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Erik Palmer-Brown

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

U-20 MNT Begins New Cycle at Stevan Vilotic Tournament in Serbia

CHICAGO (Aug. 28, 2015) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 23-player roster that will represent the United States at the 2015 Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament in Serbia.

The group will begin training on Aug. 30 in Subotica and begin tournament play against Serbia on Sept. 3, before traveling to Senta for a match against France on Sept. 4. The team will conclude the tournament with a placement match on Sept. 7.

“We’re giving a bunch of players an opportunity here to make an impression in the beginning, and I’m excited to be starting a new cycle that will hopefully end in the World Cup in South Korea in 2017,” Ramos said. “We’re taking 23 players in this camp, and the main reason for that is that we have back-to-back games. We play Serbia on Sept. 3 and we play France on Sept. 4, so those will be two completely different lineups and everybody will be able to get on the field and show themselves and show themselves against excellent competition.”

The Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament is the first test of a new U-20 cycle for the U.S. All 23 players from this group were born in 1997, although Erik Palmer-Brown has experience in this age group as he was a part of the 2015 U-20 MNT World Cup team. Thirteen other players participated in MNT camps with the U-18 team earlier this year.

Fourteen players from this roster represent clubs in Major League soccer, while five play in college, and the English Premier League, Bundesliga and USL each have single representatives on the squad. 22 players are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christian Herrera (Real Monarchs; Las Cruces, N.M.), Justin Vom Steeg (Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Nicholas Hinds (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Andrew Lombard (Northeastern; Montclair, N.J.), James Murphy (Players Development Academy; Scotch Plains, N.J.), Christian Onalfo (LA Galaxy; Redondo Beach, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Pablo Pelaez (Seattle Sounders FC; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.),
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amir Bashti (Stanford; Cupertino, Calif.), Collin Fernandez ( Chicago Fire, Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Abuchi Obinwa (Hannover 96; Orlando, Fla.), , Martin Salas (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Kyle Scott (Chelsea; Winterbourne, Bristol), Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew SC; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5):  Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Nebojsa Popovic (Saint Louis FC; Loznica, Serbia), Emmanuel Sabbi (Chicago Magic PSG; Libertyville, Ill.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Casa Grande, Ariz.)

Tab Ramos Q&A: ā€œIā€™m excited to be starting a new cycle that will hopefully end in the World Cup in South Korea in 2017.ā€ With this being the first camp of a new cycle, how did you go about selecting this roster?
Tab Ramos: “With all of our youth national teams we’re pretty much integrated, so we’re familiar with the players that we all get coming up, so in this case I’m familiar with this particular group. I think in this camp I’m giving an opportunity to the full depth chart that [U-18 MNT head coach] Javier Perez passed along. This is something that would get done throughout the cycle anyway, so we’re giving a bunch of players an opportunity here to make an impression in the beginning, and I’m excited to be starting a new cycle that will hopefully end in the World Cup in South Korea in 2017.” What is the goal for the team in this tournament?
TR: “The goal at this point is to see the competitiveness of the players. I can consider the last couple of cycles and start comparing what the players in those cycles were like in comparison to these. We can also start to make decisions about the quality and development of some of the players that we have. We’re taking 23 players in this camp, and the main reason for that is that we have back-to-back games. We play Serbia on Sept. 3 and we play France on Sept. 4, so those will be two completely different lineups and everybody will be able to get on the field and show themselves and show themselves against excellent competition. I’m very excited about that and about giving these players an opportunity.” What was attractive about playing this first tournament in Europe against teams like France and Serbia?
TR: “The thing about the European players at this particular age is that already when they’re turning 18, and they’re all turning 18 this year just like our guys, most of them are already on a pretty good professional path. Our guys can see the example of the professionalism of the European teams and how they handle themselves and how hard they play on every single play and in every opportunity that the ball is near them.”

It’s a great opportunity for us. I know that Javier has done a great job with this group when he had them with the U-18’s, so they’ve already had two years of very good competition and now we need to build on that in this age group because inevitably when you move up it gets harder and harder.” Erik Palmer-Brown was with the U-20’s this summer in the World Cup. How will his experience change his role now that he’s back?
TR: “Erik is a great player and he’s one with a lot of potential moving forward and one whose role is definitely going to change in this group compared to his role in the last one. He needs to not only be a good player and help the team, but now he needs to put the team on his shoulders a little bit and his responsibility is a lot bigger. I think it’s a great opportunity for him, and I’m looking forward to seeing him flourish over the next few years and also seeing how he responds to the added responsibility, because it’s definitely not easy.”

