Under-20 World Cup

Lletget, Gyau, Salgado highlight U.S. Under-20 World Cup qualifying roster


Photo by ISIphotos.com

Thomas Rongen has selected the 20 players for the United States Under-20 World Cup qualifying campaign that gets underway later this month.

Eight MLS players and 16 professionals in total highlight the roster, which includes the likes of Sebastian Lletget, Joseph Gyau, Conor Doyle and Omar Salgado but does not include Bayern Munich youth product Fabian Huerzeler.

Juan Agudelo is also not on the roster, but that is because he will be with the senior national team for its friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay.

The United States opens CONCACAF qualifying against Suriname on March 29 and Panama on April 2 in Guatemala. If it finishes in the top two in its group, the U.S. Under 20s advance to the quarterfinals, where the four winners clinch berths in this summer's U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

Here is who will be participating at the CONCACAF U-20 championships:


GOALKEEPERS – Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town).

DEFENDERS – Gale Agbossoumonde (Djugardens IF), Greg Garza (Estoril Praia), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas), Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls), Sebastein Ibeagha (Duke University, Houston Dynamo Academy), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew).

MIDFIELDERS – Sebastian Lletget (West Ham), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres), Dillon Powers (University of Notre Dame), Kellyn Rowe (UCLA).

FORWARDS – Eder Arreola (UCLA), Conor Doyle (Derby County), Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich). 


What do you think about the roster? Who do you wish was included? Do you think the USA will have a problem qualifying with this group?

Share your thoughts below.

  • bob

    otergod, Josh is referring to the 8 “non-professinal MLSers” not the college guys


  • otergod

    ARG! that’s what i get for unplugging my sarcasm detector. Probably should have read the post he was quoting in reference :(


  • sawatzytobaba

    Eder Arreola?! Haven’t heard that name in any US roster for a few years as far as I can remember… Anyone know the story?


  • Josh D

    It’ll be excellent and I encourage folks to go – the country has a bad rap that’s uncalled for in today’s world. But every time I’ve gone back with her and she’s showed me around, I’ve never had one problem. Just be smart like any other foreign country and everything is fine.


  • yankiboy

    Yeah. I was happy when he got called up last year. Several of us were proud of him when he came back from his time with the U20’s.

    Rongen still giving him a look couldn’t have hurt his chances when he got a look from Columbus Crew.

    The fact that he was playing so much for Baltimore and under the circumstances that he was dealing with may have actually helped impress Rongen a bit more. Who knows. Maybe not. Trial by some fire. It loks like he has come out of it pretty well.


  • abc

    The story is that Gatt and Zahavi were not released by their team and Huerzeler has school.

    There is an audio interview with Rongen on ussoccer.com and he briefly mentions Arreola as a guy that is filling in because others couldn’t make it. All he says is he’s someone they have kept an eye on.


  • abc

    The absence of Gatt, Zahavi and Huerzeler are all understandable, but what’s going on with Adrian Ruelas?

    I’m hoping it’s just that he was not released, since he made his debut recently… do we know for sure what the deal is with Ruelas?


  • abc

    Yes, Cropper is good. He’s also young enough that he will be around for the next U-20 cycle, so he can provide some veteran leadership like Boss, Powers, and Okugo this time.


  • abc

    Funny you mentioned those other two college guys when Rowe is the best of the bunch.


  • abc

    2 players with senior caps = Agudelo and Boss.

    This team is deeper than 2007, certainly if you include Huerzeler, Gatt, Zahavi, Agudelo, and Ruelas.


  • abc

    Except that we know that Nungary, Bowen, Jerome, McInerny are not with the U20s not because their clubs won’t release them, but because they’re not good enough. Those are facts, not opinions.

    Rongen said who was good enough and who wasn’t already, he said he had it down to 2 more than he could take. The only guys missing from Rongen’s list are Huerzeler, Gatt, Zahavi, Ruelas, and Agudelo.

    Those guys you listed are not in the picture.


  • ACS

    I’m also surprised by Ruelas not making it, he played well in the Milk Cup and other matches.


  • abc

    RONGEN said in an interview on mlssoccer.com about a month ago that McInerny was NOT good enough to make the team. So apparently “professional experience” isn’t the only thing that matters, who knew!


  • abc

    1. He actually was called up for camp over the winter.

    2. He’s not good enough. As is the case with most of these “what about X?” guys. Not good enough. This is a really deep team so it’s not the end of the world, but no one is being snubbed here.


  • bottlcaps

    Whatever happened to Charlie Renken? I know he suffered through TWO knee surgeries and I know he had a deal with Hoffenheim then loaned to the Vancouver Whitecaps, but has he totally dropped of the map for U-20’s ??


