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U.S. Under-17 World Cup roster announced

Jack McInerney (

Stefan Jerome, Earl Edwards and Jack McInerney headline the 21-man roster chosen to represent the United States in the Under-17 World Cup, slated for later this month in Nigeria.

Here is the squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Keith Cardona (NY Red Bulls; Glen Rock, N.J.), Earl Edwards (La Jolla Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.)

DEFENDERS: Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic; Indianapolis, Ind.), Boyd Okwuonu (Celtic Green; Edmond, Okla.), Tyler Polak (CSA Legacy; Lincoln, Neb.), Jared Watts (North Meck Storm; Statesville, N.C.), Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride; Westfield, Ind.)

MIDFIELDERS: Marlon Duran (Latino Americana; Ducanville, Texas), Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove, Calif.), Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.; San Pedro, Calif), William Packwood (Birmingham City, Concord, Mass.), Nick Palodichuk (Washington Premier; Battleground, Wash.), Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC; York, Pa.)

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (NY Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Victor Chavez (Real So Cal; Fontana, Calif), Andrew Craven (First Coast Kickers; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC; Davie, Fla.), Jack McInerney (Cobb SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Dominick Sarle (BW Gottschee; Huntington, N.Y.)

U.S. Under-17 head coach Wilmer Cabrera will lead the team as it begins play on Oct. 26 against Spain and while the roster he selected is packed with talent, there are several key players who are not on the team.

Charlie Renken, Joseph Gyau and Sebastian Lletget are all missing from the roster, with sources telling SBI that Renken and Gyau had a falling out with Cabrera. Both players recently left the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program to sign with German club Hoffenheim's youth academy. Lletget is currently with the West Ham United youth academy.

In a recent interview with Yanks Abroad, Cabrera admitted that there were players who chose not to join the team.

"If someone is not here, it is not because we don't want them," Cabrera told Yanks Abroad. "It's because they didn't make it, or they got injured, or they don't want to be here. I'd rather have a less skillful player but more committed than a skillful player that is not committed with this. But we've got the players that we've got and we are ready and we can't look back."

The U.S. team still has a talented group, with goal-scoring ace McInerney, imposing Edwards in goal and creative midfielders such as Marlon Duran and Luis Gil.

The United States faces Spain (2pm, Oct 26), Malawi (11am, Oct. 29) and United Arab Emirates (10am, Nov. 2). All three of the U.S. team's matches will be shown live on ESPNU and Galavision.

What do you think of this group? Disappointed to not see Renken and Gyau on the squad? Still think there's enough talent for a deep run in the tournament? Feeling more optimistic about this team than the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team, or do you fear a repeat of that team's failed World Cup performance?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Great idea advocat,

    If we could pool all of the American born talent, then we could tap in to the deep well of talented players from Brazil and Argentina. Might not get an U.S. born players on the squad, but Team America would rock. You’re a genius Advocat. Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?

  2. Noah Davis posted an article on another website about the Lletget move to West Ham. Cabrera is quoted in the article as being accepting of Lletget’s move, so I would not be so sure that USSF is trying to punish him for leaving their system. Now, he could have just said this to save face, but I have as much proof of such an assessment as you do for your accusations.

    Lletget in the same article says that he would play for Italy if they asked and he was very set on joining West Ham’s youth team. I think it is quite possible that Lletget just didn’t want to be involved with this tournament (or at least be required to go to a camp for it – which would be a me-first non-team oriented approach if true).

    I have seen a lot of justified criticism aimed at other coaches and members of USSF. Here, I don’t think you can say that Cabrera has earned it. At least not until more details are provided as to why Lletget is not there or the U17s don’t look like they were prepared to perform to their full potential.

  3. So, what would you call a player who did not want to come into camp or to keep playing for the team? I see a lot of criticism aimed at the coaching staff, but if these kids truly were committed to the team it seems to me that they would be there.

    I understand there may be other factors preventing them from being with the team, but as long as such factors aren’t financial, health or death in the family related, I think they involve a person’s priorities (aka commitment). I don’t see this as demeaning and it could spare a player from the criticism he would receive if the actual reason he was not in camp was revealed.

    For example, if Lletget said that he doesn’t want to play for the US because he would rather develop his career at West Ham or he wants to play for another country that he thinks is better, then there would probably be a lot of criticism thrown at him. In this case, we have a vague answer and are only left to speculate rather than vilify.

  4. Nonsense! Madmax, you are mad! The reason(s) they are not on the team are not things the public has the right to know. If the coach thinks they are not good enough that is his choice, if he thinks, they are not fully committed, that is his opinion, if they said in effect “I don’t want to play for you”, etc. the coach needs to keep his mouth shut and simply say we evaluated all the potential players and after a lot of discussion, we think we selected the best roster to be successful.