Quote Sheet: Ramos, Palmer-Brown, Acosta, Allen, Delgado, Jamieson Talk Final U-20 Group Stage Game

U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS

On his thoughts on the match:
“Well, obviously it was a very difficult match for us. We wanted to do all we could to not let the game open up. I thought the guys did a pretty good job for a long period of time. Unfortunately it was a free kick goal that opened up the game a little bit. We got right back in it by getting a PK that unfortunately we couldn’t convert. And then obviously the game opened up, and Ukraine is too fast for us. They play that counter attack game really well and when you let the game open up that way, you can find yourself in trouble against them, and we did.”

On positives going in to the next round:
I think we have a lot of positives going to the next round. The number one priority today – we knew we were in the second round – but obviously we had some guys with yellow cards, and we tried to protect them. Unfortunately late in the first half Marky (Delgado) got a yellow card as well, so we had to take him off the field. Obviously we wanted to win the game, but we wanted to get to the second round with our full squad ready to go, and I think we ended the game with everyone available, and everyone’s healthy for the next game so I think we’re in good shape.”

On the longer break between tonight and the Round of 16 match:
“I think that’s a great thing. Now we have five days. Guys can have a day off now, which can be great for them. We get to move to another city, which is also good, I think. And in the end we’re in a good spot. We’re going to be playing a competitive game, but I’m confident that we’re ready to go for the next round.”

On if coming in second in the group is a disadvantage:
“No not really. Look, you want to come in first place because it takes your team’s good momentum into the second round. But at this point, any team we play is going to be a good team, so it doesn’t really matter.”


On if the team can take any positives out of the match:
"It’s a tough loss, obviously. But there are positives coming out of it. We have everyone healthy going into the next round. We have five days to get our rest and have another game to look forward to.”

On is losing the third group match takes anything away from the early start:
“A little bit, because we made history winning the first two games and to get the sweep would have been great.”

On making his World Cup debut and having all 19 field players play in the group matches:
“This roster right now is 20 players deep. We feel like anyone that goes out there can get the job done. It’s great to have the feeling that if yellow card accumulation or injuries, anyone can step up. For me it’s a great feeling to get my debut to have that feeling amongst the team.”

U.S. U-20 MNT defender KELLYN ACOSTA

On what went against the U.S. in the match:
"I think we came out kind of flat. They put a little pressure on us, and they beat us to 50-50 balls. It got tough but we held them off in the first half, so I think we did a decent job. In the second half, they got that free kick in and the game started opening up from there and that’s how they put a couple goals on us. I know we ended up missing the PK, but I think the game just wasn’t going our way – we just weren’t connected fully. We’ll use this as a learning experience and get ready for the next round.”

On if the loss can affect the team:
“We’re kind of down right now, but starting tomorrow we have to put our attention on our second round match. We’ll look at the video and see what we need to do better, but all our results from group play are now in the past. Moving forward we have five days to get ready for whoever we play next, and we won’t be thinking about the games we won or the one we didn’t.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder JORDAN ALLEN

On the difference between the New Zealand match and tonight:
"I just don’t we kept the ball as well as we did against New Zealand. Our energy probably wasn’t the same. You can hold off a team for 60 minutes or so like we did, but eventually when you’re sitting back so far, not keeping possession of the ball, it’s going to come back to haunt you.”

On putting the loss behind them:
“We don’t have a choice, we have to get it out of our head. From here on out and just win or go home, so we’re going to start preparing for the next game. Obviously we’re disappointed about this result, but it’s more important for us look forward.”

U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder MARKY DELGADO

On his thoughts on the match:
"I felt like we sat back a little bit more than we’re used to, that’s not really our style of play. Knowing that we could get through with either a tie or a win, we kind of let off a little bit. We gave them too much respect, and that’s not what we usually do. We usually go after them right away and set the tempo, and I felt like we didn’t do that today.”

On leaving the result behind:
“It’s a lesson learned. Most of us here are professionals. We all have bad games – bad games come here and there, and unfortunately it came today. We’ll just learn from it and move forward.”


