U-20 team analysis
Newcomers Soto, Acosta, Maloney, Gloster, and Booth highlight new U-20 roster
July 12, 2018
The roster does not include many of the core players who are playing first-team soccer in Europe and in MLS but it does include many of the team’s best prospects.
This is the fourth U-20 camp of 2018 and there will be only one more before World Cup qualifying begins in November in Florida.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC; Miami, Fla.), George Marks (Clemson University; Raleigh, N.C.), Trey Muse (Indiana University; Tukwila, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (5): Chris Gloster (Hannover 96; South Orange, N.J.), Lennard Maloney (FC Union Berlin; Berlin, Germany), Manny Perez (N.C. State University; Garner, N.C.), Sam Rogers (Seattle Sounds FC; Seattle, Wash.), Aedan Stanley (St. Louis FC, Columbia, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Taylor Booth (Unattached; Eden, Utah), Chris Goslin (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Richie Ledezma (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas, Highland Village, Texas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.), Aristotle Zarris (LA Galaxy; Sarasota, Fla.), Sean Zawadski (Crew SC Academy; Olmsted Falls, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): George Acosta (Boca Juniors; Miami, Fla.), Shaft Brewer Jr. (LAFC; Sacramento, Calif.), Griffin Dorsey (Indiana University; Evergreen, Colo.), Justin Rennicks (Indiana University; Hamilton, Mass.), Sebastian Soto (Real Salt Lake; Carlsbad, Calif.)
Big name U-20 debutants
The big takeaway from the roster is that Ramos is expanding the player with several impressive newcomers.
Lennard Maloney: The talented Union Berlin central defender will be making his first appearance with the United States at any level. A graduate of the Union Berlin academy he is expected to be on the club’s first team this year and has previously played for Germany’s U-18 and U-19 national teams.
Sebastian Soto: The leading scorer of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy the past season, Soto recently won the Golden Boot for the U.S. U-19 team at the Slovakia Cup. A product of the Real Salt Lake academy, he could be on his way to Europe soon.
Taylor Booth: Another product of Real Salt Lake, Booth enjoyed a strong Youth Summit in January playing for the U-18 national team. As has been reported by numerous publications, ASN can confirm that Booth will be heading to Bayern Munich once he can get his Italian passport squared away.
Chris Gloster: The New York Red Bull product has been a veteran of U.S. youth national teams including the 2017 U-17 World Cup team, but will be making his U-20 debut in North Carolina where he can build a case to be the team’s left back.
George Acosta: Acosta has some very impressive moments last year at the U-17 World Cup but now at Boca Juniors, he is aiming to move up to the U-20 team and boost the attacking depth. With so many players questionable for qualifying due to club commitments, Acosta could be an important addition to this pool.
Players to Watch
In addition to the players making their debut, this camp is important for several other players. Here is why?
Richard Ledezma: Ledezma has seen his stock soar in 2018 playing for both the U-20 team and the Real Monarchs. He will arrive in this camp on the heels of a trial at PSV and Ramos is expecting Ledezma to be a key player of this team. Can he continue to grow into that leadership role?
Brandon Servania: The FC Dallas homegrown player has struggled with injuries while trying to get integrated into this team but with the likelihood that Tyler Adams won’t be part of this U-20 team this cycle and with Chris Durkin regularly not released by DC United, Servania can grow into the role. Ramos has spoken highly of Servania in the past.
Shaft Brewer: The forward positions are wide open at the moment. Josh Sargent is likely not going to be released by Werder Bremen and the same can be said of Tim Weah at Paris St. Germain. That gives Brewer and the rest of the forwards an opportunity but Brewer has an edge given that he playing first team minutes right now for Bob Bradley at LAFC.
Important players not here
Due to MLS being in midseason and the European preseason underway, there are a lot key players not here who would be on a first-choice roster. That makes it important for players at this camp to stand out amid the absent competition.
So who is not here?
Of course Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent, and Tim Weah all recently played for the full national team and it remains to be seen if Ramos will have them at all this cycle due to club and national team requirements.
Goalkeeper Brady Scott at Cologne and Nick Taitague at Schalke are players Ramos is hoping to have for the World Cup but are in preseason in Germany. Similarly, FC Dallas homegrown Chris Richards recently began a loan with Bayern Munich’s U-19 team and is unavailable. In Denmark, Jonathan Amon is a big part of the plans for Ramos but is not here as he is a first team player at FC Nordsjaelland which has already begun its season. Elsewhere, right back Segino Dest is in preseason at Ajax.
In MLS, Philadelphia’s Mark McKenzie, Sporting Kansas City’s Jaylin Lindsey, Atlanta United’s Andrew Carleton, and DC United’s Chris Durkin are with their respective first teams at the moment and not involved in this camp.
In total, 12 key players mentioned above are not at this camp in North Carolina likely leaving only around eight spots open (including one goalkeeper) for a first-choice roster of 20 players