    I don’t care who you think you are, but you have no right to hear the “dirty laundry” about some teenagers!

  5. One thing you gotta like about Bob Bradley is that he does not make negative statements about players in the press. It is too bad that Cabrera chose to defend his choice of roster by making negative comments about players (who are only 16 years old at that). I would expect that it would be the teenagers making with the trash, not the adult!

    No need to make disparaging remarks about lack of commitment coach, just announce your roster and say it is the best group available. If asked about why some player is left off, demure. If I were one of those 3 kids, it would take a long time for me to forgive the coach for publicly demeaning me, no matter what team he was in charge of.

  6. It appears from the miasma of innuendo and partial explanations, that USSF wants to discriminate and punish young lads who train, live. and play beyond the reach of the academy and those in USSF. They should have the honesty to say this, and not generated false stories about a youngster’s loyalties and abilities.

    If Sunil, Rongen, and Cabrera are more concerned with maintaining their power structure rather than developing every player, they should do the honorable thing and resign.

  7. I hope these kids pledge their allegiance to another country when it comes to international futbol. This is nothing but politics at the highest level. We will never win a world cup with the current good ole boy system.

  8. Brett, you may be absolutely correct in all your statements, but I need this from Cabrera not you. Your lack of quotations makes me believe they are your assumptions.

    “Lletget opted to stay with Westham and didnt go to the Pre-WC roster camp”

    Does that disqualify him from the tournament, team, and a USA future? That’s the ambiguity. With Rongen it did, so you can see why there is concern.

  9. “commitment’ is an ambiguous term that could taint the players loyalty, and ability”. If players chose to stay with their clubs, say it. No more Rongen smears about ‘insufficient commitment’.

  10. And, I would add to Mike’s list, what if a player was born on an airplane over the ocean?

    And what about the famous Catholic point of view: when does citizenship (life) begin? At the point of impregnation? What if Mom gets pregnant in Romania but has the baby in Arkansas? Or vice versa?

    Advocat, you’re either the most clever person on this board (because we’re all falling for your joke) or you are a very scary man who will not need a Halloween costume. All you’ll have to do is show up and open your mouth.

  11. again, we complain when Rongen is not PC, and we complain when Wilmer is PC…

    Lletget opted to stay with Westham and didnt go to the Pre-WC roster camp in england, so Wilmer took it as not committed to the team. Notice how Will packwood did attend the camp and is included in the roster

    Gyua have had issues with Wilmer, this is no mystery. Not to mention he was also starting to fall in the depth chart.

    Renken is injured, and has been for some time. He was used regularly until the injury.

    again though he was PC, he was quite straight forward with his reasons of particular ommissions

  12. Advocat, I’ve apologized above for my misuse (and misspelling) of the word fascist . I will do so one last time here. Bad word choice. I’m sorry. I was angry. Your comments still make me angry. I have no idea why you think the way you think. While you think your attitude about this is logical and displays some consistency, it is actually utterly illogical, and, to make it worse, exclusive.

  13. clear things up?? similar to what Rongen said when people asked why Subotic wasnt on the list??

    we’ve already seen that flame war before… i find that he was pretty clear, and anyone who follows the youth teams can decipher them to some degree without assuming much…

  14. Mr. Cabrera, there should be two and only two standards for playing for the USA.

    1. They meet FIFA regulations.
    2. They have the ability.

    Do not apply the Rongen standard of insufficient commitment, loyalty etc. If a player declines to participate, say it without innuendo.

  15. -What if a player moves to the US at age 1 and no longer speaks the language of his place of birth?

    -What if a player comes here as a refugee and can no longer represent his homeland?

    -What if a player is born in another country because his parents are in the army?

    -What if a player is born in another country because his parents are on vacation?

    Your country of birth rule is pretty imperfect. What if Jermain Jones were born in the US and moved to Germany when he was a month old? Something tells me you still wouldn’t be happy about him representing us. Let’s look at the flip side: based on your rule, Giuseppe Rossi would be forced to represent us. Personally, if he doesn’t want us, I don’t want him. A player should be able to represent any country of which he is a citizen, to which he feels the strongest connection. Plain and simple.

  16. The comments I heard about restricting creativity came from an article about how Cabrera was doing just the opposite. It was a Soccernet article about Gyau, and I believe he was saying that he and his father were frustrated that coaches in the system wanted to fit him into a mold, but were pleased that Cabrera was encouraging him to use his speed and be creative.

    As for the development program being a farce… I don’t love it. I really hate some of the coaches. But so far, Cabrera seems pretty good. It’s a little funny to me that when a 15/16 year-old kid has a dispute with the coach (which we’re not even sure happened), it’s automatically the coach’s fault. Maybe it is, but at this point, you’re just arbitrarily taking sides in an dispute we’re not even sure exists.

