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Paredes, Slonina, Sullivan headline USMNT U-20 World Cup roster


The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team takes the field in Argentina later this month with dreams of bringing home a first-ever World Cup title.

Kevin Paredes, Gabriel Slonina, and Quinn Sullivan headline Mikey Varas’ 21-player roster for the upcoming U-20 World Cup. The FIFA U-20 World Cup will run from May 20- June 11 in Argentina after Indonesia was stripped of the original hosting rights.

“We’re really excited for this group to compete against the world’s best in Argentina,” said Varas. “To represent your country at a World Cup is a tremendous honor. We embrace the responsibility that comes with this opportunity.

“This group has put in so much hard work since the cycle kicked off to get to this point, and we will give everything on and off the field for our country. We’re very appreciative of the cooperation we’ve had from clubs, both at home and abroad, to release their players and let them shine on this global stage.”

Paxten Aaronson, who won the Concacaf U-20 Championship’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards last summer, was not released by Eintracht Frankfurt for international duty.

Sullivan was named to the tournament’s Best XI after netting six goals in Honduras. Antonio Carrera, Brandan Craig, Mauricio Cuevas, Marcus Ferkranus, Daniel Edelman, Diego Luna, Jack McGlynn, Rokas Pukstas, Niko Tsakiris and forward Cade Cowell all return from last year’s World Cup qualifying squad.

Pukstas and Paredes, whom have enjoyed positive European seasons this campaign, will join the squad following the group stage, Varas confirmed Wednesday in a press conference with media.

“Rokas is going to play his cup final with his team and Kevin is going to play the end of the season with Wolfsburg,” Varas said. “They both have become important members there, so we were flexible in terms of making sure we had the best roster possible and also giving them those opportunities.”

Six of the players called in have already earned senior USMNT call-ups in the past including Wynder, Gomez, and Slonina. Wynder, standout for Louisville City FC, is the lone USL Championship player called into the squad after recently turning 18-years-old.

“Really proud of Joshua and the way he’s earned his spot on the roster,” Varas said about Wynder. “Clearly with his work with the U-19’s and then coming to Marbella [Spain] and competing and proving a point. I think it’s another testament to the U-19 Coaches and the work that Marko [Mitrovic] did in terms or preparing players who might not have previously ready for the U-20’s.”

The Americans kick off Group B play on May 20 against Ecuador, before facing Fiji on May 23 and Slovakia on May 26. All three matches kick off at 2 p.m. ET.

The USMNT U-20’s have reached the quarterfinals in each of the last three U-20 World Cups and will be one of the favorites to achieve that goal once again.

Here is a closer look at the full USMNT U-20 World Cup roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Alexander Borto (Fulham/ENG; South Plainfield, N.J.; 2/0), 12-Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 4/0), 1-Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.; 5/0).

DEFENDERS (7): 17-Justin Che (Hoffenheim/GER; Dallas, Texas; 6/0), 5-Brandan Craig
(Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.; 10/1), 2-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles,
Calif.; 13/1), 14-Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy; Santa Clarita, Calif.; 11/0), 13-Jonathan Gomez
(Real Sociedad/ESP; Keller, Texas; 6/0), 3-Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.; 5/0),
4-Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC; Louisville, Ky.; 2/0).

MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls; Warren, N.J.; 10/0), 10-Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake; Sunnyvale, Calif.; 16/4), 8-Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Middle Village, N.Y.; 16/2), 20-Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split/CRO; Stillwater, Okla.; 12/1), 15-Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes; Saratoga, Calif.; 5/3), 18-Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC; Anchorage, Alaska; 4/0), 16-Owen Wolff (Austin FC; Austin, Texas; 3/1).

FORWARDS (4): 9-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; Ceres, Calif.; 7/2), 11-Kevin Paredes
(Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.; 6/2), 7-Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia,
Pa.; 15/7), 19-Darren Yapi (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.; 3/0).


  1. Lacking depth at striker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different formation with this roster. Only 3 wingers. But I guess you could play Wolf and Pukstas on the wing too.

    Other than that it’s a pretty good squad.

    But it seems like Varas is a tad rigid in his player selection. No Cremansci, and didn’t bother with any of the u19 attacking players.

    • Luna could be a half-space merchant type winger (more in the Reyna run at them than the Weah run behind them). Cool that Split did the math and changed their mind.

      • Yeah. Excited about Pukstas.

        Too bad about Paxten Aaronson, but he has a German Cup Final in June. And he has become an ever increasing player for Frankfurt. I could see him getting a Gold Cup call up.

    • Apparently Varas also mentioned Wiley can play as a wing. Also it sounds like Pukstas and Paredes won’t join until later when their clubs finish.

      • Interesting. Well Cowell needs to show us why he should be considered a top prospect. His time to shine on that wing. He can’t go hiding.

      • Had to look up Osundina and Williams. Guessing it’s hard to obtain releases for alternates. Although once the tourney begins they are ineligible and could return to their clubs.

    • If you look at the roster pretty much all the field players have played first team soccer against adults. When you get into the U19s and below like Neri or Figueroa they only have played at U18s and below. I don’t know if that’s the right philosophy or not but it seems to be something Varas looked at.
      There is speculation that Cremansci may have not wanted a call because it would lock him out of Argentina’s U20s next cycle. I don’t believe Mikey gave any specifics on him at this point.

      • Yeah thinking Cremansci wants to go the Argentina route. Also didn’t do himself any favors when opting to go to an Argentina u20 camp over the US u-20 camp/USMNT January joint camp. But if he is set on Argentina then I wish him luck. He is available for both next cycle so his mind set is probably he doesn’t have to make that decision until next cycle.

      • True. Neri and Zambrano are very highly thought of at their respective clubs Athletico Madrid and Benfica.

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