U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has finalized a 20-player roster for the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The team will travel to Dallas on March 20 for a week of training before departing for Guatemala City, Guatemala, on March 25 to begin their quest to qualify for an eighth consecutive FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
“As a staff, we’ve done our due diligence during the last year and a half,” said Rongen. “I can’t speak enough about all the players that we’ve looked at who have put in a tremendous amount of work and energy in each and every camp. That made this selection probably tougher than any other cycle and that’s a good thing. It means we’ve gotten deeper in every position and that we’ve got a great talent pool.”
The U.S. U-20's have been drawn into Group B of the CONCACAF tournament and will face Suriname on March 29 at 8 p.m. ET and Panama on April 2 at 6 p.m. ET at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores. Both games will be televised on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com.
At the 12-team regional event, the top two teams in each group will advance to the tournament quarterfinals, and the four quarterfinal winners will seal a berth to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, on July 29-Aug. 20 across eight cities in Colombia.
The group features a pair of FIFA U-20 World Cup veterans in defender Gale Agbossoumonde and midfielder Dillon Powers. Also included on the roster, midfielder Amobi Okugo helped the U.S. qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup but was not part of the team that traveled to Egypt. The trio leads the team in international U-20 caps, with Agbossoumonde earning 26 in his career and Okugo and Powers each making 13 appearances.
Okugo is one of eight representatives of Major League Soccer, and will be joined by new Philadelphia Union teammate Zac MacMath, who has established himself as the top goalkeeper in this age group. The Union are the only MLS team with two players on the roster.
Joining MacMath are fellow MLS rookies Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), who were all selected in the top four of this year’s SuperDraft. Defender Korey Veeder is also an MLS rookie, allocated to the Columbus Crew in a special lottery. FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls will be represented by Home Grown signees Moises Hernandez and Sacir Hot, who are also entering their rookie campaigns in the league.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (8): Gale Agbossoumonde (Djurgårdens IF; Syracuse, N.Y.), Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls; Fair Lawn, N.J.), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke; Missouri City, Texas), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA; Lancaster, Pa.), Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Eder Arreola (UCLA; Chino Hills, Calif.), Conor Doyle (Derby County FC; McKinney, Texas), Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas), Bobby Wood (TSV 1860 München; Irvine, Calif.)
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