coach: Thomas Rongen

141 *Clint Dempsey
63 *Eddie Johnson
46 *Bobby Convey
34 *Ricardo Clark
17 Freddy Adu
15 Santino Quaranta
12 Chad Marshall
8 Justin Mapp
5 Drew Moor

2005 Under-20 World Cup (round of 16)
Coach: Sigi Schmid

52  Sacha Kljestan
44 *Benny Feilhaber
36  Jonathan Spector 
27 Brad Evans
17 Freddy Adu
9  Lee Nguyen
8 Eddie Gaven
5 Marvell Wynne
3 Danny Szetela
1 Chad Barrett

2007 Under-20 World Cup (quarterfinals)
Coach: Thomas Rongen

145 *Michael Bradley
110 *Jozy Altidore
18 Robbie Rogers
17 Freddy Adu
13 Dax McCarty
3 Tony Beltran
3 Danny Szetela
1 Anthony Wallace
1 Sal Zizzo

2009 Under-20 World Cup (first round)
Coach: Thomas Rongen

38 Mix Diskerud
34 Brek Shea
21 Jorge Villafana
7 Sean Johnson
1 Gale Agbossoumonde
1 Ike Opara

2013 Under-20 World Cup (first round)
Coach: Tab Ramos

59 *DeAndre Yedlin
23 Kellyn Acosta
15 Wil Trapp
8 Zack Steffen
2 Luis Gil
1 Caleb Stanko

2015 Under-20 World Cup (quarterfinals)
Coach: Tab Ramos

23 Kellyn Acosta
19 Paul Arriola
12 Matt Miazga
8 Zack Steffen
7 Cameron Carter-Vickers
7 Rubio Rubin
6 Marky Delgado
5 Shaq Moore
2 Emerson Hyndman
2 Erik Palmer-Brown

2017 Under-20 World Cup (quarterfinals)
Coach: Tab Ramos

10 Tyler Adams
7 Cameron Carter-Vickers
6 Josh Sargent
2 Erik Palmer-Brown
1 Jeremy Ebobisse
1 Luca de la Torre

2 comments about "From U-20 World Cup to the national team (1981-2017)".
  1. R2 Dad, May 23, 2019 at 4:17 p.m.

    Very interesting list of players, for who excelled at the highest levels and who did not. Often times it's a matter of unfortunate injury and timing as to who makes it to a World Cup for the USMNT and who doesn't. But I'm looking at these lists and wondering, Why aren't there more U20 players on our World Cup squads? I don't see Beasley on there anywhere--why not? He played in 4 WORLD CUPS! How many other Beaslesys are out there, able to compete at the highest levels we are capable of, yet unseen by the Nats silo and all the captured coaches that feed the status quo? I don't enjoy being a Debbie Downer here, but the Nats could certainly get better at finding real pros vs also-rans. Why aren't they better at it? Is it the water in Chicago? Are they still measuring the wrong things in 2019 than they were when Gregg Berhalter was in the U20 squad 25 years ago? What are the best practices and benchmarks we value? Are the Nats using any of them, or do we just continue to take USSF's word that everything is "Fine, Just Fine"?
    Bruce Arena right after the Couva dumpster fire:
    ...and we're right back to the same thing? We shouldn't have to wait for the WC to determine if we've got the best combination of coach/players/strategy, and unfortunately the Hex does little to prepare us for it.

  2. R2 Dad replied, May 24, 2019 at 12:47 a.m.

    Turns out Beasley played 6 matches for the U17s and 4 for the U20s so he wasn't completely invisible to the Nats--but there are other examples out there.

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