Youth national teams update

U.S. U-17, U-20, U-23 teams yield solid results in September window

The September international window is now over for the U.S. youth national teams and the U-17, U-20, and U-23 squads posted solid results. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks down how each of the teams did
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
September 10, 2019
10:00 AM
IT WAS A GOOD, not great, international window for the United States youth national teams which saw the U-17, U-20, and U-23 teams all in action. When combined, the results were mostly positive but this camp offered some updates with where each of the teams are in this cycle.

Here’s a look at each of the three teams.

U-17 team completes Four Nations Tournament

In the Netherlands, the U.S. U-17 team was defeated by Denmark on Tuesday by a convincing 4-1 scoreline. That result saw it finish second in the Four Nations Tournament where it lost to Mexico by goal differential.

Earlier in the tournament, the U.S. team defeated Mexico 2-1 and hosts, the Netherlands, by a 3-1 scoreline. Both of those results were meaningful as the win over Mexico helped show progress after a 2-1 loss in the final of the U-17 CONCACAF Championships. Meanwhile the win over the Netherlands offered a preview of the U-17 World Cup where both teams will meet on November 2 in the final game of group play for each team.

U-17 results are generally erratic and the loss to Denmark was a concern heading into the World Cup. The four Danish goals were a result of some individual mistakes and that should be the focus of head coach Raphael Wicky heading into the World Cup – which will open on October 27.

The good news for the U-17 team is that this tournament marked the return of George Bello who has been injured for most of 2019. The talented left back will now have a over a month to continue to return to his level of sharpness.

U-20 team defeats UAE U-23s

The U.S. U-20 team completed its first camp of the 2021 cycle in Slovenia and it posted two victories. The first was a 2-1 win over a regional team from Zagreb and the second, on Monday, was a 3-0 win over the United Arab Emirates U-23 team (a decent result for a team whose players were all born in 2001).

One note is that ASN heard the match against the regional opponent took the U-20 completely surprised. When the U.S. team arrived at the stadium, everyone believed the opponent was going to be Croatia. It was changed without notification.

Colorado Rapids midfielder Cole Basset scored in both games. Celtic Cameron Harper also scored against Zagreb while Liverpool’s Matteo Ritaccio and newly signed Porto forward Johan Gomez rounded out the scoring against the UAE.

This cycle is sure to change quite a bit as some of the top U-17 team players will join the fold once the U-17 World Cup is over in November. There are also a number of 2001-born players who were either not released or injured who could also factor into the mix in the months ahead. Matthew Hoppe, Matko Miljevic, and Julian Araujo were not released for this camp. Taylor Booth was injured.

Some of the players who impressed at this camp were on the scoresheet. ASN has heard Cameron Harper and Cole Bassett each had strong camps. ASN has also heard that Ian Hoffmann and George Campbell also both performed well.

The next time the U-20 team assembles will likely be January. It remains to be seen if U.S. Soccer will hold another massive Youth Summit as it did in 2017 where the U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-20 teams all held a singular camp to kick off the cycle for each of these various teams.

U-23 team downs Japan

The U.S. U-23 team posted a 2-0 win over Japan on Monday night behind closed doors in Chula Vista. The team’s first goal was scored by Mason Toye and was assisted on a line-splitting through ball from Brenden Aaronson. The second goal was from Brooks Lennon on a penalty that was drawn by Sebastian Soto.

ASN has heard that Brenden Aaronson, Mason Toye, Alex Mendez, and Hassani Dotson are just a few of the players who had strong camps.

Mason Toye’s hot streak continues now into the international arena. Between Minnesota games in MLS and the U.S. Open Cup combined with the U.S. U-23 team, Toye now has nine goals, three assists, in just 758 minutes. That is a goal or an assist every 63 minutes this year.

Brenden Aaronson is also on a big run right now having scored goals in each of Philadelphia Union’s last two games to help the club secure first place in the Eastern Conference. He now picks up an assist with the U-23s.

In another important piece of news, U.S. Soccer acknowledged that Jesus Ferreira has his American citizenship but is in the process of applying for his waiver of FIFA’s residency requirements to represent the United States.

So what will the U-23 team look like in qualifying? It’s impossible to say right now because there is so much uncertainty with releases. It is worth mentioning that the postponement of the CONCACAF Nations League until June removes the conflict some players might have with the full national team – which will now only play friendlies in March. That doesn’t mean the likes of Christian Pulisic or Weston McKennie will play with the U-23 team in March but it could open the door for Reggie Cannon and Paxton Pomykal.

Here is one potential U-23 qualifying roster

Goalkeepers (2): Matt Freese, JT Marcinkowski
Defense (7): Reggie Cannon, Julian Araujo, Justen Glad, Miles Robinson, Austin Trusty, Aaron Herrera, Sam Vines
Midfield (7): Brandon Servania, Hassani Dotson, Alex Mendez, Paxton Pomykal, Brendan Aaronson, Jackson Yueill, Djordje Mihailovic
Forwards (5): Mason Toye, Jesus Ferreira, Jeremy Ebobisse, Sebastian Soto, Sebastian Saucedo

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