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Weah, Mendez headline U.S. Under-20 World Cup squad

The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team will kick off play at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in two weeks time.

Friday saw Tab Ramos announce his 21-player roster for the tournament which includes PSG’s Timothy Weah, Freiburg’s Alex Mendez, and Hannover’s Sebastian Soto.

“I am excited for the players who will get the chance to be able to participate in a World Cup. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that they will value forever,” Ramos said. “This is always an extremely tough decision to make as a coach. There were an additional four or five players who also really deserve to go this time.”

Weah comes in after numerous senior appearances in 2018 but none to his name under new head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Several players were a part of the U-20 side that lifted the Concacaf U-20 Championship over Mexico last December.

Mendez scored a brace in the 2-0 success over El Tri and won the Golden Ball award for Player of the Tournament.

Ten players have current MLS ties, including FC Dallas midfielders Paxton Pomykal and Edwin Cerrillo and Philadelphia Union defenders Mark McKenzie and Matt Real.

Brady Scott and David Ochoa will be the likely goalkeepers fighting for the starting spot with C.J. Dos Santos on the outside looking in.

The U.S. U-20s were drawn with Nigeria, Qatar, and Ukraine in Group D and will open group stage play against Ukraine on May 24th in Bielsko-Biala.

Here’s the final 21-player U.S. U-20 roster:

GOALKEEPERS:C.J. Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Foxchase, Pa.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Brady Scott (Köln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)

DEFENDERS: Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; Montclair, N.J.), Aboubacar Keita (Richmond Kickers; Columbus, Ohio), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.)

MIDFIELDERS: Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas)

FORWARDS: Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Brampton, Ont.), Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Miami, Fla.), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; Lynwood, Calif.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; South Hamilton, Mass.), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.), Tim Weah (Celtic FC/SCO; Rosedale, N.Y.)


  1. i’m really disappointed Tim’s not playing in this weekend’s old firm.
    or playing in the cup final.
    or going to the Gold Cup.

    • Can see why you feel that way about Gold Cup but look at it as a great sign for our program. Sign of an ever improving pipeline. Love to see situations like this where a u20 player is playing first club euro soccer but its competitive and selected for youth WC. He will get better exposure there for euro teams – another loan or buy

    • He will definitely miss out on some unique experiences. But I think this kid has bigger aspirations that being a (mostly) passenger at the end of his six-month loan, observing a meaningless Old Firm derby from the bench? Then likely sitting through a Scottish Cup final that is probably a formality? Cool, but does it really help his development? Make him a better player? I
      With the U-20’s, he will be on a stage where he will be a top talent at a tournament where many of the top emerging players globally are competing. A tournament where a laundry list of current top global talents (Aguero, Coutinho, Pobga and many in between) have broken out? He will be a core player to his team and we have talent. Hey I respect the SPL, but let’s not claim observing a couple of trophy ceremonies in a second-tier league there is better than the opportunity to be a breakout star

      • I say that as a Celtic fan and a USMNT fan.
        been a fan of both going on 4 decades, now.
        Tim is special. Old Firm is special.
        even with nervous-nelly Lennon, i think Tim would’ve got a chance to contribute memorably in one or both of the Old Firm and the Cup final.
        on top of that, i suspect the Gold Cup would turn into the “Timo Show!” if he was involved.
        and i think all these scenarios would’ve played out had Rodgers stuck around.

      • Well — I def respect your passion and enthusiasm. And personally, I am not totally convinced the door is shut on Weah getting into the Gold Cup roster (though admittedly it seems less likely)

  2. Anyone else see Weah’s instagram post? Apparently the Celtic manager said it was in the best interest of the team that he goes home rather than be part of the game on Sunday.

    Man, that’s harsh. Not letting him enjoy one last game and potential cup celebration at Celtic. Wonder where that is coming from? Seem like a viable scoring option at least coming off the bench in the cup game.

    Maybe he is protecting Weah and the team from being subjected to racist acts that are probable in the Old Firm?

    Thought that was very odd.

    Anyway, good for the u20s. Weah should be a golden boot candidate for this tourney.

    Anything less than a top 4 finish will be disapointing.

    • I actually kind of see Lennon’s point. It sounds like after Weah asked to be released (and to miss the Cup game) that he decided this week to have the lineup he will have for the final. He did give him a 73 minute run last week and likely knew that was Weah’s last outing.

  3. Incredible how far Carleton has fallen in two years. From the 2nd best player on the U17 squad to not being included for the U20s. I don’t know if it’s an attitude change or a club change that is needed but something needs to happen.

    • You’re right. It’s become so bad that I didn’t even realize he hadn’t made the squad until you said something…. dude is a ghost.

  4. Missing J. Araujo ( L.A. Galaxy) and A. Aaronson ( Philadelphia Union ) probably injured, but overall the best posible U20 USA team.


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