Three California Natives Called Up To U-20 MNT

Three California Natives Called Up To U-20 MNT

U.S. Soccer’s U-20 Men’s National Team has a big year coming up in 2017 with the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

In preparation for 2017, U-20 head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for an international camp that will take place in Costa Rica from December 13-20. Included in the roster are three California natives. Goalkeepers Jonathan Klinsmann (California; Newport Beach) and JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo) and forward Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta United FC; Chula Vista).

Klinsmann played in 13 matches for California and recorded one shutout and made 55 saves while the team struggled to a 5-10-2 record. Marcinkowski played in 15 matches and held opponents to 1.23 goals against average with 63 saves. Vazquez is the only pro native on the roster and he just recently joined Atlanta United FC from Club Tijuana.

The U-20’s will play two friendlies against the U-20 Costa Rica team on December 17 and 19. The camp will aid in preparation for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which will be held at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose and the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibas from Feb. 17 – March 5. The CONCACAF Championship serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The U.S. has already learned that they have been drawn into Group B with Haiti, Panama, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The U.S. will open the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Panama on February 18.

After the initial group stage, the top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to a second round, featuring two groups with three teams each. In the second group stage, the top two finishers in each group qualify for the U-20 World Cup, with the first-place teams in each group playing for the tournament championship.