BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, June 7, 2013
U.S U-20 head coach Tab Ramos today announced his roster for this summer's World Cup in Turkey and there are no real surprises on the team
Most of the players have been regulars throughout the cycle with only Alonso Hernandez emerging in recent weeks after he broke into Monterrey's first team towards the end of the season.
Among the goalkeepers, Cody Cropper is expected to be the first team starter with Kendall McIntosh and Zack Steffen backing him up.
In defense, the top fullbacks are expected to be Juan Pablo Ocegueda and DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin was not on the qualifying team in February but has been one of the top rookies in MLS this year. In central defense, Freiburg's Caleb Stanko and Colorado's Shane O'Neill are expected to be the starting tandem despite the fact neither player had much experience at the position prior to 2012.
In midfield, Will Trapp will likely start in central defensive midfield behind regulars Luis Gil and Benji Joya. Gil is currently the most experienced professional on the team after starting for most of the past two years with Real Salt Lake.
At forward, the U.S team is led by Jose Villarreal, Mario Rodriguez, and Daniel Cuevas. Villarreal has seen significant minutes early in the season with the Los Angeles Galaxy where he has been one of the league's top young players.
The biggest omission on the roster is FC Dallas central defender Walker Zimmerman who was one of the top players early in the cycle but a lengthy injury forced him out of action from November through April. While he has returned to the field in recent weeks, it was too late for Ramos to include the Georgia native on the team.
It has indeed been a difficult cycle for Ramos who saw two of his best players suffer broken legs early in 2013. First, Birmingham City defender Will Packwood went down in an FA Cup match against Leeds. Next, Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi was lost in a U-21 game in February.
The U.S team will now travel to Portugal for a week of training before heading to Turkey for the World Cup. The U.S team has been drawn into the tournament's most difficult draw facing Spain on June 21, France on June 24, and Ghana on June 27.
Cropper, Cody: Southampton (England)
McIntosh, Kendall: Santa Clara University
Steffen, Zack: FC Delco Academy
Miller, Eric: Creighton University
O'Neill, Shane: Colorado Rapids
Ocegueda, Juan Pablo: Chivas Guadalajara
Sorto, Oscar: Los Angeles Galaxy
Stanko, Caleb: Freiburg (Germany)
Torre, Javan: UCLA
Yedlin, DeAndre: Seattle Sounders (MLS)
Acosta, Kellyn: FC Dallas
Gil, Luis: Real Salt Lake
Joya, Benji: Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Lopez, Mikey: Sporting Kansas City
Trapp, Wil: Columbus Crew
Cuevas, Daniel: Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Garcia, Daniel: University of North Carolina
Hernandez, Alonso: C.F. Monterrey (Mexico)
Pineda, Victor: Chicago Fire
Rodriguez, Mario: Kaiserslautern (Germany)
Villarreal, Jose: Los Angeles Galaxy