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2017 US U20 Team
Topic Started: Feb 11 2017, 03:18 PM (427 Views)
Yogi
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There is a more extensive discussion of this team and its CONCACAF opponents in the CONCACAF U20 discussion thread but I also thought I'd post some info here.

Soccer America with mini bios of the US U20 players. Noteworthy among them is Justin Glad who played a lot of minutes with Real Salt Lake in central defense last season. Sporting KC's Erik Palmer Brown, another centerback will captain the team. it also includes the 3rd and 4th picks in the most recent MLS draft, NYCFC's Jonathan Lewis and Portland's Jeremy Ebobisse and one of the 2 goalkeepers is Jurgen Klinsmann's son Jonathan who plays for Cal Berkeley.

But look at the list of European based U20s who were not included, some of whom were previously mentioned in the CONCACAF U20 discussion:

Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham), midfielders Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal), McKinze Gaines (Wolfsburg), Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) and Gedion Zelalem (VVV) and forward Haji Wright (Schalke 04) -- all of whom have made their first-team debuts in league, cup or friendly play.

Pulisic is beyond playing youth level tournaments, he is a national team starter. As for the others I imagine they could be options if the US qualifies for the World Cup itself.
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hobbes
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How did I forget about Zelalem and Haji Wright. I love Haji Wright. How is he developing. I was afraid he was just a big, athletic guy when he was a U17, but I felt like he was a legit prospect. I don't know some of those guys, but those are some good clubs and if they're getting some time that's a pretty impressive group. Perhaps I underestimated this cycle for the U.S. They could have a strong team in South Korea.

cheers,
hobbes
Saskatchewan for the CPL: multis e gentibus vires
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Yogi
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Picking up with this thread post World Cup qualifying, Soccer America with ana rticle on Tab Ramos' training camp in London for the U20 team.. The "name" players listed above are still not involved as they are active with their various European clubs (except for Mukwalle Akale of Villarreal who was invited) but Ramos did call in some new players including Marcello Borges who would have started at left back in the CONCACAF tourney but missed it due to injury. The US roster for this training camp:

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jonathan Klinsmann* (Univ. of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski* (Georgetown Univ.; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.), Justin Vom Steeg (Fortuna Dusseldorf; Santa Barbara, Calif.).

DEFENDERS (8): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy; Norwalk, Calif.), Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Marcello Borges (Univ. of Michigan; Kearny, N.J.), Aaron Herrera* (Univ. of New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), John Nelson (Internationals SC; Medina, OH), Keaton Parks (Plano, Texas; Unattached), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Brandon Terwege (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas).

MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal CF; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Bridgeview, IL), Jeremiah Gutjahr* (Indiana University; Bloomington, IN), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; Bridgeview, Ill.), James Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday F.C.; Scotch Plains, N.J.), Yosef Samuel (Bethlehem Steel FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Eryk Williamson* (Univ. of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.).

FORWARDS (6): Sebastien Des Pres (Blackpool FC; San Diego, Calif.), Felipe Hernandez (Swope Park Rangers; Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United FC, Tucker, Ga.), Stephen Payne (Estoril Praia; Birmingham, Ala.), Emmanuel Sabbi* (UD Las Palmas; Columbus, OH), Mason Toye (PDA, South Orange, N.J.).
* Part of Concacaf U-20 Championship squad.
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raconteur
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And here is the US roster for the U20 World Cup:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), J.T. Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (7): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur FC; Westcliff-on-Sea, England), Marlon Fossey (Fulham FC; Surbiton, England), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (University of New Mexico; Las Cruces, N.M.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca De La Torre (Fulham FC; San Diego, Calif.), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal FC; Bethesda, Md.)

FORWARDS (6): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United FC Academy; Tucker, Ga.) Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Unattached; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallen, Mo.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah)


Cameron Carter Vickers and Gedion Zelalem who played for the US in the 2015 U20 World Cup return. Most of the rest of the roster is the group who played at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament but with 3 additions, one Atlanta United youth product Lagos Kunga, a winger, Derrick Jones, a Philadelphia U20 player who was born in Ghana and recently obtained his eligibility and St Louis' own Josh Sargent who just finished tearing up the CONCACAF U17 tournament for the US. FIFA has anew rule, perhaps we can call it the Freddy Adu rule, where a player cannot compete in a single year in both the U17 and U20 World Cups so Sargent will now be playing up with the older players and won't be in the U17 event. Obviously Tab Ramos thinks he is ready for that.
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TonyDE
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Interesting roster. Will be wondering where Ramos will fit Carter-Vickers and Zelalem into the team. Carter-Vickers is a good centerback but central defense was/is a team strong point. I'm thinking Redding loses his starting place in favor of Carter-Vickers with Palmer-Brown remaining at defensive midfield.

As for Zelalem, he will compete with Adams and Williamson for playing time in midfield.

