With the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup less than six weeks away, Tab Ramos, U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach, has named a 25-player roster for the team’s first international training camp this year.
Held in London, England, from April 3-10, the camp will help Ramos evaluate many European-based players. Benefiting from this are two California natives forward Sebastien Des Pres (Blackpool FC; San Diego) and goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg (Fortuna Dusseldorf; Santa Barbara). Both players were not of the U-20 team that won its first ever U-20 CONCACAF championship in March 5 after defeating Honduras on penalty kicks. This is also Pres’ U-20 player pool debut.
State-side California players named to the roster include goalkeeper Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma), and defender Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy; Norwalk), who were both not on the U-20 squad. The final two California players named are goalkeepers Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach) and JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown University; Alamo), who were on the U-20 squad.
“This camp provides one more opportunity for players we have already seen with the U-20 National Team and also players who have done well with our U-19 National Team,” Ramos said. “We will be able to see players in highly competitive environments playing against very good competition.”
This is the third consecutive U-20 World Cup the U.S. has qualified for and the 15th overall. The U.S. will be looking to replicate the success the 2015 U.S. U-20 World Cup squad had as they advanced to the quarterfinals and were knocked out of the tournament by Serbia on penalties 6-5. The best finish the U.S. has had was a fourth place result in the 1989 U-20 World Cup.
The following is from U.S. Soccer’s release…
2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Group A: Korea Republic (host), Guinea, Argentina, England
Group B: Venezuela, Germany, Vanuatu, Mexico
Group C: Zambia, Portugal, Iran, Costa Rica
Group D: South Africa, Japan, Italy, Uruguay
Group E: France, Honduras, Vietnam, New Zealand
Group F: Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Senegal
U.S. U-20 MNT’s Group F Schedule:
May 22, 4 a.m. ET: Ecuador vs. USA; Incheon Stadium, Incheon
May 25, 7 a.m. ET: Senegal vs. USA; Incheon Stadium, Incheon
May 28, 5 a.m. ET: USA vs. Saudi Arabia; Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon
U.S. U-20 MNT’s Group F Opponents:
Ecuador: Ecuador finds themselves in the U-20 World Cup for the third time and first since 2011. In 2011, Ecuador tied for its best World Cup finish when they advanced to the Round of 16. In eight total matches played during the 2001 and 2011 U-20 World Cups, Ecuador has posted a 2-4-2 record.
Senegal: Senegal makes their second U-20 World Cup appearance, with their first coming in 2015 when they posted a 2-3-2 record. After getting out of the group stage, Senegal continued their underdog run with a win in penalty kicks against Ukraine in the Round of 16, followed by a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Uzbekistan. Senegal’s magical run came to an end in the semifinals, where they lost to eventual runner up Brazil.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia earns its eighth U-20 World Cup berth in 2017, and first since 2011. The team’s best finish came in 2011, when they made it out of the group stage before falling 3-0 to Brazil in the Round of 16. In their seven tournament appearances since 1985, Saudi Arabia has posted a 4-12-6 overall record across 22 matches played.