CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2014 Dallas Cup this April for the 35th edition of the tournament. The USA will play in the Gordon Jago Super Group (U-19), marking the fifth appearance for the U.S. in this age group and the first since 2010.
“We think that the Dallas Cup offers tremendous competitive value for us domestically,” U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos said. “The tournament brings in elite international clubs to the U.S., so we are excited to see our players give their best effort out there as we look toward making the final squad leading into the U-20 World Cup qualifying in early 2015.”
Several noteworthy Dallas Cup alumni have starred with U.S. National Teams, including Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley from the 1999 tournament, Michael Bradley in 2003, and MLS Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers in 2010. Players expected to participate in this year’s edition include FC Dallas homegrown product Kellyn Acosta, who was a member of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team; Chivas USA midfielder Marco Delgado; and Lorient FC midfielder Romain Gall.
Ramos will name the U-20 MNT roster for this tournament at a later date.
The Dallas Cup consists of seven age groups from U-13 to U-19 and entertains on average more than 100,000 spectators during the week. Since its inception in 1980, the Dallas Cup has hosted teams and referees from across 47 states, six continents and more than 100 countries.
The U.S. U-20 MNT is beginning its preparation process toward forming the roster for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in which four teams from the region will advance to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup from May 30-June 20 in New Zealand.
In 2013, the USA advanced to its 13th FIFA World Youth Tournament or FIFA U-20 World Cup. The USA was drawn against a difficult group that included Spain, Ghana and eventual 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup winner France. Though the U.S. did not advance through the group stage, the team did post a respectable 1-1 draw against France.
This cycle’s U.S. U-20 MNT held a 36-player domestic training camp from Jan. 3-12 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. It was the team’s second camp of the new cycle and first domestic camp.