On the match in general:
"We had a game plan and I think we executed well in the first half, but obviously we fell apart a little bit, and maybe some good individual play on their side and obviously a good free kick on their side. But all we have to do is worry about the next game, obviously we’re on to the next round. We have to capitalize on whoever we’re playing in the next match.”  

On if the team can learn from the match:
"It all depends on how we take it. We can look at ourselves and say ‘ah, we lost the last match of the group stage and we wanted to win to have good momentum going in to the next game. Or we can say we have to really prove ourselves…this is the real deal, this is what we come to the World Cup for, to show that we can compete with the big guys.” 

U-20 MNT Awaits Round of 16 Opponent after Second-Place Finish in Group A

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 5, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team dropped its final match of Group A at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, falling 3-0 to Ukraine at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland.

With the loss, the USA (2-1-0; 6 points) finishes Group A in second place behind first-place Ukraine (2-0-1; 7 points) and ahead of New Zealand (1-1-1; 4 points) and Myanmar  (0-3-0; 0 points).

The U.S. now awaits the conclusion of the group stage matches to find out its opponent for the Round of 16, which will be the second seed of Group C (Portugal, Colombia or Senegal). After two games, Portugal leads Group C with six points followed by Colombia with four, Senegal with one and Qatar with zero.

The U.S. will play on June 10 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Kickoff is set for 3:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go and NBC Universo. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

After an even first half, Ukraine came out strong in the second frame, taking advantage of its set pieces and multiple opportunities. Vicktor Kovalenko was the spark for the Europeans, scoring all three goals. The USA had a chance to tie the match after the first Ukraine score in the 59th minute when a penalty was awarded to the Red, White and Blue following a foul on Jordan Allen. However, Emerson Hyndman’s attempt was saved, keeping the U.S. off the board.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko, 56th minute: After Cameron Carter-Vickers got called for a foul right outside the USA box, Ukraine lined up at about 20 yards from the goal to take its free kick. Viktor Kovalenko stepped up to take it and sent a perfectly curved ball up and over the wall of USA defenders, right into the lower left corner of the net and past Zack Steffen’s outstretched arms for the first score of the night. USA 0, UKR 1

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Eduard Sobol), 74th minute: Ukraine attacked up the left flank and Vladyslav Kabaiev laid it off to Eduard Sobol, who had overlapped him. Sobol cut it back quickly for Viktor Kovalenko, who shot it across the goalmouth past Steffen and inside the far post for his second strike. USA 0, UKR 2

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Artem Biesiedin), 79th minute: Artem Biesiedin played the ball into U.S. territory and evaded a couple of defenders outside the box to send a pass to Kovalenko, who was waiting on the left side of the penalty area. U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen came out of his net as he tried to block Kovalenko’s attempt; however Kovalenko sent the ball to the far post, diagonal from where Steffen was, to complete his hat trick performance. USA 0, UKR 3 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Zack Steffen, 44th and 45th minute: Artem Biesiedin had back-to-back chances at the end of the first half to put Ukraine on the board. First, he sent a right-footed shot from the left side of the box that ended up right in Steffen’s arms, and another straight-on blast from 20 yards out that Steffen once again was able to corral in order to avoid a Ukrainian tally in the opening half.  

UKR – Roman Pidkivka, 59th minute: USA’s Jordan Allen went down inside the box on the left side, and got the penalty kick call from the referee. Emerson Hyndman stepped up to take the shot, but Roman Pidkivka correctly guessed Hyndman’s direction, leaning to his right side and extending his arms to push the ball out of bounds for a USA corner.

USA – Zack Steffen, 65th minute: Viktor Kovalenko pressured Zack Steffen and the U.S. defense constantly in the second half, especially with his set piece plays. On yet another free kick, Kovalenko sent a great ball from the right side of the 18-yard box towards the middle of the box to try to find a teammate who could finish. This time however, Steffen came out and punched the ball out of danger quickly.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. U-20 MNT opponent is still TBD (No. 2 Group C), but the U.S. will play on June 10 in the Round of 16, when the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup enters the knockout stage. Kickoff is set for 3:30 a.m. ET at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, NBC Universo
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp

Additional Notes:

