The Kids Are Alright

Tab Ramos Names 22 Players for U-20 Tourney

There is no sign of young star John Anthony Brooks, but the American manager is taking a strong squad to the Toulon Tournament. Daniel Cuevas, Cody Cropper, Caleb Stanko, and Mikey Lopez lead the group.
BY Josh Deaver Posted
May 20, 2013
2:36 PM
U.S. under-20 national team head coach Tab Ramos is making final preparations before this summer's World Cup and he named a 22-player roster to participate in the upcoming 2013 Toulon Tournament held from May 28-June 8 in Toulon, France.

The squad features more than a dozen players who participated in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship tournament, as well as several newcomers who have returned or broken into the player pool in recent months.

“Obviously we’re excited for the tournament and to have this last chance to evaluate our team heading into the U-20 World Cup,” Ramos said. “We’ll have a couple players who have not been with us before and some others who we want to look at a little more as we finalize our 21-player roster. All of the players are being considered for Turkey.”

Among the newcomers is El Paso-born winger Alonso Hernandez who, as recently as last month, was off the radar of U.S Soccer. Thanks to some productive play with Monterrey in Mexico, however, he will receive his first look under Ramos. The U.S. staff will also use the tournament to get a second look at some players who made their debut at the squad’s most recent training camp, held last month in Los Angeles. The camp saw the emergence of Seattle Sounders U-23 striker Jordan Morris, who impressed in a series of inter-squad scrimmages, picking up three assists in one contest. Akron commit Alfred Koroma, who missed much of 2012 with injury, also made an impression. Koroma scored twice and picked up an assist off the bench in a 6-2 scrimmage win over Cal FC. Louisville midfielder Marlon Hairston and FC Dallas product Kellyn Acosta, the only squad member from the 1995 age group, will also make a return appearance this month.

One notable absence—cue the hand-wringing—is Hertha Berlin center back John Anthony Brooks. Fresh off his first professional campaign, the 20-year old defender made 29 appearances for the Bundesliga-bound side this season. Although recent reports seemed to indicate an imminent decision by the highly touted prospect to join the United States, rather than Germany, Brooks could not commit in time to be included on the preliminary World Cup roster.

MLS regulars Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Jose Villarreal (La Galaxy) and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), were excluded from the roster due to club commitments. Local outlets also report that Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill, who has been playing an increasing number of first-team minutes, could be held out as well.

The U.S opens play against host France on Tuesday, May 28th at 1:30 pm EST. The American will then battle Colombia (May 30), Congo DR (June 1) and South Korea (June 5) to finish out Group A play. The top team of the group will compete against the winner of Group B, which includes Belgium, Nigeria, Portugal, Brazil and rival Mexico, to determine the champion. The second place finisher in each group will compete in a third-place playoff match.

Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Jeffrey Payeras (C.S.D. Municipal; Hawthorne, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marlon Hairston (Louisville; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma (Akron; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)

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