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Fresh faces included in U-20 USMNT training camp roster

Tab Ramos

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With the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship less than six months away, Under-20 USMNT head coach Tab Ramos is giving some players on the fringes of the U-20 player pool a hard look during a July training camp.

Ramos has called in a 20-man squad for a training camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif, including fresh faces such as Fernando Arce Jr. of Club Tijuana and Caleb Smith of Solar Chelsea SC. Ramos did however also call some more familiar faces, including Santiago Castaño, Connor Donovan, Romain Gall, Paul Arriola, and Zach Pfeffer.

Considering the location of the camp, half of the squad hails from California, and the camp features a great mix of dual-nationals and players currently plying their trade abroad. In fact, only Castaño and Pfeffer are signed to MLS clubs.

The squad will be in camp from July 14-19 and will take part in the NTC invitational, playing matches against Australia, Bermuda, and Chile.

Here’s the U-20 USMNT training camp squad:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Dowlington, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Railhawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce Jr. (Club Tijuana, Chula Vista, Calif.) Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (FC Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)

FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading FC; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)


What do you think of this squad? Glad to see more dual-nationals represented? Do you see this team winning the NTC invitational tournament?

Share your thoughts below.


      • Guys who played in the World Cup don’t play in non-qualifying youth tournaments and usually only in the World Championships. Plus he just got back from the grueling World Cup schedule. Also, he needs to be in Munich earning time.

  1. and of course CD Guadalajara ends up blocking Luis Matir from coming despite being named to the original roster. weak.

  2. where’s palmer-brown.. i know he’s 17 but he’s already played in 3 games and looked really good in two of them

      • This. SKC needs him and playing 1st team minutes is probably better for a 17 yr old than a training camp

      • Done very well playing all year for the Galaxy II though. They just want him to get regular playing time and he wouldn’t have that on the Galaxy right now. Since they often practice with the senior squad and there is a lot of movement back and forth on the team, he has certainly been getting professional training and experience.

  3. Romain Gall was born in France, not Herndon, VA. He’s the one I’m keeping my eye on the closest. He’s looked like a step above the rest when he’s donned the US kit. Hopefully he can earn some professional minutes this season. Hold on!

  4. Maybe off topic….

    What ever happened to the Argentinian kid that played for us? I believe he played in the U17 a couple of years back. His father played in MLS….Has he ever been recalled? I believe this is his age bracket…maybe he is a bit too old….

      • His name is Joel Sonora, son of Diego from DC United, and he is definitely one for this cycle. He plays for Boca’s reserves in the 5th division, I think. Has impressed, so I think if he is not a bubble guy, Ramos is probably not bringing him to this camp. This one is probably only for bubble players and Joel might just come up from Argentina for the qualifying camps.

        Might also be that Boca want him for their preseason for the first team?

        Anyway, here’s a highlight from the last time he played for us – from his comments it sounds like he is pretty committed to the US either way.

      • I don’t think that Arriola is a bubble guy – last year he was getting more time than Corona at his club.

      • Proximity to camp, although with the Apertura beginning July 18th a little surprising, but he is not a regular starter.

  5. All I can say is, as an old timer in US soccer fandom, this roster is refreshing. This isn’t even all of the first choice players, and look at that roster.

    I remember a time not so long ago that this squad would feature at least 15 college players. Nothing wrong with college players, but when you start seeing professional clubs associated with kids this age group (especially not even your best 20) that is saying something.

    The next generation of soccer talent in this country is starting to get a kick start. It’s going to be special. I’m extremely excited about 2018 and beyond.

    • From what I have read – Sr is completely supportive of his son’s decision and seems very proud of him. I will never forget seeing the 1st time Jr was subbed in for his father – great moment.

      • Arce Sr. took his wife to San Diego to give birth so the child was born American. Many people in the border do (those who can, at least) because it opens a whole bunch of opportunities for the kids. Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez and his brother were the same case as former Devil Ray Jorge Cantu. Even if you have a normal job, it’s a huge advantage. Heck, even if you live in Mexico, you can work in the States.

        Believe me, he doesn’t mind.

      • Not really in this case because the parents aren’t using him to stay in the US. They just wanted him to have some options.

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