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Rongen names U.S. roster for CONCACAF Under-20 Tournament

Brek Shea (ISIphotos.net)

                                                        Photo by ISIphotos.com

Peri Marosevic, Brek Shea and Jorge Flores are among the 20 players chosen for the U.S. Under-20 national team's roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup qualifying Tournament.

Nine professionals in all made the squad selected by head coach Thomas Rongen, including European-based prospects Jared Jeffrey, Kyle Davies and Bryan Arguez.

New Jersey natives Dilly Duka (Rutgers) and Billy Schuler (North Carolina) also made the squad, which will gather in Bradenton, Florida on Tuesday to begin preparations for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Tobago beginning March 2nd.

Here is the rest of the team:

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

DEFENDERS– Gale Agbossoumonde (Unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (Southampton; Danville, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Aaron Maund* (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston)

MIDFIELDERS– Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin; Miami), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), 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.)

There is still a question mark surrounding Notre Dame defender Aaron Maund, who is still awaiting approval from FIFA to play for the United States after requesting a change of national association. Maund is a dual citizen of the United States and Trinidad & Tobago, which he played for in the 2007 Under-17 World Cup.

The U.S. team begins play on Friday, March 6 in Tobago against Jamaica. The Americans will then face the winner of the Honduras/St. Vincent & the Grenadines qualifier on March 8th before finishing group play against El Salvador on March 10.

What do you think of the squad? Any players whose inclusions surprised you? Are there any players missing who you thought would be sure bets to make it?

Share your thoughts on the roster in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. As a follow-up on Felix Garcia, Glenn Davis mentioned last night on his radio show, that Garcia has a fear of flying. I’m assuming they aren’t taking a boat to T&T, so maybe that played in to him not being picked.

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  2. For those of you with your panties in a wad, chill.
    The system is in place for a reason and it hasn’t failed on us at this level in quite some time. It’s very easy to criticize choices when you’re on the outside and don’t have your finger on the pulse. Let TR give these boys a chance, the platform is set for these youngsters to develop and prove themselves. They are at an age where these tourneys can be defining moments or a “coming out’ party of sorts, just look back to 2007 and you’ll see some picks at the time that people questioned (Sal Zizzo) and look at them now.
    Do you really think he would pick players who couldn’t get the job done for us? This is the man’s life.

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  3. Thanks Alex S.

    I thought this was about talent not about contracts. Bob Bradley has selected Cervi when he was out of contract in the past. More USSF anti-Latino bias?Hmmm?

    Perhaps not. Garcia’s situation is becoming quite high maintenance. If doesn’t to play, too bad.

    God Bless America and Jorge Flores.

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  4. i know you guys keep saying “this is qualifying, not the WC roster”, but the fact of the matter is this is not the same situation as Bradley of last cycle…

    Bernardo is training with Napoli’s first team, but not getting any time with the Prima. team…. he has no obligations to stay, and Napoli have announced they are more then happy to ship him back for Youth Nats duty….

    Nazzani also isnt playing on his 1st team squad… he’s playing prima games, but it wouldnt harm him to come play….

    these two seem glaring absences… they have no reason to stay in italy, and im sure their teams are more then willing to let them leave for the quals…

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  5. I think its a little early to criticize Rongen’s choices. I doubt anyone here really has any hard information on how good the two kids in Italy are, b/c neither get playing time… It just seems to me that this group in general may be weaker than the last cups team. That may be because the best U-17 players aren’t being included in the player pool yet (Renken, Martinez, Jerome, etc.), or maybe some of the overseas players are fighting for playing time and Rongen felt they could make it through CONCACAF without them… I actually like Rongen, every time I watch his teams play, it seems like there is definitely more of an attacking, free flowing approach to the game than the senior team, at least that’s the way it looked in the past U-20 Cup

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  6. Gotham SC, what wing does Duka play – left or right? Anything more you could comment on him in terms of speed and technical ability?

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  7. Guys,

    Although that I agree that this will certainly not be the final cup roster as well you have to look at a few things. In reguards to Bernardo, he has had his fair number of chances to make an impression with the 20s and obviously has not done so otherwise he would be on the roster. Hes not playing for napoli..from what i hear..so what would have stopped him other then the fact that rongen simply did not like him!

