By RYAN TOLMICH
U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team coach Tab Ramos has selected a roster of 20 players ahead of the upcoming 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Headlined by Fulham midfielder Emerson Hundman and newly-signed Freiberg goalkeeper Zack Steffen, the U.S. is set to kickoff the tournament Jan. 9 against Jamaica before taking on Panama (Jan. 11), Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21).
“Selecting the final 20 players was extremely difficult,” Ramos said. “This is a group that has a lot of depth. It’s a group that has gotten good results throughout the last 12 to 14 months, regardless of the players we’ve had in. A lot of players have made a good case for being on the team, but in the end, unfortunately, you can only take so many (players). I am very happy with the group we’ve selected.
“Overall, this is a group made up mostly with professional players, and that’s a strength. These are players who are completely dedicated to the sport; players who 100 percent of the time prepare to do well, to get better, and be on the National Team.”
Steffen and midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who will serve as captain, return from the U.S. 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team, while leading U-20 goalscorer Romain Gall is also set to feature.
The squad features a record 18 professional players on the roster. Only NC State’s Conor Donovan and Shaquell Moore have yet to join the professional ranks.
Perhaps the most interesting inclusion in the roster is Tottenham academy player Cameron Carter-Vickers, who turned 17-years old on New Years Eve. He’ll likely pair up with Matt Miazga in central defense, and it’s an impressive coup for Ramos and his staff to have secured Carter-Vickers release for the tournament.
Have a closer look at the U.S. roster for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championships below:
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Ben Spencer (Molde FK), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)
What do you think of the U.S. roster? What do you see as the starting XI in the upcoming tournament?
Share your thoughts below.