  • abc

    He has recovered from his injuries. And he has not dropped off the map: He is too young for this cycle. Renken has been playing for Hoffenheim’s U18s. He should be with the US U20 team next cycle.


  • Angel FAN of USA

    This is just the team to qualify to the U20 World Cup, Herseler, Zahavi and Agudelo will be on the Roster for the world cup so is ok. Look who the USA have in the Group. all the have to do is win the stage group and win the 4th game and that are in the World Cup and I think we have a good team so maybe is good that Rogen call them until them


  • WA

    Disagree. Kelyn is a very creative and technical player that plays attacking soccer.


  • JJ

    Well, a lot of these guys are plying their trade in Europe, remember. It’s a bigger ladder to climb over there – especially for footballers from the States, one might argue.

    So this is why we’re not familiar with names like Alex Molano, and even most people (myself included) know little about Sebastian Lletget apart from a glowing ESPN profile piece. Apart from Ferrari, Bradley and Rogers, no one else was in Europe at the time of the 2007 World Cup. This time around we have guys like Alex Zahavi – who, even if he applied for the FIFA one-time switch, might not even make the roster.

    After a good showing at the World Cup, yeah a few boys from the squad signed pro contracts in Europe. We know how that worked out (see, Adu, Szetela, Zizzo, etc).

    I think that the members of this U-20 World Cup squad are establishing themselves early on with their clubs in Europe (see, Lletget, Wood, Gatt, Molano, Greg Garza, and so on and so forth) is a real promising sign. And I don’t want to sound like I have a European bias (because I don’t). I’m also excited about Moises Orozco (Tigres) and Adrian Ruelas (Santos Laguna) as well as many of the MLSers.

    I’d hate to eat crow on this, but I think – when all is said and done – that this group will produce so many players that will contribute to the national team for years to come. It’s still too early to tell, but I’d say the future is looking pretty bright.


  • ACS

    It is good that Doyle has decided to do a competition with the US instead of Ireland, now if he wanted to change he’d have to do the one time switch


  • Juan from L.A.

    The only thing that concerns me is Ruelas and Zahavi. Both quality and talented players that we should lose to Mexico and Israel/Portugal respectively. I’m suprised Victor Garza wasn’t called either. He was considered the most talented of the Tigres kid and proof is that he is the only one playing with the U-20 team of Tigres which is the level below the first team. Orozco plays in the level below that one. Other than that this is a top notch team although I’ve been following Mexico and honestly Mexico is tough if not tougher than us. They have a lot of talent in that group also. They have beat us once an tie us in another game.


  • Juan from L.A.

    By the way this is the Mexican preliminary list. Really good team

    Goalies (3):

    Carlos López (Talleres Córdoba/ARG)

    José Antonio Rodríguez (Chivas)

    Rafael Ramírez (Estudiantes).

    Center Backs (5):

    Kristian Álvarez (Chivas)

    Néstor Araujo (Cruz Azul)

    Luis Ramos, Alexis Loera (Atlas)

    Jorge Valencia (Tigres).

    Defensive Midfielders (5):

    Diego de Buen (Pumas)

    Jorge Enríquez(Chivas)

    Uriel Navarro (Chivas)

    Marvin Piñón (Monterrey)

    Diego Reyes (América)

    Wings and Attacking Midfielders (6):

    Cristofer Castillo (Pachuca)

    Lugiani Gallardo (América)

    César Ibañez (Atlas)

    Jorge Mora (Chivas)

    Carlos Orrantía (Pumas)

    Saúl Villalobos (Atlas)

    Forwards (6):

    Ulises Dávila (Chivas)

    Alan Pulido (Tigres)

    Taufic Guarch (Estudiantes)

    Edson Rivera (Atlas)

    Víctor Mañón (Pachuca)

    David Izazola (Pumas)

    There best players include Manon, Guarch, J. Enriquez, Alvarez and Lopez


  • Steve McSteve

    Hey Ives, I’m a big fan, but didn’t you insist there was no way Agudelo would be called up for the March friendlies because he was going to be on this U-20 team?

    (SBI-I didn’t “insist”, I just didn’t think he would. Thought they’d want him on the U-20 qualifying team, but apparently Bradley really wants to see him with the senior first team, which is a great development.)


  • ACS

    I’d like to see Agudelo at the U-20 WC, if Brazil is using Neymar, the U.S. should use their best U-20 players no matter if they are playing for their senior squads.


  • Karol

    In Germany the Abitur differs from state to state. The Bavarian Abitur is the toughest (Baden-Württemberg and Saxony are on a similar level). So Huerzeler has some work to do.


  • sawatzkytobaba

    Interesting RB competition in this age bracket w/Sarkodie, Veeder, Valentin, White — some of those kids can play in CB too, but all are candidates at RB.


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