    As everyone has already said, he has taken a look at a very big amount of players…is there a chance that just maybe the ones he chose were the ones who had the best camps? Again I have to agree that this squad was no where near the class of the last cycle and certainly wont be the crop going to Egypt!

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  8. Ives,

    looking on the Club Brugge website it looks like Jared Jeffrey was injured in a reserve game on 2/20 vs Westerlo:

    “Unfortunately two players (Jeffrey and Meeus) got injured in a tackle.”

    can you check his status and see if he will be able to play in the qualifiers?

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  9. Like many others, I’m not sold on Rongen. There’s no doubt, he’s been a trooper and has devoted a number of years to the development of the American youth soccer player. For that we should all be grateful. It’s also true that this was a man projecting (playing) Clint Dempsey (on the rare occasion that Clint wasn’t riding the pine under Rongen) as a defensive midfielder. Imagine that, one of our most gifted attacking players languishing back there. Oh well, let’s start a pool on which player passed over by Rongen will make it big first. My pick…Bernardo. And for those of you who say the real team will be picked later, if we don’t make it out of this group there is no later. And with the lack of firepower we have up front, this could be a bumpy ride.

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  10. notice garcia removed himself from Dynamo preseason and also is absent from this roster. Interesting how you guys forget there might be something going on with the kid off the field that required he be left off the roster.

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  11. arena futbol, great post.

    This is a shocking and controversial list from Rongen. Many players that were thought of as top of the current pool aren’t there, as arena futbol points out. It’s not at all clear if the other Europe-based guys weren’t released or what happened.

    Garcia’s absence is disappointing to say the least.

    To those who say this is qualifying and not the real tournament, I think most understand that, but if I recall most of the players who went to qualifying last time around also went to the U-20 tournament (excepting Bradley’s situation and injuries).

    I don’t know what to say about this group. I guess I’ll just watch and see how things turn out. I’m not sure if this is our strongest group or not — perhaps the guys I thought were stronger didn’t impress Rongen as much as these guys. If on the other hand this is not our strongest group and we fail to qualify, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rongen’s head roll.

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  12. There is no doubt this team is not as good as we can field but this is also a team that can get things done in CONCACAF and should not have too much trouble qualifying.

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  13. Hey guys remember the backbone of the Korea U-17 makes up this team and that team was horrible. Although only 10 of those made this team well 10 out of 20 is still a crop. This team is not all that guys, and we might get kicked out if we don’t have our crap together. The old U-20 was better hands down, but also I’m more hopeful than ever of the current U-17.

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  14. I agree that Rongen took too many risks with this squad. I don’t have any issue with him taking college kids but I’m confused to why he did not include one player from Maryland. After all, they are the national champs beating out North Carolina three times and each time made Schuler and Williams appear ineffective.

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  15. Rongen really pulled a fast one here, in a bad way.

    Honestly, I can see the USA not qualifying, and that would be a huge downfall with the talent in the pool.

    Bernardo, Nazzani, Garcia, Ibrahim, G.Garza, Z. Valentin all should be on the roster.

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  16. Bobo,

    Sosay is overrated, he did not deserve to be on the squad.

    I’ve seen him play and I haven’t been impressed at all. You think way too much of his skills.

    At this stage he’s on the outside fringes of the team……basically he’s one of the Usual Suspects.

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  17. Adu and Altidore are both still UNDER 20 years of age. Renken and Dominguez are U-17 players. This is qualifying folks. The real team will be chosen later for the World Championships.

