DAVID SMITH - Monday, June 27, 2016
United States Under-20 National Team coach Tab Ramos continues to gather his class for next summer's U20 World Cup, selecting a 20-man squad for the upcoming NTC Invitational in California.
The tournament is comprised of three teams in addition to the US: Panama, Japan and Costa Rica. Each team will play a total of three games in a round-robin format, with a champion decided by the best overall results in the group.
The roster is overwhelmingly US-based, although a trio of players who play in Europe could grab headlines.
Most notably, midfielder Mukwelle Akale, who has proven to be one of the US's more exciting youth prospects through his exploits in the Villarreal Academy, could hold the keys to the team's attack.
A pair of Fulham youth players should also make their debuts during the course of the three games ahead. Defender Marlon Fossey and midfielder Luca De La Torre have both featured for Fulham's U21 developmental squad, and look to be two of the more promising European-based youth products available to Ramos in the coming years.
De La Torre has previously featured for coach John Hackworth's U17 team, starting two of three games in last summer's unsuccessful U17 World Cup run.
The only other foreign-based player is forward Sebastian Saucedo, who has earned increasing amount of time on the field for Liga MX club Veracruz in recent months. Saucedo has flirted with Mexico's Under-20 side, having taken the field for them in one friendly match. However it looks as though Ramos has swung the promising forward's alliances - at least at the present - towards the US.
The team will play their first game on Wednesday against Costa Rica before taking on Panama two days later, and finally closing out the Invitational on Sunday against Japan.
All games are set to take place at the US Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.
Klinsmann, Jonathan: University of California
Marcinkowski, JT: Georgetown
Arellano, Hugo: LA Galaxy Academy
Borges, Marcello: University of Michigan
Fossey, Marlon: Fulham FC Academy(England)
Herrera, Aaron: University of New Mexico
Lombard, Andrew: Northeastern University
Redding, Tommy: Orlando City FC
Robinson, Miles: Syracuse University
Trusty, Auston: Bethlehem Steel
Akale, Mukwelle: Villarreal CF Academy (Spain)
De La Torre, Luca: Fulham FC Academy (England)
McKinnie, Weston: FC Dallas Academy
Williamson, Eryk: University of Maryland
Yueill, Jackson: UCLA
Craft, Coy: FC Dallas
Ebobisse, Jeremy: Duke
Mansaray, Victor: Seattle Sounders FC
Sabbi, Emmanuel: Chicago Magic
Saucedo, Sebastian: Veracruz (Mexico)