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U.S. U-20s set for 2012 Milk Cup

Koroma (ISIphotos)

The U.S. Under-23 men's national team may have failed to qualify for the Olympics, but a U.S. youth national team will still get exposure to an international tournament this summer. 

The 2012 Milk Cup kicks off in Northern Ireland Saturday, with the U.S. Under-20 men's national team opening play against defending champion Denmark. The competition can be seen as a springboard for some players hoping to leave their mark as the 2013 U-20 World Cup cycle continues. For example, the United States won the title in 2010 with a roster that included the likes of Juan Agudelo, Zac MacMath, Zarek Valentin, Greg Garza and Omar Salgado. 

This group of U.S. U-20s, guided by coach Tab Ramos, will face Turkey on Monday, followed by a playoff match on July 26 that is contingent on how they fare in the opening two games. Other teams taking part in the tournament are Mexico, Chile and host Northern Ireland.

Between injuries and club commitments, Ramos does not have his full complement of U-20s available, but he has assembled a roster of 18 players competing at the academy, collegiate and professional level. As a refresher, here is the squad that Ramos has brought with him for the tournament, along with the full schedule:


GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Unattached; Athens, Ga.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Clara, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: AJ Cochran (Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), Holden Fender (Concorde Fire; Marietta, Ga.), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.)

MIDFIELDERS: Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Staten Island, N.Y.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio) 

FORWARDS: Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.)

MILK CUP SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)


USA vs. Denmark, 2 p.m.

Mexico vs. Turkey, 2 p.m.

Northern Ireland vs. Chile, 2 p.m.


USA vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.

Mexico vs. Northern Ireland, 3 p.m.

Denmark vs. Chile, 3 p.m.


Playoffs, Championship match


Which U.S. players do you expect to see stand out during this tournament? How do you see the U.S. U-20s faring?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I feel that Cody Cropper will be the stand out keeper in this competition.Could not fathom out why Ipswich released him,a bit of a mystery there.But Another club possibly in the English Premier league will snatch him up.To good a player to be without a club. USA V DENMARK will be very tough game for the USA.Denmark who are the current holders of the milk cup will be hard to beat,I would predict a draw at the most for the USA .But we need to put a good team display in to build upon .This competition will show who the future players will be in football. GO USA

  2. The national teams’ U-20’s Final will be streamed. The BBC/Northern Ireland use the tourney as training ground, experience lesson for younger employees, interns, students. Every game is filmed, and they will show cut highlights reals, but because they are cheep lazy bastards, they only stream the final these last two years.

    But I remember in 2010, I saw the USA-Denmark game streamed live and I think that was the 2nd game in the group play. So maybe one day they will stop being cheep bastards and start streaming rather than film & cutscene editing.

  3. Considering this team is missing most of the better players; I forsee them winning one game and tying the other and playing in the third place game. Good luck boys.

    Oh I think Koroma, Cropper, Joya, Zimmerman, and Ocegueda will stand out in this tournament.

  4. Yay the prestigious Milk Cup…how exciting.

    I’m still mad that our Under 23 team failed so horribly, why isn’t that coach fired?


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