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Villarreal, Joya among players called into U.S. U-20 team for Marbella Tournament

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Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal, Santos Laguna's Beji Joya and Liverpool youth player Marc Pelosi were amon the 19 players called by Tab Ramos for the U.S. Under-20 national team ahead of the upcoming Marbella Tournament in Spain.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil and University of North Carolina teammates Mikey Lopez and Boyd Okwuano were also named to the squad, which will face Canada, Scotland and Azerbaijan from Oct. 6th to the 17th.

Here is the full squad:           

GOALKEEPERS: Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Zackary Steffen (FC Delco Academy; Downington, Pa.). 

DEFENDERS: Anthony Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Birmingham City FC; Concord, Mass.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.).

MIDFIELDERS: Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Tex.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.).

FORWARDS: Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jonathan Top (FC Dallas; Fort Worth, Tex.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)


What do you think of the team? Who are you hoping to see make an impact in this group? Which of these players are you interested in seeing more of in the future?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Fabian Hurzeler is committed to Germany last I heard. Makes sense too, both parents German, was born here and then left at an early age. Nothing about that screams American.

  2. It actually isn’t a bad thing that we don’t have to much overlap between the age groups. It shows that the payer pools are deep enough and strong enough that we don’t have to rush players (building unreachable expectations).
    What I would like to see more of though is more mixed camps like what the one held in Germany (U-20 & U-23) or in Cali (U-23 & Senior). Where both sets of coaches can watch players to see who may be ready for the next level…and better integrate players of all ages with on another.

  3. Thanks for the update. Found the match report. He started and scored a late goal putting the USA up 4:2 against the Dutch. Nice. He had started and played 45 minutes of the match before, and I don’t think he played in the final two games in the 4-game series of friendlies.

  4. There was some overlap previously with the U-20s? I honestly don’t recall that being the case, with a few VERY RARE exceptions (i.e. Landon, Adu).

    I think that there being no overlap isn’t a bad thing and may reflect one or two possible scenarios: (1) It is not as easy to break into the first team anymore; and/or (2) JK likes players to remain playing with their age group (the German-thinking).

    I’m open to others’ views, but those are my thoughts.


  5. Couple things I find interesting.

    For those who argue college soccer is a waste of time, a sprinkling of collegians and youth club players remains.

    Also, though this is probably a purposefully junior roster given its timing in the MLS, traditional European, and Mexican seasons…..are we at a lull in the development cycle or am I missing something? There had been a stretch there, bouyed by Bradenton, where we went from usually college age on through the 90s, to some teenage senior-level Nats players like Donovan, Beasley, Adu, on up to Altidore, Agudelo, and Shea. To the point where we don’t realize how young some of them still are.

    Has that process slowed? Cause I’m looking at a full roster of guys who’re not in the senior picture. When we’ve been doing well there’s some overlap…. Maybe it reflects the increased professionalization of the pool, the difficulty that presents for callins. Maybe it reflects a desire to experiment. But I’m struck by the general anonymity of the selections. MLS fans know of Gil — though he is basically just another guy right now — and the Europhiles know of some of the Germans or Brits — but does it feel like the lower echelons are generating higher age groups with the same ooooomph as the first generation(s) from Bradenton>?

  6. Loads of talent on the team, hopefully Ramos can put the right combination on the field. i remember watching the U17s, prior to Pelosi being named captain. Everyone was raving about Guido, but for me it was clearly Pelosi…soccer IQ, heart, technical skill it was all there. Probably another couple years before he’s brought in to the nats. I like his chances to make an impact. I’m also excited to see Brooks and Packwood

  7. Shout out to De Anza Force Club, which developed 2 of the 5 midfielders in this call-up — Marc Pelosi (from a very young age until he joined the Residency) and Benji Joya (two years an Academy product).

  8. This is a pretty impressive list, but until every one getting called up to he U20 has the kind of associations listed we’re not there yet. better yet, get a few dutch and spanish academy programs on this list and we’ll be on the way to making some real noise.

    Hertha BSC, UANL Tigres, Colorado Rapids, Birmingham City FC, Real Salt Lake, Santos Laguna, Liverpool FC, SC Freiburg, Santos Laguna, VfB Stuttgart, FC Kaiserslautern, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy

  9. he was great with the Rapids for the 15 minutes he played vs. Swansea. As far as I know i thought he was a central midfielder not a defender.

  10. I think he got injured during 1 of 2 call ups. So thats 2 times (i think) but I heard U-19 and U-21 are the big ones for germany

    sucks to not see Fabian Hurzeler unless he’s too old

    I would like to see John Brooks called into the National Team next year

  11. If this is our U-20 team going forward, I will be ecstatic. Looks like US Soccer learned from their mistakes of the previous U-20 and U-23 teams and decided to actually pick SOCCER players instead of athletes.

    Brains > Athleticism in soccer

  12. Glad to see Shane O’Neill in there before the Irish try to nab him. And we have the same name, first and last. Who knows, I might be him

  13. Right? I think it is relative, since they usually host club competitions, this being the first international friendly competition.

  14. Yanks Abroad had the following today… “The tournament will be a welcome return for the Berlin-born John Anthony Brooks who has not been involved with the US team since last November. Last month he played in a camp for Germany’s U-20 national team.”

  15. From the Marbella football center website:

    From the 9th of October 2012 through to the 16th October 2012 we will celebrate the first International Friendly Match Week: one week of global football.

    We will see high-caliber friendly matches with the following Under 21 National Teams:

    Fixtures and Schedules

    Tuesday October 9 – 17:00 pm – Azerbaijan vs. Malaga CF Selection B
    Wednesday October 10 – 17:30 pm – Team USA vs. Team Canada
    Friday October 12 – 15:30 pm – Team USA vs. Team Scotland
    Friday October 12 – 17:45 pm – Team Canada vs. Team Azerbaijan
    Monday October 15 – 17:00 pm – Team Scotland vs. Team Canada
    Tuesday October 16 – 17:00 pm – Team USA vs. Team Azerbaijan

  16. It’s not big news, Brooks was never going to leave the US, he has been in the US setup for years now and is good friends with other German Americans in our youth system. He accepted one callup to one German team just to try it out.

    Also, should we call him JAB?

  17. John Anthony Brooks is the big news here. He recently got some attention from the German youth coaches, so hopefully this is a good sign.


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