Weah, Mendez and Richards headline U.S. Under-20 World Cup squad

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Catherine Ivill
The forward leads Tab Ramos' 21-player squad for the Under-20 World Cup, with Tyler Adams and Josh Sargent looking set for Gold Cup nods

Tim Weah will be leading the U.S. Under-20 national team at the Under-20 World Cup, but Josh Sargent won't be joining him there.

Weah headlines the 21-man roster chosen by Tab Ramos to represent the United States at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland later this month, joining Freiburg midfielder Alex Mendez and Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards among the top names on the squad.

Fourteen members of the U.S. team that won the Concacaf Under-20 Championships in November made the squad, with Weah among the players who did not take part in that tournament.

Weah has cut short his loan stint with Scottish club Celtic, and will miss Celtic's Scottish Cup final on May 25 to join the U.S. Under-20 team for its pre-World Cup training camp. An initial plan would have had Weah stay with Celtic and join the U.S. U-20s for its second group stage match, against Nigeria, but Celtic manager Neil Lennon ultimately decided to let Weah go early to prepare for the World Cup.

Ajax defender Sergino Dest, PSV midfielder Richard Ledezma and FC Barcelona forward Konrad De La Fuente are other top prospects to watch on a U.S. team that will look to reach the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals for a third straight tournament.

Among the top age-eligible players not included in the squad are Tyler Adams, who was always expected to play with the U.S. senior national team at the Gold Cup this summer, and Sargent, who starred in the 2017 Under-20 World Cup but now looks set to compete for a Gold Cup roster spot after seeing scarce playing time with Werder Bremen in 2019.

FC Dallas midfielder Edwin Cerrillo was among the few surprise selections, having played his way into the team by becoming a regular starter for FC Dallas. He beat out 2019 first overall MLS draft pick Frankie Amaya.

Other notable omissions include LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo and New York City FC defender James Sands. Both players are nursing injuries. Jonathan Amon was also left off the squad, but could still be a factor for the Gold Cup.

The Americans open their Under-20 World Cup in Bielsko-Biala, Poland against Ukraine, before facing Nigeria and Qatar in group stage action.

Here is the 21-man squad chosen by head coach Tab Ramos, who will be coaching in his fourth straight Under-20 World Cup:

GOALKEEPERS:C.J. Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Foxchase, Pa.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Brady Scott (Köln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)

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DEFENDERS: Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; Montclair, N.J.), Aboubacar Keita (Richmond Kickers; Columbus, Ohio), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.)

MIDFIELDERS: Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas)

FORWARDS: Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Brampton, Ont.), Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Miami, Fla.), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; Lynwood, Calif.), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; South Hamilton, Mass.), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.), Tim Weah (Celtic FC/SCO; Rosedale, N.Y.)

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