U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos on Saturday evening announced to the team midfielder Emerson Hyndman will serve as captain at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
“We’ve been discussing with the staff trying to figure out who was going to be a good leader for us on the field and off the field,” Ramos said. “We’re very fortunate with this group that we definitely have three or four guys who could have taken that role, but we felt that Emerson was the right person to lead the way for the group. Obviously he’s a good player, and at the same time I think he’s very professional on the field and off the field and I think the type of person at U.S. Soccer we’d like to have as a leader.”
Hyndman is one of six players who appeared in all six matches for the U-20 MNT at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica in January, where he scored once and led the team with three assists.
“It’s obviously an honor to be captain of a World Cup team,” Hyndman said. “I’m looking to bring all the same qualities from qualifying and really just help everyone on the team.”
The 19-year-old has also earned a cap with the senior U.S. Men’s National Team, debuting on September 3, 2014 as a second-half sub in the USA’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic. He also played a friendly with the U.S. U-23 MNT on October 14, 2014 when he started against Brazil in Brasilia.
“(Ramos) just told me that he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on me, and he wanted me to be more of a leader,” Hyndman said. “I feel like I can do that, so I’m up to the task.”
A former Development Academy player with the Dallas Texans and the FC Dallas Academy, Hyndman signed a professional contract with Fulham in April 2013. He made his professional debut for the Cottagers on Aug. 9, 2014, going the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town in Championship play and made 11 first-team appearances for Fulham during the 2014-2015 season.
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team capped the California portion of their three-leg pre-World Cup camp on Thursday with a light regeneration session at StubHub Center in Carson. A few hours later, the group embarked on a 15-hour flight to Sydney, Australia, where it will train for six days before heading to New Zealand for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“I think the guys have shown their excitement for what’s to come in New Zealand,” said forward Tommy Thompson of the camp. “Everyone’s been sharp, and everyone appears ready. Now we’re looking forward to our scrimmage against Australia and to continue to build on what we started in LA.”
Fifteen players participated in the first leg in Carson, including Cameron Carter-Vickers, who arrived from England in time for Thursday’s training. Kellyn Acosta, Eric Palmer-Brown, Rubio Rubin, Jordan Allen, Bradford Jamieson and Gedion Zelalem will join the group over the next few days in Australia.
“Although we don’t have those players, I think it’s for a good reason - it’s because they’re all playing, and they’re playing important roles within their clubs,” said U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos. “That’s a good thing. It’s a sign of our players getting better and our pool of players being more and more competitive.”
The team conducted five sessions in Los Angeles, including a scrimmage against a local club in which they didn’t keep score. As important as the trainings were, Ramos said the time also served another purpose.
“Team-building happens not just on the field and not just with tactics,” Ramos said. “Team-building is everything else that happens outside the field, too. Although we don’t have a full roster yet, I think what we did in the three days in LA has been very important for our team because we’re starting to build a camaraderie amongst the players which I think is going to be very important leading into the tough part of the competition.”
The team arrived in Sydney early Saturday morning, skipping over Friday with the 17-hour time change and had a light session in the afternoon to try to quickly acclimate. On Tuesday the U.S. plays a friendly against Australia at Central Coast Stadium, however the focus remains the World Cup opener on May 30.
“Right now although we’re going to play Australia and then follow that up with a game against Serbia in New Zealand. But our main focus continues to be Myanmar,” Ramos said. “That’s all we think about, that’s what the players will be watching over the next couple days.”
It didn’t take long for the message to be accepted by the team.
“It’s a World Cup, and we know we can’t take any game lightly,” said midfielder Emerson Hyndman. “But right now we’re only looking at the first game against Myanmar and we’re not looking past it.”
The team was given video of Myanmar matches to watch on the flight to Australia.
“We’re putting more resources and time into Myanmar and learning about Myanmar than we did for playing Spain in the last World Cup,” Ramos said, who also coached the U-20 MNT at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey. “Only because when you play a team like Spain or France or even Ghana, they play a style you’re somewhat familiar with, so you know their soccer culture, you know a lot more about them to begin with. In this case, we really had to learn from scratch. I think we’re putting a lot of time into that, and we feel comfortable that we’re moving in a good direction to be prepared for that game.”
The preparation will continue picking up steam as the final six players join the squad, which Ramos says everyone is looking forward to.
“I think we’ve selected an excellent group of players but also an excellent group of people,” Ramos said. “They are all ready to go. They are all waiting for their teammates to come. And the guys who are not here can’t wait to get here. I think all around we have a good group of people and sometimes for a team that’s more important than anything else.”
- In addition to the U-20 MNT, had also previously played for the U.S. U-15 BNT, and the U-17 and U-18 MNTs.
- Is one of two players on the 2015 U-20 World Cup roster (Rubio Rubin) to have also played with the senior Men’s National Team. Hyndman made his debut as a second-half sub in the USA’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, 2014.
- One of two players to have also played with the U-23 MNT, which he did on Oct. 14, 2014 when he started during the USA’s match against Brazil in Brasilia.
- Played club soccer for the Dallas Texans and spent portions of two seasons with the FC Dallas Academy in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
- One of six players to appear in all six matches for the USA-20 MNT at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica. He scored one goal and led the team with three assists during the tournament.
- A member of Fulham’s Academy system since 2011, Hyndman signed a professional contract with the club in April of 2013. Hyndman made his professional debut for the Cottagers on Aug. 9, 2014, going the full 90 minutes during a 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town in Championship play.
- Made 11 first-team appearances for Fulham during the 2014-2015 season, and also featured prominently on Fulham’s U-21 team.
- Son of Becky and Tony.
- Hyndman is the grandson of legendary SMU coach and former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, who led the MLS club from 2008-13.
- Also has a Portuguese passport.
Men’s National Team: Hyndman was called in by MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for multiple camps in 2014 and made his senior team debut as a second-half sub during the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. Hyndman was a nominee for 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year … Under-23s: In early preparation with the group focused on qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Hyndman started during the USA’s Oct. 14 match against Brazil in Brasilia … Under-20s: Hyndman made two starts and logged 180 minutes in 2014 during the Marbella Tournament in Spain, starting against Russia’s U-21s for a 4-3 win on Nov. 12 and the Republic of Ireland’s U-20 national team for a 1-0 win on Nov. 15 … Under-18s: Hyndman represented the U-18 MNT at the 2014 Copa del Atlantico, and Under-19 tournament held in early February in the Canary Islands … Under-17s: Hyndman made three appearances and logged 88 minutes for the U-17 MNT at the 2012 Nike International Friendlies, starting during the USA’s 4-1 win against Turkey on Nov. 30.
A member of Fulham’s Academy system since 2011, Hyndman signed a professional contract with the club in April of 2013. Hyndman made his professional debut for the Cottagers on Aug. 9, 2014, going the full 90 minutes during a 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town in Championship play.
Hyndman formerly played for the Dallas Texans and spent portions of two seasons with the FC Dallas Academy in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Hyndman is the grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, who led the MLS club from 2008-13.
Date of Birth
Apr 9, 1996