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Benji Joya

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team
National Teams

Ramos Names U-20 MNT Roster for NTC Invitational

CHICAGO (July 10, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament that will take place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, from July 14-18.

The U-20 MNT will gather for training camp in Carson beginning July 10 before playing its first games of the NTC Invitational against Chile on July 14 (6 p.m. PT) and Bermuda on July 16 (4 p.m. PT). The U.S. concludes tournament play against Australia on July 18, a match that will be broadcast on at 7 p.m. PT. The day’s other match between Bermuda and Chile will also be broadcast on beginning at 4 p.m. PT.

The U.S. roster for the tournament is made up of a solid group of players with extensive experience in the U.S. Youth National Team Program as 11 players have reached a minimum of 10 YNT call-ups already in their young international careers. Six of those 11, including Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas Academy), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana) and Zack Steffen (Maryland) all have over 20 career YNT events under their belts, with Requejo Jr. leading the way with 33 to his name.

Dating back to last November’s international training camp in Verona, Italy, when this current iteration of the U-20 MNT was assembled, seven players have been included in a roster-high four U-20 MNT events: goalkeeper Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), defenders Donovan, Moore and Requejo Jr., midfielder Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) and forwards Pfeffer and Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC). Steffen, who was part of Ramos’ squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, is also be making his fourth appearance on a U.S. U-20 roster.

The roster blends a good mix of foreign- and domestic-based talents with eight players plying their trade outside the U.S., including Club Tijuana trio Fernando Arce – receiving his first call-up to a U.S. YNT event – Paul Arriola and Requejo Jr., who represent the most players named to the squad from one club.

Arriola, Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Moore, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., and Steffen are among 12 players on the roster who helped the team to a second-place finish in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 2014 Dallas Cup earlier this year in its last international competition.

After the conclusion of the NTC Invitational, Ramos and his staff will look to assemble the team again in early September for an international training camp.

U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]                 Location                                        Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     3 p.m.*             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v CHI      6 p.m.*            Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center            
                                    USA v AUS     7 p.m.               StubHub Center            

*Changed from original kickoff time

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG  Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)

Joya’s Brace Leads U.S. U-21 MNT Past Tijuana

CARSON, Calif. (April 23, 2014) – The U.S. Under-21 Men’s National Team capped off its training camp with a 2-1 victory against Tijuana at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center.

Benji Joya scored two second-half goals to lead the USA to the victory. Joya, who is in the midst of his rookie season with Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, captained the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team during the final two matches of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship en route to last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Amando Moreno, who recently featured for the U.S. U-20 MNT during the USA’s runner-up run at the 2014 Dallas Cup, scored the lone goal for Tijuana.

The U.S. U-21 MNT camp served as the initial preparations for forming the U.S. U-23 MNT that will compete during Olympic Qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

- U.S. Under-21 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-21 MNT v. Club Tijuana Reserves
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
US Soccer National Training Center; Carson, CA
5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. ET)
72 degrees

Scoring Summary:             1              2              F
USA                                       0              2              2
TIJ                                          0              1              1                

USA - Benji Joya (Stevie Rodriguez)                56
TIJ - Amando Moreno                                        81
USA - Benji Joya                                                90 + 2 


Stats Summary: USA / TIJ
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 17
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:             

Scoring Summary:
USA – Stevie Rodriguez plays the ball back to Benji Joya who is crashing in from the center. At about 20 yards out, he takes a shot from just outside the box that curls low just beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.
TIJ – Moreno chests the cross down, side steps a defender and shoots high above McIntosh’s hands.
USA – Joya dribbles from just outside center of the box, buries a shot high right side.

Academy Alumni: McNamara, Joya Tally During MLS Opening Weekend Debuts

The 2014 Major League Soccer season kicked off over the March 8-9 weekend, and among the former Development Academy players, it was a memorable debut for two who squared off against each other on Sunday.

Chivas USA’s Thomas McNamara, formerly of FC Westchester, scored a goal in his first MLS match as the host team defeated the Chicago Fire 3-2 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. He slotted a cross at the near left post to give Chivas USA a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute. McNamara was the 20th overall selection (first pick in the second round) by Chivas at the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.

“It was a dream come true, especially getting the win, as well, in a dramatic fashion like that,” McNamara said. “It was just an awesome experience – something that I’ll never forget.”

On the other side in that match, De Anza Force product and Chicago Fire rookie midfielder Benji Joya scored a goal off the bench on his very first touch. The former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team player was a 63rd-minute sub, and within the first minute of his debut, tapped in the Fire’s first goal of the season to cut Chivas’ lead to 2-1. Joya captained two games at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship as the USA advanced to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

“All I put in my mind was to get the debut, get a goal and get my name on the score sheet, and luckily the first touch I had turned into a goal,” Joya said after the match. “I’m really proud of that.”

SLSG Alum Bruin Records Brace: Houston Dynamo forward and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri product Will Bruin scored two goals and assisted a Boniek Garcia tally during Houston’s 4-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.

Bruin’s brace and assist all came in the game’s first 23 minutes. It was Bruin’s fifth multi-goal game of his MLS career, and he now has 27 goals in 88 regular-season games.

Alumni Honored by MLS: Bruin and former Seattle Sounders FC Academy defender DeAndre Yedlin were each named to the MLS Team of the Week following the opening week of the season. Former Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Wil Trapp of the Columbus Crew also was recognized as one of seven players named to the bench in this weekly honor.

Miller Earns Early Call: Montreal Impact right back Eric Miller, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and former Minnesota Thunder Academy player, made his professional debut with the start and 90 minutes during the Impact’s 3-2 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Also in that match, PA Classics product Andrew Wenger scored a 65th-minute goal for Montreal to cut FC Dallas’ lead to one, but the Impact was held in check the rest of the way.

Miller’s counterpart, 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup teammate Kellyn Acosta, began his second season in MLS with the start at right back for FC Dallas. Acosta enters his second MLS season, coming off a 2013 rookie campaign where he started in 11 of 13 games and logged 1,004 minutes.

U20 World Cup Spotlight Midfielder Benji Joya

U-20 Men's National Team midfielder Benji Joya discusses growing up playing soccer, his time with Development Academy team DeAnza Force, and his role as the "glue" of the U-20 MNT group.

U20 MNT vs Mexico Highlights March 3 2013

The U.S. U-20 MNT faced Mexico in the final of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. Benji Joya converted a penalty for the U.S. in the first half and the U.S. forced extra time before eventually succumbing to the hosts.

Under-20s: Joya served as team captain for the semifinals and final during the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, where the U-20s finished runner-up to host Mexico. Joya scored a penalty kick goal in the title match on March 3 to tie the score at 1-1 - the first goal allowed by Mexic in the tournament. But the U.S. would eventually fall 3-1 in overtime. Heading into the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Joya has recorded two goals and two assists in nine games (all starts) while logging 782 mintues. In 2012, Joya was the lone U-20 MNT player to see time in all 10 games in 2012, posting two goals and an assist in 724 minutes. Joya’s first goal was a go-ahead tally against Chile at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup in July, but the USA settled for fourth place when Chile rallied for three straight goals. Joya added the game-winning goal of a 3-2 victory against Azerbaijan’s U-21 team at the 2012 Marbella Cup in October.

Joya signed with Santos Laguna in 2011 after a trial in June. From the beginning, Joya has played a regular role for Santos Laguna’s U-20 team, but recently he has trained more extensively with the first team as he looks for his first appearance at the top level.