  • This is the fifth time the U.S. has finished U-20 World Cup group play with two wins. The others were 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
  • The U.S. advances to the second round of the U-20 World Cup for the ninth time in 14 appearances.
  • Hyndman wore the captain’s armband for the fourth-straight time. He made his debut as captain against Australia during a friendly on May 19.
  • The USA’s three substitutions of the game were: Joel Soñora for Marky Delgado, Rubio Rubin for Jordan Allen and Conor Donovan for Emerson Hyndman, all coming in the second half.
  • Rubin and Hydman are the only two players on the roster to have been capped at the senior level under U.S. MNT head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. Hyndman made his debut during the second half of the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic in September 2014, and Rubin started against then No. 3-ranked Colombia this past November. 
  • The defense was anchored by Erik Palmer-Brown, Shaquelle Moore, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kellyn Acosta.
  • Carter-Vickers, Acosta, Hyndman, Steffen and Delgado were the only players to start all three group stage matches for the USA.
  • Palmer-Brown made his first start of the tournament against Ukraine and Donovan made his first appearance of the tournament.
  • The USA’s starting lineup had three players born in 1997 for the first time in the tournament: Palmer-Brown, Carter-Vickers and Zelalem.

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Ukraine U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: June 5, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand (Group Stage)
Venue: North Harbor Stadium; Auckland, New Zealand
Kickoff: 3:00 a.m. ET
Attendance: 7,694
Weather: 56 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          0          0
UKR                           0          3          3

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko        57th minute
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Eduard Sobol)  74
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Artem Biesiedin) 79

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown, 6-Kellyn Acosta; 15-Marky Delgado (10-Joel Soñora, 60), 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.) (16-Conor Donovan, 84), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 20-Jordan Allen (9-Rubio Rubin, 67); 7-Paul Arriola, 11-Bradford Jamieson IV
Subs Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 3-John Requejo, 5-Matt Miazga, 13-Tommy Thompson, 17-Desevio Payne
Head coach: Tab Ramos

UKR: 12-Bohdan Sarnavskyi; 2-Taras Kacharaba, 4-Mykyta Burda, 7-Yevhen Chumak (13-Artem Habelok, 80), 8-Pavlo Polehenko; 9-Vladyslav Kabaiev, 10-Artem Biesiedin (11-Roman Yaremchuk, 85), 14-Valerii Luchkevych, 17-Viktor Kovalenko (5-Yurii Tkachuk, 87); 18-Eduard Sobol, 21-Ihor Kharatin
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Roman Pidkivka, 16-Yevgen Grytsenko, 2-Artur Kunetsov, 6-Viacheslav Tankovskyi, 15-Mykyta Tatarkov, 19-Oleksii Kovtun, 20-Yevhenii Nemtinov
Head coach: Oleksandr Petrakov

Stats Summary: USA / UKR
Shots: 13 / 16
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 22 / 15
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Marky Delgado (caution)        22nd minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)           41
USA – Jordan Allen (caution)             65
UKR – Yurii Tkachuk (caution)          89

Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Noupe (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)
Fourth Official: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN) Man of the Match: TBA

U-20 MNT Focused on Earning Positive Result in World Cup Opener

Tab Ramos and the U-20 Men's National Team begin their 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup campaign against Myanmar and are looking to take maximum points from the match, which will be broadcast in the United States on FOX Sports 1 at 12 a.m. ET Friday night.


  • Joined the U.S. Residency program for the Spring 2013 semester. In addition to the U-17s, he has also participated with the U.S. U-15 and U-18 teams.
  • Began playing soccer with Lee Summit Soccer Academy (U4-U7), KC Inter, and KC United before trying out with Development Academy side Sporting Kansas City in June 2009 and making the team.
  • Sign as a professional at age 16 as a homegrown player with Sporting KC on August 2, 2013.
  • Made his MLS debut and first start on May 18 in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire, becoming the youngest player in MLS history (17 years, 24 days) to start a regular season match as a defender.
  • Was a finalist for US Soccer’s 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year award.


  • Son of Marilyn Palmer and the late Harry Brown.
  • Was born in Napoleon, Ohio but moved to Lee’s Summit, Missouri when he was one and half years old.
  • Attended Lee’s Summit High School prior to residency, and is set to graduate from Archbishop O’Hara High School in the spring 2015.
  • Had previously dreamed of going to Ohio State University as his grandfather was a big fan of the school’s sports teams and always talked about the Buckeyes.
  • He is the second youngest player on the World Cup roster behind Cameron Carter-Vickers.