Youth national team update

Rosters set for youth camp that will feature the U.S. U-20, U-19, and U-17 teams

The upcoming youth national team camp is going to be an important period for a lot of players ahead of the U-17 and U-20 World Cups. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks down the rosters here. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 04, 2019
8:00 AM
U.S. SOCCER today released the roster for an upcoming camp at Lakewood Ranch Florida that will feature the U-20, U-19, and U-17 national teams. It is an important camp in particular for the U-20 and U-17 teams who are in World Cup years.

The United States U-20 team has already qualified for the World Cup in Poland which will begin in May and Tab Ramos will be using this camp to look at new players as six players are being called up to the U-20 team for the first time.

The U-19 team will be coached by Curt Onalfo and the 20 players on his roster are also being looked at as potential U-20 players. 11 players on the roster are born in 2000 and nine are born in 2001 – which makes them eligible for the 2021 World Cup as well.

The U-17 team is coached by acting manager Dave Van den Bergh who called up 28 players to this camp ahead of the U-17 CONCACAF Championships which will also serve as World Cup qualifying for the region. ASN has learned that that tournament will likely begin in April in Florida.

On Tuesday, January 8 the U.S. U-20 team will face the U-19 team at 4pm ET. Then on Sunday, January 12, the U-20 team will face an opponent to be determined at 4pm ET. Following that game at 6pm ET the U-17 team will face the U-19 team.

Here are the rosters as well as some thoughts.

U-20 Men’s National Team Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Garces (UCLA; Miami, Fla.), Trey Muse (Indiana; Louisville, Ky.)DEFENDERS (8):Chris Durkin (D.C.United; Glen Allen, Va.), Aboubacar Keita (Virginia; Columbus, Ohio), Edwin Lara (Club Leon/MEX; Oakland, Calif.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Sam Rogers (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Mark Salas (North Carolina; Dallas; Texas), Aristotle Zarris (Wake Forest; Sarasota, Fla.)

MIDFIELDERS (7):Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas), Jose Carranza (Louisville City FC; Manassas, Va.), Omir Fernandez (Wake Forest; Bronx, N.Y.), Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union; Newark, Del.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Tex.), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.)

FORWARDS (7): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.), Simon Becher (Unattached; Brooklyn, Conn.), Griffin Dorsey (Indiana; Evergreen, Colo.), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Nebiyou Perry (FC Köln/GER; New York, N.Y.), Justin Rennicks (Indiana; Hamilton, Mass.), Nick Taitague (Schalke/GER; Midlothian, Va.)

U-19 Men’s National Team Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2):Kristopher Shakes (Philadelphia Union; Coral Springs, Fla.), Samuel Fowler (Seattle SoundersFC; Issaquah, Wash.)

DEFENDERS (8):Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), Nathan Harriel (ChargersSC; Tampa, Fla.), Blake Malone (Seattle SoundersFC; Mercer Island, Wash.), Jean-Julian Nuphaus (California; San Jose, Calif.), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Travian Sousa (SacramentoRepublicFC; Lathrop, Calif.), Akil Watts (Real Mallorca/ESP; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Sean Zawadzki (Georgetown; Oldmsted, Ohio)

MIDFIELDERS (5):James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford Township; N.J.), Blaine Ferri (GreutherFürth/GER; Southlake, Texas), Marcelo Palomino (Unattached; Frisco, Texas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)

FORWARDS (5):Hunter George (SacramentoRepublicFC; Lincoln, Calif.), Matthew Hundley (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Manuel Lopez Terrazas (Santos Laguna/MEX; El Paso, Texas), Declan McGlynn (Seattle University; Issaquah, Wash.), Benjamin Mines (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.Y.)

U-17 Men’s National Team Roster

GOALKEEPERS (4):Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; China Hills, Calif.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Bryan Dowd (FC United; Willow Springs, Ill.), Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alberta)

DEFENDERS (9): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; Tampa, Fla.), Antino Lopez (Shattuck-St. Mary's; Las Vegas, Nev.),Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Rickson van Hees (NEC Nijmegen/NED; Oss, Netherlands)

MIDFIELDERS (9):Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Maxi Dietz (Freiburg/GER; Frankfurt, Germany), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Cesar Garcia (FC Dallas; The Colony, Texas), Jack Imperato (Villarreal/ESP; San Jose, Calif.), Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.), Pablo Soares (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; Krefeld, Germany), Peter Stroud (West Ham United/ENG; Chester, N.J.)

FORWARDS (6):Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.), Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)

Ferreira makes U.S. debut

Perhaps the biggest inclusion on the team is Jesus Ferreira on the U.S. U-20 team. The FC Dallas attacker is the son of David Ferreira, a former Colombian international who was also the MVP of MLS in 2010 while playing for FC Dallas.

Jesus Ferreira, 18, is still not an American citizen but is closing in on citizenship after turning 18 on December 24, 2018. The fact that Ferreira is included on this roster while still not being a citizen shows that Ramos and his staff rates Ferreira and believes he could be eligible in time for May’s World Cup opener.

It makes sense to pursue Ferreira. He is a quality young attacking player who should earn plenty of first team minutes at FC Dallas this year under Luchi Gonzalez. His talent will provide more offensive options to the team that needs depth at the forward position.

Taitague’s return

Also important to the U.S. U-20 team is the inclusion of Schalke’s Nick Taitague. Taitague is one of the most talented players in the U.S. youth national team player pool but has been plagued by repeated injuries. When healthy, he has the talent to be a Bundesliga contributor but injuries have limited him to just 164 minutes for Schalke’s youth teams this season.

If Taitague is at 100% healthy, he is very likely to play a big role with the U.S. U-20 team in Poland.

U-19 team depth

The U-19 team’s inclusion in this camp is to provide depth to the current U-20 team as well as look at a few key players who are eligible for the next U-20 team.

Two players from this team that I am watch are James Sands and Thomas Roberts. Sands is a 2000 who is not eligible for the 2021 World Cup. Still, he plays a central midfield position that is not settled yet at the U-20 level. Brandon Servania, Juan Pablo Torres, and Chris Durkin are options at this position but the latter two are not locks. Sands has an opening.

Thomas Roberts meanwhile is one of the best 2001 born players in the pool. It will be tough for him to make the 2019 U-20 team but there is an opening if he dominates at this camp. He has the talent to do so. If not, then he can start cementing his role as a top player for the 2021 U-20 team.

U-17’s bring strong team

The United States U-17 roster is very strong despite the absence of Atlanta United left back George Bello, who probably the most highly regarded player on the team. This team will bring most of the roster who recently took part in the Nike Friendlies.

Gio Reyna, Ricardo Pepi, Mason Judge, Joe Scally, and Peter Stroud will be the players to watch for the U.S. team at this camp.

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