BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, January 5, 2015
Tab Ramos today announced his roster for the upcoming U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Jamaica. While it was mostly as expected, there were a few notable surprises.
The most interesting inclusion is Fulham's Emerson Hyndman who was widely expected to not be released by his club after earning significant time with his club. Since the tournament is not on FIFA international dates, clubs are not obligated to release players.
Similarly, it was also surprising to see the inclusion of Cameron Carter-Vickers who is reportedly set to sign a new two year deal with Tottenham after emerging as one of the stars of the academy for the North London club.
It appears as if Ramos was able to get most of the players he wanted. The notable absences on the team are Utrecht's Rubio Rubin who was not released and Sporting Kanas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown who is only now recovering from a fractured foot. Both players would be expected to be on the World Cup roster should the team qualify along with potentially Gedion Zelalem of Arsenal who recently secured his American citizenship.
The U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament is also useful for the purposes of bringing dual nationals into the program. Should dual national play in the tournament, they could only leave US Soccer if they file a 1-time switch with FIFA. Dual nationals affected by this include Matt Miazga (Poland), John Requejo (Mexico), Romain Gall (France), Lynden Gooch (England and Ireland), Emerson Hyndman (Portugal), Paul Arriola (Mexico), Amando Moreno (Mexico and El Salvador), and Fernando Arce Jr. who is the son of Mexican international Fernando Arce Sr. Junior Flores and Shaquell Moore are dual nationals but were already semi-tied to the U.S. program at the U-17 level.
The U.S. team was draw into Group A for the tournament and will face Guatemala on Jan. 9, followed by Panama (Jan. 11), Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21). If it wins Group A, it will qualify automatically for this summer's World Cup in New Zealand. If it finishes in second or third places, it will be forced into a one-game playoff with a corresponding team from Group B. If it finishes lower than third, it will be eliminated.
The U.S. U-20 team is coming off a strong 2014 where it finished the year with a record of 6-1-2 in international competition and 12-2-2 overall in 2014.
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)