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U-20 Update

Tab Ramos Names 18 for CONCACAF Tournament

Luis Gil, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, and Cody Cropper are among the players who will compete in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships in Puebla, Mexico.

BY Josh Deaver Posted
February 08, 2013
9:30 AM
On Thursday, U-20 Men’s National Team coach Tab Ramos released the squad’s initial 18-man roster that will travel to Puebla, Mexico to participate in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships from 18 Feb- 3 March. Here are the names:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Zackary Steffen (FC DELCO Academy; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (5): Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.) Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

Despite only 18 players being included, there are virtually no surprises among the names released. All those selected have played a significant part for the U-20 set up in recent months, a majority of whom traveled to Puebla in January for an earlier pre-tournament camp. Although details have been sparse, according to Mexican press, the U.S. squad will train throughout the week in addition to facing Jamaica in friendlies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

U.S Soccer has also reported that two additional names will be added to the roster in the coming days. Speculation is that these players will be European-based and will require a release from their club teams, which is still being negotiated.

Of the European-based players called by Ramos in 2012, those not included in the 18-man roster are Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Sttutgart), Tyrone McCargo (FC Nurnberg), John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Villyan Bijev (IK Start), Matthew Dunn (OFK Belgrade), and Sean Cunningham (Molde FK). Among this group, Bijev received three camp invitations, while McCargo, Dunn, Cunningham and Kiesewetter have only attended one camp each. Brooks did not feature for Ramos in 2012.

Also of note is the presence of recent Chivas signee Juan Pablo Ocegueda. Many believed his position within the U-20s was in doubt due to Chivas’ policy of not allowing its players to represent internationally for any country but Mexico. However, recent reports have Ocegueda joining Chivas USA in the upcoming season, which could be a clever way to circumvent the Goats’ long-standing policy.

Drawn into Group A, the U.S begins play against Haiti on February 18. All matches will be available to view on CONCACAF.com

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