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  18. It may just be bad memory, but I remember more hype behind the players playing in the last U-20 cup; Adu, Altidore, Bradley, and Szetela were all known quantities who were really expected to do well… I’m not saying this is a bad team, but the only players I’m really looking forward to seeing are Brek Shea and Jared jeffrey and Anthony Wallace. I want to see Arguez and, but only b/c he was supposedly a good prospect a few years ago, and from what I’ve heard has had a really rough time in Germany… Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a very good team, b/c the talent pool seems to get deeper and deeper every cycle. I just hope next time all these guys are pros., and not playing college ball

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  19. Weren’t bernardo and nazzani kicked out of camp for disciplinary reasons? And remember this is qualifying, I don’t see the lads having much difficulty making it out of concacaf, most of these guys are out of season or favor in Europe, we may see people like bernardo, adu and altidore for the actual tournament…

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  20. @JL – Tony Taylor is at Jacksonville University. He played very well the one game that I saw him. Strong powerful player with confidence and speed.

    This is not the team that will go to Egypt in September.

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  21. Adu and Altidore are eligible. They probably won’t play, even in the actual U20WC (er, assuming we qualify!), but you never know, especially with Freddy doing NOTHING in Monaco.

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  22. GK- No real shock, as it’s always been Lambo, Perk, and flavor of month as 3rd choice.

    D- Ike Opara is missing, presumably due to his recent injury. Other notable absences: Giuseppe Nazzanni, Zarek Valentin, Richard Balchan. Davies, Agbo, and Williams have been frequently called by TR. Wallace can play in back or MF. Flores is pretty much always called by TR, though I thought TR had been using him at LM. Okugo has been a star on the u-18 squad, again mostly as a MF I thought.

    MF- Jeffrey stands out as a pro actually getting some first-team sniffs in Europe. Arguez has apparently gotten back into TR’s good graces. Cruz and Shea are MLSers that TR likes. Duka, Maund, and Ownby are still in college and really didn’t see a lot of U-20 PT before this, but have apparently done enough to get spots. Notable absences: none really. Charlie Renken is busy with the U17s. Greg (not Sam) Garza, Gabe Hoyos, Alfredo Morales are some Euro-based players that TR took a look at but passed over. Gerson Mayen at Chivas USA also failed to impress TR.

    F- Here’s where the most glaring absences occur. A month ago, I would have listed the U-20 fwd depth chart (leaving off Altidore) as Bernardo, Garcia, Marosevic, Ibrahim, in some order. Only 1 made the team. Yikes. Also, MLS pros Bowen, Nimo, and Sesay passed over (though Sesay may not be fully eligible). As were non-US pros Ellis McLaughlin, Matt Luzanaris, and Jose Torres (the Colima Torres, not our Pachuca Torres). It remains to be seen if any of these 3 college forwards (Schuler, Taylor, Garza) can produce as internationals. TR has better hope so!

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  23. some interesting choices here, Tony Taylor and Okuga not even being collegiates or pros…I thought the Italian kids were very highly thought of, wonder what happened with that?

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  24. What about that kid Renken. Where is he?

    I hope no one who can be a star for another country in a year or two was snubbed in this.

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  25. Guys, this isn’t the World Cup roster, its just qualifying. I fully expect guys like Bowen and Ibrahim to be called in for the Cup, and maybe even Adu and Altidore, but doubtfully.

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  26. Our youth pool 15-22 years old is ridiculous. great chances of 11 very good – great players coming out of the huge pool.

    “You’re going to be really great… If you don’t f— up” -My Cousin Vinny

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  27. I am a little disapointed that less than half of the roster are full-time professional players. I would have thought that we would be closer to 75% professional at this point.

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  28. Aaron Maund: Switching to play for the U.S. Wow. That’s almost unheard of.
    Hopefully, if we keep on playing well people with dual citizenship will choose the US. We are definitely #1 in CONCACAF.

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  29. @ ELAC

    Garcia signed a deal with the Dynamo, and then had acute culture shock and went back to Laredo to finish high school.

    In other words, if he doesn’t want to live up to his contracts, he isn’t going to get calls from the national program.

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  30. Ives,

    Why weren’t Nazzani and Bernardo called up? I read an Italian article that claimed that American youth teams were trying to poach future Italian players, guess they havent heard about Rossi yet. Do you think there is something going on with these two? i.e they have been contacted by the Italian YNT?

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  31. Flores at defender? Still no one knows exactly what to do with Shea . . .

    Regardless, if FC Dallas can hold on to their young guys, they should be one of the league’s best just based on their young guys.

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