Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The Toulon Tournament was far from a pretty one for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, but ultimately the mission of the tournament was accomplished.
No, the U-20s didn’t set out to lose three of four, but Tab Ramos did take his team to France with the hope of helping figure out just which players will make the final cuts for the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team.
Ramos had a chance to look at some fringe players, and some new faces, like Monterrey striker Alonso Hernandez. He also got to see some defense options to help him figure out just how to construct a defense capable of holding up in a World Cup that features Spain, France and Ghana.
So who will Tab Ramos bring to Turkey? Here are the 21 players we see being selected to the U.S. Under-20 World Cup roster:
PROJECTED 2013 U.S. Under-20 World Cup Team
Cody Cropper, Kendall McIntosh, Zach Steffen
OUTLOOK– Cropper starts, McIntosh is the back-up and Steffen is the future of the position.
Kellyn Acosta, Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Oscar Sorto, Caleb Stanko, Javan Torre, DeAndre Yedlin
OUTLOOK– Not a single natural centerback is on the roster but Tab Ramos is showing continued faith in the Stanko-O’Neill partnership, with Torre serving as the back-up centerback.
This roster is loaded with fullback options, but central defense looks to be a serious flaw, with one-time U.S. Under-20 national team captain Walker Zimmerman the most glaring omission.
Kellyn Acosta feels like a bit of a surprise as the youngest field player in the mix at 17, but his versatility gets him on the team, as does the prospects of him leading the U.S. Under-20 Team in 2015.
Daniel Garcia, Luis Gil, Benji Joya, Mikey Lopez, Victor Pineda, Will Trapp
OUTLOOK– No real surprises here, though Pineda is the player who has played his way into the squad most recently. Trapp and Lopez will be called in to do the heavy lifting in midfield, especially with Stanko forced to play in central defense.
Wake Forest midfielder Collin Martin misses the cut, as does Colorado Rapids rookie Dillon Serna.
Daniel Cuevas, Alonso Hernandez, Mario Rodriguez, Jose Villarreal
OUTLOOK– Hernandez is the final arrival, a player who did well enough to earn minutes for Mexican side Monterrey last season. He showed some good flashes in the Toulon Tournament, and likely impressed Tab Ramos enough to make the squad.
Seattle Sounders academy product Jordan Morris made a late push to make the team, but falls just short.
What do you think of the squad? Excited to see what the U.S. attack can do with Villarreal and Gil in the squad? Worried about the defense holding up in such a tough World Cup group? What player would you add to the team if you could make one change?
Share your thoughts below.