I am a little surprised Haji Wright did not make this roster but Sargent's U17 play sure sky rocketed his claim to a roster spot. Is he ready for the step up? I guess we will find out soon.
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TonyDE
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Mike Woitalla of Soccer America listing how much professional experience this U20 team has. Answer: Not as much as in 2015.

And from another Soccer America article:

Ramos said he would have strongly considered Josh Perez (Fiorentina) and Schalke 04 players Nick Taitague and Weston McKennie, but their clubs were uncooperative.

But not Haji Wright?
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Yogi
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Philadelphia's Austin Trusty replaces the injured Marlon Fossey on the US roster.
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hobbes
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I am trying to keep this from being a 1,000-word post, but I find it interesting that Christian Pulisic went from ODP to Germany a few months before his 17th birthday without being at an MLS academy and now Josh Sargent at 17 may be on the same path to Europe without having played at an MLS academy.

I am constantly told that having MLS academies was going to revolutionize youth development and having professionals training them and having them in a professional environment is the way forward. But I am not seeing that so far. And as Sargent looks like the next great American talent i was wondering if this is an anomaly or if there's something wrong.

I am far from an expert and don't pay a ton of attention to youth development or academy soccer. I agree with the pros training pros idea in theory. In practice I look at some of the coaches that I know are at MLS academies have almost no coaching experience. They have plenty of pro playing experience, but that's not the same thing.

It may be apples to oranges, I don't know, but I do have a lot of experience watching hockey players develop. And the number of coaches in developmental leagues that don't teach is striking. These are professional coaches who have worked in the highest level of the game and they know everything about tactics and almost nothing about teaching a player the fundamentals. And I believe that they don't think 16-18 year olds need to work on their fundamentals, but in my opinion they do. You see so many guys come in at 16 and not really get any better. Whereas less heralded coaches have that background because they came up from younger age levels and aren't former professionals.

I am a firm believer that great players can come from non-pro environments, but I am also wondering if the right people are in charge of these academies.

cheers,
hobbes
Saskatchewan for the CPL: multis e gentibus vires
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vince stravino
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Pulisic did come from a "pro" environment. His Dad!
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raconteur
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Bad luck for Gedion Zelalem, he tore his ACL and will be out for 6 months or more. Thankfully young players usually recover quickly from such injuries.

Zelalem's misfortune is an opportunity for Derrick Jones.
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Yogi
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The US beat Senegal 1-0 and Josh Sargent scored again. Cameron Carter-Vickers missed game 1 but was back for game 2 against Senegal and played well. Tyler Adams also stood out in midfield. I wrote the below in the general U20 World Cup discussion but think it also applies here.

Carter-Vickers missed the first game with an injury and his addition showed as I think he made the US defense more steady. I like shel's nickname for he and Palmer-Brown, "the hyphen central defense." :) A pretty good combo actually.

Word is Sargent will sign with Werder Bremen. Obviously we all need to be cautious with a young players development but man, what this kid has done in the past month first with the U17s and now the U20s ahs been phenomenal. he is not scoring because he is bigger and faster than his opponents or just coring poacher's goals, Sargent is getting himself in the right place at the right tiem and showing an ability to finish with either foot (and his head) in addition to be excellent at holding the ball.
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Yogi
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The US won its group as I explain more fully in the general U20 World Cup discussion. Now they play new Zealand in the round of 16. but the US will be without Carter-Vickers (double yellow, the 2nd yellow which looked innocent enough) and the suspended Jones & Herrera. Time to test the US depth on the backline and in midfield especially with Zelalem injured and out for 6 months or more.
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vince stravino
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I have been watching this tournament and I can say that the US has shown quite well. Josh Sargent reminds me a bit of Dempsey and Stu Holden. He has really been lethal.

In the final group match against Saudi Arabia (a draw 1-1), the ref kinda lost control. He sent off Carter-Vickers on a second yellow that was really iffy. Even the first card was iffy. The US played 45 minuytes with 10 men.

Klinsmann is just fair. He seems slow off his line and shakey with the ball on his feet.

Overall, the team plays confidently and is tough. They take on New Zealand in the early morning hours EST 6/1. FS1 for those who are interested.
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Yogi
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A 6-0 win over New Zealand. It was 1-0 at HT but the US exploded in the 2nd half. 6 goals, each from a different player. New Zealand interestingly lost 2 players from the group stage who left to join the senior team preparing for the Confederations Cup. Without them they did not have the strength in depth of the US.

Again Adams and Sargent played well and Glad, a centerback did well as a makeshift right back. in fact I think I would prefer to see him there on the right of defense rather than Herrera, who will be back from suspension.

Now the tough part begins and a match against Venezuela, who have been a sensation so far in this tournament.
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shelsoccer
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I missed this one. Either my on-screen guide was wrong or my thumbs failed me. I ended up recording the Italy-France game.
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