ANDY SCHREUR - Thursday, February 7, 2013
Head Coach Tab Ramos has announced his 18 man roster for the U-20 MNT CONCACAF Championship beginning February 18 in Puebla, Mexico.
US Soccer also announced that two players would be added to the team in the coming days.
The US is in Group A alongside Haiti and Costa Rica. They open the tournament on February 18 against Haiti and will face off with Costa Rica on the 22nd and can move on to the knockout stage from there. The top four teams in the tournamentwill qualify for the U-20 World Cup in Turkey, which begins on June 21.
The US is lead by experienced U-20 players Benji Joya, Luis Gil, Daniel Cuevas , Caleb Stanko and Jose Villareal, who led the team with six goals in nine games in 2012. Ramos' squad finished 2012 with a 4-6-0 record preparing for the CONCACAF Championship.
The winner of Group A will face the the second place team from Group B. The second place team from Group A will play the winner of Group B. Group B consists of Canada, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
Missing from the team are John Anthony Brooks, who was presumably not released by his club, Hertha Berlin, Marc Pelosi, who was just added to Liverpool's UEFA Cup roster. Last month the team suffered a crushing blow when defender Will Packwood broke his leg in an FA Cup match playing for Birmingham City and will not even return in time for the World Cup should the team qualify.
The roster features five MLS players and six players playing abroad. The team traveled to Toluca, Mexico on Thursday, February 7 to train prior to the tournament and will travel to Puebla several days prior to the start of the tournament. Two additional roster spots will be announced by Ramos in the upcoming days.
Cropper, Cody Southampton FC (England)
McIntosh, Kendall Santa Clara
Steffen, Zachary FC Delco Academy
Miller, Eric Creighton University
Ocegueda, Juan Pablo Chivas del Guadalajara (Mexico)
Okwuonu, Boyd University of North Carolina
Okwuonu (North Carolina)
O'Neill, Shane Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Torre Javan UCLA
Gil, Luis Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Joya, Benji Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Lopez, Mikey Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Stanko, Caleb FC Freiburg (Germany)
Trapp, Will Columbus Crew (MLS)
Allen, Brandon Georgetown University
Cuevas, Daniel Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Garcia, Daniel University of North Carolina)
Rodriguez, Mario FC Kaiserslautern (Germany)
Villareal, Jose LA Galaxy (MLS)