  17. now you are just being ridiculous. you must be playing beer pong with your buds. every time someone posts a reply to my outlandish statement(s), you have to drink. anyone passed out yet?!

  18. It is not a legal issue that is debated: ie who is actually a citizen or not. (Although we should now demand DNA/paternity testing to establish nationality for national team purposes.) If I were Logan Pause and Jermain Jones was to take my spot on the national team, I would file a lawsuit demanding a paternity test be performed to establish Jermain Jones relationship to his purported GI father. The argument is to selsct American born players for a National Team versus selecting foreigners for an American National Team.

  19. Really? Adu fiasco? The kid is 20, and you think his lack of immediate success on any (every) level owes to his foreign birth? I really don’t see the logic in this — only the xenophobia. In that case, we’d better dump Stu Holden from the full squad before he “goes all Scottish on us.” …Y’know, considering the fact that he moved here at a later age than Adu.

    I think some people forget where America came from and what makes it what it is.

  20. let me also clarify a point before getting flamed… gyau is talented and has room to grow as a player… if he continues to grow he’ll have a successful career….

    “From all the rumors and innuendo I hear, they are trying to restrict players’ creativity and skills in order to force them into a system. If true, this is asinine. This is not what should be going on at U-17s. At that level, they shouldn’t care about winning and indoctrinating kids into a system, they should be developing talent and creativity”

    havent heard any of these rumors as far as Cabrera is concerned… perhaps at other levels.. the U17’s have always played very fluid ball… its hard to realize that perhaps, just perhaps, some of the well known U17’s are being lapped by unknowns

  21. hasnt been any rumor Renken has any issue with Wilmer. He is currently injured still. Wilmer was using him quite frequently til he became injured.

    as far as Gyau is concerned, he was already falling off the depth chart for our U17’s… His parents ran the hype machine and demanded more which caused a rift between Wilmer and Gyua (as he fed into it)…

    its high time we realize that we are talking about 15-16 yr olds who are all used to being the top dog on their respected clubs… when a player who’s fed hype gets a dose of reality, it typically doesnt bode well. People who’ve seen Gyua play have pointed out he’s got talent and speed, but he’s also got the touch of stone cleats

  22. Cabrera could easily clear up the controversy, by stating, Charles Renken is still recuperating from injury, Joseph Gyau and Sebastian Lletget have chosen to remain with their clubs and not participate. A nice clear statement, no innuendos about loyalties, and abilities, and a clear break from the Rongen mysteries.

  23. These kids (Renken & Gyau) are monstrous talents for our program. If they’re having a big problem with Cabrera, it’s a huge issue and just another indicator that the US player development program is a farce. From all the rumors and innuendo I hear, they are trying to restrict players’ creativity and skills in order to force them into a system. If true, this is asinine. This is not what should be going on at U-17s. At that level, they shouldn’t care about winning and indoctrinating kids into a system, they should be developing talent and creativity.

  24. Ives,

    Do you have any information(or plan on getting info) about why Gyau, Renken, and Lleget were not on this team?

    Rumors- Gyau- Differnces with coach, not good enough
    Renken- injured
    Lleget- wanted to play for club team


  25. Are you really this incredibly stupid? Do you understand the concept of citizenship and how it works in this country? Just STFU already.

  26. We need a coach that has four or five sons that are grown adults. Then the man might actually know how to deal with 16 year-olds. Do we not all remember 16? We were all head cases even if we weren’t soccer gods. These are the types of situations when a coach puts his arm around a young man and tells him how it is. We really want you on this team but I need you to lead not dissent. Can you do that for our National team?

  27. Advocat,

    Frankly go shove it up your ass. I was born in another country but only have US citizenship and, there is no way I would play for another country even if I had the chance. (Of course, I can’t play soccer well enough either). If you can’t deal with the fact that in the twenty-first century, people might have more complex identities than the simplistic ‘where you are born is where you are from,’ then I suggest you stick to club sports.

  28. “kagiyusdi gawoniha hadlv hehi”

    (That’s Cherokee for “learn the freakin’ language if you’re going to move here, buddy”)

  29. Unfortunately Mikkel Diskerud (who plays for my favorite Norwegian team, Stabaek) has said on many occassions he will play for Norway if they call him up first. Worst yet, with the Euro qualifiers comming next year I think we’ll see him get called up for a meaningful game for Norway in the next couple years.

  30. Good point Adam,

    As a teacher I hate when people toss around terms they don’t understand and only know they are “bad things” to call people.

    For the record, I disagree wtih Advocate (both the original and the Advocate12) but I don’t think he’s being “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc.”

  31. yeah but technically the “Native” Americans were from Asia so I guess they’re immigrants too, right? Damn Landbridge from Russia. We should have defended that border!


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