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Rongen calls in 26 to U.S. Under-20 camp

Brek Shea ( 

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U.S. Under-20 national team coach Thomas Rongen has called in a group of 26 players for training camp in Bradenton, Florida ahead of CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup qualifying. The group will train from now through Feb. 25 in preparation for the qualifying tournament in March.

A total of ten professional players, six from MLS and four from Europe, round out the group. Among them are Brek Shea and Peri Marosevic of FC Dallas, Jared Jeffrey of Club Brugge and Bryan Arguez of Hertha Berlin. University of Maryland standout Casey Townsend is also on the squad.

One player missing from the group is Wake Forest standout defender Ike Opara, who was named on the original roster before having to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced on the roster by Gale Agbossoumonde. Defender Richard Balchan was also forced to withdraw, but was not replaced on the roster.

Here is the full roster for the training camp:

U.S. Under-20 Training Camp Roster

GOALKEEPERS: Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Sta. Margarita, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: Gale Agbossoumonde (Unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (Southampton FC; Danville, Calif.), Giuseppe Nazzani (Bologna FC; Reggio Emilia, Italy), Chris Taylor (Tulsa; Edmond, Okla.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Daniel Wenzel (Wake Forest; Federal Way, Wash.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston)

MIDFIELDERS: Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin; Miami), Tony Cascio (Connecticut; Gilbert, Ariz.), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas)

FORWARDS: Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Billy Schuler (North Carolina; Allentown, N.J.), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.), Casey Townsend (Maryland; Traverse City, Mich.)

Rongen will cut this group down to a 20-man roster for the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament, which kicks off in Tobago on March 6th against Jamaica.

What do you think of this group? Anxious to see how the starting lineup develops? Wondering if Freddy Adu or Jozy Altidore will actually play in next year's Under-20 World Cup? Eager to get a look at some of these European-based players?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Regardless of what Rongen said about Neven. He should have been fired, because he is less than poor as a manager and tactician. His management of the u-20’s last time around only allowed them to reach the quarters. The only reason he still has a job is in direct correlation to the fact that there is a spider monkey posing as the USSF President. How about we play with the best players age elligible and see what happens with an attack minded coach. Just throwing that out there.

  2. Nice Dan Majerle reference Micron. Casey Townsend is a goal scoring bitch (I mean that in a good way).Look for him to impress with work rate, athleticism, and production from inside the box.

  3. All I will ever think when I see Rongen’s name is how does he still have that job.

    Neven is by far the best 19/20 year old to have EVER come out of the US youth system.. and Rongen missed him at age 18. For me this is un-excusable. Let alone he insulted the player.

    Rongen has to go.

  4. Dallas has always done a good job of finding youthful talent but the question is can they hold on to it long enough to put it to use? Ibrahim who plays for Toronto was drafted or aguired by Dallas but did not get to show anything until he moved to Toronto. Brek and Peri have the best chance of the four on this roster to play for FCD this year.

    As far as how do we know about u-20 players. They either are on teams we root for or from areas where we live and follow.

  5. Felix Garcia left the Dynamo for some reason. Anyone know why?

    And some trivial information for you y’all… Case Townsend is form Traverse City, MI hometown of Thunder Dan Marleje and Micronesia Justin.

    Nice to see a Michigan Man (Peri) called in.

  6. Rongen may or may not be a “good” coach. He had a mixed record in MLS for multiple clubs (was it TB, Revs, DCU? Oh and Chivas). Last u20 WC he got the team to the quarters. Personally, he annoyed me to no end during some of his MLS gigs.

    But his being blamed for the Subotic thing is stupid b/c (1) his job is use the best youth players in their age group at the time, not identify the players who might be best in a few years — so the fact that Subotic has done well recently does NOT make Rongen “wrong” for not being impressed him a few years back; (2) there’s no reason to think that Rongen’s public comments about Subotic were a factor in Subotic’s decision to switch his affiliation; and (3) if the comments were a big factor, then that reflects more poorly on Subotic than Rongen.

  7. I can’t believe that Adu is still eligible for the U-20’s. Seems like the kid has been around forever. Adu and Altidore looked great in the olympics, they should dominate even more at the U-20 level.

  8. Man- you posters sure as hell know a lot more about the under 20 players then any one else. And I am not being sarcastic.

    Where do you get all this info.?

  9. fubar, I just listened to Rongen on Glenn Davis’ radio show and he sounds like the same ol’ Rongen to me, I don’t hear any change in his willingness to publicly discuss certain players.

    On that note, can we stop the Rongen bashing? People should just grow up. Subotic is gone and he turned coat of his own accord. We should stop beating up our coach over the decisions of that young traitor.

