32215_isi_carter-vickerscameron_bpi_tottenham_v_chelsea_fayouthcup_mze_066.3070987 Michael Zemanek/isiphotos.com
U.S. Men's Under-20 Team

Cameron Carter-Vickers Headlines U.S. U-20 Roster

The 16-year-old Tottenham central defender made a big impression in U-17 World Cup qualification, and will now join a roster that features Tommy Thompson, Desevio Payne, and Lynden Gooch.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
March 22, 2015
2:37 PM
TAB RAMOS TODAY unveiled a roster for his first U-20 camp since its successful qualifying campaign in January and it contained many interesting surprises and few eyebrow-raising omissions.

Here's the squad that will take on Tottenham’s U-21s on Friday and England’s U-20s in Plymouth next Sunday.

GOALKEEPERS: Jeff Caldwell (Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Thomas Olsen (University of San Diego; Las Vegas, Nev.)

DEFENDERS: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Conor Donovan (Orlando City SC; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Desevio Payne (Groningen; Greenwood, S.C.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.).

MIDFIELDERS: Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Ethan Sonis (SC Freiburg; Coral Springs, Fla.), Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina).

FORWARDS: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.), Dembakwi Yomba (Atlético Madrid; Lithonia, Ga.).

The roster includes many changes from the team that Ramos brought to U-20 World Cup qualifying.

First, the team welcomes back two regulars in Erik Palmer-Brown and Joel Sonora, both of whom who were absent from the qualifying roster due to injury. Palmer-Brown is a strong contender to start for the team while Sonora also could be a key playmaker.

Desevio Payne is the most significant addition to the team in his first-ever call-up to a U.S. youth national team. Born in South Carolina but also holding a Dutch passport, Payne has broken into the first team at FC Groningen in the Eredivisie.

“Desevio Payne has been doing well in Holland,” Ramos said. “He’s a player we’ve never seen before. He’s a starter now for Groningen in the first division. He’s going to be a new player on this roster. So as players pop up over the next couple months, we have to take a look because who is in good form is going to be really important for us.

"I’m excited about bringing Desevio along and seeing how he can do,” he later added. “I know he’s excited to come.”

Also on the dual-national front, Maki Tall is on the roster after having spent some time with youth teams for France and the Ivory Coast. This year, however, he has played little at Lille II or at Red Star, where he is now on loan.


The Univesity of Virginia’s Jeff Caldwell and the University of San Diego’s Thomas Olsen qualify as surprise picks in goal. Zach Steffen and Ethan Horvath, who have been the top two keepers all cycle, failed to make the cut. Steffen, who just completed a move to Freiburg, was heroic in qualifying with his penalty stop in the playoff against Guatemala to help clinch qualifying. Most likely this is because Ramos wants to see who will be his third keeper while allowing Horvath and Steffen to settle with their clubs.

Central defender Matt Miazga is also an important player who is not here but with injuries to the Red Bulls defense, he is likely needed at his club. The case is probably similar to Zach Pfeffer who is now earning regular minutes for the Philadelphia Union.

Junior Flores is another very surprising omission since he earned some important minutes during qualifying and has been a regular call-up since landing at Borussia Dortmund last year. With the return of Joel Sonora from injury, however, Flores has more competition in the midfield.

Finally, Ben Spencer is another surprising omission given his increased role during qualifying when the team switched to a 4-4-2 formation and went undefeated.


On Sunday Ramos announced that he will get his best players for the World Cup even if the players are in the full national team pool. This resolved the outstanding issue as to where players like Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman would play this summer as the U-20 World Cup and Gold Cup are both taking place. Even with Rubin listed on the roster for the senior team, Ramos made it clear he will be a U-20 World Cup player for the U.S.

“The plan is to mix and match players for the upcoming camps, but we do know that going into the summer, the U-20 World Cup becomes a priority,” Ramos said. “So going into June, the U-20 eligible players—even if they were to be called to the senior team—Jurgen has assured me that the U-20 World Cup is a priority until that’s over. From then on we’ll be moving players to the 23s and to the senior team.” Ramos did not address the situation with Arsenal’s Gedion Zelalem, who is awaiting clearance from FIFA to play for the United States.


Overall Ramos should be pleased with his roster given the return of some injured players and the fact that more players are starting to see first-team minutes. The central defense tandem of Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers is one of the most promising in recent U-20 history.

Also, Hyndman will make his return after missing most of the past two months with a broken collarbone and Andrija Novakovich is back with the squad after making his Championship debut last week.

Brian Sciaretta is an American Soccer Now columnist and an ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.

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