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U-20 News

Tab Ramos Names 21 to Under-20 World Cup Squad

Coming off a disappointing showing in France, the United States under-20 team roster is now set for its World Cup appearance in Turkey. Jose Villarreal and Luis Gil headline the team.
BY Josh Deaver Posted
June 07, 2013
12:48 PM
On Friday, U.S under-20 head coach Tab Ramos named his final 21-man roster that will compete in the 2013 FIFA under-20 World Cup, being held in Turkey from June 21-July 13.

Here's the roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), 12-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 21-Zach Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (7): 13-Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), 5-Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), 18-Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 4-Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), 14-Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), 10-Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), 8-Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), 15-Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)

FORWARDS (6): 20-Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), 17-Danny Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), 7-Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 19-Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), 9-Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), 11-Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

The Americans will face stiff competition when they arrive in Asia Minor. Drawn into Group A, which has staked a claim to the "Group of Death" moniker, the U.S. will open play against Spain on June 21 in Istanbul. They will then take on France three days later before finishing group play on June 27th against Ghana in Kayseri, Turkey.

The U-20 squad is recently coming off a disappointing showing at the 2013 Toulon Tournament in France, where the team finished with a 1-0-3 record. That four-game stretch included some uncharacteristically subpar performances which resulted in loses against France, Colombia, and South Korea. Regardless of the struggles, Ramos believes the tournament came at the right time for his team.

“It was perfect because we had some injuries to deal with, we had some players we had to make some final decisions on, and we used the tournament just for that, Ramos said.“We’re a little bit disappointed with the last game (against South Korea), but overall as we look at the tournament we got exactly what we wanted out of it.”

Two inclusions of note on the World Cup roster are FC Dallas product Kellyn Acosta and Monterrey’s Alonso Hernandez, both of whom made their case in recent months and have rapidly ascended in a short time with the team. For Ramos, their performances were among the few bright spots to take away from Toulon.

“Those two players are the biggest surprises,” the coach said on Friday.

The duo will join key starters like Los Angeles Galaxy’s Jose Villarreal, Real Salt Lake’s Luis Gil, and Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp—as well as a majority of the squad who participated in the CONCACAF Championships earlier this year. This includes the return of Kaiserslautern U-19 forward Mario Rodriguez, who has been on a scoring tear, netting 10 times for his club since March. Seattle Sounders’ standout defender DeAndre Yedlin, who missed Toulon, will also join the team after returning to the depth chart in April.

The team will hold camp in Portugal beginning this week, where they will train for the next 10 days before traveling to Turkey.

Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter, @USFootballGuy.

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