  10. Unlike his teammate Jorge Flores, Mayen does not seem to have made an impression on TR. He got a look in April last year, and again in August I think, but that was it. Midfield is crowded in this age group, with TR showing the love for

    89s: Arguez, Duka, Flores
    90s: Cascio, Cruz, Jeffery, Maund, Morales, Ownby, Shea
    91: Altimirano, Okugo

  11. Last I heard Ellis McLaughlin was at Hertha Berlin. Rongen’s taken a look at him, but only given him 1 start and 2 sub appearances in the last year plus. Not sure if the lack of PT is due to giving him time to train in Germany or due to TR preferring others (Ibrahim, Marosevic, Garcia, Bernardo, Nimo, etc.).

  12. JayDubbs – I noticed the exclamation points and the subtle humor. Apparently others did not pick up on it. That’s okay – everyone likes to talk about Renken, Gyau et al when given a chance.

    I wanted to see how long it would continue 🙂

  13. Dan Karell- not sure if your post is a question or a statement… but thats how i take it… the article listed states its just a camp, then after the camp he’ll bring in 20 players ….

  14. Bad news for the dynamo and the u-20s re felix Garcia. It appears he is backing out off his professional deal with the dynamo. Suspicious.

    Re: rongen. His mouth aside, he obviously made the wrong choice on subotic talent wise. Mike Gonzalez was another cb on that team and was a college standout but likely won’t even start in mls next season. Meanwhile subotic is a standout on a top bundisliga defender. All of this in three years. It’s a big error on rongens part! Can he not tell a mls prospect from a bundisliga standout?

  15. Re: Charlie Renken

    I was be facetious and overly reactionary. I just wanted to combine the two ridiculous themes associated with youth soccer: 1) Rongen ruins everything and 2) Overly unrealistic expectations for kids not old enough for a driver’s license.

  16. Re: Rongen’s Mouth

    As I know you have all keep abreast of all things soccer in the US, you should have noticed that the quotes the press have recently used from Rongen have been rather…shall I say “diplomatic” of late.

    I think we can all agree that this comes from the Neven-Episode. I don’t think TR will be quite so outspoken for some time to come.

  17. Oh, I just noticed the Dynamo have a press release saying that Felix Garcia is going to stay in Laredo until he finishes high school and the join the dynamo after that. IN the meantime he doesn’t count on their roster but they retain his MLS rights. Maybe this is related to his not appearing on the U20 roster this time around. Let’s hope he’s able to rejoin the U20s later.

  18. I think S. Williams lost eligibility by playing in some try-out matches in Germany. (He was at UNC.)

    Gale Agbo is a 91, not college age yet. Not sure if he intends to play college ball or not. Maybe if makes the U-20 roster that will launch him into the pro ranks.

    Okugo’s team is a youth club. Again a 91 not in college yet. Have to wait and see if he chooses college or pro ball for next year.

    Renken is a 93 (a late 93 I believe), so he is even young among the U17 players (current u17s are 92s and younger). Let him work on that level for now. He missed the majority of 2008 with injuries.

    Most glaring omissions from this camp list:

    D, Z. Valentin
    F, A. Ibrahim
    F, V. Bernardo
    F. F. Garcia

    In Garcia’s case, Barnardo Fallas had reported he would be at the camp. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe too busy with life transitions from having just signed with MLS and moving to Houston. Word is he’s got a kid, too, so moving might be more of a big deal for him than the average U20.

  19. Nate – let’s hope that if Rongen does have some criticism for Flores (or anybody on this squad for that matter) he takes it like a professional instead of an immature brat.

  20. It’s nice to see Townsend is in at forward. Hopefully he makes the cut. I watched him all year at Maryland. His body control and aggression are key factors.

  21. So Agbossoumonde and Williams are unattached, does that mean they have already had trials in Europe and have officially lost eligibility? And what is this Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.) Is this a pro club or youth club?

  22. 4 out of 6 U-20 MLS players are on FCD, none of them start or even ride the bench consistently…something seems wrong about this. Not to say they deserve to start it’s just that given FCD’s reputation for developing and retaining young talent it seems kind of pointless for the franchise to have them on the roster.

  23. JayDubbs: Renken is like 15 or 16. Still a bit young for the U-20s. Maybe he’ll play, but it’s next summer and the boy’s got plenty of time…

  24. Hopefully these FC Dallas players can show something so that Dallas will start giving them some time. Let’s face it, Dallas needs something or someone to help them out.

  25. Wow, what a story with Jose Flores…talk about making the most of your one chance in life. Can’t help but root for the kid.

    Let’s hope Wrongen doesn’t make any backhanded remarks about his “acceleration”

  26. Ives- from how i take the article this is simply the last training/preparation stint prior to naming the Qualifying team…. names like Garcia and Bernardo strike me as obvious candidates for the squad…. this group is merely training together for around 2 weeks, then Rongen will name his qualifying group….

  27. Ives,

    Balchan withdrew for personal reasons, it’s in the same PR as Opara’s injury replacement.

    Any word on why Felix Garcia isn’t in this camp? I believe from MLS announcement of his signing in Houston, it appeared that he would be going to this camp.

    Also, any word on what Sheanon Williams will do following camp? Will he try to get signed in Europe or is there a chance he will come to MLS (become a GA?) and get allocated through a lottery or the allocation order?


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