The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team will take the field for its final preparation window ahead of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer.
Gabriel Slonina, Paxten Aaronson, and Kevin Paredes headlined Mikey Varas’ 19-player roster for upcoming friendlies against France’s U-21 side, England’s U-20 team, and Serbia’s U-21 squad. The Americans will face the French on March 22 before taking on England on March 25 and Serbia on March 28 respectively.
All three friendlies will take place in Marbella, Spain.
Slonina joins the squad after recently appearing for Chelsea’s U-21 squad in England’s PL 2 Division. The Chicago Fire homegrown goalkeeper has registered three clean sheets in four appearances for Chelsea’s U-21 squad.
Paxten Aaronson and Quinn Sullivan headline the attacking options for Varas’ squad after both excelled at the Concacaf U-20 Championship last year. Aaronson won the tournament’s Golden Ball award as the best player, and the Golden Boot after contributing seven goals. Sullivan added six goals in the tournament.
Kevin Paredes, Darren Yapi, and Diego Luna are also creative attacking options that will be fighting to make the final roster. Louisville City’s Joshua Wynder is a rising talent in the USL, after previously been linked with a reported move to Benfica. Jonathan Gomez has previously featured with the USMNT in 2022.
Following the training camp, Varas will head to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia for the FIFA U-20 World Cup draw.
Here is the full USMNT U-20 roster:
GOALKEEPERS: Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG)
DEFENDERS: Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union), Mauricio Cuevas (Club Brugg), Marcus Ferkranus (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jonathan Gomez (Real Sociedad), Michael Halliday (Orlando City SC), Thomas Williams (Orlando City SC), Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Alvarado Jr. (Vizela/POR), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO), Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC), Owen Wolff (Austin FC)
FORWARDS: Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER), Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union), Darren Yapi (Colorado Rapids)
What do you think of the roster? Who are you happy to see included? Who are you disappointed to see missing?
Yikes got smashed by France 4-0.
I have fear that we won’t see Wiley at the u20 WC. The way he has been playing for Atlanta. Or Jalen Neal who has become important to the Galaxy in the back line.
Neal, I’m less worried about because we have Wydner, Craig, maybe Che if he gets healthy, Henry but he appears injured too. Ok maybe I’m worried about CB too, realizing Che and Henry might be unavailable.
Atlanta will sell Wiley and the best way to improve that value is send him to the U20 WC. However with a big pay day headed Almada’s way do they need the raise Caleb’s stock?????
Atlanta already has a history of not releasing players. Strong possibility we don’t see Wiley. Also I don’t think u20 WC’s are that major of a driving factor for players to get signed by European teams. Also I think Wiley should stay in MLS/ Atlanta a couple more seasons. No reason to rush it.
Neal will be a big loss if he isn’t released for the u20’s for the WC.
I think especially with such a young core these YT events provide valuable experience for guys who won’t have as many chances at the NT level at this time. I do hope MLS realizes that releasing players for the U20 WC has much more effect on their transfer fees than an early season match against Kansas City. (I’m talking to you Atlanta.)
I know by listening to the Atl match on the radio Caleb Wiley wasn’t going to be released by Atl. Cowell played this weekend also, that’s 2 players I know of for U20s who’s team didn’t release them. Edelman is hurt. Caden Clark? Noah Allen wasn’t going over JoGo & Wiley. Is there anyone else?
Gutierrez and Brady for Chicago. I don’t know if either of the New England teens would have been called or weren’t released. Hopkins from DC but like Tyler Wolff not sure if those were refusals or just didn’t make the cut. I believe Tsakiris is still injured. JoGo is on the roster for this week.
I agree, just look at Paxten Aaronson for example. He left the Union after a standout summer performance for the national team. It is going to be really interesting to see if Atlanta allows him to go to the World Cup this summer.
Tough group of matches, especially with quite a few MLS guys not released (thanks for ignoring the break MLS). This group’s ceiling is up to clubs and their willingness to release players. Interested to see how Wydner does.
I have mixed feelings about this. Although I’d like to se us field our best team, in the development of US players, I actually lean towards it being an overall positive- a sign of the ever increasing reliance on younger players by MLS teams. A short time ago it seemed anyone under 23 couldn’t get a sniff of the field.