Kellyn Acosta, Defender
A versatile presence in the defense and midfield, Acosta was the youngest player representing the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Preceding that tournament, Acosta started twice and played in three matches at the 2013 Toulon Tournament as the U-20s competed against an older tournament field in France. A former member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program and a participant at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Acosta potentially could be a vital figure during the U-20 MNT’s next World Cup qualifying cycle in 2015. Though Acosta did not see game action at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he featured regularly during his rookie season with FC Dallas. The Plano, Texas, native made his Major League Soccer debut on Aug. 3 against Seattle and logged 1,004 minutes, 11 starts and appeared in 13 matches down the stretch.
Shaquell Moore, Defender
Moore served as captain of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team and continues to work his way up the Youth National Team ranks. Originally a midfielder, Moore moved to the backline with the U-17 Residency Program and was the starting right back at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Panama. Moore and the U.S. U-17 defense posted two shutout victories in that tournament against Haiti and Guatemala to win Group C. Moore and the U-17s also won the International Tournament in Niigata, Japan. Following his Residency tenure, the Powder Springs, Ga., native stayed in Florida and joined IMG Academy for the 2013-14 Development Academy season and has been a part of several important events with the U-18 MNT. Moore captained the U.S. U-18 MNT to a second-place performance at the 2013 Limoges Tournament in France and played at the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. Moore currently is in the USA’s player pool with the U-20 MNT.
Shane O'Neill, Defender
A converted midfielder, O’Neill flourished on the defensive line for both the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and with Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. O’Neill anchored a U-20 MNT defense that posted two shutouts during the team’s runner-up performance at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. In the U-20 MNT’s final primer for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, O’Neill scored his first goal en route to a 3-1 victory against Portugal on June 14, 2013. At the U-20 World Cup in Turkey, O’Neill started in two of the USA’s three games (he served a suspension in the opener) and scored the team’s lone goal against Ghana on June 27, 2013. A native of Boulder, Colo., the Rapids homegrown player was named the 2013 Rapids Young Player of the Year. Colorado posted an impressive 8-0-8 record in his first 16 starts as a professional.
Erik Palmer-Brown, Defender
A center back and former member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program, Palmer-Brown is establishing himself on the international and professional fronts at an incredibly young age. On Aug. 2, 2013, the native of Kansas City suburb Lee’s Summit, Mo., officially signed a homegrown contract with Sporting Kansas City, becoming the youngest signing in the club’s history at 16 years old. Before his signing, Palmer-Brown represented the USA for both the U-15 Boys’ National Team and U-17 MNT. In late April and early May, Palmer-Brown played for the U-15s at the 2013 Tournament Delle Nazioni, starting in all four matches. In June, Palmer-Brown started in two of three games to help the U.S. U-17 MNT win the International Tournament in Niigata, Japan. Most recently, Palmer-Brown started in every match for the U.S. U-18 MNT, helping the USA take second place at the 2013 Limoges Tournament in France.
Wil Trapp, Midfielder
Trapp was the consistent backbone of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team throughout the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Trapp scored the game-winning goal during the USA’s 4-2 quarterfinal win against Canada on Feb. 26 to clinch a U-20 World Cup berth. He also earned 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI honors as the U.S. took second place at the tournament in Puebla, Mexico. At the U-20 World Cup, Trapp wore the captain’s armband when the USA posted a 1-1 draw against eventual tournament winner France on June 24. The Gahanna, Ohio, native and former Crew Soccer Academy player completed his first Major League Soccer season with the Columbus Crew, earning 15 starts and recording an assist while manning the central midfield. His MLS debut came on July 7 as he started during the Crew’s 1-0 victory against the Portland Timbers.